Support for Single Moms and Single Parent Families

Parenting is no cake walk–especially for the single parent, who bares twice the burden with half the support.

Whether you’re a single mom by choice, or circumstances have left you and your kids on your own, you’ve faced countless struggles every day.

While Single Not Alone primarily focuses on systemic solutions and ongoing support–like after-school programming and access to mental health and counseling services–the following resources may prove helpful to individuals and families right now.

Financial Strain

Roughly 1 out of every 20 American workers is a single mom. More than half of all workers who rely on multiple jobs are women. Single-parent families experience poverty at two- to four-times the rate of other U.S. families. Single mothers in particular face greater levels of financial hardship, while often working in the least stable positions.

Social Isolation, Emotional Health, and Fatigue

Supportive relationships are an indispensable foundation of health and well-being. Roughly 12% of single mothers are significantly socially isolated (despite being employed–often in multiple jobs–and serving many roles in their families and communities). Less than half of all single mothers are “widely connected” (i.e., enjoying the benefits of family and friend support). 

Existing research has shown that single mothers are at increased risk for physical and mental health disorders (particularly depression and anxiety). A lack of social support correlates with reduced parenting support, and poorer outcomes for mother and child alike. Across numerous studies, children raised in single-mother families are at heightened risk for substance abuse, depression, anxiety, self-harm, risky behavior, and being pulled into the criminal justice system.

Single mothers are especially prone to fatigue. They have more trouble falling and staying asleep than their peers. Fewer than half of all single mothers get even 7 hours of sleep each night.

Parenting Support

When you are a single parent, every parenting decision (and every argument, every teacher meeting, every volunteer role, every carpool, every fundraising event) falls to you. And the stakes are even higher. Single mothers–already distressed by excessive responsibilities and fiscal worries–are often the sole or primary caregiver for children who are at increased risk for self-harm, risky behavior, and victimization.
Every parent can benefit from having other parents to help them think through decisions, find new strategies, or explore alternative options. Your local community almost certainly has one or several single-parent support groups (check with your local community center, public schools, or faith community). There are also groups that meet online and virtually.

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