be supposed to do something:

used to say what someone should or should not do, especially because of rules or what someone in authority has said

We’re supposed to check out of the hotel by 11 o'clock.

It seems that native speakers prefer to use "be supposed to do" over "should do".

Let see this scenarios in a movie. A man is going to leave his wife for another woman. The wife said "What am I supposed to do to raise my children?"

Compared to the sentence "What should I do to raise my children?"

The difference is a bit subtle.

So, When to use "should do something" & when to use "be supposed to do something"?

  • Saying I should do something can often imply that the speaker himself accepts that there are good reasons for doing it, whereas I am supposed to do it can often imply that although other people might think that, the speaker doesn't agree. This distinction doesn't necessarily have any implication for whether the speaker will in fact do whatever it is. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 20 '17 at 13:39

Frequently, supposed to {do something} is used when telling a person the proper way to do something. Modal should isn't as authoritative as supposed to.

You're supposed to turn the dial counter-clockwise.

You should turn the dial counter-clockwise.

The first sentence expresses the idea "I know how this thing works (possibly because I've read the instructions carefully or have done it before myself or have seen it done). When turning the dial, turn it counter-clockwise."

The second sentence expresses the idea "My advice would be to turn it counter-clockwise". That idea might be expressed with greater or lesser force, depending on the tone used. But it's not as clear with should where the authority resides, in the speaker's opinion, or in fact, externally.

We can also use supposed to to refer to an obligation or responsibility imposed on us by an authority, or even by our own conscience or superego, whatever you might like to call it.

I can't play baseball today. I'm supposed to pick up my little brother after school.

We couldn't really say the following:

I can't play baseball today. I should pick up my little brother after school.

because the latter sentence might be understood to mean that you're contemplating possibly not picking up your little brother. should doesn't express obligation and necessity, but merely what is advisable.

Your example "How am I supposed to raise my children!?" could be paraphrased:

I understand that I must raise my children, that this is my responsibility. How will I ever live up to that obligation, under the present circumstances?

The tacit reference is to an obligation or necessity, an unavoidable responsibility.

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They are two different types of rhetoric.

How should I raise my children? is phrasing you would use if you were seeking genuine advice. You would not use this phrasing if you were in distress at a husband leaving, but you might use it when asking a fellow mother for advice on parenting.

How am I supposed to raise my children? - Asking how you are 'supposed to' do something means asking how do other people expect it to be done.

"I suppose you are leaving?" "Yes, I am supposed to be leaving" it adds some doubt - I am supposed (expected by other people) to be leaving, but I am not sure. In your example it implies that she wants to know how she is expected to manage raising children on her own.

As another example, you could say "I should make dinner." or "I'm supposed to make dinner." 'I should' implies that you are considering making dinner, and 'I'm supposed to' means that other people have asked or are expecting you to make dinner.

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We’re supposed to check out of the hotel by 11 o'clock.

The other answers are great, I am just adding a slight shade of difference. In this sentence the speaker also could mean, that they are aware that they should be checking out and that they also know there will likely be a penalty for not checking out. The shade is that they may decide to pay the penalty.

To quote TCassa:

it adds some doubt - I am supposed (expected by other people) to be leaving, but I am not sure.

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