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The Tough Struggles That Single-Parent Families Face

It's not an easy balance.

BY Mercy Kipchilat

Mar 24, 2023, 11:36 AM

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The last couple of decades have seen a rise in single-parent families in the country with the number of single mothers, in particular, increasing rapidly.

According to a 2014 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) report, the proportion of Kenyan households headed by single parents was 9.8%. Single mothers led 8.3% of these households, while single fathers led 1.5%.

While single-parent families, like other types of families, have their share of ups and downs, single parents and their children face some unique set of challenges. Here is a look at who is a single parent, and some of the problems that single-parent families face.

Who Is A Single Parent?

A single parent is someone who is solely responsible for raising a child or children without the assistance of a partner or spouse.

This can be due to a variety of reasons, including divorce, separation, the death of a partner, or choosing to have and raise a child independently. 

Single parents may be mothers, fathers, or other caregivers who are primarily responsible for the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of their child or children.

Single Parent Family Problems.

Raising a family as a single parent can be a challenging experience since single parents face a unique set of problems and challenges that can make it difficult to raise children alone. 

Here are some of the problems that can be experienced in a single-parent family:

Financial Struggles.

One of the most significant challenges faced by single-parent families is financial strain. Raising children is quite expensive especially when you are doing it alone. You have to cater for their food, education, medical expenses and many other child-related expenses.

Single parents may have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, leaving little time for other responsibilities such as child care or household chores.

In addition, some single parents may also have a lower income than dual-parent households, which can make it difficult to provide for their children's needs.

A Struggle To Create Balance.

Since they don’t have somebody to share parenting responsibilities with, single parents often struggle to balance work, parenting, and personal time. This extreme sport can be both overwhelming and exhausting

Additionally, they may have little time for self-care, hobbies, or socialising, which can contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Lack Of Emotional Support.

Besides financial support, single parents also often face a lack of emotional and social support. 

Raising a child by yourself can be lonely, especially if you don't have any extended family or close friends nearby. Single parents may feel isolated and overwhelmed, and a lack of emotional support may result in depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. 

Additionally, single parents may have to miss out on social events, as they have to prioritise their child's needs.

Lack Of Balance In Decision Making.

Another challenge that single parents face is not having someone to help them make decisions regarding their children. 

From selecting the type of schools their children will attend to choosing a discipline style, raising children requires making many decisions and it can be overwhelming for single parents when they lack someone to back up their decisions. 

It is not uncommon for them to wonder if they are disciplining their children correctly or if they are making the best choices for their children.

Emotional Stress.

Single parenting can be emotionally taxing, as single parents must navigate the challenges of parenting alone, often without the support of a partner. 

They may also experience feelings of guilt and inadequacy for not providing the best lives for their children and these feelings can take a toll on their emotional and mental health.

Impact On Children.

The struggles faced by single parents can also have a negative impact on their children. Children may feel the absence of a parent or have difficulty adjusting to a new family dynamic. 

Additionally, the financial struggles faced by single parents can limit their children's opportunities for education, healthcare, and other important resources.