It can be difficult for many reasons. Some single mothers struggle financially and get stressed and exhausted. If they don’t have a support system, they can easily be overwhelmed. Children can pick up on their mom’s strain, making them sad and anxious.
In some instances, youngsters of single mothers get parentified. This happens when they must take on adult responsibilities. These can be physical tasks such as cleaning the house, caring for younger siblings, cooking meals, or even writing checks. These can also be emotional tasks such as listening to their mom criticize her ex-husband, complain about a man she’s dating, or worry about expenses. Parentified kids often miss out on the carefree childhood activities that they see their friends enjoying.
Youngsters are also apt to blame themselves for their dad’s absence. They can take his departure as a personal rejection, even though it has nothing to do with them. They fail to ask the right questions: Why was he so irresponsible? Why was he neglecting his duties as a dad? Instead, they ask the wrong questions that condemn themselves: Why am I unlovable? Why was I not enough to make him stay?
I hope that you have caring people in your life--grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, teachers, and coaches--with whom you can open up and talk about how hard it is for you. You could also talk with a counselor at school or a therapist online. The children’s advocate, Fred Rogers, said: “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be manageable. When we talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary.” If you talk to someone about this, I think you’ll feel better and, perhaps, get suggestions for making it easier. Take good care of yourself!