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Common Experiences Single Mothers Go Through

Updated on September 28, 2021
Nyamweya profile image

Nyamweya is a columnist with a Kenyan print media.He is also a freelance writer with various online and offline media platforms

Single mothers go through a myriad of problems. These range from upbringing of children, their future and settling down in life. Divorced women have a higher openness to chronic illness, especially over a period of time compared with married women. A worrying life event has also shown to have affected the mental health of these women after the divorce. Divorced mothers are also trapped in a violent cycle of financial problems and other stressful life events. This hub reviews some of the issues single mothers encounter


Single motherhood comes with an exceptional set of emotional challenges that can, at times, feel irresistible and are best understood by those who share them to people. They may suffer from a feeling of lack of personality after separation. This is especially true of women whose identity was formerly associated with that of their husbands. In many women, feelings of guilt, shame, bitterness, anger and anxiety about future are so dominant, that they bring out personality changes.

Most single mothers have tried to deal with the tension by spending more time with their children, trying to keep themselves busy by getting more involved in household chores, reading, watching TV and listen to music, overcoming their psychological problems by talking with their friends/relatives, releasing their pent-up emotions by crying.


A financial crisis is a standing situation with most of the single parent families. It becomes difficult in meeting the basic needs of children such as food, clothing, school fees, maintaining the previous standard of living and meet personal expenses.

A number of single mothers seek the help of their relatives at the time of financial crises and some do not approach anybody for help because they think that it might hurt their self-respect, so they try to solve their problems on their own and sometimes it leads to depression, some single mothers approach their parents, neighbors, friends and others seek out the help of Non-Governmental Organizations. Financial strain leads to depression in single mothers.


Single mothers soon discover that there is little place for them among married couples. Most of the widow’s social life is centered on activities with other women. If she is economically handicapped, then she is unable to participate in many community social organizations.

The women have attempted to compensate the absence of their husbands by performing and participating in the social functions, several of them sometimes attended social gatherings. They try to avoid the functions when they feel low. A number of single mothers never attend any social functions after the death of their spouse due to the feeling of low self-esteem and lack of identity and financial problems. These women hesitate to make new friends and hence experience lack of companionship..

Life-style of single mothers also changes after the loss of their husbands; like the style of dressing, opting for more dull and light colors, decreasing their outings like going to social functions, movies etc. some of them there is a change in their food habits. It is stated that due to depression they develop poor food habits and loss of appetite.

A number of Single mothers find it hard to maintain discipline among the children due to absence of male counterparts. The mothers become lonely and find it difficult to handle the responsibility of child-care and to establish a routine for their children. They feel that their children are out of control and not responding to their parenting and some single mothers their children are easy to handle and obedient. They adjust to the routine set by them .They even try to help their mothers whenever they feel low.


The role of a single mother requires that the parent takes on responsibility that may have been shared by their spouse. Single mothers experience additional role strain as a parent. In addition to becoming the primary wage earner, a woman is forced to shoulder other responsibilities of her husband. However, the lack of structure, and inconsistent enforcement of parental standards, children who are living with single mother have a home life that is different from children living with both the parents. Problems of single mother are linked with the up-bringing of children, their future and settling down in life.

So, it could be concluded that majority of single mothers faced economic, emotional and social problems .Single mothers work hard and try their best to rear their children. Thus, single mother deserve greater attention and need intervention and treatment efforts to improve their economic and social outcomes.


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