Coping with the pressures of being a single parent

Being a single parent is a demanding role, and when combined with the responsibility of being the sole provider, it can lead to immense financial strain and stress.


Balancing the demands of work, childcare, and household management often leaves single parents feeling overwhelmed and isolated. Counselling can be a vital resource in managing these pressures, helping to shift mindsets, improve decision-making, and alleviate feelings of being overwhelmed.

The financial strain of single parenthood

The financial challenges faced by single parents are significant. Without a partner to share the financial burden, single parents must cover all expenses on their own, including housing, utilities, food, childcare, education, and medical bills. This can lead to:

  • Budgeting challenges: Managing a tight budget and making ends meet can be a constant struggle.
  • Debt: The need to borrow money to cover expenses can lead to accumulating debt.
  • Lack of savings: With little to no disposable income, saving for emergencies or future needs becomes difficult.
  • Financial insecurity: The uncertainty of maintaining a stable income can cause ongoing stress and anxiety.

The emotional and psychological toll

The financial pressures of single parenthood often lead to a host of emotional and psychological issues, including:

  • Stress and anxiety: Constant worry about money can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety.
  • Guilt and self-doubt: Single parents may feel guilty about not being able to provide more for their children or doubt their ability to manage everything alone.
  • Burnout: The relentless demands of work and parenting can result in physical and emotional exhaustion.
  • Isolation: The lack of a partner to share responsibilities and provide emotional support can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

How counselling can help single parents

Counselling offers a range of benefits for single parents struggling with the pressures of financial strain and being the sole provider. Here are some key ways counselling can help:

Mindset shifts

  • Reframing negative thoughts: Counselling can help single parents identify and challenge negative thought patterns, replacing them with more positive and constructive perspectives.
  • Building resilience: Therapists can work with single parents to develop resilience, helping them to better handle stress and adversity.

Decision-making support

  • Clarifying priorities: Counselling can assist in clarifying personal and financial priorities, making it easier to make informed and effective decisions.
  • Problem-solving skills: Counsellors can teach problem-solving techniques that empower single parents to tackle challenges systematically and confidently.

Reducing overwhelm

  • Stress management techniques: Counselling can introduce stress reduction methods such as mindfulness, relaxation exercises, and time management strategies.
  • Creating action plans: Therapists can help single parents develop practical action plans to manage their responsibilities, breaking tasks into manageable steps.

Emotional support and validation

  • Safe space for expression: Counselling provides a non-judgmental environment where single parents can express their fears, frustrations, and concerns openly.
  • Emotional validation: Therapists offer validation and understanding, helping single parents feel heard and supported.

Enhancing self-care

  • Self-care strategies: Counselling can emphasise the importance of self-care and help single parents incorporate self-care practices into their routines.
  • Balancing roles: Therapists can assist in finding a balance between the demands of work, parenting, and personal time.

Building a support network

  • Identifying resources: Counselling can help single parents identify and connect with community resources, support groups, and networks that provide additional assistance and social support.

The role of a single parent and sole provider is fraught with financial pressures and emotional challenges. The constant juggling of work, childcare, and household responsibilities can lead to significant stress, anxiety, and feelings of overwhelm. Counselling offers valuable tools and support to help single parents manage these pressures more effectively.

Through mindset shifts, decision-making support, stress reduction techniques, emotional validation, self-care strategies, and building support networks, counselling can empower single parents to navigate their unique challenges with greater confidence and resilience. If you or someone you know is a single parent feeling the weight of financial strain and the sole provider role, consider reaching out to a professional counsellor. This support can make a profound difference in fostering a more balanced, manageable, and fulfilling life.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
Wantage OX12 & Rickmansworth WD3
Written by Hope Therapy & Counselling Services, Offering Counselling, CBT, Hypnotherapy, EMDR & Mindfulness.
Wantage OX12 & Rickmansworth WD3

Ian Stockbridge is the founder and lead counsellor at Hope Therapy and Counselling Services. 

As an experienced Counsellor, Ian recognised a huge societal need for therapeutic services that were often not being met. As such the 'Hope Agency' was born and its counselling team now offers counselling and therapeutic support throughout the UK.

Show comments

Find a therapist dealing with Stress

All therapists are verified professionals

All therapists are verified professionals