Ask Dr. Sherry: ‘Taking Care Of My Special Needs Kids Makes It Tough to Date’

A single mom four children, two of them autistic, asks Dr. Sherry how she can feel worthy of dating again and how to make time for it.

You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...

Dr. Sherry,

I am a single mother of four and I have two kids with autism.  I want a real relationship. My kids take up a lot of my time. I am depressed because sometimes I feel worthless. I feel like I am just going through the motions. Can you please give me some advice? I just want to be happy again.



Dear Sis,

It can be very stressful at times being a single mother of just one child. When you multiply that by four, I am certain that your stress level is extremely high. In addition, you have two special needs children. Your children must be the center of your life at this point. This may not leave much time for you unless you have the necessary support system in place.

It sounds as if you are isolated and alone in caring for your children. If this is indeed the case, I clearly understand your depression and feelings of worthlessness. Being a mother is a very valuable role but it is often a thankless one. It is time for you to take care of yourself and your needs while you continue to care for your children. Start by developing a support system. Check to see if you have any family or friends that would be willing to care for your children a few hours or more.

Although you are a single parent, you did not become pregnant by yourself. See if your children's father(s) or their family may be of assistance. Call the National Autism Association to find a local chapter and check on local and national resources and support. Once you get support for your children, then you can take some "me" time and start looking and entertaining a relationship. Individual therapy is recommended to address the multiple stressors in your life.

Things are serious, but they are not hopeless! -- Dr. Sherry

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Filed under: Love & Sex