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Updated: Dec 16, 2021

Hello Single Parents,

SPARC is continuously working on projects to benefit single parents in our local community and across the nation. One aspect of the project is to make recommendations for programs and policy improvements that will improve our lives and that of our children. Here is where we need your help. Think of the policies that affect your lives and that of your children. Examples, child care, child care assistance, access to education, family leave, sick/personal leave, flextime at work, small business opportunities, chiid support/visitation, anything at all. If you can think of a way to improve these policies or make them more effective, please let us know. We intend to compile all of them and present them to the appropriate parties. Your voice WILL be heard!

Also, please share any recommendations for program ideas you have that will help.

We want to hear from everyone so feel free to post your thoughts.

Speak up! We are listening!

We appreciate your support!

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Updated: Dec 16, 2021

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore– And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over– like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes

This is one of my favorite poems for several reasons. When I was younger, I used this poem as my impetus, my inspiration for working hard to make all of my dreams come true. I did not know what happened to a dream deferred but I was certain I did not want any of my dreams festering inside of me. I wanted to live them out in freedom and celebration. As I matured, some of my dreams changed, but they were never deferred.

It was single parenthood that introduced me to deferred dreams. Putting the needs of my children before my personal amibitions, dreams and goals was the right thing to do and for that I have no regrets. However, as my children transition from dependence to independence, I have time to revisit my personal dreams that have been deferred.

My situation is not unique. Single parents have often had to defer their own dreams in order to help their children make theirs come true. This is the natural order of things and I hope that single parents willingly do this with love and without regret. However, to defer a dream is not to deny it. Single parents, don’t forget your dreams! Keep them safe until the time is right for you to revive them and make them come true. Write your dreams down. Keep them close to you where you can see them regularly.

Often we get so caught up in the struggle of making it from day to day that we forget our dreams and begin to think that the struggle is all there is. We live and breathe this struggle and its all we think and all that we know. One day, we even start to believe that it is all we are. But I say no. We are more than our struggle. We are still the dreams we had before this struggle began and because this stuggle won’t last for always, there are still some dreams we can have when we have overcome this struggle.

I invite you to post your dreams below. Who were you before you became a single parent? What were your dreams then? What are your dreams now? Do not push them aside and do not forget about them. Share them. Share your dreams with me. Share them with other single parents who need someone to help them keep their dreams alive. Whatever you do, whatever happens, whatever your struggle, don’t stop dreaming!

Single Parents, dreams deferred are NOT dreams denied. Post your dreams below.

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Updated: Dec 16, 2021

One of the major “theme songs”, if you will, of a successful single parent’s journey could be “single does not mean alone”. I learned that early in my own journey after feeling totally overwhelmed by the sheer weight of all of the responsibility. What worked for me, and can work for you, is recruiting others who, though they are not responsible for your child(ren), are invested in them enough to support your efforts to raise them to be healthy and productive adults.

An African proverb states, “it takes a village to raise a child”. That statement refers to any child, every child, YOUR child. If that is the case, how then, as a single parent, are you expected to raise your child on your own? Single parents, take heart – you are not.

One of the most important and empowering steps you can take as a single parent is to make the conscious decision not to parent alone, and then make that same conscious effort to recruit people to be a part of your support network. Aye, this theory appears to fly in the face of “single ” parenthood but again, single does not mean alone. Single simply means one. That means you are the one person with the responsibility to ensure that you have a network in place to support you as well as your child. As phenomenal a single parent as you may be, both you and your child(ren) are going to need additional support. Extended family, friends, neighbors, teachers, clergy, mentors, support groups, etc will all play an important role in supporting you as you nurture your healthy family.

Your ease of establishing this network depends on both your current situation and the extra steps you are willing to take. If you are currently involved in several activities, view your associates with new eyes. What position can they play in your network? If you are not involved in activities, GET INVOLVED. Parenting classes, community athletics for your child, faith based activities, PTA’s, neighborhood associations, and so forth can all be fertile ground for recruiting members for your network.

Please feel free to use this site as a part of your network. Articles posted here will encourage and equip you for the single parent journey ahead.

Happy travels!

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