Acknowledgment is awesome sometimes, isn’t it?
The State of Texas has a few resources here and there that at least acknowledge the struggle of single parenting. I digress. It’s good to investigate sites that acknowledge the reality of it all, which is that it can be very emotionally stressful and we live in a society where they want to throw an antidepressant at you the minute you shed a tear because it’s apparently not cool to feel things anymore. That’s a shame, in my opinion, because single parents need to be allowed to acknowledge that what they’re doing isn’t easy, and that it’s normal to feel frustrated. If you can’t acknowledge the truth of the way you feel, how will you then be able to get help? There’s the isolation that creeps in, the constant feeling of being overwhelmed, and THEN you have to deal with the fear of judgment from people on top of all that. THIS IS NORMAL. It’s just that nobody talks about it, or if they do, it’s not enough. But talking about the undiscussable is my job (hence this blog). It’s HARD! Everybody needs a family, and nobody can survive doing the toughest job in the world on their own. I’m also of the mind that single parents are badass warriors destined to change the world.
In Amarillo, here’s a general list website of resources.
Emergency housing, food pantries, halfway houses, and assistance with bills.
Then there’s this wonderful site based in Dallas, that tells it like it is. Some of the characteristics that they list about single parenthood. I love what they say about survival mode, and that a sound solution is to surround yourself with families.
Anxiety/Fear: Single parents are often faced with making the quality of interactions make up for the lack of quantity interactions. Most single parents, however, find themselves in what I call “survival mode” emotionally, financially, or physically. They are in a stance of fight or flight rather than in a place where decisions can be made based on patient, thoughtful, well strategized, and intentional efforts. Hearts that filled with grief, guilt, shame, anxiety and fear are however leading homes and families all across America. It is VERY IMPORTANT that we recognize this and develop healthy alternative habits. AWARENESS is step one – ACKNOWLEGEMENT of this reality and a plan to replace unhealthy perspectives with positive and productive perspectives and reactions is a commitment we must make and apply starting today.
Social Networking: Because time and money is stretched, it is difficult to build a support network, but it is a MUST. Many single parents have mentioned that they struggle with loneliness and isolation. Often, the dynamics of dating are so challenging that people choose to stick to themselves. Many adults do not want to date a full time single parent and share attention with the children or bother to try and “blend” a family. This type of rejection is often met with heartache and brings about low self-esteem. I believe a sound solution is to surround oneself with other FAMILIES. You are not a single – you are a FAMILY. Our first priority as a family is to its members. Our activities as “grown ups” like dating, girls/guys night out, trips to the salon, etc can be supported by the circle of families to which we belong. In turn, we can offer the same.