The work of motherhood is never done. Not that I’m complaining. I love being a mom. It is my most important job. Nevertheless, it is non-stop and when you are a single mother the intensity of the task at hand rises exponentially. Married mom’s, who’s husband’s travel, or are workaholics, think they know what it’s like to be a single mother. But, until you actually experience the 24/7 juggling act, you can’t really understand. When I lamented to one of my girlfriends about the pace I was keeping, she breezily suggested I take the night off. “Go out on a date,” she said, “just relax for a night. The kids will be fine.” Easier said than done. And now I’ve got the research to prove it.
The statistics in a survey recently conducted by dating website, AYI.com, mom networking site, mommeetmom.com, and kerrizane.com, the issues crystallized. Nearly one third of the over 7500 single mother responders have not gone out in more than one year. Yet, when asked if social time is important to them, 86% said yes. And a whopping 90% say dating is very important to them. Unfortunately, the reality for these women, 50% haven’t been out on a date in over a year and 43% haven’t had a girl’s night out in the same period.
The overwhelming reasons single mothers lack social connection is not simply the lack of time. The high cost of childcare and the minimal pool of available trustworthy babysitting options also play a part in a single mothers nearly non-existent social life. Yet, mental health professionals overwhelmingly agree that in order to lower stress-taking time for oneself is critical. In fact, other recent research, published on WebMD, has shown that women today are less happy than they have been in the past 40 years.
How can these women remedy the stress inducing pace of single motherhood? Building a Village.
Here are a couple of low cost/no cost options:
1. Join a single mother networking group. You can find resources in your area on www.meetup.com
2. Connect with the other single moms at your children’s school. Form a single mom’s club.
3. Create your profile on mommeetmom.com It is a social networking site specifically designed to connect like-minded local moms via geolocation and personality matching technology.
Once you have your single mom village in place, you can create shared babysitting pods. This way each of you can each have three free weekend nights every month. Voila!