Whether you are having a baby on your own or you have older children, suddenly finding yourself in the shoes of a single parent can be difficult and scary. However, it doesn’t have to be the end of your world. Nor does it mean that your child cannot have a healthy, well adjusted life.
However, it is important to realize that you cannot do it alone. Successful single parents take advantage of support systems and community resources to help them face every day challenges. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources available in the Kansas City area.
The biggest problem that most single parents face is how to maintain a job while also making sure that their child is cared for. Daycare is outrageously expensive, and it takes a very high paying job to pay the bills and the daycare both. However, you do have some options.
If your children are school aged, you can take advantage of after school programs. Every school district in the area has a before and after school program. It allows you to drop off your child before the start of school, and pick them up after school, usually by 5 or 6 pm. The programs are fairly inexpensive. If you meet income guidelines, you may even be able to have the program paid for by the state.
If you have younger children that are not yet in school it can be more difficult. The best option is to turn to friends and family you trust that are willing to care for your child while you are at work. You can offer to pay them for their time, but it will be much cheaper than paying for actual daycare. If you don’t have this option, you can turn to the state of Missouri for daycare assistance. You can arrange to have a portion of the daycare costs covered by the state, making it affordable if you meet certain guidelines. You can get more information about this program at the DSS website.
Another problem that single parents face is that they are on their own in making parenting decisions. This is where a support system comes into play. Since you don’t have a co-parent to help you make decisions, you need someone to talk to that will help you come up with solutions to everyday problems and discipline. The best option for this is, again, friends and family who are parents themselves.
However, if you don’t have friends and family to back you up, you can still have support. There are many support groups for single parents in Kansas City. These groups are populated with other single parents, some of whom have been so for a long time. You can get great ideas, support, and find other resources through these groups. One of the best is Parents Without Partners. They have a chapter in Independence, Missouri.
Being a single parent can be very demanding, but you cannot let it overwhelm you. Remember that there are two important aspects of being a single parent—providing enough love for your child that they feel special and wanted, and making sure your child is safe and well cared for. These may seem impossible at times, but as long as you strive to meet those two goals, your child will grow up happy and healthy.