The adage that “It takes a village to raise a child” is more applicable today than ever.
But sometimes that “village” is elusive, especially for single mothers. Decades ago the village used to consists of relatives. Grandparents and other relatives pitched in to help raise kids.
Times have changed and economics sometimes demand moving away from the family to pursue work opportunities. However, there are resources and networks available to ensure children have what they need to live wholesome, decent, and productive lives.
So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I offer these reminders that help is available. Moms, especially single moms, don’t have to raise their kids alone:
Use technology. Kids need to feel rooted, like they belong to something bigger than themselves, and this is something that families can provide. Grandparents play a vital role in helping children understand where they come from. If you live far away from your relatives, make sure you stay connected through technology. Social media sites like Facebook and Skype are great because you can communicate in real time. If older relatives are not up to speed with social media, make time to teach them. Better yet, if your kids are old enough, let them be the teacher.
Religious and Community Groups. Your local church, school, parks, sports clubs and community groups all have youth programs that are usually free or low cost. These are invaluable resources for mothers, as they provide safe havens, age-appropriate activities and academic assistance. Plus, they give kids a myriad of things to do to keep them active and out of trouble. Inglewood has a teen center that meets weekly at the Inglewood Public Library. Go to the city website and find out more about it by calling the South Bay Workforce Investment Board at (310) 970-7700.
Volunteer work. One of the best things you can do for your children is to get them involved in volunteer work. Kids develop compassion for others by being around people who need their help. Volunteering at soup kitchens, teaching others to read or raising money for a good cause gives them a sense of purpose, which they will carry with them into adulthood. Serving others should always be encouraged, and it is never too early to start.
Lean on Others. We all know single mothers who have done amazing jobs of raising their kids. They deserve a lot of credit for how their kids have turned out, especially if the father was not around. But many of them will tell you they had help. They sought advice from older women, they weren’t afraid to get law enforcement involved if needed, they were willing to rely on others and allow a few key people into their lives.
Inglewood Today wishes moms everywhere—married and single—a very happy Mother’s Day. We hope your “village” will continue to be strong and supportive.