Hey there, mama. Breathe. Everything is going to be okay. You’re thinking about looking for help. Being a single parent is not easy and you know it. You are proud, though. You want to be the superhero and rescue your child/(ren) from everything. Here’s the deal. You can’t. You just can’t do it all, all of the time. You are doing your best, but there’s going to come a time, if it hasn’t already, where you feel less than adequate and you need to reach out for help. Where do you turn without feeling like you’re letting yourself or your kids down?
Children, no matter what age, have many needs. They need help with tying shoes, getting dressed, being reminded to brush their hair and teeth, and don’t forget about that homework they’re rushing through just before the bus comes to pick them up. A child needs to be tended to and you’re giving them every piece of you to show care, attention, and love. These scenarios (and your stress level) are multiplied if you have more than one child, and the kicker is you’re trying to do it all alone.
Things out of your control happen. You can count on that. It’s the middle of the night and one of the kids is having difficulty breathing. You need to get him to the doctor. What do you do with the other children sleeping soundly? You’re running around in the morning getting the kids ready for school and you realize that you forgot to pick up treats for your daughter’s class. How do you take care of that? What do you do in a pinch when you need something from the grocery store?
Johnny needs a new pair of shoes because the dog chewed holes in them and Jude’s got no clean pants that fit. What if you have an appointment? How can you be in two separate places at once when there is only one of you? Obviously, you have your own struggles and challenges that have you questioning your life. There is help, but you have to be willing to accept it.
Lean On Others
It may seem trite or even corny, but hear us out. Have you been fully transparent with your family members? Do your parents understand the situation you are currently in? What about your siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.? Have you reached out to them for support? It could be that these people listed haven’t been your “go-to” for help before, but if you are fortunate enough to live near any of your family, please reach out to them.
Make the first move, even if you’re scared or nervous. Chances are, they will be more than willing to help out in a pinch. If they offer, without you asking first, take them up on it.
Help can express itself in many different forms based on what your needs are, which likely change often. Perhaps you need someone to watch your kids for a little while. Ask your sister to spend an hour or so with her nephew. Maybe you’re struggling financially and getting groceries this month is a challenge. Your parents may be willing to help fill your pantry.
It’s possible that having a conversation with another adult is what you need. Your Aunt Sue may love hearing from you. Asking for help can be uncomfortable, but it’s okay to start small. Be vulnerable. This could be the beginning of creating a support system for you and your children.
Sometimes, single mothers aren’t lucky to be near family. In some cases, single mothers don’t get along with family, thus, cutting all ties. Don’t forget, you likely already have others who will also support you. Think about your friends. Who did you spend time with before you got married? Which friends may be going through the same situation you are currently in? Reach out to them. You will feel so much better once the initial conversation has been started.
Seek & Find Help
Perhaps you feel like you have burned all your bridges to friends in your past or to your family. You have never felt so alone and you feel like you’re sinking further and further into a hole. Now what? Friend, it may be time to seek an outside source. Someone like a therapist or counselor might be your best option. But pride! We know and we understand.
You never thought you would be in this situation. And money! We also understand that as a single parent, you’re struggling to make ends meet as it is. How in the world are you going to be able to afford professional help?
If there is a will, there is a way. Swallow that big pill that is telling you that you don’t need help. If you’re feeling lost or hopeless, now is the time to seek assistance from a professional. There are programs for single parents that can help you get this help. Check to see if your community offers any services for single parents. If not, visit a larger city near you. Be sure to check out the resources tab on our website for other options as well.
Make The Move
It’s time. You’re in a bind and need to take that first step. You have risen to the occasion so far and you’re doing a kick ass job! Just remember, if you have others in your corner, it will benefit more than just you. Giving up is not an option.
This is your life now; it’s up to you to make it a beautiful one for you and your children. You’ve got this! You’re a superhero, but the support of others will help keep you and your kiddos thriving and looking forward to a bright future full of opportunities.
by Lyric Anders, writer