By chance or by choice, in the last thirty years mothers who raise their children without a partner have doubled. A condition that can present specific difficulties but which can however be best addressed by creating a support network made up of friends and relatives, but also associations and specialized professionals
In just over thirty years, from 1983 to 2016, the number of single women with minor children has doubled. Today, according to Istat, they are 893 thousand single moms in Italy: they are older, more educated and busy than in the past.
The majority is made up of separated or divorced women (they are 57.6% of the total), but it is grown up much the share of single mothers from 18.9% to 34.6%. Their has also increased age: those between 45 and 54 years old they went from 20.9% to 31.8%, even if the greatest weight remains that of the trai mothers 35 and 44 years old (45.3%).
Although they are all very satisfied when it comes to their health conditions (88.5%), for family relationships (84.5%) and friends (83.5%), compared to mothers in couples. satisfaction levels are lower regarding all dimensions of life, especially in the economic one.
This is the picture drawn by Istat which photographs the situation of mothers who, by chance or by choice, today in Italy find themselves giving birth and raising a child without a partner. It is a presenting condition specific difficulties, but which can be faced with serenity, especially if certain resources are activated.
The premise must be clear: “Any kind of family situation can be a good basis for allowing your child to grow – underlines Luana Panichi, coordinator of the project dedicated to single mothers in Rome #Crescereinsieme, developed by the information, maternity and birth center Il Melograno -. In fact, if it is true that “A village is needed to raise a child”, this means that even the nuclear family, alone, is not enough. In fact, to raise a human cub, one is required multiplicity of relationships both for the mother, the child and the couple (if there is one) ».
sense of responsibility
1. Make time for yourself
“To concentrate and focus on the size of the baby’s expectation it helps, especially for single mothers, take time for yourself. For example, attending aquatic groups for pregnant women, yoga classes during pregnancy, etc. These are all activities that help relieve tensions and experience body changes with greater pleasure throughout the nine months of gestation ».
2. Build a support network
«Mothers need to support and welcome to share the great responsibility of having a baby. It’s important seek support in others: give it friends to family, but also in parent groups, associations specialized or the network of consultants scattered throughout the territory (here the map). Thanks to the sharing of one’s own situation and the comparison with the experiences of others, one will feel less alone, more understood and supported ».
There are several resources available online, for example: Smallfamilies, the portal of variable geometry families; Italian single mothers association; GenGle, single parents together; and OneParent.
3. After birth
support at home
who is the doula?
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If the path becomes very difficult «it is important don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help e turn to professionals or specialized centers where mom can find help for her situation. In our project, for example, we provide a “home visiting” service in which an operator comes to visit the mother at home, but we also have a series of support families who help the single mother and, for example, take her to visits or shopping for her when she can’t. If there were economic problems, you can contact the caf to get an overview of help intended for women in these situations. In cases where there are greater weaknesses, however, you can contact the social services who have special aid programs “.