By Amy Rose

Surviving Solo Motherhood
During a Pandemic

Back in 2020, we were in full lockdown. For me as a single mother this meant staying indoors with just a five-year-old and a bunny rabbit for company, which made working from home quite a challenge! And in the evenings, once my little boy had gone to sleep, it was mostly a matter of Netflix. The isolation was just beginning to get me down when, one sunny afternoon, as I was scrolling through Instagram, a DM came through from a publishing company! Would I be interested in writing a book to support single mothers struggling with their mental health? Would I? Of course I would! This was a brilliant opportunity to do something that wasn’t just working, home schooling or watching TV during lockdown. And it was right up my street.

Amy Rose marketing deluxe Surviving Solo Motherhood
Amy Rose marketing deluxe Surviving Solo Motherhood

I love writing, and I’m passionate about mental health support.

So being able to do something I loved in my spare time helped me negotiate my own path to good mental health during the first year of COVID. So, every night, when my son was in bed, I’d whip out notebooks and laptop and write, write, write. Working with clinical psychologist Dr Emma Cotterill, drafting the book took about a year, but eventually ‘Surviving Solo Motherhood’ was born!

Whether you’re single by choice or not, becoming a single mother is mentally exhausting – it was even more so during the lockdowns! In a world where negative stereotypes are still rife, it can be difficult to ask for help. This is where ‘Surviving Solo Motherhood’ steps in, offering emotional support to single mothers as they navigate this whole new world.

Emma and I drew on the lived experiences of the single parent community and looked closely at the effect single-parent life can have on mental health. Each chapter focuses on a different emotional state, and includes the personal stories of a wide range of single mothers from various backgrounds, as well as psychological support and tools.

Amy Rose Surviving Solo Motherhood

The topics we covered include:

  • Anxiety – a look at possible triggers and a discussion of the different types of anxiety, de-mystifying what it is (a physical response to threat real or perceived) and what it isn’t (a sign that you are failing as a parent).

  • Shame – unpicking the broader theme of stereotyping single mothers, while sharing personal experiences of shame from women of various backgrounds. The book covers the difference between shame and remorse and how our body processes shame.

  • Grief – understanding how to recognise and process your grief, unlearning everything you knew about your and your child’s future, and reconstructing what your idea of family looks like.

  • Joy – how to find joy in the small moments and create a life you’re proud of. Strategies to help you find joy when times are hard.

The goal is for readers to become more resilient and feel stronger, allowing them to be more present for their child. We wanted this to be the book to reach for when single mums need somewhere to turn.

Writing the book was therapeutic in and of itself. But working so closely with Emma was also such a joy. It was wonderful to be able to exchange ideas with another adult human who really ‘got it’. Getting in touch and speaking to other single mothers during this dreadful pandemic was another brilliantly positive aspect … it’s good to know were not alone!

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