Single mothers may face difficulties but a new study finds those challenges don’t make them unhappy.
Researchers looked at single moms who juggled numerous problems, including low partner support, financial woes and societal disapproval. In spite of these issues, the study found, having a child did not lead to a decline in single women’s happiness.
“An arrival of a child either had no impact or even increases the happiness of the single mothers,” said study co-author Anna Baranowska-Rataj, of Umea University in Sweden, in a university news release.
In fact, the researchers suggest the struggles the moms face may even strengthen their bond with their children. “Despite all of the difficulties and problems—or maybe because of them—the children are moved to the absolute center of the woman’s universe and they are the brightest aspect of their lives,” study co-author Monika Mynarska, of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Poland, said. “Moreover, children often give women the power to make decisions they had not been able to make before pregnancy.”
Mynarska went on to say that children often give single moms the strength to make tough decisions they hadn’t been able to make before becoming moms. The study found that being responsible for a child’s well-being in many instances helped single moms escape bad relationships and made them more cautious before starting new romantic affairs.
“We found no evidence to support the assumption that the lives of women who became single mothers would have turned out better if they had not given birth and had not decided to raise on their own,” said study co-author Anna Matysiak, of the Wittgenstein Centre in Austria, in the release.