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Knowing that she had a babysitting partner nearby "saved me money -- and my sanity," she says."Many single moms fall into the superwoman trap, feeling that in addition to working all day, they must also keep a clean house, serve home-cooked meals, and tend to their children's needs," Mattes says.
No matter what your reason for being a single mother, you're probably well acquainted with a nagging sense of guilt -- about working too much (or too little), not having enough time or money, being embattled with your ex, wanting to provide a sibling for your child, feeling that your family is "fractured" or less than ideal -- you name it!
Karen George of Mays Landing, New Jersey, often swaps babysitting duties with a neighbor.
"When my husband and I first separated, my son was 15 months old, and there were times when I just needed to get out of the house for an hour," she recalls.
A few weeks after I adopted my 8-1/2-month-old daughter, Eleni, I was about to take her to the park when I suddenly burst into tears.
As I glanced down at my little baby, my backpack overflowing with diapers, bills, bottles, and toys and a big bag of trash that desperately needed to be tossed -- I thought to myself: How can I possibly carry all this stuff? Looking back now, I realize that as a first-time single mom with a new baby on board, I was clearly emotional, exhausted, and stressed.