Positive Perspectives for Single Parents and their Families

You cannot control what happens to you, you can only control how you react to it.

This blog is especially is committed to turning our loss into love, and our worry in our work as it relates to facing the odds as single parent families.

3 Defining Principles are
1. Love When Love is Not What You Have Received.
2. Help Others As You Help Yourself
3. Leave a Positive Legacy for Your Children

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In September, Single Parents, among other families, are experiencing the “Back to School” Bliss, or is it better said, “Back to School” Blues!

I always, always hated being separated from my son.   I was always wanting to be the best ROOM MOM at school, or TEAM MOM in his activities.   I wanted to be there when the CARPOOL LANE opened. But, the fact is, I WAS WORKING. Working, Working, Working, and then there was, well – Working.

My son, was often the last kid to be picked up. His mom was never there for class parties, cub scout popcorn sales rallies, or soccer practices.   I relied on “my village”.   In fact, I thank God for that precious village of people and families who surrounded him, and in turn, who surrounded me.

People from school, sports teams, church, and daycare who went the extra mile to help my son and I overcome the odds personally. I see their faces, and remember wanting to contribute so much more than I did.   Don’t get me wrong – I brought orange slices to the games, and attended a few things, but always carried guilt when I didn’t really have the skill set or the band width to be the “parent” I wanted to be during the school year.

This year, my son is going into his senior year of High School.   He has big dreams, and a strong foundation that is built on this foundation of love and community. If you were to meet him, you would see that God has moved mountains for him through the people I let into his life.

Many single parents; however, isolate. It is common that this happens due to lack of resources (time & money) – and also due to guilt and possibly shame.

My heart goes out to parents who stack the cards against themselves.   While I know the “why” behind this behavior is noble – it is not really effective in raising our children with a positive and productive legacy.   They need to be empowered to go beyond what we can often achieve “for” them. They need us to reach out and use our resources and welcome safe and inspiring members of a “village”.   In fact, the truth is, we (single parents) truly need the same. We need empowerment and assistance to go beyond what we can often do “alone.”

So, if you are a ministry leader, team mom, or a room mom – how can you help?   I would encourage you to create ways for single families to participate in your respective communities that are achievable for their family style.   For instance, is there something they can do at home to help prepare for group events that don’t cost a lot of time or money, but are significant to their child’s environment? This helps build self-worth in the parents, and also in the children.   It is very important.

And, if you are a single parent, possibly having similar feelings, I have a word of advice for you – GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!   You are likely working at your job, working at your home, and contributing incredible amounts toward your own “village” at home.   This is a huge task and an incredible achievement.   One of my favorite reminders is a picture frame that I got.   I put a photo of my son and I in it that was taken when we became a single family. It says, “A Family is a little world created by Love”.   Let me encourage you to let the people around you into that special little world so that together, you and your child can reach beyond any limitations you may be experiencing, and leave a positive and productive legacy that you are excited about.

 

Me and Chris when he was young family defined online

 

 

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Anxiety is one of the most common mental conditions affecting people across the globe yet without a doubt, specific situations can make anxiety a bigger issue for some, rather than hours. These can include a lack of available support from friends, family or a partner. In fact, one recent study found that the stress of bringing up children alone can result in poorer health later in life. The research, carried out by scientists at Harvard University and published in the Journal of Epidemiology, analyzed the responses of over 25,000 women from various countries, finding that the risk was greatest for those living in England, the United States, Denmark and Sweden. Of course, men who are raising children alone face the same stress factors, so it is vital to keep stress and anxiety at bay as much as possible through positive lifestyle choices. Some of the most successfully proven ways to keep anxiety at bay as a single parent include:

  • Understanding      What Anxiety is: When we are in the throes of an anxiety or      panic attack, it can seem as though we cannot breathe, we are about to      faint, or we are going to have a heart attack. At this precise moment, our      body goes into full ‘fight or flight’ mode: stress hormones rush through      our system and we begin to take in too many short breaths, flooding our      system with oxygen and suffering from a range of symptoms which include      muscle pain, a rapid heart rate, etc. For some people, simply knowing the      underlying facts behind a panic attack, can help them calm down. They      know, for instance, that deep breathing is one guaranteed way to lower the      heart rate, or that when hyperventilating, breathing into a paper bag will      help bring oxygen levels to normal. The first step towards stopping      debilitating panic attacks, is knowing that despite their seemingly severe      symptoms, ‘this too shall pass’ and ultimately, an anxiety attack is your      mind tricking you into thinking you are actually in danger when you are      not.
  • Taking up Yoga      or Mindful Meditation: Far from a hippy pastime, yoga and      mindful meditation have been officially recognized in numerous recent      studies, owing to their ability to reduce stress hormone levels. Yoga is      now used in a variety of settings, including eating disorder centers, drug      rehabilitation centers and centers for the elderly. Its power is believed      to arise from a combination of pranayamic (or deep) breathing, the      concentration involved in performing various poses, and the strong      mindfulness component of the activity.

Mindfulness meditation, meanwhile, is considered so successful at battling stress because it encourages us to accept difficult/sad/stressful thoughts and emotions without trying to inhibit, conquer or evade them. We acknowledge these thoughts and feelings, and allow them to come and go, like waves, slowly observing them as they change and eventually disappear. When we are calmer, we look into these thoughts and emotions and find a positive way to respond to them.

  • Time Spent in      Nature: We      all tend to use a little more technology than we should these days –      children as well as adults, it seems, are glued to their screens (tablets,      phones or television sets) for hours daily, ignoring our vital      relationship with nature. Experts say that by distancing ourselves form      nature, we open ourselves up to a host of health conditions (both physical      and mental), including obesity, Type II diabetes, difficulties with      concentration, etc. Studies have shown that Nature has a power effect,      improving performance both in the workplace and at school, and lowering      levels of stress hormones.

The next time a bit of bonding with your child or children is the order of the day, make it a point to head for a beautiful natural area. Scientists say that as is the case with yoga, one of the reasons nature has such a powerful effect on us, is that it gently cajoles us into a mindful state. Teach children to really enjoy ‘the here and now’ of their experience in nature by pointing out the sights, sounds and textures they encounter in the trees, leaves and wildlife.

  • Manage Time      Optimally: There      are wealth of excellent reads, both for purchase and free (online), which      will help you be more productive than you ever imagined. It all has to do      with time management – organizing yourself well so that you can be more      productive at work and happier at home. Sometimes, all it takes are just a      few small changes. It is also important to stop trying to attain      impossible standards of perfection and to focus instead on making a few      important changes. Honing your time management skills is highly      recommended if you are a working single parent.

