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Roles of the single mom
Did you know?
  1. In South Africa, 39% of all children are raised by single mothers. Please read the article
  2. According to South African census statistics, 15% of our households have married women as breadwinners. for more details


Being a single mom

There has been a significant increase in the number of single mothers over the past decades. There may be different reasons for this, but whatever the case, this situation presents unique challenges. Women who live within this reality often feel that other people do not understand what they are experiencing, or that they are being condemned by women who have partners who are involved.

Precisely because the social support that a single mother needs is different from that of someone within a relationship or marriage, special attention to the mental health of these mothers is important.

It is easily accepted that the mother's attention and the use of her resources will be focused on her children, and that is fine, but the emotional health of the mother has a direct effect on the child. If the mother feels she cannot “handle” her life, it can have a direct impact on the child.


How do I take care of myself?

The basics of mental health always remain true.

  1. Physical care
    It may be a cliché, but the starting point is always - make sure you get enough sleep, rest, eat healthy (balanced) and exercise regularly. Meeting these requirements requires more creativity from a single mom because there may be less support to make it possible, but perhaps such a person, e.g. take a walk at work during lunch time to get exercise. Cooking on weekends healthy meals that can be frozen for weekends and save time by unnecessary activities, e.g. eliminate long periods of time on social media, wasting time and energy.



It sounds so simple when we say that one should speak, but many people still believe that they have to keep their problems and emotions to themselves. The result is usually that a person picks up things and as a result shows negative reactions, e.g. to become physically ill or have inappropriate emotional outbursts.

Good friends and / or family members may be good listeners to talk to. Sometimes how you articulate your problem helps you to clear things up for yourself. If you feel that you have no one to talk to, or that no one understands, you can consult a psychologist.

Talk to the right person
It is easy to discuss problems with your children because they are probably the people you have the most contact with. However, be careful not to discuss adult matters with them. Although some children may appear very mature, it is important that as far as possible the emotional responsibilities of adult life are spared at an early age and are not the mother's confidences.

  1. Ask for help
    Sometimes there are friends and family around you who offer help or would like to be involved but don't know how. If you are comfortable with someone and feel you can trust them, allow them to provide support when you need them. The final responsibility lies with you, but be prepared to ask for appropriate help and accept where available.
  2. Parental guidance
    Raising a child or children on your own is not always easy. Even for parents who are in a relationship or marriage, there are many challenges. Fortunately, there are numerous educational parenting courses and parenting guide books available. If you feel that you want guidance through this process of parenting, or need a place to deal with difficult situations in your relationship with your child or children, a psychologist or a social worker's professional help can be valuable.
  3. Time for fun
    Routine and structure within a family are important and create a sense of security in children. It is therefore also necessary that time be spent within everyone's busy programs to have fun together and enjoy the togetherness. It doesn't have to be something big or cost a lot, but it can be a DVD night at home, card or board games, a picnic or a walk in the park. These activities give us the opportunity to refill our “emotional reservoirs” and forge stronger bonds with one another. to refill and forge stronger bonds with one another.


If you feel that you need to talk to someone about your unique challenges, make an appointment with a psychologist in your area. You can consider the following options:

  1. ask your GP or nearest hospital for a referral;
  2. Visit one of the following websites for the details of a psychologist in your area:
    1. Find help
    2. SA Medical Specialists
    3. Medpages
    4. contact Wie is ek?
  3. You can also call the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) 24-hour helpline on 0800 12 13 14.


If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health problems, we suggest the following options:
  1. call your GP (if available);
  2. go to your nearest hospital emergency room;
  3. call one of the following emergency numbers: SADAG (the South African Depression and Anxiety Group) 24-hour helpline: 0800 12 13 14 or suicide crisis line: 0800 567 567; or
  4. contact Wie is ek?