Compare to most single parents, single mothers usually are more affected when separated from their spouses due to divorce. Studies also show that majority of newly divorced women suffer intense emotional setbacks as well as psychological stress compare to their men counterparts. However, it is not only coming from fresh divorces that single mothers can suffer because basically becoming a single parent is only the beginning of the distress as the solo parents will be taking care of their children alone and must strive harder to earn a living for their kids.
With heavy burdens that affect single mothers their emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing, those who don’t know how to handle issues can experience feeling of hopelessness, loneliness and even depression. And with too much pressure from their jobs, this can add more to the tension that has already settled in the minds of these mothers. In this case, the only thing that can unwind single mothers and get back their energy and mental health is by taking nice vacations. They can take a break somewhere with or without their kids. But because most single mothers would want to make sure that their small kids would be out of danger they usually take them along during their unwinding days.
But is there really such a thing as taking a vacation with small kids and expecting full relaxation? There is actually if you know what to do. With a planned vacation with kids, you and your kids can really enjoy your bonding time while relaxing on a vacation spot. So here are the advices to avoid hassles.
Tips When Planning for a Vacation with Kids
- Plan your vacation carefully.
If your kid is still a toddler and you want to spend your vacation on a beach or a resort, your venue must have a day care center facility or perhaps a play room, a nursery room and manned by professional attendants. You can now leave your kid entertained and in safe hands while you bask in the sun, surf, dive or swim on the beach. You can also bring a friend with you to enjoy a company.
- Have a safety plan for your small kid.
Kids can easily get sick and sometimes can be allergic to other things found outdoors. So pack something that your kid would really make use in case he gets stricken by allergies or get sick. Buy a medical kit for kids and you can ask a pharmacist for this. You must also search the phone numbers of hospitals near where you will be spending your vacation. Don’t forget to also bring a local map especially if you are driving to the vacation site.
- Bring with you fun things your kids would enjoy.
You could bring some things your kid could really love to indulge in while traveling so he would not get bored. Perhaps a book, a coloring book or his favorite music box to put him to sleep in the evening since you will be spending nights outside his comfort zone.
- Know the place of your vacation site.
Understanding where you would want to spend quality bonding time with your kid while you are on vacation is a must because it is more relaxing to play or stroll with your kid on a refreshing environment. Don’t forget to bring your camera and frame the best pictures and bring it to your office. A picture of your child and you in a nice vacation resort can perk up your mood while in office.
- Reserve a room ahead.
If you will be vacationing with other persons other than your kid, you should reserve a room prior to going to the place so don’t expect that you would easily find a room for you and your troop. Especially during peak vacation season like off-school days, it is really hard to find resorts that have available rooms. So reserving a room ahead is always necessary especially if you are with your kid.
Let’s say now that you are ready, it is time to give you ideas where you might want to spend fun and relaxing time with your kid. Here are what we have in mind.
Vacation Ideas for Single Mothers and Their Kids
- Beach Resorts
Beach resorts are always on the top list for anyone who wants to unwind on refreshing environment. Especially kids, they really love the beaches. The air there is fresher, almost free of mosquitoes, and with a wide vast of beach sand area, your kid would really enjoy making his castles right on the sand. Just don’t take your sight off from your kid whenever you are sunbathing and he’s playing around. Check travel tours for promos. There are a lot of resorts that offer travel packages for single mothers with kids and you can also avail discounts during non-peak season.
- Travel tours
If your kids are already grown-up, travel tours are the best ideas for you and your kids. A lot of travel companies offer single mothers’ packages through the year. You can visit tourist destinations such as museums, zoos, national parks and other worthy places where your kids can get amazed and meet people and new friends. And as you travel you also bond with your kids.
Of course how can we forget camping? Camp sites do offer many recreational activities for the families. There are camp sites that are open throughout the year or sometimes only during weekends. With camping, you and your kids would really enjoy sleeping outdoors and your kids can learn many things about their surroundings that will encourage them to discover new things. You can also arrange travel with your friends and their families to make the experience more fun. As they say, “the more, the merrier” and that goes with camping as well.
So if you are a single mom who feels there is something amiss in your busy world that keeps your mind preoccupied with so many complex thoughts, perhaps all you need to have is a nice relaxing vacation with your kids. If you want to spend your solo vacation and your kids can handle themselves alone and already adults, you can entrust them to their grandparents or neighbors and spend 2 or 3 days somewhere just to get your mind organized. After that you are ready to face new challenges again. Single mothers are always stressed out people so a vacation can really clear their minds off their issues.
Single mothers like all parents should work as an obligation for their children. Whatever it takes, they need to be employed and can’t just rely on government food stamps and other government aid. However, lacking college education can be a hindrance for single mothers to find good-paying professions so some resort to mid-level or skill jobs that doesn’t require college credentials. On the other hand, you don’t actually have to earn a college degree in order that you can find a job that pays well. If you are a single mother and want to take a short course wherein you can use your training to earn money, why don’t you try taking a cosmetology short course.
Cosmetology is such an interesting field for women because basically women are already familiar with the use of beautifying products and other things that can make people looking neat and attractive. And essentially, the business in cosmetics will never ever wane because every one of us loves to be in the parlors most of the times to perk up our looks. This is why beauty schools are a lot these days. Most of the popular celebrity stylists and make-up artists started out from being simple cosmetologists/hairstylists but because they have the passion to learn they become very successful in their trade.
What Cosmetologists Do?