This article was contributed Single Parent Advocate, and its community and supporters by Helen Maxwell.

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Airplane flying 101.

“Put your oxygen mask on before assisting anyone next to you”. My favorite metaphor for self care that can usually elicit
an eye roll or a list of tasks that are “more important” than taking some time
to indulge oneself. This response is especially true with my single parent
clients. This notion of self care takes a back seat to the day to day tasks and
chores that fall solely on your shoulders. Let’s also not forget that it takes
a lot of time and money to engage in the typical self care like a massage, spa
day or a night out. So what do we do when something seems out of reach? We
don’t prioritize it. Instead we make time for the more tangible self care such
as eating unhealthy food, a couple glasses of our favorite beverage, and
cancelling on social plans to stay at home in comfy clothes. When we don’t tend
to our own needs, but consistently prioritize other’s, is the breeding ground
for anxiety, depression, anger and resentment. Prioritizing healthy, regular
self care is necessary for you to live a more joyful life and it is also an important
skill to model for your children. If you can’t take the time to prioritize and
take care of yourself, how can you teach this skill to them? Re-defining what self care looks like to
better fit your life style is key to actually engaging in it. Below are some ideas and tips of how to make
self care work for you!

 

Do the boring stuff.


Self care isn’talways about pampering and indulging. Sometimes the best form of self care is organizing and
completing the tasks that we least want to do. Everyone has their certain chore
or engagement that they put off until the very last minute or blow off all
together. This can be paying bills, going to the doctor, sending thank you
cards or going grocery shopping. The common mantra of “I’m so tired I’ll do it
_____ (insert: later, tomorrow, next week, next month, never)” allows us to do what
feels comfortable with our time off such as sitting in front of the tv, eating
take out, having another glass of wine or shoving laundry into a pile. This
practice of avoiding mundane tasks can give us immediate gratification, but if
this becomes a common practice, can lead to increased levels of stress and
anxiety. Crossing the tough stuff off the to-do list regularly can be an
immediate source of gratification and accomplishment. I don’t think anyone has
ever had clean sheets on their bed or all the bills paid on time (or early) and
felt more stress afterwards about doing it. Setting a specific time to do
whatever you typically put off and holding yourself accountable to do it is
self care at its finest.

 

Ask for help.

We often put the expectation on ourselves that if we don’t get X,Y and Z done
independently or without assistance than we are less than or a bad mom/dad.
There tends to be a lot of shame around asking for assistance from friends or
family so we avoid it leading to packed schedules, a feeling of being stretched
too thin, and harsh self judgement. A good form of self care is asking for
help. Whether it is asking another parent to give your kiddo a ride to soccer
practice or home from school, reaching out to a close friend or family member
to come over and watch the kids one night, or taking that co-worker up on their
offer to bring you lunch one day. Help and support is an absolute necessity for
self care and decreased stress and there is zero shame in asking for it.
Chances are, friends and family will be more than willing to help you help
yourself.

Be kind to yourself.


We are our own worst critics. That little voice in your head that is constantly
judging or critiquing your every move, mistake and success can be absolutely
draining. A simple, but very challenging, technique to increase your self care
every day, is to increase the amount of kindness that you give to yourself.
Making time to reflect on something positive you have done, letting go of a
judgement you have placed on yourself, or affirming yourself can lead to an
instant increase in mood. Positive affirmations are a simple way to work this
type of self care into your daily routine. Positive affirmations can feel a
little funny at first, but there is plenty of research to show the positive
effects they have on self esteem and mood. Next time you find that voice in
your head being critical or when you are not feeling good enough, try replacing
that thought with one of these affirmations: “I am enough” “I can handle what
is put in front of me” “I am at peace even when life gets crazy” “I am doing
the absolute best I can” “I am a really good mother/father”. Even if you
struggle to believe what your telling yourself, say it anyway.

 

Get creative!

Self care doesn’t have to involve large amounts of money, getting away from long
amounts of time or needing child care. Get creative with what makes you feel
like you hit the reset button. Make homemade spa masks with your kids and have
a “family spa day”. Create a fun and cozy “reading corner” then take 15-20 to
curl up and read by yourself or with your little ones. Go for a long walk. Have
an at home dance or sing along party. Have a gardening day or a cookie baking
contest. Take what works for you and find a fun way to make it kid friendly.

Last but not least, if you can take the time to get a
massage or a night out with friends, take it with no guilt! Remember, if you
aren’t taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to give your best self to
your kids and those who you love around you.

By Stacey Ojeda

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #100694

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Single Parent Advocate is republising this article written by Lynn Blaney Hess with permission for Single Parent Advocate's Community of Families. 

Lynn Hess | Making Life Work | Healthy Living Made Simple | Single Parent Advocate | Sam's Club

Lynn Blaney Hess is a copywriter specializing in health and wellness topics and a staff writer for HLMS/Ivie & Associates.  It was originally published in the July/August 2017 Healthy Living Made Simple | Sam's Club Magazine.

A look at the challenges single parents face and where they can turn for support

 Making Life Work by Lynn Hess for Healthy Living Made Simple Magazine with permission for Single Parent Advocate


We encourage you to visit the URL above, and read the whole artical.  Below are a few highlights:  

Whether you’re a single mom or a single dad, being a solo parent isn’t an easy job.

Single moms often struggle with self-worth, says Stacie Poythress, president and founder of Single Parent Advocate, a nonprofit that provides training and support for families.  She advises moms to surround themselves with positive people and deliberately choose their perspective, focusing on the good qualities in themselves, their families and their lives rather than comparing their situation to others. “Make a list of all the things you ARE instead of the things you’re not. All types of families can be whole, complete and fulfilled,” she says.

Moms also must take good care of themselves so they can take good care of their families.  Look for low-cost, efficient ways to work out, like an online program to do when the kids are in bed, and consider a meal co-op with other moms to share cooking duties and to save time. 

Single dads often encounter a lack of outside support considering men’s traditional reluctance to ask for help. Dads can also feel uncomfortable in traditionally ‘mom-dominated’ places.   

Whether you’re a single mother or father, daily life can feel like walking a tightrope.  Despite the seemingly superhuman effort, raising kids solo also comes with many rewards, including unique qualities it can instill in your children.  The struggles, effort and devotion are worth it. 

