Nothing can be so important to a single mom as support; emotional, psychological and social. Being a single mom is a rewarding but often grueling experience. When there is no one else in the household to share all the responsibilities of child care, household maintenance and financial obligations, it can become overwhelming. If mom becomes overwhelmed, the family structure can break down and her health and well-being can suffer. Support takes some of the pressure off, even if it is just an outlet to laugh and cry with others who can relate.
Single moms need time for themselves and that can be hard to come by. Formal support groups often provide child care so that single moms can come together for fellowship. There, the women gather to talk about child rearing issues, discipline, diet, education and general topics. They might also discuss problems they have maintaining their homes, share resources and discuss whether or not they can or are dating again.
Not only can they help each other resolve problems they are having, they let one another know they are not alone. That can be such a blessing when a single mom feels that she is carrying the load alone. Friendships often form out of single mom support groups. Babysitting chains and play groups can be another offshoot from such meetings. Some support groups get together without the kids so they can talk more freely, laugh and let their hair down. This type of social gathering serves to relieve stress and can help moms feel more relaxed.
Finding Support Groups
Child care centers often allow parents there to meet or form support groups of various kinds, not just single mothers’ groups. Churches can be another source of support. Your state’s department of child or family services can also direct you to support groups for single moms. If all else fails, there are thousands of support groups and forums online that you can turn to for advice and camaraderie.
Start Your Own Support Group
If you would like the support of a group of single moms but cannot locate on in your area, start your own. You can start by speaking to any of the agencies mentioned above to see if they will allow you to post a flyer with your contact information. Churches may even let you use their facilities for your meetings. If your children are school age, draft a flyer and ask the school if they will allow it to be distributed to the kids to take home to their parents.
Many local newspapers will allow you to run a community service ad for free. You can announce your first meeting and go from there with whoever shows up. You can also try posting your notice at other places where children come together: gymnastics or dance lesson facilities, scouting meetings, tae kwon do classes or the local ballpark or soccer field.
The important things to hold onto is that the benefit of the support group, whether you join an existing one or create your own, will far outweigh any effort you expend in finding or making it. Not only will benefit from your participation but so will your children. Children are happier when their parent is content and less stressed.