Building A Support Network

One benefit of having to solo parent is that I have become very resourceful and have had an opportunity to learn things that I never even had a desire to learn like plumbing, changing a car battery, fixing window screens and so much more. I am grateful that I have been able to become a resourceful independent person; however there have been plenty of other times that I could not have made it without the help of others. As single parents it is really helpful to have a support network that we can lean on when times are tough and also give back to in order to help others. First we must admit that we can do a lot, but we cannot do everything by ourselves.

For a newly separated or divorced person a divorce recovery group can be a real lifesaver. Some support groups also offer an opportunity for children to attend some of the sessions with the parents or in a separate group just for children. This type of support group can help new single parents and their children deal with the raw emotional valleys that are frequent especially during the first year after a breakup.

Look for other single parents at your church, work or through mutual friends that you can set up a childcare co-op with. Try to set up arrangements such as; you watch her children while she gets a haircut, and then she can watch your children while you go grocery shopping (alone).

Ask family members for help. If your dad or brother can come over and play football or just hang out with your son or daughter it will help him or her to understand they still have value and it will help to boost their self esteem.

Befriend different types of people such as other single moms, single women, married people and the elderly. Don’t lean on just one person for help and accept it when one person cannot meet your need. Go on to your next friend and ask him or her for the help you need.

You have to ask others for help. Many people who have not been affected by divorce just don’t understand the unique needs our families have, but that does not mean they are unwilling to help. Don’t forget to give help to people in your support network as well as receive help from them. Helping others has really helped me to get out of the funk of worrying about all of my responsibilities, and provided a good example for my children to follow.

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