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Time is fleeting, especially for single parents - and their kids. Single moms and dads work both ends against
the middle with time and money in a valiant effort to give their children more than they can truly provide alone. In fact, if you break it down, this effort causes a certain amount of self-neglect. Many single parents go without self-care:

Self Care

1. Physically: Healthy Nutrition/Vitamins, Exercise, and Rest

2. Spiritually: Quality Time with God, Family, and Friends

3. Mentally: Education and Empowerment

For those of us who are single moms and dads, or who are passionate about helping single parent families, it is so important to remember and OVERCOME this.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day present a perfect opportunity for single families to enjoy the gift of time together. If you are an employer of a single parent, or a neighbor, or family member, or even a minister, you can give the gift quality
time with family, or time for rest – or better yet BOTH!

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day also present a perfect opportunity for Empowerment. Both parents and children often need help in “gifting” in a single family. It can be awkward to help your own child recognize you when you are parenting alone.


Kids need to be empowered with ways to express their love and gratitude to their parents. Parents themselves often feel undeserving, or as if they are broken. I really think it is important to acknowledge that being a single family is ok. It may not be what was planned – but it does not mean that single families are broken. There are many paths to single parenthood and it is time to acknowledge that Single Families are not necessarily “broken”. Recognizing single parents by collecting and providing cards and/or restaurant gift cards, movie passes, or other ways for the families to get together is a great way to engage the community to support families who can be very low and feeling incomplete – or worse yet, inadequate.

In order to empower single families during this time, Single Parent Advocate hosts a Mother’s Day Banquet and provides empowering speakers to help remind single moms of how precious and full of promise and potential they are. We also provide crafts for the kids to make and carnations to give. It is always a special time for all of us.

For Father’s Day, in the past Single Parent Advocate has hosted BBQ/picnics and provided sponsor donated raffle prizes that include tickets to local sports events, movies, and other activities that fathers can enjoy with their kids. We have also hosted self-defense workshops and honored fathers at a benefit concert with certificates of recognition and
thanks. Dads are tough to get out and be a part of these things – but it is so important. If you are single dad, please plug into a local single family group

If you are a single mom or a single dad and you are reading this,  please give yourself an honest break alongside your children, and your single family friends – enjoy the gift of time this year. Quality time to rest, play, pray and recharge inside and out as individuals and as a family or community. Remember you are irreplaceable and invaluable in the lives of your family.

 

self care promise for single parents

Often single parents ask me about “being mother and father”. I really don’t follow that mentality. I always looked at God as my spouse in our household during my time as a single mom. That is His promise and His place in a single family. So, even though my son’s father was absent, there was rarely (if ever) a spirit of grief or resentment there - because God made a way. He always filled our hearts and hopes, and He always made a way.

Ok, so here are some words of wisdom from others who inspire me – I hope you will write these on your heart, post them on your fridge, and teach them to your children. Guard your comings and goings with thanksgiving, hope, patience, grace, and above all else – love.

Happy Mother’s and Father’s Days Everyone!

 

 

 

Psalm 68:4–6 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him wh rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing…

 

“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside
of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” - Earl Nightingale

 

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. -Thomas A. Edison

 

A Time for Everything

3 There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time
to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

6 a time to search and a time to give
up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What do workers gain from their toil?

10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human
heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while
they live.

13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.

14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it
and nothing taken from it.

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Successful ParentsIt’s 7am, my son knocking on my bedroom door: “Mom, I need a Christmas shirt - do you have one I can wear to school today?”
Quickly I run to my closet and dig through shirts, gym clothes, and unmentionables to find nothing; my insides stirring, I look up and see it - The Answer! Quickly I leap across the living room and grab last year’s Santa hat and reindeer antlers draped on the mantle and rush to present them to my son; after a few seconds inspection he says, “… I guess that will work…” and walks out to his car, tie-dyed backpack on his shoulder and festive hat/antlers on his head. After we trade caring “Love You’s”, I hang for a second on the moment – a pause to watch him get in his car and drive away. I think about how he’s always been flexible with me, as if he just knows I am doing all I can for him, and for all of us. My mom-eyes fill with mom-tears, and I’m forced to let the moment go and rush off to work myself.

 

This year, at our annual Christmas Banquet for Single Parent Advocate, our topic was heroes. We asked parents and children to identify the heroes in their lives.

Hero: a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities

Many families talked about their coaches, teachers, parents, and role models at work or in other places of their lives. Some turned to their faith and express God’s heroism, of course.

But I could not help but think about our children – the kids raised in single parent homes. There are so very many of them. 25% of America’s youth, in fact. These kids stick it out with their parents in overcoming significant loss, crushing economic challenges, and time crunches that keep them racing and sometimes on the sidelines at school and in life.

While there are many statistics that talk about the negatSingle Parent Children are not Hopless they are heroesive things that become of children raised in a single parent home, I have to say, that while those things might be true – there is an alternative occurring. It is very real.

Many kids raised in single parent homes overcome incredible odds and become incredibly successful, creative, responsible, and cooperative human beings filled with grace and resourcefulness. What a gift to us. Our children truly are our greatest gift. I acknowledge them for being brave, for never giving up, for always being understanding.

So, this Christmas, we may not have been able to give the exact things we want to give, or our kids had in mind to receive. And this may really bother us, just like it did me earlier today when I couldn’t find a shirt for my son. If that is the case, I hope we can grow past it, and remember what heroes our kids are, and what gifts they are to us. I hope we are brave, and we ask for help in providing for their needs and wants from God and from area resources.

But I also hope, we are humble, and give them the gift of recognition – and acknowledge what is good in them. Give them the gift our time and attention. Listen to their hopes and dreams. And above all else, give them the gift of Faith, and fill them full of God’s Word and His promises.

• Proverbs 17:6 (NIV)
Childrenʼs children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

• Psalm 127:3 (NIV)
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.

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Often for Valentines, I remind parents (and myself) to focus
on the love of God, the love of Family, the love of Friends and the Love of our
Children – not just romance. It just seems that on this holiday,
there is so much focus on romantic love that families need to be reminded that
that is not the only kind of love to celebrate! Romantic love is great,
don’t get me wrong, but, it seems to come and go in many of our lives. At
Single Parent Advocate, we used to do a Valentines Dance for parents to come
with their kids and do crafts, and celebrate each other. It was
always a fun time and I hope we can bring that kind of spirit into our homes
and LOVE EACH OTHER!

2017 Valetines Single Parent Families Single Parent Advocate

 

When romantic love is fleeting, it is easy to look in the
mirror, and really get down on yourself. We do this by focusing on
all the things we cannot be, or cannot do, or cannot have. For example, I
find myself always wanting to give a little more, do a few more chores,
participate in more activities, read more, cook more, clean more…look better,
be more fit, be more smart….you name it. So much so, that I have
become my own worst enemy.

