How to Find Support as a Single Mom
Help for Single Moms
Whether you're never married, divorced, or widowed, life as a single mom can be very challenging. Parenthood is difficult enough with a spouse to support you and your children, and it can be overwhelming at times to go through it alone. Although limited, there are some opportunities for single mothers to get the support they desperately need. Here are some suggestions to consider.
Find a "Parents Without Partners" Group
Parents Without Partners is an international, nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for single parents to uplift one another. To find out if there is one in your area, visit their website right here. If there is not one, you might consider starting a local group, click on "start a chapter" on the site.
They offer educational meetings, seminars, lectures by lawyers / psychologists, family activities, potluck suppers, hikes, recreational activities and much more. There is even an annual convention. Parents Without Partners is a very valuable resource to single parents.
Join a local church
Church isn't only a place to worship God and grow spiritually, it's also a place to build friendships and get help through life's frustrations. If you live in a city or larger town, chances are there are several churches in your area that have Bible Classes, and usually outside activities, for singles.
Some churches even have a ministry for single parents. In addition, going to church will help your child learn more about God, and allow him/her to make new friends as well. Call some local churches and ask if they have a ministry for single parents. However, even if a church don't have a program just for singles, it doesn't mean they can't offer you to the support you need.
Most churches would love for you to join their family regardless of your marital status. If you are nervous about visiting a church for the first time, call the church office. Explain your situation and hopefully someone will meet you and your children on your first visit. If you feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, don't give up. Try another church until you find the right one for your family.
Join a Playgroup for Single Moms
This is particularly for moms with younger children. Some larger cities have playgroups specifically for single moms where children can interact and moms can network with one another. Search on meetup.com tto see if you can find one in your area. If there is not, consider starting your own. Also, you might want to just join a general playgroup. Even though it is not only for single moms, you might be able to find some encouragement there.
Find Support Online
Although face-to-face interaction is ideal, online support groups can also be very valuable to single parents. There are many online support networks where you can get advice, read tips, learn about single parenting skills and much more.
One to try are the forums on on singlefamilyvoices.com. Click here to be directed to it. Another site to try is singlemothers.org. You might also join this group for single moms on Cafemom. If you are a Christian, you also might want to check out the Christian single moms group right here. Also, if you're widowed, visit this site for widows. There are many other options online - just google "single mom" or "single parent" to find resources.
Join a MOPS Group
This suggestion is primarily for mothers with at least one child that is 5 or younger. MOPS, which stands for "Mothers of Preschoolers", is an international organization that offers support to all moms - not just single moms. They usually have meetings at least once a month.
They have guest speakers, fun activities, and childcare for the children. Although MOPS is for all moms, it can still be a terrific resource for single moms. To see if there is one in your area, visit www.mops.org.
Talk to a Counselor
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the stress of single parenting, one excellent option is to meet with a counselor. Seeking professional help is a sign of strength. He/she can help you learn coping skills, make the decisions for your family, and just handle everyday stress.
If you cannot afford a counselor, there might be low cost or free counseling available in your area. Call 211 for referrals. Many churches offer free counseling as well. If you talk to a counselor and he/she doesn't seem to help you, try another one until you find the best for you.
Find a DivorceCare Group
If you are divorced, try to find a DivorceCare group. You will not only find support and encouragement, you'll learn tips for helping your children cope. You will have an opportunity to connect with other single parents, get support from a teacher who has been in your shoes, and much more. To find the closest group, visit the DivorceCare website here.
Seek Help from Social Services
Help is available for single moms who may need assistance getting back on their feet, or just need some extra support. There is nothing to be ashamed about receiving outside help. One excellent agency for low-income single parent families is the Big Brother / Big Sister program. Children are matched with a mentor who will be a role model and make a difference in your child's life. For more information on it visit the website here.
Also some cities and larger towns have an agency that matches single moms (and married moms) with a mentor. To find out if there is one in your area, call 211. If 211 is not in your area, try calling the United Way.
These are just a few steps you can take to find support through parenthood. Take it one day at a time. Take care of yourself. Good Luck as you continue your motherhood journey.