Cosmetologists can be hairstylists or master of beauty techniques. They can transform average looking individuals to attractive people through their art. According to the Princeton Review publication, “Cosmetologists are the fairy godmothers of style and change”. So specifically when you study cosmetology, you will learn the techniques like what people do in beauty parlors such as manicures, pedicures, hair cutting, coloring and styling.
You will also have a serious study on skin care which involves facials, wraps and extractions. Much as you learn the techniques and the science and art of beautifying a person, you will also learn the proper procedures for sanitation while you become a consultant for those who want the best for themselves. In school of cosmetology you will also be trained to have a better personality and develop further your character because you will most likely market yourself or endorse certain products so clients must see you as a good example of what you endorse.
If you are asking how much a cosmetologist can earn, based from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010 data, the average basic earning of a cosmetologist ranged from $22,000 to $25,000 a year depending on where the individual work, the economic status of the clients and the level of skills the cosmetologist possess. Tips are not yet included in these values.
So if we say a renowned stylist is working in a metropolitan area with rich clients, she may even earn twice or thrice as the stylist/cosmetologist earn from working in the rural area mainly because of the huge tips. So significantly, the secret for the success of cosmetologists/stylists is to become exceptional in their art and use their skills to get hired by big-time beauty clinics. In many ways, single mothers can rightly fit in with the cosmetologist/stylist kind of work.
Nevertheless, it’s not cheap to study cosmetology as the fees can run up to few thousands of dollars and that’s the problem for single mothers. So the solution to this could only be finding cosmetology school grants.
Cosmetology School Grants
Like other types of school grants, cosmetology school grants are much like financial assistance to students that cannot afford to pay their tuitions on cosmetology schools. Sometimes called as scholarships, most of these grants are provided for free. The fund provider can directly pay the school for the student’s course fees and if some amounts are lacking, it is the student who must pay for the rest. In some cosmetology schools, a standard course in cosmetology can cost between $6,500 to $10,000 depending on the specialization and the duration of the course.
The main requirement in taking cosmetology course is your high school diploma so this short course really fits most single mothers who majority of them are high school graduates or college undergraduates. But why take the course if you can learn through your own experience? This is because once you earn your certificate from your school, you automatically becomes a certified cosmetologist because your school is also accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences.
If you think you can’t afford to pay for your cosmetology course but really wanted to earn the certificate, you can discuss with your school counselors to help you find your cosmetology grants. Usually, school counselors have lists of grants that would fit single mothers’ economic status. You must also know that cosmetology programs vary. Depending on your specialization of study, your stay in school can be anywhere from three months to two years but you are then an expert cosmetologist consultant when you take the two year course.
You can also try looking for scholarships or grants online and you just have to complete the forms and submit it online. That’s quite simple. Even for the federal financial aid that can be availed in the form of loans, these can be found online. However, if it is a loan, you know you have to pay this but if it is a grant, this will be given to you as a gift and no need for repayment. Remember that grants can be easy if you have good grades in high school or in college.
How to Find Cosmetology Grants?
First, find a cosmetology school to which your credentials fit and inquire about scholarship program for single mothers. Second, you can participate with your community’s corporate supported grant programs and ask people there for assistance. Third, you can apply for grant from The American Cosmetology Education (ACE) Grant which is under the American Association of Cosmetology.
Fourth, try the government programs like the FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant), FSL (Federal Stafford Loan), the FPLUS (Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students), and the Federal Pell Grant. These federal state organizations provide financial assistance to undergraduate students who wish to finish their degrees or take other degrees or certificates from vocational or technical schools.
And lastly, check the scholarship programs below. These provide different types or amount of financial assistance:
Dream Shears/Trade Essentials Scholarship
Westmore Academy of Cosmetic Arts Makeup Scholarship
Pat Goins Memorial Scholarship
AHBAI Scholarship – AHBAI
Minnesota’s Model College of Hair Design
Oregon Student Assistance Commission
Vernon’s Kansas School of Cosmetology
John Pelloni Memorial Scholarship
Maureen Baldwin Cosmetology Scholarship
Sally Beauty Supply Scholarships
Walla Wall Community College, Washington
Joe Francis Hair-Care Scholarship Foundation
Alice Madden Barton Cosmetology Scholarship Program
NCEA Esthetician Scholarship
“Education Rocks” Scholarship
Your Career Options
Once you earn your certificate and become an accredited cosmetologist cum stylist, you can choose the industry to which you want to work. At present, the best jobs would be in the fashion and film industry. You can also apply to large or exclusive beauty clinics or parlors and because you are now skilled, you will most likely be given the priority for employment. If you want to further your career you can also take advance courses in aroma therapy, massage therapy, film and theater make-up artist or any other industry that your skills and talent would be much needed.
So even if you are a single mother, you can take a good job as cosmetologist. And if you are exceptionally good with your skills, some beauty product businesses may also get your services and can serve as their consultant.
It is a fact that single mothers who have not completed their college education commonly end up with low wage jobs. But is also a fact that anybody who does not have a college degree in today’s world can hardly find a decent job at all especially if we talk about corporate jobs or white collar jobs that anyone wants to have.
On the other hand, it is doubly hard for single mothers to find good paying jobs if they lack the education. According to July 2013 National Women’s Law Center report, out of the 4.1 million single mothers in America, 30 percent of them live in poverty while 10.7 percent are unemployed. That means even those who are working are experiencing hardships in life and the main reason for this is basically the lack of education.
Single Mothers and Education
Single mothers are actually the most underprivileged individuals in our societies. They have mouths to feed, bills and rents to pay, never ending loans to settle and yet they are obliged to resolve these all by themselves. And with meager income while spending so much to survive, there could hardly be any decent jobs that they can get if they are under educated.
