As a single mom, I know just how difficult it can be to navigate the daily challenges of parenting alone. We need a “village” – a support system to help us when we are stressed; to pick us up when we stumble.
But sometimes it’s tricky to find that support. Only a single mom can understand the pressures of trying to be both mother and father to your kids, being the sole provider for your family, and having all the responsibility rest on your shoulders. Sometimes the best support comes from other single moms.
Here are some ideas to help start a single mom group that you and other single moms can benefit from in your area. Don’t let your social circle shrink because you are a single mom! (Say THAT three times fast!)
Locate Other Single Moms
This can be at church, school, work, in your neighborhood, etc. Make a list of all the single moms you know in all the various circles of influence you have in your life. Not everyone will be interested in putting together a group, but you might be surprised at the number wanting some help and support.
If your list is rather large, you might want to think about tailoring it to single moms with kids near your child’s age group. But don’t be too exclusive unless you need to – younger moms may need a chance to learn from more seasoned moms, and could benefit from their experience.
Once you have compiled your list, then contact these moms with an email or a phone call, to see if they would be interested in getting together regularly and forming a group to help each other out.
Find A Place To Meet
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Your house, if large enough
- Apartment complex “common room” or rec room
- Community Center
- Park or playground, if weather permits
- Church basement or meeting room
The size of your group will determine what will be appropriate as a meeting place. Also, if you have a larger list of single moms who are interested in participating, you will have a larger list of resources to use as a meeting place. Someone may know someone else who has connections to the perfect spot to meet.
Choose A Time That Works
Think about the time of day and day of the week that will work best for those involved. If the group consists mainly of moms with toddlers or preschoolers, schedule it around play time or preschool/kindergarten. For moms with older kids, maybe during school or after school activities.
Choose a frequency that works. Will you want to meet weekly, every two weeks, or monthly? I suggest no less than monthly; in fact, you can always start off meeting weekly or bi-weekly and then choose to scale back to monthly if that works better for the group.
Choose Your Format
Will you have a prayer group? Meet for advice/sounding board? Take turns providing content? Maybe a Bible study or book club? You can make this group and it’s format whatever is most helpful to the moms in the group. There is no right way or wrong way. It’s all based on what your group determines is the best way to support each other. You can mix in a little of all of the above ideas.
Remember that you are building community for your kids. You are creating a support system for yourself and for them. The most important part about the group is to support each other. Let everyone be heard.
Plan Activities Together
- Hiking at a state park
- Sports activities
- Even vacations together, if you feel that’s appropriate
Planning activities together with other single moms and their kids creates a sense of community. It widens the scope for you and your kids. It allows for deeper relationship building. This is especially helpful for moms who may not have a support system of extended family to rely on.
Be A Resource For Each Other
There are a great many resources you can offer each other. How about babysitting/child care in emergencies? Networking and advice from other moms? Someone to plan a “girls’ night out” with? Prayer partners to pray for you and your children? Emotional support?
Being a single mom is tough! We need help sometimes. As much as we try to do things alone, we can’t always be alone. Don’t be a Lone Ranger!
We are created to come together and bond; we are made to encourage each other, and bear each other’s burdens. Stay in contact with each other. Exchange phone numbers and email addresses.
Not sure if you are ready to start a single mom resource group in your area? I am in the process of putting together a single mom Facebook group. If you are interested, send me an email or sign up for my newsletters. I will keep you informed, and update this post when I have the group in place.
What are some of the needs you have as a single mom? Can a group like this help meet those needs? Let me know in the comments below what one thing is the most difficult for you to deal with as a single mom.