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My Mom is an amazing woman (thanks, Mom!). And she is a tough woman: Being a single mom to two children while holding down a full-time job is a rough gig. Because she worked 60+ hour weeks, I learned how to cook and clean, as well as how to look after myself and get myself where I needed to go. I'm probably a more independent person today because of her.

But all that single parenting my Mom did may be catching up with her. Specifically with her health: You see, single parenting takes its toll on women later on in their lives.

Researchers from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health combed the data of 25,000 women in the U.S. and the U.K. to discover that the longer a woman was a single parent, the bigger the risk factors she encounters later on in life. As women age, they tend to experience more issues with daily activities - cooking, climbing stairs, and getting themselves around. Researchers commented that the daily stress of being the sole person responsible for carpools, sick children, and everyday chores can take its toll. (The research did not take a look at single dads to see if the same holds true for them.)

Experts advise that single moms learn to take time for themselves and not always put their needs at the bottom of the list. Which is great advice, but we mostly recognize that it is much easier said than done.

And even though my Mom is now married, exercises regularly, has fun hobbies and works a much less hectic job than she used to, I still worry about her. She is a healthy woman right now, but I'd like to make sure that she knows that I'm around when she needs me to be.

If you are a single mom, how would you spend your time if you had a day off from your children? Tell me in the comments.

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