Being a parent is a job that comes with many challenges, even when you have a partner to help share the load. But being a solo parent — whether by choice or circumstance — can be an isolating and daunting experience. But for solo parents out there, there’s one thing they can always keep in mind, they’re not alone.
In 2020 alone, about 18 million children were living with either single mothers or fathers. That’s quite a lot, but sometimes, solo parents can still feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities. It’s not that easy to raise children alone while trying to earn a living.
That’s why solo parents need to be part of a supportive community. A community that can provide them with the guidance, resources, and encouragement they need to raise their children well. So what makes a community empowering for solo parents? Here are some things:
1. By being inclusive and welcoming
Being a solo parent is not an easy feat. They have to be both mother and father to their children, which can be tough emotionally and financially. It is essential for solo parents to feel included in their community to reduce stress levels and create a support system.
An inclusive and welcoming community can make all the difference for a solo parent. When they feel like they belong somewhere and that people are looking out for them, it can empower them to keep going despite the challenges they face.
Inclusion allows solo parents to share their experiences and learn from others in similar situations. An inclusive community can make a big difference in the lives of solo parents and their families.
2. By providing resources and support
One of the best things a community can provide for solo parents is resources and support. Many solo parents out there are struggling to make ends meet to provide for their children. A community that can offer them resources like food, clothing, and shelter can be a huge help.
In addition, a community that offers support in counseling, mentorship, and other programs can be very beneficial for solo parents. For example, a community can provide comprehensive VBAC doula training to support pregnant solo moms. That’s important, so they could have someone to help with the delivery process, especially if they are solo parents.
There are also support groups of mothers who can help solo fathers with advice and guidance regarding parenting. These kinds of resources can make a big difference in the lives of solo parents.
3. By offering opportunities for growth
A community that offers solo parents opportunities for personal and professional growth can be very empowering. For example, a community can provide solo parents scholarships to further their education. They can also provide them with training and development programs to help them improve their skills.
In addition, a community can offer solo parents job opportunities to provide for their families. For example, a community can connect solo parents with businesses looking for employees. These kinds of opportunities can make a big difference in the lives of solo parents.
4. By valuing mental health
Solo parents have a higher risk of developing mental health problems due to the stress caused by several factors. That’s why solo parents need to be part of a community that values mental health.
A community that values mental health can provide solo parents with resources and support to cope with the challenges of parenting alone. For example, a community can offer counseling services or mental health workshops. These kinds of resources can be very beneficial for solo parents.
5. By being safe
A safe and supportive community can make a big difference in the lives of solo parents. A safe community is one where parents feel comfortable letting their kids play outside, where they can go for a walk without worrying about being accosted, and where they can sleep sound at night.
That feeling of safety allows solo parents to relax and focus on other things, like work or taking care of their kids. It’s hard enough to raise a family on your own — a safe community makes it that much easier. And when parents are empowered, the whole community benefits.
Solo parents are more likely to be engaged in their children’s education, more likely to be involved in their communities, and more likely to raise happy and successful kids. So a safe community is not just good for solo parents — it’s suitable for everyone.
An empowering community for solo parents will provide the encouragement and support these parents need to thrive. In addition to offering emotional support, a community can also provide practical assistance with childcare, transportation, and other daily tasks. This type of community can make an incredible difference in the lives of solo parents and their children.