Single Parents’ Open House: Stop in for a Visit!

My name is Fran Hopkins and I’m thrilled to be meeting with you here for the first time. I’m the 49-year-old single parent of a 15-year-old son and will blog here every day on the subject of Single Parenting. Although I introduced myself at the Parenting Forum a few weeks ago, since many of you may not have seen that post, I’m going to repeat much of it here.

I’m convinced that single parenting has to be one of the most difficult jobs in the world. It’s hard on us and it’s hard on our kids.

Frankly, when I hear about single celebrities starting families alone, I can’t help but wonder: why would anyone choose to be a single parent? (Do you ever feel that way?) I’m not saying that there aren’t worse things; it’s just that I can’t imagine volunteering for the job.

Even though we often feel like we’re the only ones raising kids on our own, it’s a comfort to know that, in fact, there are many of us who do know what it’s like. That’s why the Single Parenting blog is here!

Together we can create a place where caring friends can meet for nonjudgmental advice and support. We can learn and laugh and cry together and in the process, give each other the help we need.

Of course there are countless blessings that come with being a Mom or Dad, no matter what the circumstances. But when there’s no one with whom to share those joys, not to mention the heartaches, it can be so difficult. This is the reality that single parents live with every day.

So let’s provide each other with a cyberspace shoulder to lean on. I would love your help with this!

I’ve compiled a list of topics on which I’d like to focus in the Single Parenting blog. Some of these are listed below. What do you think about them? Do you have other suggestions? I welcome your ideas about how we can make this place, this space, as useful as it can be for all of us.

It would be great if we could talk about things like:

– how we came to be single parents

– how we’ve dealt with experiences unique to single parenting (for example, a Mom teaching her son how to shave)

– single parents and dating

– making time to take care of ourselves too

– how “double” parents (if we’re “single” parents, then parents in two-parent families must be “doubles”) and others view us/treat us

– “handling” teenagers alone (especially when they tower over you!)

– single parenting and special needs (in our kids and/or ourselves; for example, my son and I both have ADD)

– how to do it all (actually, how not to — we can’t!)

– books related to single parenting

– the latest news and information on single parenting

I’d also like to interview an expert on single parenting about once a month. For example, I’ve lined up Nancy Vogl, one of the authors of “Chicken Soup for the Single Parent’s Soul,” for an interview in January. Nancy’s lovely web site can be found at www.nancyvogl.com.

Is there anyone you’d like me to interview?

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. Tell me what you think; tell me what you need. Just post your thoughts here and we’ll get started!

Thanks in advance for your help and for joining me! I’m looking forward to “meeting” all of you and especially, to the heartfelt support I know we’ll all find here.

— Fran

Wherever you are, whoever you are, know that your life is unfolding just as it should be, all is in divine order, and every precious little moment on this planet is worthy of your presence.

— Nancy Vogl, co-author, “Chicken Soup for the Single Parent’s Soul”