I’ve long been pondering something and I think the time to make this dream a reality is upon me. I’ve toyed with the idea of starting up a single parents group that is more than just an opportunity for single parents to get together to date or do activities with their kids. Opportunities like that abound already. I have a vision for something more. I have a vision for a group that caters to the single parent socially, but in other ways too. I have a vision for a group that is a resource and a network for single parents to provide them the support they need in the tough adventure of parenting solo.
I have a number of single parent friends, both male and female, who have sole custody of their children. The other spouse has gone AWOL, disappeared or is somehow nonexistent. These parents have the pleasure of not having to co-parent with an antagonistic other parent, but they also have the down side of never having a weekend or evening to themselves without having to pay for a babysitter. They also have the added emotional burden of seeing their children struggle through the emotional pain of feeling abandoned by their other parent. I’d love to create a group that provides resources for these parents so that they can find the counseling they need or desire at a reasonable cost (free if necessary). I’d love to create a group that can provide quality trained babysitting for these parents so they can get away to shop without the kids or just have some of their own adult time.
I also have a number of single parent friends, both male and female, who are on the outside looking in. These are the parents who have, through divorce and circumstance, ended up being ousted out of their children’s lives by the ex. The pain, loss and loneliness these parents experience is unbelievable. I would love to create a group that meets the needs of these single parents too.
As a single parent myself, newly divorced, I was scared and had no idea how I was going to maintain my home on my own on a very limited budget. Were it not for friends and even community professionals who cut me a deal every now and then, I would never have been able to make the repairs and improvements to my home that I needed to make. Things like changing a light fixture, installing a ceiling fan, designing and installing an in-ground sprinkler system and caring for plants and a yard, changing the oil in a car and maintaining vehicles are all things that can be overwhelming to the single mom and maybe some dads, who just aren’t handy and who don’t have the post-divorce finances to hire a professional. I have a vision for a group that provides the training, the networking and the expertise of area professionals at a reasonable cost to those single parents who must watch every dime as they recover from the havoc that divorce can wreak in the life of a family financially, emotionally, socially and more.
I’ve been a single parent now for three years. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve struggled and stumbled much of the way. Thanks to a wonderful support group of friends and family I’ve made it, but it hasn’t been easy. I would have loved to have had a resource I could go to where I could connect with others in a similar situation, learn from them, get help with home maintenance or other needs, and not have to worry about compromising my already very tight budget.
I have a vision for something more than just another social networking activity. Maybe it’s just a pipe dream. I don’t know. It just seems like it is the kind of thing that could really help make the difference in the lives of single parents and the children they love.