Originally posted in The New Indian Express on May 25, 2021.  View online as PDF.View print as PDF.

As per a UN report, 13 million households are run by single mothers. This brings its own share of challenges, one such being falling prey to psychological issues. Single mothers are often plagued by fears of the future. They are constantly preoccupied by social, economic and emotional distresses that soon snowball into mental disorders.

To avoid detrimental outcomes, here is some advice:

Financial prudence
Earning money is not enough. Planning it well is important. Make smart monitory decisions. Pay cash instead of using credit cards. Cut down your expenses. You could also try to find an extra source of income. All these things will help you feel secure and, hence calm. 

Stop seeking approval No matter how much you do, some people will still be unhappy. Your life is about you. Your decisions are your own. It is no one else’s business. Besides, each individual is different with their own set of beliefs. 

Don’t isolate yourself Being a single mother, a working professional and the sole breadwinner often robs you of me-time. You disconnect from your friend circle and often decline party invitations to be able to tend to motherly duties. Sooner or later, you will find yourself rather alone and unhappy. Work on it.    

The root cause for this is a false sense of perfectionism mothers, including single mothers, harbour. Try to be a good mother, not a perfect one. 

Have a routine for yourself
Having a routine just to keep the house going and none for yourself can lead to irritability, sleep deprivation, emotional instability and lack of physical prowess. Having a routine is important to maintain mental health and a happy mood. Also, prioritise yourself. 

The author is a psychologist and a single mother, who runs a social media community ‘TheSingleWorkingMother’ to empower and provide support to them