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A single mom's parenting duties are no different than they are for a married one — except that you're on your own. Here are some of the biggest worries of new single moms, and a few words of wisdom to help you overcome them. When my daughter, Mae, was 7 months old, her father and I split up. He left the country — without saying goodbye, I might add — to start a new life.

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But did you know that there are more than 15 million single mothers in the United States going through similar struggles? The challenges you face on a daily basis are shared by millions of women across the country, each with her own unique story and set of circumstances. Be empowered knowing that despite how you may feel at times, you are not alone in your single mom struggles. That is why The Life of a Single Mom has compiled this list of 17 of the most common hardships encountered by single moms and how to conquer them.

We are here to help you change from surviving to thriving as a single mom; we are here to equip you to thrive. There is nothing easy about being a single parent. Sometimes going from surviving to thriving feels impossible.

Unfortunately there are many challenges associated with being a single mother. For example, when you are the only parent at home, you have a lot more responsibility and no one to share it with. You often operate on only one income, may have to interact regularly with a former partner and share time with your children, play both mom and dad on a daily basis, and cope with loneliness, stress, and self-doubt.

We know trying to change from surviving to thriving is crazy hard because we’ve been there

People may judge you for your relationship status or minimize the struggles you face, but many fail to see the positive side of single motherhood. The reality is, for whatever reason, you find yourself a single mother, so you might as well embrace the advantages it may bring. Now for some advantages. There is a certain freedom in being a single mom that other women may not experience. It gives you the opportunity to grow as an individual and to grow in your relationship with others as you rely on a larger support group and God rather than only your spouse to be your source of strength, peace, guidance, and fulfillment.

Single moms often have the chance to form a unique bond with their children that married mothers may not.

Not to mention, you will never have to nag anyone to stop leaving the toilet seat up or worry about hogging the bathroom when you get ready in the morning. Motherhood is a beautiful experience and gift from God that is to be cherished regardless of your circumstances. Every single mom has the potential change from surviving to thriving, and we are here to help you unlock that potential. But you can do it. You have to determine how to be a single mom to YOUR family and discover what will help you to thrive.

One of the hardest parts of being a single mom is dealing with loneliness. Sure, you love your kids and enjoy the time you spend with them. So how do you cope? While you may not be able to eliminate loneliness completelythere are several little things you can do on a day-to-day basis to keep it at bay, starting with taking care of yourself.

As a mother, it can be tempting to prioritize everyone and everything in the world before yourself, but making sure that your needs are being met is an important part of thriving as a mom. When self-care falls by the wayside, you are much more likely to feel rundown, which is when loneliness can hit the hardest.

It can be tempting to allow feelings of loneliness to cause you to withdraw and cut yourself off from the people and things you love, but all of these things can help take your focus off of feeling lonely and replace that feeling with a sense of fulfillment and purpose. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Do not be afraid to reach out to others for companionship and support or to explore the resources available for single moms in your area.

While good parenting involves making sacrifices, it does not mean neglecting yourself or becoming isolated from others. Every mother needs to take time to make sure her physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs are being met.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, taking time for yourself will actually make you a better mom. Feeling rundown and overworked is likely to make you irritable and less patient or could even lead to depression. Children are perceptive and will pick up on your negative energy, which could lead to their own negative thoughts and feelings.

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In short, if mom is healthy and happy, her kids are much more likely to beas well. Having trouble finding time to yourself?

Here are 10 ways single parents can get some much needed alone time to help change from surviving to thriving. It may or may not surprise you to know that single parents are twice as likely to be depressed as mothers and fathers living in two-parent families. First, you should recognize there are different types of depression with different causeswhich is something to be aware of in addressing your own thoughts and feelings.

Though it often goes undiscussed, postpartum depression is a real issue for many mothers regardless of whether or not they have a partner. The stress of parenting can be another cause, which may occur well beyond those first few years after havingand the loss of or separation from a spouse or partner may lead to depression, Lonly lady ready single parents well. There is no shame in feeling depressed; the key is not to let it get the best of you. By facing the issue and addressing it through support groups, self-care techniques, and professional help, you can overcome those negative thoughts and emotions and not allow them to affect your well-being or your parenting.

If your depression persists or worsens, it is wise to seek medical guidance. Reaching your goal of changing from surviving to thriving may need assistance from an expert in this case. That means millions of moms out there are struggling in changing from surviving to thriving. There are several contributing factors. This means less time to commit to work, or possible greater expense paying for childcare when office hours run late. Striking a balance between work and home life and still managing to pay the bills on time becomes a daunting task, but there are things you can do to ease burden.

Budgeting, smart spending, and being faithful in your giving are three key ways to survive financially. Mothers tend to be worriers, but single moms have their own set of fears and anxieties that just add to the list of things over which to fret. Outside of finances, here are a few of the most commonly felt fears faced by single moms and how to handle them to change from surviving to thriving. Working together and and sharing parenting responsibilities is hard enough for married couples, so doing it with someone who is not or no longer your spouse is likely to seem daunting.

Co-parenting will look a little different for everyone and is something that might take some time for you to determine what works best for you and your family. There are, however, some basic guidelines that can be useful when first adjusting to the idea of co-parenting. These ideas will help you go from change from surviving to thriving in the world of co-parenting. To date or not to date? For a lot of single moms, that is THE question. Your future, and that of your children, could be riding on it.

That said, here are 6 rules we recommend for dating as a single mom.

Being a single mom does not mean that your dating life is over foreverbut it does mean that your dating life is going to look very different than it did before. It can be helpful to set some basic rules for yourself and your family and to communicate those things to potential partners. It is better to be upfront and end a relationship early that would not have turned out to be healthy anyway than to invest yourself in someone that is not going to support you in your role as a mother.

Focusing on surviving to thriving in a health relationship is key. Can I really change from surviving to thriving? Am I making the right decisions? Every parent is likely to ask themselves these questions from time to time, but single parents may find them to be a common occurrence, which can lead to overwhelming feelings of anxiety and self-doubt. If you have or are experiencing those feelings, hear this: you are enough. God is enough for you, and He is enough for your children. And He will see you through. No one knows all the answers when it comes to raising children, but you can rely on God because He does have all the answers.

Have faith that the God who created the universe created you with the capability of weathering the storm and thriving in your present situation.

Do you see a put together business woman effortlessly juggling PTA meetings, soccer practices, and preparing home cooked meals for her family every evening? Or does a woman a little less glamorous and more frazzled come to mind? There are all sorts of negative stereotypes and stigmas associated with single moms, and there will be people who will make assumptions about your life, your financial status, or even your character, without even knowing your story.

This may seem unfair, and it is. You can choose to be a woman of high integrity and honor, full of forgiveness and compassion for others, and walking in complete freedom from past hurts or mistakes.

5 things i wish i'd known before i became a single mom by choice

You can be part of that change by going from surviving to thriving. Most people have that ideal picture in their he of what a picture-perfect family is supposed to look like. Coming to terms with the fact that your family is beautiful regardless of how much or little it resembles this image is an important part of thriving as a single mom. Rather than spending time pining over the family photos you wish you had or focusing on what you once had that is no longer, cherish the moments you do have.

Be thankful for your children and your family and the beautiful chaos that is your life.

No family is the ideal family, but your family is the one with which you have been blessed. Changing from negative to positive thoughts can help in changing from surviving to thriving. No one likes to make hard decisions. And, being a single mom, you may be wrestling with some big life choices and the fact that you have to make them on your own.

Instead, when you find yourself stuck on a big decision, try:Take a step back.