There was a day when being a single parent earned public scorn. The assumption was that you must be immoral to have ended this way. But times have changed. The past decades have seen a dramatic increase in the number of single-parent households, and there’s no stigma attached to the status today.
Single parents who are facing financial hardships can find help today. Society is recognizing that “it takes a village to raise a child,” and governments are providing more financial assistance for families in financial distress.
And the help is not limited to white Americans. Black single parents face the same challenges and hardships as any other single parents, and government assistance programs are color-blind.
For example, black single parents in Arkansas can apply for a special scholarship program that helps them attend college. The attend school for free and receive a stipend every month to help meet expenses. The State of Arkansas believes that children will grow up to be better citizens if their parent is better educated. And Arkansas does not require both parents to be present to recognize a family. Single-parent families are as important in Arkansas as any family unit.
Black single parents who are unemployed can also get help from state and local governments to find a job. Employment offices will try to find work near the home for single parents who must also manage their household. In fact, they may offer financial assistance while the black single parent is job hunting.
To find sources of assistance in your state or community, check the blue section of your yellow pages. Look for family assistance, unemployment, and children’s welfare agencies and departments, and start calling. It may take some time to find that one person who really cares, but you will find help if you are patient and persistent.
Some local governments will advise both white and black single mothers to work from the home to give them more time to care for their children. The Internet offers opportunities to earn supplemental income from home. It’s not just a dating service! If you have the determination to learn and the patience to persist, you can earn a living from the Internet.
Online shopping services rake in millions, if not billions, of dollars every day. Selling their products through your own website can earn you commissions. There are also many opportunities to find work as a virtual secretary, writer, host for a forum, or a survey poller. And with a little help, you can sell your own products and services over the web. Having your name and number show up when someone queries for a local service is a great way to find additional work.
Trying to earn a living to support your family while also caring for your children is a stressful full-time job. As a single black parent, you may need to find some support to help you cope with daily stresses and the transition from one way of life to another.
Group therapy sessions are a great way to find a listening ear and emotional support when you are going through these struggles. The other group members are in the same situation, so they understand you and your problems. They can offer advice based on lessons they’ve learned while dealing with the same issues. Your local government may even sponsor such a group. Check out local services to see if that free service is available to you.
Support and therapy groups can help solve problems before they even come up. Group members know what you’re going through because they’ve been there. They may be able to help you build strong healthy relationships with your children. They may have solutions to household repair problems that you didn’t think of. If you don’t have a network of close friends to play that role, you may find a single parent group the perfect support system.
Black single parents need to take advantage of all the opportunities and services their state and local governments offer. It’s time to let go of that stubborn pride and admit you can’t do it all alone. Your children need a happy healthy parent, and you need to be there for them. If you don’t take advantage of the programs out there, you’ve cheated yourself and your family.