When you became a single mom, you probably braced yourself for the tighter budget and more hectic schedule. But one unexpected area where a lot of single moms emotionally struggle is having a lack of community. I didn’t lose any friends in my divorce, but at the same time, something shifted in many of my relationships. They still loved me and I loved them, but things were different.
When I connected with another mom who’d gone through a divorce a year before me, I felt an instant bond. It’s similar to how two moms can connect on the playground—you have this commonality that creates instant community. A lot of single parents looking for friends don’t know where to look. If you’re lonely or need people to help you make a fresh start, here are a few places you can find community.
There are Facebook groups for just about everything these days. A woman I know started a private group for divorced women where they could share their struggles, encourage one another, and offer prayers. The privacy of the group meant women could feel safe to speak more openly, but the rules that were set kept it positive and not a place of ex-bashing. Finding a group that feels right might be tricky, but once you do, I think you’ll get an instant sense of community and feel less alone.
I heard about meetup.com years ago and wondered if it was safe and if anyone actually used it. Then I met my friends Colleen and Jennifer. After a year or so of knowing them, I said, “You guys were already friends when I met you. How did you meet?” Lo and behold, they met on meetup.com at a time when they both were searching for a friend. It might be a step outside your comfort zone, but when you think about it, the other people using it are in the same boat as you—they’re searching for friendship!
Sitting in a circle and talking about your issues might sound like a nightmare, but research shows that group therapy can be just as effective as individual therapy, and it’s usually much more affordable. If you’re not sold on the therapy part of it but like the idea of talking to other people in your same situation, groups like Divorce Care or a young widows support group might just be the place where you find your “people.”
Single parents looking for friends who don’t constantly talk about marriage might find it in a book club. You can get a break from talking and thinking about single life and just be you! And thanks to Zoom, you don’t even have to leave your house (or your couch, for that matter), which means no babysitter! If you’re a bit introverted and the idea of walking into a room full of strangers and making small talk makes you anxious, you’ll probably be in good company in a book club. And if all that isn’t enough, since the clubs usually meet weekly, it will give you a set date to look forward to. How do you find a book club? Start by checking the bulletin board at your library, community center, or indy book store.
Sure, the primary reason to go to church is to worship, but it’s also a place to find community. Before you say there’s no singles group at your church, consider that it might just not be an official ministry. If you’re not a member of a church but live near one, go to its website and do a search or shoot an email to a staff member. He or she might be able to point you in a direction you weren’t even expecting.Sure, the primary reason to go to church is to worship, but it’s also a place to find community. Click To Tweet
Where have you found community as a single mom?