Incidentally, what causes poverty and financial instability to single mothers is the lack of educational attainments. Without a college degree, they don’t have the passport to be eligible for jobs that require technical skills. Without education they lack the knowledge to work on corporate jobs. So being a single mother and doesn’t have a college degree, what awaits you and your kids can only be an unstable life.
Looking at it, it would seem impossible for single mothers to go back to school. There are many factors that can hinder their goals to finish their college degrees. First, they have children on the side. Second, they need to earn money to pay their expenses and third, college education is now extremely expensive. So by way we see it, it is virtually impossible for single mothers to come up with their degrees. But then, there is no problem with proper planning and balancing. Every problem has a solution. In other words, single mothers can always find ways to complete their college education.
First, when it concerns about kids, once the kids grow up single mothers can get few college units at a time until they finish their degrees. They can schedule their studying time when kids are in school and when they have free time from their work. There are also online school programs today that anyone can take and can earn you a certificate. When it concerns wrangling with jobs and education that can also be taken cared for with proper planning as well. There are single mothers that go to school during Saturdays or during their reserved time-off from work.
Now the only problem left is sustaining the college education. However, we have good solutions to that as well and that is finding school grants for single mothers.
School grants usually come from the government designed to help individuals including single parents so that they can continue their college educations. And when we say grants, these are financial supports that don’t generally need to be repaid. These are not loans but supporting finances given by the government for those who deserve to be supported financially in terms of attaining college education. Some of the most authentic grant programs are as follows:
Need-Based Education Grants
- The Federal Pell Grant Program
The Federal Pell Grant program is offered not only to single parents but for everybody who wants to go back to school but can’t afford it. Those who are eligible for it are undergraduate students but the amount of financial support given will depend on the financial need of the applicant. Your first step in applying for Pell Grant is by filling up the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form which you can find at FAFSA web site.
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
Unlike the Pell Grant that comes from the government, the FSEOG programs are managed by individual states but its guidelines is almost the same as the Pell grant. However, the FSEOG is only given to those who are in dire need of it. So if you are a single mother, unemployed and only depends on welfare, you are strongly eligible for it.
- State Grants for Single Mothers
State Grants are run by many states. So each state can have few to many study aid programs that are offered to single mothers. You can check your state’s financial aid website to know these and see which can provide you the utmost assistance and which you are best qualified.
Merit-Based Education Grants
- Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
The ACG is awarded based on academic merit. That means only those who have graduated from high school during 2005 to 2006 are eligible and will be supported from first year up to second year in college. Eligibility also depends on single mother’s income and economic status.
- The National SMART Grant (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent)
The National SMART Grant can be given to single mothers who want to continue their college studies from third year to fourth year. However, you must be excellent in any of the technical subjects such as mathematics, computer sciences, physics, biology, technology, engineering or foreign language to be eligible in this program. You must also have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in order to be considered as potential applicant. You can also be eligible for fifth year if you are within a five-year degree program like engineering.
For single mothers who are not lucky with federal study grants but have outstanding student loans that they cannot take another loans, the best program for them to try is the Raise the Nation Loan Repayment Grants for Single Mothers. This program will provide the students the loans so that they can pay their unpaid student loans. They don’t have to pay it back but they must provide professional services back to their community on predetermined periods. For instance, a single mother who has finished her education degree through the Raise the Nation program must provide free teaching services to the community based on the amount of the loan given to her.
So don’t think that because you are a single mother it becomes impossible for you to finish your education anymore and can only wallow in hopelessness. If you really want to finish your college education, go on your way so that you can boost your profession and increase your income potential. You can also check the web and find many grants available. Most of them are designed to assist single mothers out of their needs for education.
Finding a job today is really difficult if you are not armed with a degree and that is especially true if you are a single mother. If you have not finished your college degree and get married you are bound to work on menial jobs while will always try to survive from a meager wage. That is why it is doubly hard to survive if you are a single mother especially if you have more than one kid. However, even single moms can do ways to alleviate the hardships brought about by lack of finances and that is by working on side jobs other than their regular jobs. One of the most popular money making opportunities that single moms can best fit to work on is network marketing.
Network marketing is also known as direct selling or multi-level marketing (MLM) and it involves selling of products through associated marketing while recruiting other people to do the same. If you are familiar with how Tupperware is being sold through networking or perhaps the style of Avon where a sole distributor can recruit many distributors, that’s the way how MLM goes. For a start, a seller will attend seminar or orientation about the products followed by learning the intricacies of selling the product, understanding the process of recruiting, commissioning and networking and there is business.
Why This is a Good Idea for Single Mothers?
The idea of network marketing can be excellent for single mothers because women are inherently chatty, sociable, have more powerful convincing power and are generally honest. Though MLM had a bad reputation in the past and even today because a lot of people use it to cheat people of their investments, it gathers the notions that network marketing is generally a phony money-making scheme disguised as legitimate business but managed by fraud people. However, network marketing is actually a honest to goodness kind of opportunity. The only problem with it is if you get involved with companies that have bad reputations so there goes the problem. So to better be sure that you will be joining a legitimate company, make sure that the company you are interested with has been in the business for many years and well-respected.
