Why Single Parenting for Success ?
I have read about how “it takes a village to raise a child” and I’m sure you have heard that phrase somewhere too. However, I believe that it really just takes a village, period.
In grade 7 I sat down with an elderly friend of my mom’s to interview her about the depression and how people managed and survived. The one important fact I learned from her sharing, was that back then everyone helped each other. It was the village taking care of the village.
When I became a single parent at 32, it became a very lonely world for me. Instead of neighbours stepping up to be there for me, even just to say “how are you doing today?”, they stepped back and I could see them as they gathered to whisper. They talked about what happened in my relationship. They whispered about the dirty little secrets my ex kept. Not one offered a helping hand. And because of the shame I felt and the embarrassment that I “chose” to let this happen to me (something I couldn’t believe I let happen), I became isolated . No village, just many days and evenings filled a lot of stress, sadness, bitterness and resentment. That went on for too long.
Then one day I saw a little bit of light through the crack of a window. My, now good friend and mentor, Penny Lee Prevost of the GradUit Network saw something, or knew something I didn’t. She was lovingly persistent and talked me into having a Dream Board Workshop. That was the day it became apparent to me that life did not have to continue the way it was. I could change my world, one step at a time.
Penny Lee became the leader of my village. You see, now I have more than a village, I have communities of loving individuals that inspire me as I am now able to inspire them. I knew I had to share what I found. I knew I had to help others either avoid challenges I encountered, or help them get through them easier – not alone.
And here, Single Parenting for Success was founded. Originally my granddaughter and I called it our “Dreams Come True Centre” because that was exactly what I wanted this centre to be. Where people who are parenting children on their own could come for support, education and training, not to mention a connection to the resources in the city, free of judgement. This is where I could make my dreams come true of helping other single parents. My vision, our vision, is one of a “home” filled with love and cozy furniture to hold workshops and get-togethers. Our children could come with us and participate in children’s programs that would help them develop. Children and parents can gain skills to embody self-confidence, empowerment and knowledge that will serve them well in every area of their lives.
This is only the beginning. What are your dreams? What would you like to see at the Centre? Would you like to be a member of our community/village?
Let your voice be heard, share your ideas, concerns and knowledge. Welcome!!
Liz M Raymond