Raising a child alone is a scary thought. Well, raising a kid per se (even with a partner and the whole family) is an overwhelming idea. Imagine the fear that creeps into a single parent’s very being because they have to rear the kids all by themselves? If you’re scared of the possibility of giving life even with your partner by your side, imagine how challenging life is for single parents. No one deserves to carry this burden by themselves. Although children are a source of hope, joy, and energy, that does not erase the fact that they are exasperating, exhausting, and scary.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do all those things alone. They say that it takes a village to raise a kid. This has never been truer as it is today. With so much happening in the world right now, it is unfair for single parents to bear alone the brunt of earning a living, caring for kids, and having enough time to improve their well-being. They need help, and that help comes from the community where they live.
This is why it’s essential to choose the community well. Should you be in a gated community? Do you want to live in the city or the suburbs? Are there activities nearby for kids who are of the same age as yours? When choosing the state, city, and town where you should live with your children, focus first and foremost on the community that awaits them there.
Do you rely on babysitters you find through recommendations and Facebook groups? While smart home systems work well in monitoring what happens in your home with your kids while you’re away, don’t you think that you should also have someone you trust looking after your kids? Communities can play a big role in caring for your kids who are not of age yet to be left alone in the house while you work. Instead of leaving them alone with the babysitters, you can ask a neighbor to take them in (along with the sitter, of course) while you do some errands. Neighbors can take turns looking over your kids.
At the same time, you have to do the same. If you are free to look over your neighbors’ kids when they need to work or run personal errands, then offer your hand. It shouldn’t be every day, of course, so make sure to work out a fair schedule with the neighbors.
The community center, homeowners’ association, local Facebook pages, and local councils are excellent sources of information about playgroups and toy libraries. Instead of letting your kids spend all day in front of the computer, they can enjoy a playgroup date with the neighborhood kids. If you are lucky enough to live in a gated community with a public park and playground, then take them there every afternoon to improve their social skills.
Single parents don’t always have the best health insurance policy because they need to finance everything on their own. As a result, they may not be able to take their kids immediately to the doctor when they are ill. Some local communities employ child and family health nurses to provide basic and immediate care for children in the neighborhood. Don’t forget to tap these services when you need a piece of medical advice from a professional.
What’s even more challenging for single parents is their inability to have a life outside of taking care of their children. Support and interest groups are incredibly helpful for single parents who are emotionally stressed from all the challenges of their status. They need a group where they will feel comfortable sharing their feelings and experiences. Single parents in the community can form their own group so that they can uplift each other.
Sports and Leisure
Finally, children of single parents need to find an outlet for the range of emotions they sometimes feel. Though they can be certainly mature in such a way that they will understand why their parent doesn’t have a lot of time to spend with them or why their parents failed to work out their marriage, that doesn’t mean that they don’t look for an outlet for these feelings. Sports and leisure, especially those organized by communities, can play a huge role in making them feel valued.
When you’re looking for support, you can start within your own community. Your neighbors, local councils, and homeowners’ association can guide you to find the services and assistance you need. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Help is always needed whether you’re a single parent or not.