Honestly, if we question our ambition – why do we do this to
ourselves? Is it because we do not LOVE ourselves? This is
especially important for us as single parents to explore. After all, it
is said, you cannot love others, unless you first, love yourself.

Well, to me, that is a tall order. How do you
even do that? Especially when our opinion of ourselves is so often
centered around other’s opinions and evaluations of us even though we all know
that everything cannot be perfect.

Valentines Day 2017 Single Parent Advocate

So this Valentines, I want to send you a little love note –
a message in a bottle – if you will. Picture this little note
floating your way and surprising you with a message that has come a long way,
and is just for you – and picture it on the inside being a truly good thing –
filled with exactly what you needed – and may have given up on.

 

Here goes:

I want you to stop a moment, and close your eyes, breathe
in, and imagine yourself just as you are being accepted, appreciated, and
fulfilled. Picture your family and friends and even God lovingly smiling
at you with warmth and care. Then look at yourself in the mirror,
and do the same.

Loving yourself, really? Where do you even
begin? Especially when so many around you are so quick to say all
the things you are not. So…let’s begin right there- let’s begin
with what we are not:

Make a list of all the things that you ARE – not a list of all the things you
are NOT. We are not designed to be everything to everyone.
Expecting that of ourselves is unrealistic and unachievable.

Then, trim that list to the things that you LIKE about yourself, what you are
proud of, or what you enjoy being capable of.

Include what you are thankful for in your life. What are thing unique things
to you that have really made you pause and say thanks.

Remember, who you are is not equal to what you do, or do not
do. You are not the sum of your failures.

You are unique, and you are incredible. You have
amazing potential.

You deserve to be loved – especially by the one you see
every day in the mirror.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your families. May it
be full of all the kinds of love there are!

 

Happy Valentines Day Single Parent Advocate 2017

·
Mark 12:31 (NIV)

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no
commandment greater than these.”

·
Galatians 5:14 (NIV)

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your
neighbor as yourself.”

·
James 2:8 (NIV)

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”
you are doing right.

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Divorce: The Best Option for Your Kids and Youdecision.jpg

I never bought the act that my parents played out for me.  They sat next to each other at meals, coordinated schedules, bought each other Christmas presents, the whole shebang.  But I saw the space between them, full of distaste and bitter words that were far from unsaid.  And while the charade certainly kept my friends and I entertained if nothing else, I was tired of sleeping with headphones in to avoid hearing my parents arguing.  So when they did divorce, my response was less, “My life is falling apart” and more “Finally.”

Staying together for the kids is a common occurrence, too common if you ask me.   Often, parents are scared into staying together after seeing the frightening statistics on children of divorce.  However, all of these statistics tend to have one thing in common.  They are comparing children from a single-parent household to those from “wholesome” traditional families.  They provide an answer for what would happen if those specific parents stayed together or separated. You can’t compare family situations, because they will always be different. The behavior of the “wholesome” family will remain unchanged, but if parents stick it out for the kids, you can bet that there will be some unresolved tension there.  I’m glad my parents separated, for several small reasons, but there’s really only two that matter:

They’re Better Off

Look, I get it, parents are supposed to sacrifice everything for their kids, but let’s just take a step back here.  Their happiness has to count for something.  They’re people too, as much as I am.  I want to see them smiling, not snapping at each other’s heels.  Yeah, I recognize that it would’ve been a lot easier for everyone involved if they had gotten along, but that wasn’t an option anymore. Something shifted, and they just aren’t the people that they used to be. They needed to separate to be happy again.  They couldn’t pretend everything was okay or ever had a chance of being okay.  It was over, and the healthy thing to do at that point is move on.   

It might take a while for parents to recover, but they are eventually able to shed the disappointment and depression of their failed marriage.  They’ll even begin dating again.    Parents’ quality of life should be considered as well as the child’s.  Speaking of the kids…

We’re Fine, if Not Better Off

82% of kids from divorced homes are glad that their parents didn’t stay together. I know that for some kids, divorce can be particularly jarring, but so was the first time they had to clean their room by themselves.  They may crave stability and need comfort right after, but most of us move on just like mom and dad.  In retrospect, we recognize that it was needed.  

Furthermore, don’t think that we’re missing out.  While some lament that limited resources mean that children of single parent households can’t participate in extracurricular activities to the same degree, it’s completely blown out of proportion.  Sometimes there’s scheduling conflicts, but there are more and more resources to overcome this problem in the technological age.  Single parents can now utilize kid-friendly carpool apps, online music classes, and crowdfunding for youth sports.  Believe me, kids don’t have to miss out on anything they don’t want to.

As for quality time with both parents, there’s no reason why we can’t still have that.  I couldn’t just walk across the hall to talk to my dad anymore, but they both still guided me during problems and praised me during success.  They both still parented me.  And if one parent mysteriously disappears after the divorce, you can bet that he or she wasn’t doing much parenting to begin with anyway.

In households where the parents do stay together for the kids, no one is under any illusions. The parents are obviously not satisfied. The kids are picking up on the little things, like how Mom and Dad never eat together anymore, as well as the big things, like how Mom and Dad are always screeching.  All this fighting increases children’s cortisol levels and stresses them out.   We might not be included in the fight, but we still feel the tension.  When parents can’t resolve that tension, the only real solution is to walk away.  

Divorce is a long, stressful process that doesn’t end when the ink dries. It feels as if you will always have this weight on your shoulder, but you will be able to cast it off with no regrets.  Know that you did right by you and your children by separating.  That is not to say that all divorces are a good idea.  Rather, if the only thing preventing you from getting a divorce is your children, then that’s not much of a reason.  Parents aren’t doing anyone favors by staying unhappy, least of all their kids.

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Fathers Day for Single ParentsAfter many years of being a single mother, I have been looking back on my thoughts about Father's Day.   If I am truthful, it has been a difficult day for me, and I can see it is also a difficult day for many others.

You see, my son was born on Father’s Day weekend. Each year, I re-focused my whole heart and mind on my son’s birthday, and avoided Father’s Day, because of the absence his dad has in our lives, and the far distance we live from my own dad. It just was easier to send a card, and place a nice phone call to my dad, and then just avoid Father’s Day as a whole; then party on with birthday fun and festivities.

But now, I am re-married. My husband invests in my son, and in our home, and I want to make Father’s Day an occasion for him. And, my dad, although still far away, is more important to me than a phone call and card can express, and I want him to know how much I love him.

