The Facts About Being a Single Parent

The role of a parent is undoubtedly one of the most demanding and challenging responsibilities in life. While parenthood brings immense joy and fulfillment, it also comes with its share of difficulties. Being a single parent, in particular, can be an even more daunting experience, as it often involves navigating life’s ups and downs without a partner by your side. In my blog I will explore the sad facts about being a single parent, shedding light on the emotional, financial, and societal challenges that they often face.

I mentioned on my website that I experienced a series of hardships within a six-month period which included losing my house, health, job, and family. I knew that eventually, I would find a new job and a new home. I also knew that I would get my health back, although I did not have a timeframe because it wasn’t a priority at the time. However, I knew that I would never get my family back. Even if I had custody of my kids, it wasn’t going to change the ugly truth of being a single parent. Let’s look at some of the sad facts.

Emotional Challenges:

One of the most significant emotional challenges faced by single parents is the feeling of isolation and loneliness. Raising children alone can be an isolating experience, as there is often a lack of emotional and practical support that two-parent households can provide. Single parents may struggle with feelings of loneliness, as they are solely responsible for meeting their children’s emotional needs and managing the daily demands of parenting. Moreover, single parents often grapple with the emotional toll of divorce or separation. The end of a relationship can be accompanied by a sense of failure and grief, and these emotions can affect both the parent and the child. Coping with the emotional trauma of a broken relationship while still providing for and nurturing a child can be a daunting task, leading to feelings of sadness and despair.

Financial Challenges:

Financial strain is another sad fact that single parents often confront. Raising children comes with a significant financial burden, and when there is only one income to support the household, it can be overwhelming. Single parents may struggle to make ends meet, provide basic necessities, and save for their children’s future. Childcare costs can be exorbitant, and for many single parents, finding affordable and reliable childcare can be a major challenge. Balancing work, childcare, and household responsibilities can lead to exhaustion and stress, as single parents strive to provide a stable and comfortable life for their children. In addition, if you are a single parent, you are more likely to live in poverty for most of your life. 30% of single parents live in poverty and large majority will continue to live week to week. That usually means neighborhoods with poorer schools and less resources. This also means that single parents often face difficulties in securing adequate housing. The cost of rent or a mortgage, combined with utilities and other expenses, can strain their finances, potentially resulting in frequent moves or inadequate living conditions for the family.

Societal Challenges:

Children in fatherless homes are 20 times more likely to end up in jail. A high percentage of girls in fatherless homes participate in risky behavior like drugs, being sexually active and other harmful activities. Single parent homes are much more likely to have children that exhibit physical, mental and behavioral health problems, disrupted brain development, shorter educational trajectories, aggression and the list goes on. This leads to stigmas and stereotypes that can be extremely hurtful and demoralizing. Society often makes assumptions about single parents, such as assuming they are less committed to their children’s well-being or that they are solely responsible for their situation. Such judgments can exacerbate the emotional burden single parents carry. Another societal challenge faced by single parents is the lack of support systems. While there are organizations and government programs that aim to assist single parents, they often fall short of providing comprehensive support. Single parents may struggle to access affordable healthcare, education, and resources that two-parent households may take for granted. Furthermore, single parents often face workplace challenges. Juggling a full-time job with the demands of parenting can be exhausting, and many single parents find it difficult to secure flexible work arrangements or find employment that pays a living wage. This can result in a perpetual cycle of financial instability and limited career prospects.

Having worked with teenagers for most of my adult life, I was aware of these statistics and challenges. I have watched them playout and ruin children’s lives. Now I was a single parent, living in poverty, with poor health issues and about to be homeless. Being a good father was always a priority. Now from my perspective, my life could not be worse. All I could think of was that I failed. I failed at being a good father and I failed my kids. As bad as my life and prospects were at this point in my life, they were worse for my kids. Only they didn’t know it.  Eventually, I was able to find a decent job and a safe and comfortable place to live. My health took several years of exercise at the gym and eating healthy to get back to normal. I even got my kids back. I did not have legal custody. They moved back in with me by choice. I will also admit that it was years before I made a full recovery which included not just my income, health and children. It also included my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. It was probably eight years before they were all in line and I finally felt good about my role as a provider, role model, and most importantly, father. You can look up these statistics yourself. I listed them not to scare anyone, but to motivate. If you are a single parent, especially if you are recently divorced with children, you are going to work incredible hard to make sure you child or children don’t experience the scenarios I presented in this blog. The remainder of my blogs and my coaching practice can help you get our priorities in order and focus on being a good parent.


Being a single parent is undeniably challenging, with emotional, financial, and societal obstacles that can be overwhelming. Loneliness, financial strain, and societal stigma are sad facts that many single parents must confront daily. I wrote this blog not to scare or depress anyone, but to motivate. If you are a single parent, especially if you are recently divorced, with children, you are going to work incredible hard to make sure your child or children do not experience the scenarios I presented in this blog. However, it is essential to recognize that you can build resilience and strength and navigate these difficulties, often with limited support. The remainder of my blogs and my coaching practice can help you get our priorities in order and focus on being a good parent. By understanding the challenges single parents face and offering a helping hand when needed, we can work towards a more compassionate and inclusive society for all.