Single parents bear most of the financial, emotional and spiritual responsibilities for their children, and there are times when parenthood gets a little overwhelming. In these cases it is important to build a support system, because this helps during the trying times. Obviously your extended family will be there to assist you, but there are other forms of support to consider.
These days more churches have outreach initiatives that are designed to help single mothers succeed and raise great families. Reach out to church members you know and inquire about having them babysit your kids for a fee a few times per week. Your pastor can offer spiritual guidance when you need help with child discipline or trying to co-parent with a difficult ex. Some churches offer daycare services and after-school tutoring.
Friends are also a great source of support. If your kids and your friend's kids are the same age, you and your friend can plan weekly playdates with the kids. Friends might also be able to babysit for you, and at times they might have used kids' clothes that your kids can wear. Friends can also share parenthood advice when you're not sure what to do.
If you live in a neighborhood where there are older persons who are known for helping parents with children, get to know those neighbors and introduce your children to them. The neighbors can watch your children during emergencies, and if your extended family doesn't live in the same city as you, the neighbors might invite you over for holiday gatherings or regular dinners at their homes.
Single parent support groups
These groups enable you to establish friendships with fellow single parents and learn about other resources you can take advantage of. For example, a support group member might tell you about some local business grants that assist aspiring entrepreneurs with home-based businesses.
Social media outlets
Numerous blogs are written by single parents who want to help others like them. You can also join forums that are tailored for single parents for the purpose of offering support and advice. For example, your ex is failing to pay child support and you need advice on how to collect it. You can look at the forums and ask members how to deal with the situation.
As a single parent you struggle to make time for your children while you work hard to provide for them. Your employer can support your desire for a better work-family balance by giving you a more flexible schedule or letting you work from home on certain days.
Single parenting is a challenging task, but with a strong support system you can do it well. Be open to others' suggestions, because they want you to succeed. Most of all, maintain a positive attitude.