Raising children is the most important job that a parent has. It can be incredibly expensive, daunting and difficult when two parents are involved, and even more so when one parent is out of the picture. Single parents often need to take on the jobs of both parents, not only nurturing their child and providing opportunities for them, but also acting as the breadwinner and making a living for the family. This can be truly difficult for a mother to do alone, and often, you will need to look for some help. Here are some options:
Live Near Your Parents: It has only been since the 1950's that multigenerational families didn't live together. Before this, parents were the breadwinners, grandparents did the child care, and kids got to experience and respect multiple generations of family. This pattern has been proven to be so beneficial to kids that a lot of day cares have brought elder visits and senior citizen pair-ups into their child care model.
Get a Roommate: Another possibility is to find another single parent to bring in as a roommmate. This can allow you to either split the cost of a babysitter in your home, or to work opposite shifts with him or her, and take turns caring for all the kids. This can save on living expenses as well, and often gives you someone for emotional support as well who fully understands how difficult it can be.
Barter: Another possibility is to find a neighbor or friend down the street and barter some child care and other support in exchange for something you do that they love. Baking, gardening, discounts at your place of work, car repair skills... Think about what you have to offer, and see if you can find someone who can help you to do both.
Work from Home: For some, it may be about finding a different job that allows you more multitask flexibility. A number of employers now offer a few work from home days, which don't let you slack off, but will reduce commute time and can often give you a few minutes to put in a load of laundry. Talk to your boss, if you think the job would allow it. Or find a job that fits. Call centers, data processing, copywriting and other tasks that are remote by nature are great opportunities to take. If it doesn't look like your job or training fits, consider getting a grant for an online training course to do in the evenings after your children are in bed. The best choices allow you some flexibility in hours, so you can leave the times when your kids need you most open, and work early or late to make up the pay.