The good thing about direct selling is that you are to sell products to people that are not commonly found on conventional stores so selling the products are only exclusive to members. If you are a single mom you don’t have to visit other people’s house anymore and sales talk them on. You can now sell your products through the internet and invite people to be members to get discounts and earn the right to sell as well. By showing the products on your website you can gather a lot of audiences while you can communicate with your clients through chat, email or by phone. For every product you sell, a commission comes in. For every person you recruited, there is again your commission. So the real idea of direct selling is earning money through a two-way business deal and this is the kind of opportunity that single mothers can be good at.
Good Examples of Direct Selling Companies
There are a lot of success stories wherein single mothers became successful with MLM or network marketing. For one, Discovery Toys was built largely through direct selling. This company would not want to launch its educational toy business to the common market in its first phase of business because there are a lot of competitors out there. So what it does is it preferred to sell its products through direct marketing. Now Discovery Toys is launching its businesses on the web and has a worldwide audience. The modern technologies like the internet and cellphones have helped this ingenious company to become very successful. As we have mentioned, Tupperware and Avon are also another success stories of network marketing.
So what are the direct advantages that single moms can gain from network marketing? If you are a single mother, here are the nice things you should look at:
- With the use of the internet you can do network marketing opportunity as a part time job and help yourself earn extra income without the need for capital. Distributors or major sellers will provide you training to familiarize yourself with the product and when you sign up you can advertise the company’s products in your own website. There are a lot of free domains you can now avail from the web.
- You can do selling and encourage people to be members 24 hours a day so the chance of earning while homebased is continuous and excellent for all single mothers. You can do this as a part-time job earning an extra income from your regular job.
- If someone orders your products you don’t need to deliver it personally to the buyer. The company will handle the delivery for you while you earn the commission.
- Your customers will also pay you online like PayPal so you get a direct pay from clients without troubles. You can also pay your distributor the same way or through the company’s bank account which you can do online.
- Starting from being a seller and a sponsor by recruiting people to join the network you can also become a distributor and that is the beginning of building your own network.
On the other hand, be very careful when choosing a direct marketing company because network marketing already has reputation of getting involved in pyramiding scams in the past. So better look for a company with the following qualities to avoid getting into a scam.
- The company should have a legitimate and an excellent reputation in direct selling.
- The company should have a clean track record with long years of proven honest selling. Not less than ten years in the business is acceptable.
- The company should not have any record of unpaid debts or loans from any lending company or from other companies.
- The company’s corporate office must have strong leadership and can provide you opportunities to widen your network reach.
- The company should have a solid compensation plan that is attainable yet it should give you an opportunity to become a distributor.
- The company’s products should be easy to sell. These must either be consumable, educational, very usable, safe for consumers, better than the products being sold at common stores, durable and yet affordable.
Network marketing can be excellent opportunities for single moms that they don’t have to leave their home to look for other extra jobs. They can spend more time with their kids and can become financially independent from it. On the other hand, experts in marketing advised that single mothers who have regular jobs should not leave their jobs once they venture on network marketing. They must test the waters first before leading on with its processes. Single mothers ought to have job security while network marketing can provide a good back up support for them to gain extra money.
If you want to join a network marketing company, take our advice. Join only a legitimate company with long years of respected business history.
Single mothers are really busy people. They work many hours a day to provide for their kids and most of the times they also do a lot of the housework especially when kids are still small. However, it would be a burden for a single mother when her kids are already growing up but still would not do what they supposed to do to help. This is the problem of most single mothers, growing up children that are not independent.
Essentially, the problem of rearing children that are not independent is not actually the fault of the children themselves. The single mothers could not also be blamed totally because they have bigger responsibilities in earning money to live through hard times. However, mothers can still do something to make their children grow independently. On the other hand, kids should also realize they need to have sense of autonomy which if that happens would bring a lot of comfort on the part of the single mothers.
Why You Need To Train Your Kids Becoming Independent?
Basically, kids who are not inherently independent generally lack self-confidence and self-worth which in a way can affect their character and outlook in life. They may sometimes lack the motivation to grow professionally when they get older. They will also lack the courage to compete so they may get deficient in achieving their goals. And sadly, kids who would always rely on their parents even in their grown-up years could experience setbacks when they need to live on their own.
But take note, making your kids become independent is not all about work. It is also a way of creating the kids’ self worth that they learn to rely on their skills, instincts and sense of judgment. As you train your kids to be independent you may see them striving at first and see their impatience but this would be part of their training so make them realize that nobody’s helping them in the future but themselves. Train them slowly but surely and they will understand that they can gain something from it.
If you are a single parent or a single mother, here are the tips you can consider to help your kids realize they can do a lot of things on their own. It is not only lifting out some of the burden off your shoulder when your kids don’t rely too much on you anymore but you are also making them becoming more responsible individuals.
Means of Teaching Your Kids to be Independent
- Give them their responsibilities.
When your children are a bit growing up and can do small things at home give them house chores around the house. First, show them how to do their house tasks the proper way then watch them how they do it. Training them regularly can automatically instigate an auto-response in them and they will automatically move about when they see that their tasks are waiting for them.
- When kids encounter problems, ask them questions and let them solve it.
By asking them questions when they are faced with problems you are helping them to figure out solutions so you are making them become analytical, creative and smarter. Avoid solving the problem for them and instead encourage them to use their logic. Ask for their opinions on how they can solve the problem themselves then provide them the tools and guidance if necessary.
- Tell your kids that failures are lessons that need to be learned.
Don’t show you pity your kids when they fail with their tasks. Instead, show an encouraging face and tell them they can do it again and the next time they must be better. Tell them that failures do happen and part of the learning process.
- Create routines.
