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Parenting Alone

This News Note is available in packets of 100 and packets of 1000.

 “Throughout my struggles as a single mom to give my daughter everything she needs, I put a priority on being able to watch her grow. I found that this was one of the hardest pieces of the puzzle that I could juggle as a single mom.”

—“The Life of a Single Parent,”
by Jennifer Glennon

Parenting is a challenge in even the best circumstances. There never seem to be enough hours in a day. Moms and dads are pulled in a hundred directions at once. For single parents, the problems can feel overwhelming. With no one to share the chores, school events and extracurricular activities, life can be a blur of endless responsibilities. But, with a positive attitude, support from family and friends, and a solid faith life, single parents can create a manageable and even joy-filled life for themselves and their children. Still, recent statistics paint a sobering picture. Most single parents are divorced or separated women, raising more than one child, and living at near-poverty levels. Here’s the breakdown: There are at least 14 million single custodial parents responsible for 21.6 million children in the country, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. More than 83 percent of single custodial parents are mothers, compared to 16.9 percent custodial fathers. The average amount of financial support a single parent receives each year is $4,900. The average working salary of a single parent is $28,000. Linda, a full-time lawyer and mother of two girls, ages 13 and 8, knows it’s a constant struggle to do everything that needs to be done and still find time to laugh and play and simply enjoy being with her kids. She says, “The biggest challenge is having to be responsible for everything, without having anyone else to bounce ideas off; also, to have sole financial responsibility. Another challenge is, if I want to go to work, get a haircut, go for a run or go to the doctor, I have to find and pay for quality childcare. I also have to endure the guilt of ‘leaving’ my kids ‘again.’ If I were leaving them with their other parent, I wouldn’t feel that way.” All that being said, Linda emphasizes that her greatest happiness is just raising her kids. “We came out of such an unstable home that not a day goes by that I don’t give thanks just to be with them in a peaceful home,” she explains.