So, I am changing, and I am growing, but I have still find myself struggling with Father’s Day.

Maybe I am over complicating things, but between my volunteer work with Single Parent Advocate and the families we care about, and my own life, I have had to answer questions of all kinds, like: Who should we involve/honor? What do we do or say that is meaningful? When should we connect? Where is the best place to eat? How should we celebrate? What should we give? ….all these are questions being asked by many people. It is unexpectedly complicated. So, on this Father’s Day, I invite you to explore this with me.  

Who should we honor?   This question has been a loaded one.   Many children grow up with no father in the home, so it is a question that is not easily answered by all. We honor Fathers, Step Fathers, Grand Fathers, Uncles, Brothers, Ministers, Caregivers, Coaches, Teachers and/or Managers. Even Single Moms acting as “both” parents have been brought to my attention. I think we should honor fathers of all kinds; however, I agree with the idea that Father’s Day is the time of year we honor our Male Role Models. If you ask yourself and/or your child(ren) who are the male role models in life that make them/you feel safe, special, smart, and hopeful, you will know who to honor in addition to the biological fathers and grandfathers, etc.

What do we do or say that is meaningful? I am going to speak for my own dad and my husband here – and tell you that quality focused time together with a good meal means the most. In the case of a male role model, a special note and/or thank you card alongside a nice phone call might be the best approach.   I have even thought about framed photos, certificates/awards, and/or gift cards.   One question I have asked myself is to take time to notice more of the little things that the men in our lives do, and acknowledge them, thank them, and bless them with recognition and something to remember that by.

When should we connect? Where is the best place to eat? How should we celebrate? What should we give? All of these questions are important, but if we start with the small stuff, we will never get to the significant.   All of these types of things are the small stuff, really.   Our dads just want to be loved, and need to be reminded of how important they are to us.  

God, the Father, and Father’s Day? I am also going to say something along the spiritual lines here as we are reflecting on Father’s Day.   In sharing our family’s story, I shared about my dad, my husband, my son, his dad, and now I will share something heavenly that has been a truth in our lives as well.   My son and I would go to church and I would be reminded of a scripture in the Bible that tells us that God is a father to the fatherless, and a husband to widows. I have always found comfort in that promise.   I have reminded my son of this, and told him that he has a Heavenly Father that is always by his side, by our sides. This is a truth for us that not only has been an incredible comfort, it has also been an incredible reality from practical perspectives. So many worries have been wilted by our answered (and some unanswered) prayers.   So on Father’s Day, it is also very appropriate to pay tribute to God for His love and faithfulness too.

If your father is missing in your life, it is difficult to identify with these thoughts.   It is also frankly very surprisingly emotional to think about Father’s Day. But I encourage you, to redirect any negative thoughts or emotions and do something positive by acknowledging the male role models in your life on this day. You could not only improve your own reality, you could really impact the world around you with positive and life giving change.

Huffington Post has a great article about Single Dads I recommend everyone read.   You can CLICK HERE to see it – it is called “12 Things No One Ever Tells You About Being A Single Dad”.  

To all of the single dad’s out there, and all the male role models for our kids who also mean so much – Happy Father’s Day!! We honor you!! Let’s make it a good one!

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So...What do you want to be when you grow up?  Quick advice on where to start with finding a new job or career.

Many people write in and ask about where to begin a new profession as a single parent.   I really have discovered alot about how single parent families struggle to find the level of education and employment that is needed to raise their children self sufficiently.The truth is, well, tough (T-U-F-F).  

Here are the facts I have come to know based on research in Texas done by the Center for Public Policy Priority.  They released their research in the form of a video and a cost of living calculator that tells public decision makers, as well as others, how families have their cards really stacked against them. The video profiles four (4) types of families, one is a single mom, and how they had to really fight to "make it".   In a nutshell, based on this calculator a single parent needs to earn about $45,000 per year to raise two children alone without relying on some form of aid in my area.  This is a "no frills" level of income for the family.  Furthermore, the actual opportunity for a single parent to find work like that is very low. At the time, only 30% of the available jobs in North Texas actually paid that much based on the job search tool they provided.  This explained so much to me....and brought me to tears, actually.  

So as I think about the work we do at Single Parent Advocate to help single parents and their children, and surely, when I get to speak to families personally, I advise them to take a look at careers that pay $40-$50,000 per year.  Then, find training for one of those types of jobs - given that that is something they will like to do, and that will give them the right kind of work/life balance.

So, below, I have a quick three step suggestion that may at least give single moms, single dads, as well as students a place to start.   It is just a great bottom line that I have learned in my own life - and I share with you to help you along the way too - a short cut of sorts!:  

Step 1:  Do a  personality/skill test. There is a good one on Amazon Smile.  You can select Single Parent Advocate as your charity there, and purchase StrengthsFinder 2.0.  

Step 2:  Once the book arrives, take the test. It is fun and may surprise you.  

Step 3: Match your results with related jobs that pay enough to raise your kids based on the cost of living in your area. I think a good resource for checking that out is www.salary.com.  They have tons of articles and information from cost of living calculators/salaries to education, to work life balance, and even job search listings.

Another great site for actually locating a job is Indeed.com.  You can search by salary and city there for available jobs/careers.

You will find it really useful to create a Linked In Profile to help you connect with potential opportunities as well.  

Some of you will need to get education or training for the types of jobs that fit your personality.  Excite.com offers a good place to start that journey.  

Happy Career Finding to you!   I know you can do this!   

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2015 Good As Gold nativity

Gifts stress me out.  Whether I am recieving them, or giving them.

 I worry about whether they are good enough, whether I said thank you enough, and then, don't get me started about re-gifting!  

I am sure the first Christmas stressed the Holy family out as well.  

They had no where to stay, poor medical care, they were having family drama, and the community was all stirred at the time with political strife.  

It sounds like much of what we deal with today in our own homes.  

 

 

 

Good As Gold Christmas Wise Men and EntourageThen, as if out of nowhere, the Magi arrive with Frankincense, Myrrh, and Gold.  Not such practical gifts for infants really.  

They were gifts presented to royalty in the day.  Perfume or incense, medicine for health, and gold for fortune.

 Frankincense represented deity, Gold represented royalty, and myrrh was inscense often used when someone died.  

These were NOT likely what Mary thought she needed at the time to get off to a good start with their newly arrived baby boy.

 She had to be stressed about graciously accepting these gifts.

In my quiet time this Christmas, I keep thinking about the Gold.    Not because I am a material girl, but because I am a practical one.  

