A Complete Survival Guide & Helpful Tips For Single Mothers

A Complete Survival Guide & Helpful Tips For Single Mothers

Nobody ever claimed parenting was simple, especially if you're a single woman working on your own. Single mothers report daily life as stressful, challenging, and quite lonely. Nonetheless, living in a family headed by a single mother is the second-most prevalent living arrangement for children in the United States (after two-parent families).

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, more than 80 percent of the 11 million single-parent families in the United States are single-mother homes. While having children on your own can be a roller coaster of financial concerns and time management pressures, many single mothers out there are not just surviving but flourishing.

Fortunately, here are a few ways to make single parenthood a little less stressful. Continue reading for tips for single mothers and advice and insights on how to stay organized, overcome financial obstacles, raise well-adjusted children, and keep yourself happy all at the same time.


Take charge of your finances


Raising a child on one income is difficult. If money isn't an issue, the mental space necessary to keep track of all the expenses may be time-consuming and even take away from time spent with your child. Learning how to handle your finances may relieve stress in significant amounts.

Having a budget is essential for staying financially afloat. My main suggestion is to make a budget, but even most important than that is to keep it updated. I kept making these budgets but never updated them, and then I'd wonder where all my money went. Now, every Sunday night,  set aside time to update everything so that you are never puzzled at the end of the month. You don't always want to do it, but try to force yourself to. 

How much money you make and how much money you spend each month are critical in determining how much you can spend on luxury. You may use pen and paper to create your budget, or you can use Excel or Google Sheets for a more convenient choice. With a bit of setup, a free program like Mint can connect straight to your bank and credit cards, making budgeting even more manageable.


2. Set up autopay for your invoices


Try setting monthly expenses on autopay if you know your budget can support it. This prevents you from missing a payment, incurring late penalties, and saving you time. Set up autopay instead of paying your expenses each month, and you'll have more time to spend with your kids (or a good book!)


3. Take advantage of government tax advantages and programs


After a lot of research and talking to another parent in my neighborhood, there were certain things I realized single mums weren't even taking advantage of. Check to see if you're taking advantage of tax incentives like the Child Tax Credit and the Child Care Tax Credit, which were just enhanced for 2021. Do your homework to ensure you save all the money you are entitled to while submitting your taxes.

If funds are limited, several government programs and subsidies are available to single mothers. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a government-run program that assists low-income families and single moms in purchasing food. WIC is a state and federally funded program that offers qualified mothers supplementary food, health care referrals, and nutritional assistance. Qualifying mothers can apply for single mother awards. Examine the list to determine if there is anything you can utilize to improve your financial status.


4. Learn to say "no"


It's difficult to tell kids no, but it would be terrible to educate them that buying a toy is more important than being able to finance our housing or food. You don't have to discuss your economics with your children. Still, educating them to prioritize what is important in life is essential. It will help kids comprehend a dollar's worth and make better purchasing decisions when they grow older. If they desperately need something, instruct them to save for it or put it on a holiday or birthday list.


Make use of your support network to make child care simpler


Isn't it true that it takes a community to raise a child? Whether you're a single parent or not, most people understand that child care typically requires a team effort. Simply asking about it will reveal how many other parents wish to collaborate with you on child care.


Network with other single mothers


This piece of advice that you have avoided for a long time - establish friends with other single parents. There is no shame in sometimes asking another single parent for help babysitting your kids since she understands the hardship. Other single mothers will understand your predicament better than anybody else. They will also be an excellent source of advice when you need them because you won't have to explain everything to them.


Try an overnight swap


Basically, you take the group of kids to a sleepover one Saturday night a month, and the other parents do the same on the other weekends. This is how you’d ever meet people; otherwise, I doubt it would ever happen.

This may be a game changer if your children are old enough and mature enough for sleepovers. You can go out or work on time-consuming projects while your children are away for the night. The youngsters think it's all for them and have a great time with their buddies.


Begin or join a carpooling program


There's no reason for everyone to travel to and from school on the same route every day when you can establish a carpool and spread the responsibilities. Some days, carpooling is the ticket to sanity. It's a minor detail, but it helps.


Make use of close family members


Some mothers are concerned that family members may feel taken advantage of. Yet, elderly family members watching out for the most minor children is a time-honored custom. We grew up spending time with our grandparents, haven’t we? so put your personal worries to one side and enjoy the experience. Determine if your family members are willing to aid you by having an open talk. You'll be astonished at how ready they are to do some babysitting, even if it's only for an afternoon here and then.


Get organized to avoid headaches


Kids like consistency, and establishing a "system" for your family may save you time and help you prevent meltdowns and unexpected curveballs.


Establish and keep to a regular regimen


Creating a regular routine for yourself and your children is not only beneficial to you, but it is also beneficial to your children. Even if they protest from time to time, children appreciate the regularity of a routine. A consistent morning schedule, in particular, is the most incredible way to ensure that everyone is ready on time and that no lunches are unintentionally left at home.


Create a meals list system


It seems odd, but it's a great idea to utilize a rotating mealtime list method. Meal planning may help you keep the chaos at bay during a hectic week and make grocery shopping much more straightforward. Try making a Pinterest board for each week's list and storing each supper as a pin within that week's list. If things go entirely wrong over the week, you can always order a pizza, but you have a basic strategy to begin with, which is half the fight. Many websites, like Skinnytaste, and The Kitchen, provide weekly healthy meal planning for families.




Single mothers seldom get time to themselves, yet that time may energize you and replenish your reserves in a meaningful way. With these ParentalMastery.com guidelines, you can create time for yourself without feeling guilty. After all, happy mothers raise happy children!

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