How Single Parenting Affects Mental Health

Photo courtesy Kaylee Opp.

Being a single parent has to be one of the hardest most rewarding jobs there is. I’ve been a single parent for three years to my daughter, Autumn. She is my best friend, my pain in the booty, my mini me. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her. She keeps me sane when some days it feels like everything is falling apart.

Single parenting and feeling like you’re alone sometimes takes a huge toll on your mental health. It’s rough, too. Sometimes you feel like a failure when all you wanted to do was keep your little family together. I never wanted my child to grow up in two different homes, like I did growing up. My parents got divorced when I was 11. It was hard. I’m glad Autumn, at the time, was really too young to understand.

Single-parenting overall has greatly impacted my mental health. It used to be rough some days. Most days I felt like a failure, like I wasn’t sure what I was doing was right. I’m not going to lie. I was scared shitless, too. Autumn was born and raised in Georgia, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I decided to move us back where my family is in Ohio. It was a huge change for both of us I called southern Georgia home for seven years.

At first, it was rough getting back in the swing of things. Also, I wasn’t sure if it was the right choice or not. But now that I look back, I’m really glad I did. I wasn’t happy in Georgia. I was depressed and full of anxiety. I had daily anxiety attacks. I wanted to die; anything for the pain to go away. I was basically pissed at the world all the time.

Things are a lot better than they were a year ago. I got the proper help that I needed, am seeing a therapist, and am on proper meds. I now live on my own and am going back to school to better our lives. When you’re a parent—single or not—your entire life revolves around your child. The second your little one comes into this, world life is no longer just about you, but about your child’s every want and need.

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