It had to give their family a sense of security-more than they had before anyway.   Even though things were scary at the time, it had to make them feel like their future was good, that God was with them, and that they were doing the right thing.  

 

 

 

2015 Good As Gold Christmas List

So this Christmas, my focus on the Gold has brought me to this.  That we cannot always give and receive gifts perfectly, but we can do the right thing.  

We can be gifts ourselves as  Good as Gold and a remind others that they are important.  That they are not alone.  And that they have potential.

Here are some things that have been brought to my attention that we can give, and receive without stressing because they are all good:

 

1.  Being present - paying attention.  Not just sending money or gifts. Giving our time and attention.

2.  Giving Hugs - showing much needed affection to those around us who may just need it.

3.  Provide Peace - leave a wake of love in all of our conversations and encounters.  Be patient, and considerate.

4.  Share a meal with a friend or someone who needs that kind of help.  Maybe even volunteer to feed a needy family with your children.

5.  Create love - look for a window to share a kind word, a hopeful perspective.  Decide to forgive and show mercy, grace, or understanding.

6.  Be Light - share laughter, energy, care, and helpfulness.   

 

By doing all these things while we are amid the holiday traditions and rush, I truly believe we are giving gifts that when given, we don't have to stress about.  We are giving gifts as good as gold to those in our lives whom God has sent to us.  

Just like the Magi did - they acted on faith, and so can we.  May your Christmas be FILLED with Golden moments this year!!

 

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If you are a single parent, or if you are considering supporting a single parent family, please know this is one of the most meaningful things you can do. Below are some of the real challenges of life as a single parent in America today.

Resource Management: This can be anything from finances to childcare to food. Stretching the dollar to cover normal daily needs–and dare I say desires/wants-of self & family. If finances are not the challenge, single parents must make the most of time to pay the attention required to meet children's needs (like school, activities, quality communication, and care) the demands of employer(s), and expectations of extended family, while still making room for recreation and rest. There is often more month than money or time in a single parent household. When a single parent comes home from work and starts their "second job" of cooking, cleaning, homework, bill paying, project making, and grocery shopping – they have completed a solid 12-14 hour day. Normally, social connectedness, and self-care suffer tremendously. Self Care – if you do not take care of yourself with proper nutrition, rest, exercise and spiritual food – you cannot possibly be balanced enough to take care of others and make sound and healthy decisions alongside having sound and healthy reactions to life's more challenging moments. A single parent must remember to ASK FOR HELP. There is no replacement for investigating and learning the community resources and unapologetically putting them in place as an active part of their home. This can be like recreation centers, libraries, coupon groups, babysitting exchanges, the church, and so on. maintain a work life balance.

maintain a work life balance

Social Networking: Because time and money is stretched, it is difficult to build a support network, but it is a MUST. Many single parents have mentioned that they struggle with loneliness and isolation. Often, the dynamics of dating are so challenging that people choose to stick to themselves. Many adults do not want to date a full time single parent and share attention with the children or bother to try and "blend" a family. This type of rejection is often met with heartache and brings about low self-esteem. I believe a sound solution is to surround oneself with other FAMILIES. You are not a single – you are a FAMILY. Our first priority as a family is to its members. Our activities as "grown ups" like dating, girls/guys night out, trips to the salon, etc can be supported by the circle of families to which we belong. In turn, we can offer the same.

Making up for the missing Parts: Many single parents try to play both parent roles. If there are any moms like me, the lack of interest in baiting a fishhook or tying knots with the boy scouts must be met a neutral role model of the opposite parent that is trustworthy and consistent who will commit to this type of relationship on an ongoing and long term basis. Additionally, it is very difficult to balance the demands of work fully when your child needs you at school or at home. Overtime crushes more than the clock for a single parent– it crushes our ability to give our hearts in full connection with our child–and then crushes them. A single parent needs a network – this can be with neighbors, school, church, family – whatever circle is safe, consistent, and reflective of good & sound ethics that support the parent and the children and is at the ready for life's unexpected moments.

Guilt /Shame/Self Worth: Many single parents feel guilty and some even ashamed of having to ask more of their children than in terms of sacrifice and household operations. Often, "letting a kid be a kid" is a rare privilege. Single parents carry guilt about this at times, or overcompensate with tough love, which can be good–or build walls, depending on how it is approached and presented. Making choices about what we can do and cannot do as it relates to time and money adds to the guilt that parents carry regarding their situation. However, single parents MUST build each other up. They MUST commit to a positive and productive perspective for their kid's sakes.

Anxiety/Fear: Single parents are often faced with making the quality of interactions make up for the lack of quantity interactions. Most single parents, however, find themselves in what I call "survival mode" emotionally, financially, or physically. They are in a stance of fight or flight rather than in a place where decisions can be made based on patient, thoughtful, well strategized, and intentional efforts. Hearts that filled with grief, guilt, shame, anxiety and fear are however leading homes and families all across America. It is VERY IMPORTANT that we recognize this and develop healthy alternative habits. AWARENESS is step one – ACKNOWLEGEMENT of this reality and a plan to replace unhealthy perspectives with positive and productive perspectives and reactions is a commitment we must make and apply starting today.

Single Parent Children Struggle AlsoSingle Parent Children Struggle Also

 

Many children in single parent families face their own challenges:

Countless studies show that children in single parent households are under a lot more stress. When the stress accumulates it can lead to problems in school and behavioral issues. So what are single parenting's effects on a child's mentality overall?

Effects on Your Child's Emotional Health - When a single parent argues with the other parent in front of the child, this can lead to stress in the child. It is especially problematic when the parents try to get the child to take sides or deliver critical messages to the other parent through the child. The conflicts between parents and single parenting's effects on a child's mentality can lead to the child's inability to grow an attachment with either parent. This lack of an emotional attachment can lead to feelings of insecurity in the child.

The Effects of Abandonment on a Child's Mentality - When discussing single parenting's effects on a child's mentality, it is important to note the effect abandonment can have. Abandonment refers to when a parent leaves the household and cuts of all contact. Feelings of abandonment can lead a child to question his or her own self-worth. The remaining parent must help the child cope with the other parent's absence so the child doesn't develop low self-esteem. Abandoned children also tend to have trust issues and bottle up their emotions rather than express them freely.

The Effects of Constant Moving on Children - Single parents move around more often usually because they face more economic hardship and must move around frequently in order to find more affordable places to live. This frequent moving is another one of single parenting's negative effects on a child's mentality. Each time children move they have to leave behind their neighborhood friends and the transition is even more difficult when they change schools. The possible effects of frequent moving are a sense of isolation, depression, and anxiety.

