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A Typical Single Mother Scenario


A Typical Question

I am a 25 year old single mom. I have a two year old little boy. I have filled out the Federal financial aid packet and I am enrolled in 12 hours this fall semester. Here is my problem: I work a minimum of 40 hours a week and leave my son at a sitter that costs $60 per week. I feel so guilty for not being able to be with him anymore than I can. (He does visit his father a minimum of every other weekend for which I am thankful that he has a relationship with him). On top of the 40 hours and the every other weekend, I am now looking at another 12 hours, finding time to study and still spending quality time with my child.

know that getting a degree will help us both in the long run, but what about the time I am going to miss out on now? I feel like I already miss too much. I want to know what, if anything, I can do, or any assistance/programs out there to help me be able to possibly stay at home with him, other than when I am at class. Please don't get me wrong, I am not lazy and I do not want to work the system. I just want to get an education so that I can eventually work in a successful position, and be with my little one while getting that degree. Do you have any suggestions for me? Please help. Thank you so very much...

-Struggling Single Mom in the Atlanta Area


The Facts


According to the National Center of Children in Poverty in 2010 approximately 16.4 million children are living with a single parent in poverty, over 600,000 of those are children in Georgia.
According to The Women’s legal Defense and Education Fund (2012):

  • Around half of today’s mother will spend time as the sole custodial parent and
    • at any one time, almost a quarter of mothers are single mothers.
  • Half of all single mother families have an annual income less than $25,000.
    • 40.7% of female single parents compared to 24.2% of male single parents live in poverty.
  • Only one-third of single mothers receive any child support, and the average amount these mothers receive if only about $300 per month.
  • Two-fifths of all single mothers are defined as “poor” and “food insecure”
  • Three-quarters of homeless families are single mother families

We believe the answers start here:

  • According to the U.S. Census in 2008 people earning a bachelor’s degree earned an average of $26,000 more per year than those with a high school diploma.