Routines are not just about schedules of kids for housework tasks but also their routines on just about anything from their time to sleep, doing their homework and thanking God at the end of the day. Once you build up routines on kids, you build discipline in them and your kids can naturally create their own routines which provide a leeway for them to become independent.
- Always be there when your kids need support.
Although your task is to train your kids to be independent, don’t fail them when they need your moral support. As a mother, you can be your kids’ guidance counselor, friend and most of all, their mother whom they can always rely for directions. This goes to say that if you are a strong and independent mother, your kids can learn a lot from your sense of determination.
- Praise your kids for their effort.
Even your kids fail your expectations with any task, praise them for their effort. As such, persuade them to be better the next time. Praises are priceless encouragements. They make kids feel their self-worth. And once your kids get better, they can do a lot of good things which you do not even expect.
- Show your kids you are an ideal role model.
Since your kids look up to you and you are training them to be independent, show them what independent adults should do when they are faced with certain situations. Imbibed in them that independence is to be self-reliant and standing on your own feet. As a single mother, your kids will understand what you mean. So teach them how to set their goals and work on it until they succeed.
Teaching kids to be independent can be the single mothers’ best contributions to their children. They are the ones who mold their children to be better persons so it is up to you how to develop your kids into stronger, self-reliant and confident individuals. So as a single mother, consider these tips if you want your kids to grow like mature and independent individuals.
According to Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, 34 percent of single mothers in Australia do smoke. Compared to partnered women who are under 65 years old, only 13 percent of them make up the smokers. This goes to say that smoking single mothers are smoking 2.5 times greater than the partnered mothers which build up the theory that there is indeed the stressful role of single parenting that triggers excessive smoking.
On the overall, 16 percent of adult Australian women do smoke. Furthermore, Associate Professor Roger Wilkins who is the deputy director of HILDA Survey assumed that single mothers have high rate of smokers probably because they are generally less educated, young, residing in outlaying areas and have less income to which these can be the factors that associate the larger number of smokers in their group.
In America, meanwhile, 26 percent of American parents do smoke so this huge percentage is already a threatening fact to children. And every year, 5,000 infants die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) because their mothers smoke a lot while pregnant.
Bad Smoke, Bad Result
We all know that smoking is bad for anyone. Tobacco contains damaging effects on the body like tar, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, free radicals and radioactive compounds. All these can destroy our immune system and organs particularly our lungs. Tobacco literally contains carcinogenic properties and the person regardless of age and gender can be affected when regularly inhaling tobacco smoke especially children who have weaker immune system than the adults.
Unfortunately, since a high percentage of single mothers smoke, it is unavoidable that their kids can also be the first recipients of second hand smoke. The saddest part is, the children’s immune system and body elements are not as strong as the adults so in turn children do get the severe effects. They are helpless and practically more susceptible to any exposures coming from air pollutants.
Based from the National Research Council and the Surgeon General studies, the most affected with the toxic second hand smoke are the infants and young children. They can be at greater risk of contracting pneumonia and bronchitis. This is supported by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) which estimates that around 300,000 young children every year get problems in their lower respiratory tracts due to second hand smoke coming from the cigarettes of their parents themselves. So what are the other debilitating ailments that kids can get from tobacco smoke? The most common are respiratory tract infections, impairment of lung development, asthma and childhood cancer.
As parents therefore, especially if you are a single mother who usually feel tensed and seek the refuge of nicotine, you must be aware that what you do massively affects your children’s health. You must then do something to prevent your kids from getting harmed. We have some suggestions for that.
Advices to Parents to Prevent Kids from Inhaling Harmful Tobacco Smoke
- Have a policy at home that smoking is not allowed. Including you, stop yourself from smoking inside your home including your baby sitter or whoever is living with you. If you can’t really help it, take your smoking outside your home that no one inhales your fumes.
- If you can’t stop an adult from smoking inside your home, at least increase your ventilation. Opening the windows or better if you have an exhaust fan will minimize the spread of smoke of the passive smoker inside your home. You must also take your child away from the smoker.
- When inside the car and want to smoke, open the windows. This is to minimize smoke exposure to other passengers. Especially if there are kids inside the car, if possible, stop the car for the moment in a parking lot and do your smoking outside.
- Even outdoor, don’t smoke if there are children nearby. Specifically the toddlers and infants and pregnant mothers, they all must be far from you if you smoke. With few minutes of inhaling smoke, children tend to cough and if a child has asthma, things can get worse for him or her.
- Building establishments that are visited by children should put “No Smoking” signs. Even an establishment is large, smoke from cigarettes can be invisible when mixed with air and this can be inhaled by children as the parents do not know this happens. So if you see someone smoke in a “no smoking” area, call the guard’s attention.
- Inform other parents about the danger of tobacco smoke to children. If you are working in any office environment, you may discuss this topic to your colleagues. Or better if you can ask your kid’s school administrators if they can include the subject during PTA meeting. You can also work with community leaders or associations to help spread the message.
- Advise a smoker whenever he or she smokes in public. Children can be easy victims of bad smokes coming from smokers who smoke in public places. But even adults especially pregnant women can also vulnerable to the toxic fumes. That’s why when you see someone smoking right in the middle of a public place remind the person but tell it nicely.
Smoking can significantly affect anyone but with the statistics, the number shows that children are more affected when it comes to second hand smoke effects. If you are a single mother and getting concerned not only about your children’s safety but for all children, do something to save them from the grave danger of smoking. However if you are smoking yourself, start considering the precautions mentioned here. Never wait till it’s too late. As a single mom and no one sees you always smoking but your child, you may not see the quick effects of smoke on your kid but when you do it may be too late already. There is also a study that proves single mothers who smoke also tend to have daughters who become smokers themselves and that same goes with the single fathers with their sons.
