Raising children and guiding a family without the support of another adult can bring stressful challenges to both parents and children.
Single parents represent a sizeable demographic in the United States. In 2010, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found single parents to be 28.3% of American families.
Over the past 20 years, single-parent families have become more common than the ¨traditional¨ family composed of a mother, a father, and children. What is being seen is a wide variety of family structures from families headed by the mother, the father or the grandparents raising their grandchildren.
Despite the increase in the number of single parents, the challenges that come with being one can be overwhelming for the parent acting as both a father and a mother, as well as a judge, jury and teacher.
“First, you do not have a partner to whom to delegate or assign responsibilities,” says Martha Gonzalez, who has been a single mother of three girls for the past four years. For Martha, her role as a mother has not been easy, and many times she has been discouraged by the fact that she cannot count on the support of another adult in her home.
“Of course, we face more challenges by being single parents because there is greater pressure on us than when there is another person who supports us.
That is why I have had to adjust schedules and routines to achieve to the best of my ability the development, the education and the well-being of my daughters.” commented the Peruvian mother who has lived in Miami for the past 20 years.
Another great challenge to single parents is being the sole provider. As heads of families, they must provide food, clothes, a home, and timely bill payments.
“On one occasion my five-year-old son Gabriel got chickenpox, and I asked for vacation time to take care of him. When he recovered, my daughter Camila got sick, and I had to miss work and this time it was without pay. That month my income was drastically affected,” added Matilde Huerta, admitting that she still tries to make 48 hours out of 24 hours in a day.
Despite all, both mothers agree that the challenges make them stronger because their motivation is to ensure that their children succeed in life. “I believe that the trials we go through help us to be better parents every day,” said Huerta.
Haz clic para leer en Español: Los desafíos de los padres solteros