A toxic combination of unstable schedules and unstable access to childcare leads to a pattern of serial quitting. Single parenting's effects on a child's mentality vary but due to its inherent challenges, single parenting can cause stress for both parent and child and it is the parent's responsibility to make it as least traumatic as possible. It is possible for the negative effects to be balanced out if the parents make an extra effort to provide their child with all the emotional support they need.

If you are a single parent, don't be hard on yourself. It is a fight to move forward so, keep up the pace, ask for help and use your resources! If you are a supporter of single parent families, THANK YOU!!

If you are considering supporting a single parent family, please know this is one of the most meaningful things you can do.

You can CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO SINGLE PARENT ADVOCATE and support our work with nominated families.  

If you would like to get involved, you can CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER.  We definitely need your help.  

If you know a family that needs help in the Dallas County, Collin County, or Denton County areas in Texas, please review our resource page on this website. If you are unable to find suitable aide, please email us and we will try to help as well.

If you are outside of this area, please like us on Facebook, and Twitter!

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Self Awareness – Success is Unique to YOU and Your family.

No one snowflake is exactly alike, similarly – no one fingerprint is either. Neither is one life, one family, or one child, one mom, or one home.

You are special, one of a kind.   You have tremendous value.   You are not like others – as an individual or as a family.

Your perspectives, experiences, perferences, relationships, instincts, personalities, dreams, visions, everything – is unique. Hair/body/eyes –all of it.

Your family dynamic is as a snowflake – as a fingerprint - DON’T COMPARE!! IT’S NOT FAIR!!  SUCCESS FOR EACH ONE OF US IS DIFFERENT.

When we try to compare our families, we are setting ourselves up to fail. We can event estrange our friends and families with our jealousy, insecurity, inferiority, envy, and ….well, you fill in the blank.

We should remember that ours is a precious family and trust and value its unique dynamic – and sustain it in a healthy way. Respect others differences, including our own. Believe in yourself!!!


Understand YOU and your family can be fulfilled & that it can be whole as a single parent family.

YOU choose…The choices are YOURS, the results are YOUR LIVES…

Wholeness – Completeness – comprising the full quantity/amount/extent/number/etc without diminution or execption!! Containing all the elements PROPERLY. Belonging, complete. This is hard to sustain when we are in the middle of turmoil, and change.

How many of you feel fulfilled? How many of your kids feel that way? Contentment goes against the grain of our growth mindedness. We get filled up with supposed – to – be’s. I want to encourage you to fill yourself and your kids up with IS’s. Do you know the story of the professor and the rocks? Big Rocks – then the gravel – then the sand – then the water. What are you spending your thoughts on, your time on, your heart on?
Many want to be a more of success at work, & a success at home, but the truth is our balancing act is beautiful and amazing. Like the man spinning plates in the circus – We are agile, smart, prepared, nimble, talented, resourceful, diligent…

You are not broken, you don’t need replacement parts. You are talented, amazing, whole and ABLE. Do your BEST. Make the right choices, and enjoy the right results. You can do it. It’s not a cake walk, but – there is always room for desert along the way – make time for that. Count your blessings, smell the roses, take time to see yourself for what you really are – which is AMAZING. Embrace it.

 

Commit yourself to your kids. Put your heart & mind & energy & time & pride & joy & contentment into this.

No one – NO ONE can replace you in the lives of your kids. Not your X, Not their teachers, not “neutral role models”, not your neighbors, your inlaws, grandparents/aunts/uncles/family of any kind. NOBODY.

Be present, be beautiful, be reliable, be invested. Don’t replace a relationship with them by seeking a new mate, or by a thriving social life. Make balance in this area, but FIND YOUR WHOLENESS IN THEM & IN YOUR FAMILY. The other things might be good to have, but not if they are in the way of a strong, and healthy family dynamic.

You have such a short time with them. Enjoy it. Carpools, sleepovers, sports, plays, games, deserts, the whole thing – BE THERE. Happily.

 

Care to Dream & Inspire your kids to do the same.

I take time to seek inspiration and ways to “fly” as an individual. I dance, I worship and sing, and I travel. I love to listen to worship songs, and sermons. They charge me up. These are the things about me that make up the fiber of who I am “at play”. Do you play? Do you hope? Do you dream, and dare to encounter those dreams, pursue them, and bring them to life? Have you shelved them? Why?

My son knows my dreams, and what makes me have joy – strawberries, travelling, diving, dancing, music and singing, and he LOVES to support me in those as I support him in pursuing his dreams. IF YOU DON’T DREAM AS A SINGLE PARENT – YOU ARE TEACHING YOUR KIDS TO STOP DREAMING TOO. If resources are a challenge then rotate the dreams you are working on at different times of the year, apply for scholarships (SPEAK UP), volunteer and just give your gift away donate your time and talent– it is up to you to walk in this. You must never feel like you cannot overcome and be who and what and how you dream to be. It is crucial.

Don’t give up on who you are just because you are a mom. You are MORE because you are a mom – not LESS!!

 

Educate yourself about resources for support – this is not a one person job.

Faith based, community based, and civic organizations have a TON of support for families. This is not always in the form of cash to pay a bill, but may be in the form of a better job, and good friend, and a helping hand. If you need food, go to the food pantry in your area. If you need clothes, go to the Goodwill or a Thrift Shop in your area. If you need shelter, seek a job at an apartment complex. PUT YOUR MIND INTO THIS LADIES. Our hearts have been sliced – not our heads!!!!

Create a babysitting network, a Sunday School or Bible Study, a social outing club that is family friendly. SPEAK UP about how you are seeking flexible job solutions, and boldly pursue your options, and even ask for new options to be created. Be ready to hold up your end of the bargain in all this. Don’t look for a hand out – look for a hand UP. Sometimes those come with bonuses.

Resources. Use them. Apply for financial assistance for a degree and get a better job. Whatever it is we are looking for, sometimes we feel like there is no where to go – but that is a lie. Be steadfast. Be smart, be resourceful and engaged with your talents and USE THEM. Speak UP when you need help – shelve pride for the sake of your kids if not for yourself. Pride comes before a Fall! You MUST lay down your pride – and submit to the fact that we are not designed to raise children alone. You need to ask for help when you need REST – so your child will not be the victim of impatience and what comes with it. You need to ask for practical assistance, so your child doesn’t have to do without.