Single mothers have monumental task of looking after their kids alone which is why they are sometimes troubled by stress, loneliness and even boredom. And because some single mothers are working mothers, they may not even have time to unwind and yet they must press on because they need to. However, with all work and no play, even tough single mothers can break down. This is why many single mothers lose happiness in their lives and fall to anxiety attacks. On the other hand, if only these mothers would think of diverting their minds when they began to feel down there could not be any problem. What we are talking about is for the single mothers to take some hobbies.
Actually, hobbies are for everyone. Whether it is collecting stamps to taking hard sports, a hobby can definitely rewind somebody’s mind. It can energize the senses, clear the mind off the issues and giving back the person his normal state of mind. So if you are a single mother who is too busy and wants to relax sometimes or a bored stay-at-home single mom, consider these hobby options. Once you get a hobby going, this could be your excellent outlet in having a livelier disposition and you will feel enjoying life again.
Single Mothers Hobby Options
- Become a member of a health club or gym.
Single mothers can generally relieve their accumulated stress when sweating it out in their health clubs or gyms. So if you are conscious with your health and simply wanted to eliminate toxins from your body, a few hours in the gym can make you feel relieved and toned. When the body is healthy the same goes to the mind. If gym time is not possible, you can also exercise at home and follow a DVD exercise. You can also do house general cleaning which is a very suitable exercise with very good purpose.
- Do some needlework.
This is a classic hobby that even our mothers enjoyed. But did you know that with knitting, embroidery, crocheting, and cross stitching these can actually put your mind at ease and can easily forget your problem? Aside from that, there is a great joy once you finish your needlework job and that really refreshing for your mind and disposition.
- Do some creative writing if you want to express yourself.
Writing can extract your creative juices out of your mind. If you have an aching heart like coming from a divorce and want to get the bad feelings out of your system, you can write it in your anonymous blog. You may serve as an inspiration or a lesson to other women who are undergoing same predicament. Reading their replies can be satisfying to you. You can also write about fun topics and create a forum. Writing can also entertain your mind and you may also use your writing skill to earn extra income. Joining a writing group will also provide you the path to meet other people.
- Reading books of your favorite authors.
If you have a public library nearby or perhaps a bookstore, reading your favorite authors’ books or favorite magazines would really give you something to focus your attention with. Reading can take away boredom, relaxes your senses and stimulate your mind. And while you read, you tend to understand life better and widen your horizon.
- Cook or bake for your family or friends.
Lots of single mothers are very good with baking or cooking and they get more creative everytime they do it. Cooking can be a house chore but it can easily turn into a hobby. To get you more fired up, buy a cookbook and do some food experiments. You can also teach your teen kids how to cook so that they can learn how to be independent at young age. Cooking can take out the mental stress out of your mind especially if you work in a unfriendly office environment. Once you smell what you are cooking, that is already an energizing experience for you.
- Do some gardening.
Do you know that gardening is among the top 10 hobbies that both men and women really enjoy and provides more energizing twist for the mind and body? That is because even as you perspire under the sun and do your gardening thing, you are already releasing some of the lodged anxieties out of your mind. Like a mild workout, gardening really gives you a warm exercise. Then most of all once you see your flowers bloom or your veggies ready for harvest that can be your most happy moments with gardening. Enjoying the fruit of your labor is priceless and of course always refreshing.
- Use the internet to connect, play and get informed.
Single mothers these days know a lot about computers and utilizing the web because many of them use these when finding jobs online. But other than these, you can actually use the web in connecting to your friends and relatives, finding new friends, or simply read what interest you. There are a lot of interesting topics you will really learn from the Internet and online games can be the best subjects to bond with your kids. Just sitting there on your chair while you utilize the internet to your advantage is always such an entertaining experience.
As we have said, hobbies are for everyone. But if you are a single mother, not all hobbies can fit your interest but the ones here we mentioned may get your attention. The thing is, even if you usually stay at home, you can easily avoid boredom and forget about your problems if you have hobbies. So if you are a single mother and just want to avoid mental stress to get to you, getting on with some hobbies would definitely make things fun for you.
When we are faced with inflation we feel that we are slowly being choked as every commodity becomes unbelievably pricey. Especially if we are struggling with our budgets and can hardly cope up, we think we become helpless. The sadder fact is that single mothers doubly feel the strain once inflation sets in.
What is inflation anyway? Inflation is actually an economic phenomenon wherein it affects the whole country or even many countries as they experience economic downfall due to the weakening of the purchasing power of their currencies compared to the price of the commodities. In short, inflation occurs when the demand for goods becomes greater while the needed commodities become scarce. To meet the needs, the production expenses doubles up but this makes the commodities more expensive.
In essence, inflation sets the prices of most commodities higher including the cost of services so the values of the currencies of the countries affected are devaluated. Though inflation occurs only for a short period of time, it can predominantly affect the lives of the buying public because their income would not be practically sufficient to buy their needs. For us all, inflation is a nightmare. For single mothers, this is not only a nightmare but a tragedy.
Even the U.S. who has a very productive economy is sometimes afflicted with inflation. Unfortunately, divorce is predominant in this country and a lot of single mothers have to cope up. That is why we thought of providing them tips and suggestions to enable them to live through inflation.
