For mothers, working outside the home can be hard under the best of circumstances. It doesn’t matter where they live, here in Texas or someplace else. Feelings of guilt and being torn between conflicting responsibilities take their toll. Having a supportive spouse and family who are willing to pitch in and share the burden go a long way to making the situation easier. But more and more often, the supportive spouse is not a part of the working mother’s life.
According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, about 25 percent of the households in the United States are headed by single mothers. Sometimes a spouse isn’t in the picture because the mother has never married, other times because she’s divorced or widowed. Whatever the reason for raising her children alone, the situation she faces is challenging.
One of those challenges is dealing with the feeling of having two full time jobs: one outside the home that keeps the bills paid and one inside the home that keeps the household running smoothly. Dropping the one or delegating tasks in the other isn’t always possible which means most single mothers are left with the option of just trudging on, no matter how tired they may get. Mothers of older children may have an easier time of this than mothers of younger ones since their children are old enough to shoulder some of the household chores, but even they don’t find it easy.
Another challenge is having no one to share the responsibilities of childcare. This can be a minor annoyance when it comes to the daily things, like getting the children up in the morning and picking them up after school. But it can be a major problem when it comes to serious circumstances like an extended illness. Having to miss work for a month because your child has had heart surgery and there is no one else to help care for him can be a scary situation for a single mother to be in.
Being a working mother is never easy. Being an unmarried working mother is even harder. But neither is impossible. With a bit of determination and ingenuity, even the toughest challenges can be met.
Source: Amarillo Globe News, “Moms juggle work, home,” Mollie Bryant, June 23, 2013