The challenges of being a single mom, caring for kids and a home, all while trying to have a career are innumerable. There are individual hardships that many single moms face but there are also the challenges that we have heard time and time again from a lot of single moms with careers.
5 Work Challenges Single Moms Face After Divorce
1. Limited Time Flexibility:
Having to juggle a career, kids, dance recitals, sports games and a home to clean and cook every day leaves little to no time to even get a good night’s sleep.
Having a career while being a single mom means learning how to juggle time and priorities like a master, but this doesn’t always mean you make the right choices. There will be times that you have to let your colleague manage the presentation to the client you introduced to the company because you can’t commit to working those extra hours that are required. Or there may be times that you have to miss the baseball game because of the mandatory staff meeting that was scheduled by the single HR rep with no kids who prefers working the late shift.
When you have a career and working for someone else, unfortunately, your time is very dependent on other people making your schedule as opposed to you determining your work schedule that best fits with your lifestyle. As long as you are working and dependent on someone else for your career, you will always struggle with this “flexibility of schedule” issue. This is often what my clients indicate is their number one reason they are looking into franchise ownership.
Being your own boss isn’t right for everyone, but it does help alleviate some of those time and flexibility constraints.
2. Exhausted and Burnt Out:
Let’s face it, you are doing things alone when it should be a two-person job. The feeling of being physically, emotionally or spiritually worn out is only natural. But because you have kids that depend on you, you need to keep pushing yourself every day to get out of bed and squeeze into that dreadful pantyhose and make yourself presentable.
You work twice as hard for your kids out of pure love to make sure they don’t feel like they are missing out on anything in life. And in most cases, a lot of single moms work hard at their jobs simply because of a lack of choice. Now imagine doing both out of pure joy, passion, and love. Imagine waking up in the morning and looking forward to putting on pantyhose and lipstick because you enjoy what you do and you enjoy your career.
Finding that joy in a career or a business is what is going to make the exhaustion and lack of sleep worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that if you found something you love doing that the exhaustion and burnout rate will somehow decrease; I’m just saying that it will make the feeling more worth it in the end.
Because you have such limited time for yourself, and your career is your personal time, why not do something you love and are passionate about?
3. Financial Strain:
Being a single mom means having to bare the financial burden on your shoulders for not only yourself but also for your kids, especially if you aren’t receiving child support. Because of this, single moms often take whatever job they can get to meet their financial needs. In some cases, maybe you’ve ended up taking a job you don’t like but continue doing it every day because you feel you don’t have a choice. Just know there are other options out there that may even you the ability to more than just meet your financial obligations.
I have helped many single moms transition from an everyday 9AM to 5PM career to a business or franchise of their own where they make their own hours, and through the sweat of their own efforts eventually manage to earn just as much, or more, than they would have if they had stayed in the same job.
4. Glass Ceiling:
Many of us have experienced, in one way or another, the glass ceiling that prevents minorities and women from moving up in the corporate world. And I hate to break it to you, but when you add the words “single” and “mom” to that mix, it almost feels like that glass ceiling just got a whole lot thicker.
Unfortunately, some employers view single mom’s as being less promotable because of your inability to travel, attend conferences and/or take clients out for drinks or dinner. It’s hard to woo clients when you have to be back home by 8:00 pm to relieve the babysitter.
This is another big reason that a lot of single moms have chosen the entrepreneurial path. When you make something of your own, the empowerment you will feel makes all those long days and sleepless nights totally worth it.
The feeling of guilt has almost become second nature to any single parent. You may feel guilty about your financial situation, the time you spend away from your kids or having your kids deal with the current situation you are in regardless of how you became a single parent – this may not have been something you wanted your kids to deal with.
And now having to choose between your family and your career makes that guilty feeling in the pit of your stomach grow even more.
Trying to excel at a career could mean putting yourself in the position of asking yourself whether or not you should attend the conference versus your daughters dance recital. Or knowing that there is no way you can attend the late night meeting with the potential new client because no one will be home to put your kids to bed.
It’s a tough position because no matter what decision you make, you will be disappointing someone. Either you disappoint your kids, your boss or yourself, so this only leads to impossible decisions that single moms have to make on a regular basis.
When you have a traditional full-time job in which you are required to report to a boss and attend an office on time, dressed in business casual Monday to Friday, there really is little to no flexibility with how you use your time.
Managing work, home, kids, extra-curricular activities, personal time, finances, and getting that occasional wax, truly requires some super-human time management skills, especially when you have to do it all yourself. Now add in the strict work schedule, commute to and from work, limited personal and/or sick days and this almost seems impossible.
Owning your own business by investing in a franchise allows you to join an established company that will help you build your business. When you’re the boss, you can ultimately make your own schedule, determine your own salary, and allow yourself a little more flexibility so you can enjoy life, your kids and do something you are truly passionate about. Not to mention it’s a great legacy to pass on to your kids – and provide them with summer jobs when they get older!