Most single moms will agree that it is hard to raise a kid or kids on your own. However, the first year is always the hardest. Whether you are raising a newborn, adopting a kid or kids of any age, are going through a separation, or your partner passed away, the first year is going to be hard on you and your kids. It’s essential to be prepared for what is to come in the next year for you and your kids so that nobody feels completely overwhelmed all of the time. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the first year of becoming a single mom in 2022.
Single mom FAQs
There are a lot of questions out there about single moms, so let’s answer a few of them right away. First of all, what is a single mom? A single mom is a mom who is raising a kid or kids who are under the age of 18 on her own. Second of all, how does a mom become a single mom? There are actually quite a few ways that this can happen. A mom’s partner could have passed away, they could be going through a divorce, they could have gotten a sperm donor, she could have had a one-night stand, or she could have adopted.
All of the above will make her a single mom. Also, anyone who identifies as a female and is raising kids on their own is a single mom. This brings up another question. Who is a single mom? Well, anyone can be a single mom. There are about 13.7 million single parents in the United States alone Wikipedia . A large percentage of that number is single moms. Because there are so many single moms out there, chances are that you have met at least one, if not more. It’s surprisingly common and getting more common every day.
Why is the first year so hard?
Being a single mom is hard, but the first is definitely the hardest. First of all, you will have no idea what you are doing. This is especially true for women who have just had a baby or who just adopted a baby or child. If you have never been a parent before, it’s going to be challenging to figure out what exactly you are supposed to do. It’s also strange to be only taking care of yourself for so long to suddenly have another person or persons completely dependent on you for everything.
It will definitely take some getting used to. For moms who are going through a divorce or whose partner has passed away, it’s going to be an adjustment period. It’s one thing to raise a kid with another person who is also helping to raise the kid, but it is another thing for it to all be on one person. In the case of a divorce or death, emotions are going to be high for a while, for both the mother and the kid or kids. It’s a lot of things to figure out and it takes time for wounds to heal. The first year of being a single mom is tough for every single mom out there, but with time it will get easier.
- A single mom is a mom that is raising a kid or kids under the age of 18 on her own.
- There are millions of single parents in the United States alone, and the majority of that number consists of single moms.
- The first year of being a single mom is an adjustment for both the mom and the kids, with a lot of emotions all around.
Raising a newborn
Newborns are a lot of work the first year they are born. It is a stressful but magical year for single moms. On the one hand, you have a baby to watch grow up, to watch it crawl for the first time and say its first words. But on the other hand, it is very long nights and a lot of diaper changes. Having a newborn is very exciting, but it’s also very tiring. When dealing with a huge change like this, it is important to be prepared to make the adjustment period as easy as possible. Of course, babies grow so fast in some aspects you can only prepare so much, but the more prepared you are the better.
An easy way for single moms to feel prepared for the first year of raising a newborn is to stock up on everything. Get diapers in a range of sizes, get clothing in a range of sizes, and if you are planning on using a formula, get a small stockpile, so you will not be making any midnight runs to the store with a newborn in tow. It is also a good idea to get a group of people who will be supporting you every step of the way. Whether it’s family or friends or both, having people who are willing to help you can make the first year of raising a newborn so much easier.
The people who are supporting you can also help plan a baby shower which is a great opportunity to get more baby essentials. And when you need a break to go grocery shopping or even just to shower, you will know that you have people that you can call to watch your baby for a little bit to let you do whatever it is you need to do. You can also find groups of other single moms who are going through the same thing as you or that have gone through it before, which this website What To Expect talks more about.
The first year after a divorce
When you have brought a new life into the world with a partner that you expected to be with forever, getting a divorce is the last thing on your mind. However, many people get divorced today. Becoming a single mom because of a divorce is not easy for the mom or the kids. It brings a lot of challenges into your life that you weren’t prepared for. Custody is a huge challenge that will be hard to figure out in the first year of post-divorce. In most cases, the custody of the kid or kids will be split in some way.
This means that you won’t always have your kids because sometimes they will be with the other parent. Parenting is hard when two people live together, but when you are trying to navigate co-parenting with a person who has left you, it can be stressful and awkward. It can also make it harder to come to terms with your new life, and heal from the divorce when you are forced to see and communicate with this other person still.
When going through a divorce, a big thing that needs to be figured out is custody. People call it a custody battle for a reason. Even with lawyers, it’s a stressful, messy affair that doesn’t always seem fair. Most of the time the kids will end up with one person the majority of the time and only see the other on the weekends or a few hours a day here and there. Sometimes custody is split 50/50, but that’s not always the case, especially when they are school-aged children.
Being with your kids all the time to suddenly having times when they are with your partner and you have no idea what is going on is a huge adjustment that single moms have to go through in the first year. It’s hard to go from knowing exactly what your kids are doing at all times to having chunks of time without them where you have absolutely no idea what they are doing or what is going on.
Saying goodbye to your kids is not something that is going to get easy quickly. It’s also difficult to regularly be seeing the person that you used to be with. And you will be seeing them a lot because you will have to leave your kids with them, pick them up again, and see them at school events and possibly at sports games. After some amount of time, it will get easier, but in the first year of being a single mom, it’s going to be a challenge every day.
The first year of being a single mom tends to be stressful and chaotic. Mental health can become a huge problem in this first year. This is especially true if you are going through a divorce or if your partner has passed away. Not only are you dealing with figuring out how to raise a child on your own, but you are also trying to come to terms with this new life without a partner. You will be feeling a lot of different emotions, which this article The Australian parenting website talks about.
You’ll feel overwhelmed, stressed, and alone, just to name a few. If you feel this way, which is very likely to happen, then it’s important to remember that you are not alone and that you can seek help. You likely have friends and family members that will be more than willing to help you in whatever ways you need. And, depending on how exactly the custody is split, you may have more free time during the week which would give you the opportunity to seek professional help. If you are a single mom and feel overwhelmed or depressed, it is very important to find time to get the help that you need.
What about the kids?
As a single mom, your kid or kids will be one of your top priorities if not your number one priority. The first year of raising a kid by yourself is going to be difficult for not only you but for the kids as well. If you are a brand new mom, someone who just gave birth or adopted a newborn specifically, it’s not going to be as difficult on the kids as you think. This is because if the baby is only raised by you then it will think of it as normal growing up. Also, you don’t really have to worry about their mental health, just their physical well-being.
If there was a divorce or death or you have adopted an older child, that is when things get more complicated. The first year of being a single mom is going to be challenging for you, but it’s also going to be challenging for them. They are suddenly living in two houses, most likely seeing one parent less than the other, dealing with the death of a parent, possibly switching schools, and so much more. So how do you take care of them when they are going through this? It’s very important that you take the time to listen to them. Let them talk it out and ask questions and give them as many answers as you can. Kids of all ages want to know what is going on and what is going to happen to them.
They need stability and when you can’t give them that, you can give them reassurance. It is also important to make sure that they are still able to hang out with their friends and do their normal activities. If they did sports, make sure that they still have time to do them. If their mental health seems very bad, or if they are just not acting the same way, you can take them to a therapist. A therapist will talk with your children and really get to the bottom of what is going on. Just remember that emotions aren’t high just for you, they are also high for the children involved.