The suicide prevention group R U OK? conducted a survey of 800 people (if you want to know more about that group, go to their website at http://www.ruokday.com.au/content/home.aspx) .The highest risk group for extreme stress at work was middle-age single parents. Oh great, sighs the middle-aged widow here. Just what I didn’t want to know.
But I can see why it is so. No denying it. It is the stress of getting not only oneself up and going in the morning, but also a child (who may or may not be co-operative ), the desire to do a great job at the workplace and to contribute to society through one’s work, and the desire to be a really good mum and family member. The stress of being the only person who is keeping track of a child/children’s progress, time commitments, needs and wants. The lack of downtime as an adult to do rewarding leisure activities that do not directly involve a child.
Can I add that it is not helpful for judgmental people to say “Well, you shouldn’t work until your child is old enough to look after herself/himself”? If I didn’t work, I wouldn’t be able to pay my mortgage. I would have to go on the waiting list for public housing, which is currently a 2 year wait. I would have to find a place to rent, which would take up a large amount of any welfare benefits I may receive. And DD’s life would be put in turmoil with a change of domicile, school, leisure activities and closeness to family and friends. I’m not going to do that.