Devising Contingency Plans with Inflation
It is typical for single mothers to be severely affected by inflation because they singlehandedly carry their families’ expenses that even they are employed they must have contingency plans. As such, their contingency plans would be to reduce the expenses by letting go some of the unnecessary expenditures while inflation happens. If you are a single mother who still have a reliable employment to count for, these are the things you should consider so that you can still be able to cope up.
Beating the Effect of Inflation
- Plan your spending or have a budget plan.
If you have a budget plan, obviously you want your money to be spent accordingly. So in order to have the money when you know there is a payment coming, all you got to do is save. Make sure you save some money wherever you get your wages and allot some on important payments such as your home utility bills, kid’s tuition fees, mortgage, groceries, and other unavoidable expenses while sticking to your spending limits. Sometimes you can also make flexible adjustments but make sure you leave some money that are for your basic needs.
- Be creative with your purchases.
Single mothers are innately smart buyers. However, when inflation strikes, things can get crazy and suddenly you can’t afford to buy what you want and sometimes even what you need. So try to always look for alternative resources that your money can buy. For example, if you like a certain brand of food or maybe home cleaning products but you can’t afford it, look for more affordable foodstuff or products that you can utilize for the time being. Sometimes you will even discover that the things you patronize can be equaled by cheaper goods and finds them when you are on frugal mode. Especially with grocery goods, try cheaper brands from time to time and buy things you really need in small bulk. This can save you a lot more than retail buying.
- Eliminate unnecessary expenditures.
Unnecessary expenses are what we call the things you can actually live without like gym membership fees, expensive vehicles, out-of-country’s vacations and so on. The thing is when inflation strikes try to live on what you can afford only. For example, if you are a health buff and need to abandon your health club membership for a while, you can still exercise at home, jog or go biking. For your trips, why don’t you and your family try hiking and camping in one nearby forest park? This is even a refreshing opportunity without no cost. If you can’t afford to buy a new vehicle, settle for public transportation or second hand cars for the meantime.
- Cook for your family instead of constantly eating out.
Food is an ever expensive necessity and unfortunately, we can’t live without it. If you have a habit of eating out with friends or family, maybe it’s time to consider cooking and sharing your foods because for sure your friends are also feeling the constraints. So instead of eating out and make the restaurant owners wealthier while they don’t feel the inflation dilemma and you get poorer, schedule a night with your family or friends maybe once a week and cook out and bond.
- Keep your priorities intact.
This is an important part wherein you don’t want to run up on debts and think about dealing the problem of paying it later. Your priorities are to survive within your means and not accumulate payments that you may not be able to pay accordingly. The secret to be on the right track, actually is lowering your expenses, save and invest your money on more important projects that your family needs. Although you cannot control economic conditions, you still can control your own spending and saving attitude.
- If things get to worse, rely on government aids.
The government knows that when the economy is at its worse, everyone can get severely affected so this is the time that government aids become more prevalent. So try to look for food stamps programs, financial assistance for single mothers including free government school programs for you and your kids or any government aid program that you can rely on to help you and your family get through the hard times.
Being single moms is already a burden on the part of the women who bears everything to make ends meet. They single-handedly pay the expenses so that their kids would live just like any other children. However, inflation can bring about chaos on the single mother’s budget and this is why we have to come up with the solutions above and hopefully these can help. It just goes to say that there is always life even the hardest of life with single mothers because they are already survivors and they inherently know how to survive with the littlest means.
Child care assistance for single mothers is really a sensitive issue because the main individuals involved here are kids of single working parents. The thing is, even though single mothers must work for the sake of their kids, the care for their children becomes their priorities which complicate matters between child care and the single mothers’ employment.
Unfortunately, not all single moms can afford to hire extra hands in caring for their kids so that they can devote their time with their work. Hiring baby sitters for small kids is nonetheless not very advisable because most baby sitters are young people who are not trained to care for small kids. Besides, paying the baby sitter on hourly rate would really hurt the pocket of a poor working single mother. Basically, child care centers are good options. However, paying for the care service can also be really expensive.
Did you know that in 2011, a study in Mississippi indicates that the cost for a child care on a 4 -year-old kid having regular attendance in a private child care center can cost a parent around $3,900 a year while in other richer states it could reach up $11,900? That is how expensive private child centers can charge parents just so they can have time to work. So in essence, child care is really a big obstacle for single poor mothers with their employments.
Based from surveys, one-third of poor single mothers in the U.S. prefer not to work at all because of child care problems while among the non-poor single moms, only 18 percent of them prefer not to get employed. So based from these data, it is obvious that the most affected group among single mothers are the poor single mothers because they literally have difficulties paying for child care providers while earning only a little from taking in small-time jobs.
The Single Mothers’ Problems on Child Care
There are actually three main factors why poor single mothers become poorer and getting more uneducated. One, for most of them the care for their young children is more necessary than working on full time jobs. Two, the amount of child care can take a large part from their humble income. Lastly, they generally believe that the quality of child care they give to their children cannot be equaled by babysitters or private child care providers. With these factors, most single mothers prefer not to have regular jobs making them incapable of providing better lives for their children.
At present, the American government is doing everything it can to help single mothers be able to have child care assistance so that they can be among the income generating people the country needs. And thanks also to the private institutions and non-governmental organizations, they have now put a lot projects and programs to bring child care assistance to a new height.
In case you are one of the single mothers who have very young kids but want to work and wish to find assistance programs in child care, here are the means you should check out.
Finding Assistance on Child Care
- Locate your federal state assistance office.
All states have their child care assistance programs and any of these programs can help you pay some of the cost for your child care needs. Call your Social Services department in your community and inquire. Once you find one, check if you are eligible. The cost of assistance will depend on the number of your family members and your income.
