Single Parents Support
2 weeks ago
The experience of being a single parent can be described as life-changing, rewarding and exhausting. Like anything in life when it comes to huge challenges, it’s best to tackle them with a support network you can rely on. It’s not always easy to ask for help, in fact sometimes it can feel impossible if you don’t have family to step in or an established community to fall back on.
We believe being apart of a community, like our forums, is a good way of getting support if you're finding things hard.I’m sure most of you have heard the expression “It takes a village to raise a child”. We’d like to use this post as a prompt to think about how you can expand your support networks or feel able to use the one you already.
A good place to start is asking yourself, what kind of support you need. Some main areas that have been identified as important areas of support for all parents are:
- Physical - school runs, cooking/cleaning,practical help.
- Emotional - tips on coping, relating to others, comfort.
- Social - time out and a chance to fulfil other areas of your identity.
When you have a clear idea of what kind of support you need and will be able to accept it could be good to consider how to get the extra help, if it isn’t readily available to you. Some suggestions are:
- Connecting with other parents: This could look like planning play dates with parents and their children, reaching out to other parents at school pick up/drop off, getting involved in your child school or even joining a parents support group.
- Joining community centres: Getting involved in your local community is a great way of fulfilling your social needs, meeting other parents, growing your "village".
- Interest/Hobbies: Connecting with a sense of self is really important. Setting this time aside also creates opportunity to expand your social networks.
- Online communities: Finding support online is a new thing to do - but we think it can be really useful. Coming to forums like ours can be a good way of getting emotional support if that is something you're needing. There are also plenty of Facebook groups for parents you can be part of.
We want to acknowledge here that there are times where more needs to be done so that you feel supported in your role as a parent. In these times it can be helpful to call upon services designed for sole parents.
ParentLine NSW: This is a hotline that can used by any parent. The counsellors on this service understand the complexities of family life and can help you develop strategies as well as find support near you.
CatholicCare: Practical and emotional services for single parents are available with this organisation. You can call the CareLine on 13 18 19
National Council of Single Mothers and their Children: This organisations works to empower single mothers by giving them information and support.
Child Support: Information here on how to apply for child support.
Single Parent Support Groups: Here you can find support groups in your local area.
For our forum users in the USA there is Parents Without Partners who can provide some local information for you.