Single parents often carry the pressures of parenting on their own and burnout comes hard and fast. Relief does exist in the form of a support village—here’s what to know and how to create yours.

By Adrienne Farr 

Parenting is tough. Worrying about finances, household chores, morning and bedtime routines, child-friendly recreation, doctor’s visits and everything in between can feel unbearable—for two parents. When this load is the sole responsibility of one parent, unbearable feels like impossible. Single parents suffer greatly by carrying the full mental load of these responsibilities.

Right in this moment, my elderly mom and 3-year-old daughter are bickering about a myriad of things, I have no idea what we’re having for lunch and dinner, nor do I feel like cooking. I am behind on work and just want to go to sleep but when I tried to get in a 10-minute nap, my daughter jumped on me and said, “I’m hungry.” I feel drained, stressed, and neglectful toward not only my mom and my daughter, but to myself. I wish I had someone to help, but I do not. Although I have a unique situation in being the single mom of a toddler and taking care of an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s/dementia, I know from listening to other single moms that they are feeling the weight of the sole mental load as well.

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