- Find institutions that can help you estimate your capability to pay for child care needs based from your income.
There are now organizations that can help you estimate if you can afford to pay for child care services. If you really can’t afford to pay, these can also help you find various programs or other organizations that provide free child care services. Example of such organization is the Child Care Aware. This institution is best in giving you assistance with your child care needs while educating your child. Check its website – childcareaware.org.
- Check federal programs.
One good example of federal assistance programs that is designed to help poor families have proper education, health and nutrition is Head Start. This program helps children of low income families that are not more than 5 years old prepare for school. Other than this, the single mothers can also avail other social services like health and nutrition assistance. Your eligibility will also be based on your family’s basic needs. To know where you can find the nearest Head Start program in your area check the Head Start Locator on the web.
- Apply for home assistance if needed.
One big problem that single mothers face is not having secured homes or cannot afford to pay for rents for decent homes. With the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, single mothers with small kids can get financial assistance for child care and also job training for them. So check TANF site to know if you can qualify. This program is really a big help for poor single mothers.
- Look for your community’s Pre-Kindergarten Programs.
Most states have their pre-Kindergarten programs which aim is to provide preparatory education for kids that are 3-4 years of age so they can be ready for their Kindergarten. Some classes can last for 2 and a half hour up to 6 hours on weekdays. If you are a working mom, enrolling your child on such classes can benefit you and your kids. To know if such programs exist in your vicinity, call your state education agency.
- Seek an office that can help you for child support.
If the father of your child is not providing you his regular child support or not giving any child support payment, you can go to your Child Support Enforcement Agency to help you get what your child deserves.
- Try the Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
With its name itself, this federal assistance program is out there willing to help by providing supplemental nutrition assistance to pregnant women and small children that needs proper nutrition.
- Apply for Food Stamps.
Food stamps offer many benefits especially to single mothers because food is a costly basic need. With food stamps, single mothers and their kids can have food support to maintain good health. Check your food stamp office through the site social security office locator and apply right now.
Poor single mothers are nonetheless some of the most deprived groups of individuals in our societies. Without child care assistance, they would be forced to leave their kids to the wrong people and in the wrong environment and that is dangerous. This is why before single mothers feel that their case of finding jobs would be hopeless because of their kids this can now be resolved by trying the best solutions mentioned above.
Single mothers must always remain employed because they are generally alone in their crusade in bringing up their kids in good environments while growing them healthy. Because of their very difficult situations, most of the times they even need to work extra jobs just to make ends meet. Unfortunately, some single mothers would find that they don’t have backup child care options in case they have to care for their kids but have to go to work. So whenever emergencies strike such as the child getting sick, this can be a very frustrating and alarming at the same time on the part of the single moms.
If you are a single mother, you know that the sad thing about being a single parent is not actually being alone in doing your job as a lone guardian for your kids. Many single moms don’t literally want to live with their exes anymore and prefer to remain single. So it is nevertheless the time that you need to care for your sick child yourself and yet you can’t leave your job which can be very exasperating. We can’ blame you because we know that a mother’s care cannot be replaced by doctors’ care whenever a child gets sick.
So if you happen to be employed in a company, what would be your contingency plans in case your child needs a mother’s care? The answer therefore is knowing the available options and your rights as a single mother and an employee.
The first thing that you need to do is knowing your company’s policies about moms’ right for child care. If your company doesn’t have an existing policy for this, you can either take an emergency leave or a vacation which everyone is allowed especially on emergency cases. No legitimate company would hold off your right for an emergency leave especially if your child is ill and need your attention. Restraining you with this right, your company can face legal actions if you take this to court. On the other hand, let’s not talk about the possibility of charging somebody at this point. What you should know is how you can manage to not abandon your sick kid while making your employer realize you are still beneficial to the company.
To know this, the best thing that you must do is talking to your company’s human resources department personnel to know your options. You can ask the following questions.
Questions You Should Ask
- Is your company has child care policies?
- If you are insured along with your kid, how would your insurance answer for your child’s medical care?
- If your child is not included in your insurance, are there any guidelines where in the company will support the sick child of its employees?
- Will you be allowed quickly to use your sick leave or vacation leave during child care need?
- Does the company allow flexi time for employees who want to make up for their lost times?
- Will you be allowed to bring your work home for the meantime and communicate online?
- Does the company have any program that could help single mothers in any other way?
- If the company is not having child care program, can it refer you to any child care institution and will the company support you financially?
Because you really need to know how you could keep your work if ever you need to care for your sick child, asking these questions won’t hurt you but will really inform you better. Even you are new in your job, your right as an employee, a mother or a single mother will start as soon as you sign your contract.
Don’t expect that child care is normally included on job contracts because most often the contexts of job contracts are about the employees’ duties in following the guidelines of the companies as employees. So ask your company’s human resources about your rights and your possible options for you to know what to do in case emergency case arises. However, you must remember that companies’ guidelines are not actually alike. Some companies offer more venues for their employees and have more considerate policies while other companies are only adhering to pure business goals. These are what they call the “no-work-no-pay agencies”.
On the other hand, you can always write a letter to your employer and request for consideration if you think you’ve got nothing to lose. Employers understand that single mothers are also being prioritized by our government so you have a great chance that you get positive answers from them.
One more tip. If you really want to know face on about your company’s schemes on single mothers’ options under your company, find someone in your office who is also a mother or a single mother and ask her. The single mother you talk to may give you ideas on what to discuss with your company’s human resources personnel.