Parenting education, safety education, resource education (USA.gov, United Way, Salv. Army, Goodwill, YW/MCA, BBBS, Boys & Girls clubs, Habitat for Humanity, HUD, Workforce Commission, Nemours, Care.com, CCCS….it takes a village. There sometimes seems like there is nowhere to turn and that there is not a hope. This is A LIE. There are many working to make them more reachable for single parents and their children of all ages.

 

Seek Spiritual Wholeness, physical fitness, & mental empowerment so that you can pass this on to generations to come.

• Spiritual Wholeness: find peace with your beliefs. If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.
• Physical Fitness: Take care of yourself so you CAN take care of other. Get exercise & REST! Eat Healthy.
• Mental Empowerment : Guard your hearts- Garbage in Garbage Out – Zig Ziglar, Joel Olsteen, Oprah…whatever! Eat it up!! You can go to our social sites and pick up some great things too! 

Take time to POWER UP! So, you can pour it out on your kiddos  Remember you are no good to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself. You have to take care of yourself so you CAN take care of others. . Your child needs you to be healthy and in order for that to happen – you need to do a good job of networking and reaching out. You don’t have to do this alone.

 

Surround yourself with strong, positive, supportive, caring & kind network of family and friends.

We have discussed so much, but I don’t want to leave this stone unturned. BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHO YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH
DON’T COMPROMISE OR SETTLE OR “MAKE DUE” IN your personal relationships or in those relationships that you allow near your kids. Be careful who you place them with.

There is a saying that YOU ARE who your top 5 friends are. Your choices, perceptions, hopes, and standards are established in yourself, and enforced in your daily life. Be very careful about who you give your time to, your mind to, yourself to.
If you don’t have friends or family that will support you physically, emotionally, practically, THEN GET OUT AND FIND SOME ADDITIONAL ONES. I am not saying alienate family – or friends, - but consciously, befriend those who are headed in the same direction you are – who are already there.

Stop, look, and listen. Look at yourself exactly for who you instead of who you think you “should” be, and Listen to words of wisdom and grace. Accept your life – and know it is yours to live abundantly – even now. Especially, now.

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AskForHelp Logo 2In speaking with many single parent families, there is a common thread of guilt and/or shame when it comes to asking for help. The truth is that so many families are facing tremendous ruin of some kind like abandonment, divorce, death, disease, disability, or economic duress; and, it is very difficult to prosper in those conditions.

Furthermore, Single Parents must earn more as an individual to be self sufficient than dual parent two-income households. In fact, it takes about $45,000.00 annually for a single parent to raise 2 children on a conservative budget and do so self sufficiently. Most available jobs do not provide that level of income.

Therefore, single parents MUST educate themselves about their corporate, community, faith based, and charitable resources. Not only that, they MUST use them responsibly.

 

 

Faith based, community based, and civic organizationsyou have two hands one to help yourself and one to help others have a TON of support for families. This is not always in the form of cash to pay a bill, but may be in the form of job education and advancement plans, work/life balance resources for affordable childcare and flexible scheduling options, and health and savings resources. Often, by communicating concerns and needs, a family finds they develop help, and also, potentially, a good friend, and a helping hand.

So, single parents, we want to encourage you. If you need food, go to the food pantry in your area. If you need clothes, go to the Goodwill or a Thrift Shop in your area. If you need shelter, seek a job at an apartment complex and reach out to your civic housing authority or HUD. PUT YOUR MIND INTO THIS. Typically, as single parents, our hearts have been sliced a bit by life, but we cannot let it affect our heads!!!!

 

Single Parent Families can do many things themselves to create community like create a babysitting network, a Sunday School or Bible Study, a social outing club that is family friendly. SPEAK UP about how you are seeking flexible job solutions, and boldly pursue your options, and even ask for new options to be created. Be ready to hold up your end of the bargain in all this with your employers. Position things carefully so it is clear that you are not seeking a hand out – but that you are seeking a hand UP.

Whatever it is we are lDont Be Discouragedooking for, sometimes we feel like there is no where to go – but that is not always the case. Be steadfast and don't quit or give up in your pursuits. If you quit - you teach your children to quit. Be smart, be resourceful and engaged with your talents and USE THEM. Speak UP when you need help – shelve pride for the sake of your kids if not for yourself. If pride comes before a fall - You MUST lay down your pride – ask for help when you need REST, or WORK. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of your children. Ask for practical assistance, so your child doesn’t have to do without.

Parenting education, safety education, resource education (USA.gov, United Way, Salv. Army, Goodwill, YWCA, YMCA, BBBS, Boys & Girls Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, HUD, Workforce Commission, Nemours, Care.com, CCCS….all offer suitable aid). There sometimes seems like there is nowhere to turn and that there is not a hope, but do not be discouraged. There are many working to make better lives possible for single parents and their children of all ages.

If you are seeking resources, please visit the Resources page on the Single Parent Advocate website. It is a great place to start. We are researching and looking to add more too just for all of you. Take heart and have courage. You are not alone, and this is not impossible - it is just challenging. Believe in yourselves!! We believe in you!!

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Single Parent Families can be strong and lead healthy families.


Greatly desiring to see thee being mindful of thy tears that I may be filled with joy. 2 Timothy 1:4

Greatly desiring to see thee of being mindful of thy tears that I may be filled with joy. 2 Timothy 1:4

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Each single parent family is different. The specific challenges are always unique to the family, yet there are some common themes with most around not enough time, money or emotional support. As a single mother for 10+ years, have had many of the same challenges.

In this series, I'll share what I've learned along the way and hope it can help you too as you successfully single parent your family.

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Some single parent  families are in more of a time crunch than they are in a money crunch.  So, this week, we are listing some links to Amazon where you can purchase supply kits to help save time for you as you begin to prepare your children to get back to school.  
 

We chose these kits on Amazon.com.   When you purchase these kits, Amazon will make a donation to Single Parent Advocate.  So, you can help yourself, your kiddos,  and help other single parent families at the same time.

Shop Amazon - Back to School

We hope this helps you and your children!!!

 

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This article was sent in by one of our readers, Marilyn, as a good guide for those interested in dating again. As single parents, our first love is always our kids with our time and attention, but many consider this, so we are reposting it as it originally came from datehookup.com.
Thank you Marilyn!

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Surviving the Holidays as a Single Parent Family

It's difficult not to feel the holidays - the decorations, the carols, and the inundation of sales everywhere. But perhaps your journey into singlehood is leaving you feeling more like The Grinch; the lack of funds, multiple life changes, and children who may still be reeling from loss or divorce, may cause difficulties for this "jolly" time of year that weren't present before. Since your life is "beginning anew" it's important to dawn some new perspectives regarding the holidays as well.

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