[S]ometimes, single parents feel isolated. Divorce Stress, Friend Life Required discussed reaching out to others during a divorce. But what about settling into single parenthood? With so much going on around you, and adjustments to make, it’s easy to feel lost and unsure of what to do with your children.

Co-workers don’t always make the best confidants. That work life-personal life conflict can make for a sticky environment. And if your traditional friends are older or have never experienced your daily battles, they probably won’t understand. Sometimes, you’d like to spend some time with someone earning similar battle scars. Someone who understands your predicament; shoot, maybe you just need a sympathetic ear.

Benefits of Joining a Single Parent Support Group

1. You Build a Support System. Those who are in a similar situation will offer encouragement and guidance, especially in the early days/months of your new life. You can exchange ideas, problems, give/get parenting tips, and you can just talk to someone about co-parenting issues.

2. Gaining New Child Care Options. As your connections grow and strengthen, you will find yourself relying on you new network of friends more than you might expect; and vice-versa. For example, you might lean on each other when searching for child care. You might not need them for primary care, but they can become a valuable asset if you finding yourself needing a back-up or emergency help.

3. Holiday Celebrations. If you live far from your family, and you’d like to spend the holiday time with someone, ask another single parent partner or partners to get together for a holiday gathering. Sharing the cooking will help strengthen the ‘single family bond,’ decrease stress, and add some surprises to the day. You can also open the event to other members in your group who might be in a similar situation.

4.Vacation Buddies. Whether you are planning for a day trip or a longer traditional vacation, the addition of a single parent family can add joy and savings to a trip. Again, child care (especially if younger kids are involved) can be less taxing, and typical family vacation frustrations can be greatly diminished if there’s another parent close by who can provide some relief and hopefully some levity.

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Where to Look for a Single Parent Support Group

Google your town. Churches, community groups, civic and parent support groups provide a plethora of options to reaching out and connecting with other single parents. Post divorce can be a lonely experience. Seek out and become involved in a parent support group. It is not only good for you, it’s even better for your children.

How has a single parent support group helped you?

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