There are quite a lot of young single mothers out there, and the biggest challenge that they have to face is that they don’t have the knowledge or experience to feel confident about their situation. This article is aimed at changing that situation and providing you with the information you need.
Steps to Help Young Single Mothers Survive
When you wake up in the mornings you need to make a plan for the day. You need to have a clear idea in your mind of what you are going to do and when you are going to do it. This will make handling the average pressures of the average day a lot easier for you and you will find that it is simply less stressful when it comes to getting everything done. An example of a plan could be:
- Take the children to school
- Go shopping
- Do the housework
- Call your parents to organize a visit
- Fetch children from school
Don’t plan every detail, but have a clear idea of what you are going to do.
The next thing that you will have to do is to analyze the priorities in your plan. You need to make sure that you do the most important things first. For example getting your children to school on time will be the most important thing for you to do on an average weekday morning. If your children are not n school yet the most important thing may be to get them dressed or fed. Everything else must be slotted in as well, but you need to focus on the priorities and make sure that they are not overlooked. School, work and meals are among the most important priorities.
You also need to plan ahead. Step 1 speaks about planning for your day. However you also need to make an effort to plan out your entire week when you have free time. So you should set aside one day of the week to plan the rest of the week. Sunday evenings are often a good time to sit down and figure out what you are going to do on each of the days of the next week. Things you should include on your weekly schedule are:
- Work schedule
- School schedules
- Bills and their due dates
If your child does any extracurricular activities theses should also be carefully included on your weekly plan.
Take these schedules seriously. Once they’re planned out, follow your schedules. This is obviously a very important step otherwise you will have wasted your time creating the schedules in the first place. It is essential that you take note of your schedule. Make sure that there is a copy somewhere where it can be referred to quickly and easily by you and your children. Make sure that it is clear and legible and that there is no question about what is supposed to happen when. If you think it will help carry the schedule with you in your handbag so that you can refer to it whenever necessary. Your schedule can also be recorded in your diary for easy reference.
Tips for Teenage Single Mothers
The first tip that we have for you today is that you need to fight for support from the father of your child or children. It is important that you do everything in your power to make him do his part. You need to try to get help from the child’s father in the form of:
- Child support
- Help with lifting kids to and from school
- Emotional support
- Support in decision making
Even if he is a jerk he is still the father of your children and including him in some small ways will make your life easier. However if the father is dangerous in some way and you would rather cut him out of your life, that is your responsibility and decision to make.
It is very important for young single mothers to know their rights and consequently to do the research that they need to do in order to find out what kind of help they can get. We suggest that you use the Internet to find out how to get benefits. The benefits we are referring to here are not just benefits from the father of the children, but also benefits from the state. There are a number of programs in place t help young single mothers and their young families survive. Food, homes, even medical care can be provided by the state for free or at far lower rates than you are paying now.
Don’t think that you are above receiving charity. And don’t be too proud to ask for help or to accept help when it is offered. Young single mothers are at a disadvantage in a lot of ways and for that reason you need to make sure that you get all of the help that you can. Government benefits are the start. Don’t be shy about going to food banks to get food for you and your children. If your local church offers to help you, accept the help with a smile on your face because in the long run you will be doing what is best for both you and your children. The bottom line here is don’t be too proud.
If possible try to make sure that your children are not aware that you are struggling. They are not stupid, so don’t think that they won’t notice that life is harder for them than for other children. But don’t let them know how difficult you find it to keep going on. Stay positive. If they see that you are struggling to keep things together they will have a feeling of insecurity to deal with on top of all of the other pressures that they have to face. Of course if they ask you outright if you are struggling, don’t lie to them either. You don’t want to set a precedent for lying in your family even if it is to protect your children.
Young single mothers have a lot to worry about. One of the things that may be getting you down is the dead-end job that you have. There is nothing wrong with wanting to find a better job, and we suggest that you look for one of you feel that you are not in a good job now. However, we just want to say that you should not quit your current job, no matter how much you hate it, until you have found another job. You can’t risk going for even a short while without money to feed yourself and your children with. As a mother it is, unfortunately, your responsibility to keep on at it even if it is the worst job in the world.
The most important pointer that young single mothers need to keep in mind is that they cannot afford to give up. It is essential that you just keep on going. Take things one day at a time. Set yourself a few short-term goals and aim towards them. If you think too far ahead you may start to feel like you will never achieve your goals. This is not a good outlook to have on life. Focus on getting through each day as it comes, and on doing your best in each passing moment. Don’t get bogged down by the past and don’t worry too much about the future.
Save, save, save! This is a very important part of being a young single mother. If you want to solve your financial difficulties then you will need t make an effort to save as much money as you can. You will need to differentiate between the following:
- Needs: things that are essential for daily living and the survival of you and your family
- Wants: things that you don’t need, like a new dress or car, but that you would like to have
If you are in financial difficulties then you will have to fore go the wants and focus only on the needs. Don’t spend money on anything that isn’t a need. All extra money that you have at the end of the day should be saved.
Something that we recommend that all teenage single mothers do is to expand their educational level at every opportunity. This means going back to school, if it’s possible. If it isn’t possible then attending classes given in the evenings at your local college may be a good idea. Classes at the library are also an option. Just because young single mothers are in difficult circumstances doesn’t mean that they have to give up on their own dreams and ideals. If you want to get an education, then you should try everything in your power to do so. Remember that there are plenty of private and government organizations that offer grants for students in dire straits to study. Look into those to study further.
When young single mothers look at all of the problems that face them all at once they may begin to think that there is no way that they will ever be able to deal with them all. If you want to have a better chance of looking at your problems objectively you need to compartmentalize. This means looking at each of your problems by themselves without considering the whole lot altogether. If you focus on one problem at a time you will be able to find solutions for those problems one at a time and in the end you will look up and suddenly realize that all of your problems are gone.
One last tip for young single mothers involves choosing the people who you spend time with carefully. It is important that you surround yourself with people who will be positive and supportive and who will not judge you. There are people out there like that; you just need to take the time needed to find them. You also need to start moving away from those people who are a bad influence in your life. Move towards positive people who will in some way be able to add to your life and turn you into a happier and better person. If this means breaking up relationships that you’ve had for years, do it. This is for the benefit of your child or children and it is essential that you think of them first in everything that you do.
Things for Young Single Mothers to Avoid
There are a number of things that young single mothers should try to avoid in order to be successful parents:
- Don’t date someone if you know that he doesn’t like children because this will definitely blow up in your face later.
- If you find the right man, don’t depend on him for everything. Learn to depend on yourself as this will set a good example for your children.
- Be sensible: don’t have another baby until you are absolutely sure that you can afford to have one.
- It will be difficult, but try not to take your stress and frustration out on your children. They are pressured to and it’s not their fault.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself as this is a counterproductive outlook to have on life.
Now you should have a basic idea of what you should and shouldn’t do as a young single mothers or teenage single mother. If you are able to follow these basic ideas you will be in a position to do a much better job of things. This advice is not absolute and may need to be adjusted according to the specific situation that you are in, but these basic guidelines will be very helpful in ensuring that you do the best job that you possibly can as a young single mother going forward in life on your own.