According to a United Nations report, 7.5% of Indian homes are headed by single parents, with single mothers managing the majority of them. A rare in the 1990s, the rate of one-parent households in India nearly tripled in the last four years, rising from 4% in 2015 to 7.5 % in 2020. We almost certainly all know a single parent in our own homes or communities; they could be siblings, acquaintances, coworkers, or even parents! Given that over 60% of single parents work and the majority are single mothers, it should come as no surprise that being a single parent may be challenging and exhausting.
Most single parents experience difficulties at some point. Despite the fact that financial difficulties may be the first thing that comes to mind, single mothers face a range of additional challenges. And, while money may have been a solution to some problems, there are other ways that individuals may help that are far more important and beneficial.
Choose one of the methods given by Dr. Malini Saba if you wish to assist struggling single parents. She is a psychotherapist, a single mother, the former chairman of Saba Group, and the founder of the Anannke Foundation:
1. Consider giving them a few small treats sometimes:
Single parents rarely have someone to offer them flowers, perfume, or chocolates. And, because parents are so focused on their children, they rarely think about rewarding themselves. As a result, bringing them snacks on occasion is a fantastic way to show your support. Sending them a handwritten card expressing your admiration for their achievements could suffice. The treats do not have to be enormous or expensive. A simple gift they would not buy for themselves, on the other hand, could go a long way toward making them feel special, valued, and at ease.
2. Look after:
Single parents have an abundance of duties. Women must look after the children, the house, and the yard while also preparing meals, paying bills, and working full-time. They rarely get a break, and even when they try to manage everything, they typically fail.
Offer to look after something for an entire day; for example, mow their yard. Offer to assist by transporting their ill child or staying with them at home. Inform them that you are willing to care for her children and provide her good food, medications, and other necessities if she becomes ill. You can also save them time by gathering their grocery list, doing their shopping, picking up their dry cleaning, and volunteering to take their children to school every day while you do these things for yourself.
If you commit to doing anything on a regular basis, make sure to give plenty of warning if you need to completely quit or miss an instance.
3. Help with babysitting:
Childcare costs are onerous for two-income families; think how difficult it is for single parents. While the majority of single parents work and thus pay for daycare, they almost never pay for extra, non-essential childcare. This inhibits the parent’s ability to spend time alone, with friends, or on dates.
Let them to grab a drink with a friend, go on a date, or simply run errands without the children by offering to be their daytime or overnight babysitter. Bring the kids to your house or a park so they may spend a few hours alone reading, taking a bubble bath, watching a movie, or doing other activities they might not get to do on a regular basis.
If you really want to go above and above, try to do it once a week or once a month so they may have regular time to themselves. They will be grateful even if you can only offer it once.
4. Provide emotional support and keep vigilance:
Having someone willing to listen as you vent about your problems can mean more than anything else. Give them the emotional support of knowing you are listening and on their side. Be encouraging, even if you don’t agree with all they say. And if you observe that they are capable of changing something or that they present themselves as victims when they are not, you should wait until they are in a better mood before bringing it up.
Struggling single parents are frequently lousy communicators; they may read your text message or listen to your voicemail but fail to answer. If you actually want to help them, simply be the friend who checks in on them on a regular basis, even if they do not respond frequently or instantly. Assure them that they will always have a friend who cares. Invite them, question about their well-being, and let them know that, while they are under no duty to respond, you are available to talk whenever they want.
5. Invite them and their children to holidays and serve them occasional meals:
The holidays can be especially challenging for a single parent who has no other relatives other than their children. The holidays may be stressful for parents, whether they are with their children or alone. If they will not be with the other parent, invite them and their children to share the holidays with you.
Consider this: if a single parent is unable to make a meal, their only option is to dine out or have someone else cook for them and serve them a meal. Regrettably, not everyone’s budget allows for dining out, and not everyone considers cooking for them. But, a dinner that they did not make may look to be just as warm and kind as a large embrace and a monetary gift, if not more so. You can also prepare two meals for them, one for immediate consumption and the other for freezing. It can be a blessing to know that they can rely on something in the freezer when they are fatigued.