I still remember many years ago when I separated from my ex, I went through various emotional coping stages: Fear prior to leaving, liberation when I first left, and eventually isolation when the dust settled.
Up until a couple of years ago I felt like I was walking through an empty desert where no one out there seemed to understand me. Most people within my circle were either dating, single without kids or married with kids. This made things particularly hard when I went through my ‘isolation days’.
Don’t get me wrong, my life was (and still is) great, but I had days where I desperately craved support from people who were in a similar situation to me, that understood me and reminded me that I wasn’t alone. Basically, I needed friends.
There was a sense of relief and comfort in knowing I could connect with like-minded women who understood my journey and could provide support and wisdom depending on the stage of their journey.
I surveyed a variety of single mothers from various social, economic, relational, and career backgrounds through Single Mum Vine Facebook group. I wanted to see what they looked for and how their own experience as a single parent have changed since joining the Facebook group.
Based on responses, personal experiences, and research from the resources out there, here are four reasons your should consider joining a single parent resource group.
Why single parent support groups will enlighten your life.
1. Single parent groups help alleviate the feeling of isolation.
It wasn’t surprising the amount of single mothers who admitted to feeling isolated prior to joining a single parent support group. Nearly every single person surveyed selected this option. Once connected with a group of like-minded people in a similar situation, there is a sense of empowerment that comes with knowing others are walking a similar journey and have created great opportunities along the way.
2. Single parent support groups provide opportunities for networking and advice.
I believe experience and wisdom have great weight and value. As a single parent myself, I appreciate connecting with other single parents who have gone through similar experiences. Because let’s face it, some weeks the money is tight, the alone time is rare, the kids are being pains in the backside and it feels like everything is stacking up at a rapid rate. Most of the advice can be extremely valuable and practical.
3. Single parent support groups provide a safe place for those who are going through tough situations.
Life happens, situations happen, and there are usually tough times along the way. There are times where single parents experience difficult family, personal and/or financial issues. It can be quite daunting and distressing to air such issues to someone that doesn’t understand the situation at hand.
Depending on the nature of the support group, individuals going through these situations can seek some basic advice anonymously or even referrals to necessary support from others who have gone through similar experiences. Single parent support groups can provide a stepping stone to get the assistance needed, without the possible embarrassment of people knowing the individual behind the circumstance.
4. Single parent support groups support parenting without judgement.
Through the survey, there were a number of single mothers that felt more confident in their parenting ability once they joined a support group. It’s quite empowering to see the change in someone when others are willing to reach out and provide praise and support where needed. Single parents appreciate being told they are doing ok and are providing the best they can for their own children. They have faced enough judgement and issues, so the last thing they need is being made to believe that their status has negative connotations attached to it. Thankfully, as support groups are developing, the amount of positive support towards single parents is rising.
Some Single Parent Support Groups to Get You Started
An empowering community of single mums aspiring and achieving .. and taking their kids along for the ride.
A support website with stacks of resources to cater for single mothers. Provides great up to date information, giveaways and relevant advice.
An online forum for single mothers to connect, seek support and guidance from other like-minded single mothers. Everything is addressed from finances to legalities and everything in-between.
A website which focuses specially on events where single parents of varying backgrounds can catch up and connect outside of cyber space. Events are regularly created to cater to different budgets, times and situations. At this stage, most meet ups are in capital cities, but is expected to grow in the coming years.