Single moms don't have it easy, but then again, you already knew that. Parenting solo is a juggling act of schedules - work time, school time, friend time, play time, quality family time, and "me" time, if there are any hours left in your day. Chances are, you didn't plan to be a single mom, but sometimes life changes the best laid plans. When all is said and done, you find yourself trying to be both a mother and a father to your kids. Working and raising a family is tough enough when you have a partner alongside you. Doing everything by yourself is double the work.
Without resources to take some of the pressure off your shoulders, eventually you'll start feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. Some working moms feel like they've failed if they have to ask for help, but just the opposite is true. Finding some resources to help take the pressure off will benefit you and your kids in the long run. You're not in an ideal situation, but you don't have to be alone.
Resources for Child Care
If you don't have a friend or family member who can watch your kids while you work, you may be eligible for help from The Child Care and Development Fund. This federal government-backed fund is for parents who can't afford child care, but need to work and have no reasonable or affordable child care options. You will need to apply for this service here: http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/benefit-details/615. Your state may provide other child care options. Churches and other non-profit groups in your area may also provide free or low-cost child care, which many do as a service to the community.
If your children are school-aged, look into YMCA after-school programs or contact your child's school to see if there are programs available to help with homework and provide after-school activities until you can get home.
Resources for Rides
Getting to and from work is tough if you don't have a car. When you're a single mom, paying for the maintenance, gasoline and insurance on a car is often unrealistic. If you live in an area where you can take public transportation, it's probably your best option. However, not everyone can access the bus or train. If you are having trouble finding a ride to work, carpooling and ride sharing are two options that many cities have available. Some even provide "dial-a-ride" services for people who don't have cars. Even some car rental companies participate in federal programs that let groups pool their money and share a van to get to work. If you're a low-income working mom, some city transportation systems will allow you to apply for a fee waiver so you can ride to work for free.
Resources for Healthcare
Some jobs provide healthcare benefits, but depending on your job, paying for benefits may simply be out of the question. You may qualify for healthcare assistance. Check healthcare.gov or look into Medicaid for yourself or even just for your kids. You may not think you qualify, but it's worth a look with the laws changing recently. You may be able access healthcare through individual state programs, as well.