How five strong women survive and thrive on single motherhood

Shares tried-and-tested advice

Ask any mom, and they will agree that motherhood is a challenge—but one that they will gladly take on. For single mothers, it can be exponentially more difficult as the parenting duties are no different except they have to deal with everything on their own.

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From juggling work life balance, coping with sleeplessness, to handling the emotional struggles of raising a child and managing their feelings of postpartum loneliness, to making important life decisions and securing financial stability—all without the support of a partner.

Being a single mom is hard, but so many have survived and thrived despite the cards they were dealt. Strong single moms share the struggles they encountered and how they rose above them.

Patty Betita and Emilio.png **Patty Betita, 54 years old** **Single mom to Emilio, 23 years old** As a single mom, Patty says one of the most challenging problems she encountered was addressing questions her son would ask about their co-parenting arrangements. Particularly, when Emilio was six years old and Patty had just separated from his father, he would inquire why he would go home to two houses during the week. Patty knew this was an innocent query, and always made it a point to be transparent and reply only with factual answers.

Patty confides that honesty was key for her in helping him understand at a young age the complexity of their family situation. Fortunately, Emilio adapted to the set up very well, and Patty asserts that it was also as important to her for Emilio to develop a relationship with his dad and that they are able to spend a lot of time together.

Her advice to other single moms? “Have your own work or career.”

Patty says, single moms should have their own financial freedom by being self-sustainable, and “do not only rely on the financial support from the father of their child.” Furthermore, despite the less-than-ideal family situation of single motherhood, she urges that moms allow their child to have a relationship with their father. “We want the child to feel loved by both their mom and dad, and grow up with a sense of normalcy.”

Finally, she believes it is by the grace of God and entrusting everything to Him that she was able to raise such a well-respecting young man. Emilio is 23 now. “Pray to God for guidance, discernment, protection and provisions. When we surrender to him completely is when we feel safe and secure.”

Twinkle Chiu and Rain.jpeg **Wendolyn “Twinkle” Chiu** **Mom to Rain, 14 years old** “Everything is challenging,” admits Twinkle, who shares that raising her daughter Rain was tough as she had to do it all by herself. As a working mom, she is grateful to have received help from her loved ones in order to survive the difficult plight.

Her advice to other single moms? “Don’t ever give up and keep fighting.”

Wherever you may be in life currently, Twinkle says “you should be proud of yourself.” Because not everyone can survive, so you’re still alive and kicking, “keep fighting and doing everything for your children.”

Jasmine OConnor and daughter.jpeg **Jasmine O’ Connor**  **Mom to Mikayla, 12 years old** Each child needs sufficient emotional, mental, physical, financial, and spiritual support. In the absence of a father, the single mom has to provide all of these and more to ensure the well-being of their child. “It is challenging to balance the emotional needs of my child while managing my own emotions,” states Jasmine. 

In her last twelve years as a mother, Jasmine mentions having to learn to communicate openly with Mikayla in order to more effectively create a stable and nurturing home environment, even as she struggles with her personal issues.

She recalls the moments she was both a mom and a student as well, and had to juggle doing her own school while finding time to help her daughter with her homework and intellectually stimulating activities. With her limited income, Jasmine was forced to manage her finances more carefully in order to secure her daughter’s future.

“It’s not easy, because there are things that are out of our control. But we should not dwell on that.” As she navigated single motherhood, she was able to develop resilience and resourcefulness in overcoming life’s challenges. Thankfully, Jasmine also has a loving family who has been present to help her with Mikayla.

Her advice to other single moms? “Be humble and seek help.”

”I believe that with determination, hard work, and a supportive community, single mothers can provide for their families and raise well-adjusted, successful children,” concludes Jasmine.

Eileen Gonzalez and son.jpeg **Eileen Gonzalez, 27 years old**  **Mom to Zohan, 5 years old** For Eileen, solo parenting comes with myriad challenges. From balancing the responsibilities of being a single mother and pursuing her personal dreams, to managing feelings of isolation as she dealt with societal discrimination back when single motherhood was not as openly celebrated.

She credits her mom in helping her overcome her struggles. “My mom was far away from me, but continued to play a big role” in guiding her about motherhood. She was encouraged to continue doing what she loved, practice self-care, and pursue her passions in order to be the best mom she could be for Zohan.

According to Eileen, “I continued my studies, trained as a flight attendant, I worked out almost everyday, practiced meditation, and learned new hobbies like tennis, as well as volunteered for charity events.” She became more appreciative of life and celebrated even the smallest successes.

Her advice to other single moms? “Make time for yourself and things you enjoy.”

Self-care and mental health are so underrated, yet prioritizing these and not putting too much pressure on yourself play a huge role in a single mom’s capacity to effectively care for and provide a nurturing and loving home for their child. Ultimately, Eileen believes moms should “focus on doing the best you can with the resources and support you have.”

Agatha Uvero.jpeg **Agatha Uvero, 25 years old**  **Mom to Juan Andres, 2 years old** Besides carrying the load of being both the providing parent and the primary caregiver, the mental burden is a challenge for Agatha. “Not having someone to share the highs and lows of parenthood with can be very lonely sometimes,” she says.

She also acknowledges being “extremely lucky” to have such a loving and supportive family who help make single parenthood more fun and manageable. “My parents, my siblings and my friends all help me sort of parent my son.” What started out as a challenge became a blessing in disguise because all her loved ones stepped up and surrounded Agatha and Andres with love.

Her advice to other single moms? “You have to love your life.”

Agatha says that in her most difficult days, when she is exhausted or riddled with challenges, “always remember that your child is watching you.” While moms want to create a perfect world for their child, this is simply too far-fetched. Nevertheless, Agatha contends that “you can teach them that the world is worth living and they can be happy despite life’s struggles and imperfections.”

As a final message to those in similar situations as hers, “Remember how it felt the moment you first laid eyes on your child. Hold on to that moment when times get rough. You can do it.”