Getting Through Together / Wellbeing for parents and whānau / I’m a single parent and really struggling

It’s a really hard time for single parents and carers right now. Many will feel immense stress and pressure  to be ‘on’ all the time and be the ‘go to’ for everyone and everything. Being told to enjoy your ‘downtime’ with your whānau when you’re managing children, a household, employment and financial stress can feel immensely overwhelming. 

Some single parents and carers will be feeling especially alone and isolated. If you know other single parents, reach out to them and check in with them as often as you can. It can be reassuring to know there are others in a similar situation. You are not the only person going through this and you are not alone. 

Whether you are in paid employment or not, single parents are often under a lot of financial pressure. Make sure that whatever your situation, you are getting the government support you are entitled to. Check out the ‘I’m worried about not having enough money right now’ section for information about financial support, benefits and more.

The reality is this is tough, and there will be some bad days. However, there are little things that you can try that will help you cope.

  • Get little moments of peace and calm when you can
  • Keep talking to your kids – e.g. “yesterday was a crap day, we started yelling at each other. What are we going to do differently today?”
  • Don’t beat yourself up because you’re not being a perfect parent, so long as you are doing your best to keep everyone as safe and calm as possible.
  • Try and take notice of the little moments that make you smile or when you experience something beautiful. Whether that’s something cute or kind your tamariki did, feeling your feet on the grass or hearing the sounds of the manu/birds.
  • Ask for help - being a single parent is incredibly hard. Asking for help does not make you a failure or weak. Contact friends, whānau, or neighbours. They might be able to assist with practical things such as grocery shopping or just be an empathetic ear.

Quote from single mum of 2 tamariki

If you feel that you are really struggling to cope, it’s important to reach out and talk. It can be hard to do when you are in a really bad place, but keep trying. Even a simple text to a friend or whānau member with the words “not coping” can open a conversation and help you get the support you need to get through.

Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor 

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666