People need a tribe of family, friends, acquaintances, workmates, and neighbors who will be there during their highs and lows. Single parents, most especially, are dependent on this tribe. They are the ones who will be there when you need a shoulder to cry on. Whether you lost your partner through divorce or natural reasons, it is always heartbreaking to know that you will come home to an empty bed and that your children will forever be without a complete family.
But if you are lucky enough to have your partner by your side, you still need to empathize with those who are not as fortunate. What if your neighbor is getting a divorce? How can you help them? What if there is a small group of single parents in your community? What can you do to ease their burden? Whether you are happily married or a single parent yourself, make sure that you are helping your tribe.
Provide Advice and Recommendations
Parents who are going through a divorce need advice and recommendations from those who’ve gone through the same thing and survived it. Are you a divorcee, too? Do you know someone else who is? You can all extend advice to this soon-to-be single-parent. Why not recommend a good divorce lawyer to them? Separating spouses need lawyers who they can trust. If you have worked with one before, ask your neighbor if they want to try out consulting with your lawyer.
Offer Practical Help
The most practical help that single parents need is babysitting. For them to fulfill their errands, they need someone they can trust to watch their kids. However, single parents don’t usually have a box full of money from where they can pull out dollars to pay babysitters. That’s where you, as their neighbor, can come in. You can offer to supervise their kids while they are gone. If you have kids of your own, treat this as a playdate. In fact, you can even ask other single parents to bring their kids to your house.
Create a Facebook Page
You should use social media wisely. Create a Facebook page for single parents in the neighborhood. You can also join one if there’s already an existing page. You don’t need to be a single parent to join these groups. In fact, you can offer more help to them since you have a partner who can support your needs. There are a lot of activities for single parents. They can go hiking once a week to de-stress. Some schedule to catch a movie or have a nice dinner.
These activities will help single parents feel that their happiness matters despite the circumstances that they are in. It’s important for them to feel valued and seen. Even happily married parents can join in on these activities.
Donate Baby Stuff
Single parents need all the help they can get. Communities can organize a donation drive for both brand-new and secondhand baby items. Those who need this stuff can check out the donations. Most single parents need essential things like diapers, wipes, and formula milk. There should also be a corner for secondhand items like strollers, car seats, cribs, and many more. These big items don’t need to be brand new. Parents usually pass them on as used items anyway.
Join a Church
Churches usually organize groups for single parents. They make potluck dinners and talk about their joys and problems. These support groups help many single parents who struggle financially, emotionally, and psychologically. Usually, no topic is off the table. Single parents need people who understand what they’re going through. Sometimes, this group of people doesn’t necessarily have to be their friends. They need to be there to listen.
Form a Network for Jobs
More than anything else, single parents need stable sources of income. You can create a network from where single parents in your neighborhood can get a job. If you have a business, can you also extend a part-time job to them? How about other companies in your area? They could have job openings that will fit the single parents’ lifestyle.
Ever been in need of help? If you have, then you know how life-changing it is for someone to be there to help. Single parents are in dire need of emotional help. But if you can also help them financially through donations of brand-new and secondhand baby items, then that’s a ray of hope. Better assistance would be to tap your network and find a better and more stable job for them.