I have a number of close friends who are single moms, and the one thing that I’ve never said to any of them is, “You have it so easy.” Why? Because from what I can tell, being a single mom is one of the hardest jobs ever. They have to take care of more than one kid, worry about their jobs, worry about their kid’s problems and have to be the ones to fix anything that goes wrong.
Single moms are constantly working, caregiving, advocating, and doing for others all day long. They rarely get a moment to themselves, and when they do, more often than not it’s interrupted and they’re back on the mommy clock taking care of others. To be a mother is a rewarding job, but it’s also the most stressful and demanding job as well.
It’s not just mother’s with newborns who don’t get enough sleep — all mothers (and fathers) don’t get enough sleep, but it’s the single moms who are the most sleep-deprived, at least according to research put out by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The study found that single parents, especially women, were more likely than adults in other types of families to have shorter amounts of sleep, have more trouble falling and staying asleep, and often wake up not feeling well-rested. Of course, they’re waking up feeling unrested, they’re doing it all by themselves.
For the study, a national survey was conducted so that the researchers could identify which group was struggling to get enough sleep each night.
They discovered that 44 percent of single mothers (with children under the age of 18) fail to get the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. In addition, 24 percent of single moms and 17 percent of single dads reported that they had trouble falling asleep at least four times a week. A
nd even when the parents fell asleep, a troubling 28 percent of single moms and 19 percent of single dads had difficulty staying asleep four or more times a week.
Fifty-two percent of single moms who didn’t get the right amount of sleep at night don’t feel well-rested for most of the week, and that’s not healthy for anyone. I sleep 8 hours a night, and I’m still tired.
Besides feeling terrible, sleep deprivation has some very serious side effects such as increasing your risk for heart disease, diabetes, depression, and early death. Not only is the sleep-deprived person endangering themselves, but they’re also putting others at risk as well — from accidents at work and on the road.
If anyone has earned a good night’s sleep, it’s a parent — especially a single mom. You deserve it, queen.
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Christine Schoenwald has been a writer with YourTango since 2013. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.