Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups. According to the site, “Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. More than 9,000 groups get together in local communities each day, each one with the goal of improving themselves or their communities.” With just a simple search, a single mom can find groups in or close to where she lives.
From New York City to the Bay Area, single-parent Meetup groups are as popular as ever. As with any type of social networking activity, you’ll have to feel out the meetup to make sure it’s a right fit for you. Also, it’s wise to make sure you get to know the other parents before making any big leaps into each other’s life.
Carla Rhodes, a single parent and psychologist based out of Maryland, appreciates her network of single parents. “Single parents tend to be more aware of the value of personal time and are willing to exchange child care with other people in the same predicament,” she says.
If venturing out online isn’t your cup of tea, participating in your child’s school activities is another good way to network with parents. Research shows that children whose parents play an active role in their education have better grades and fewer disciplinary problems. So why not join the PTA to network with other parents who are involved in their children’s education? The camaraderie I built with other PTA parents was definitely something I appreciated. After our weekly meetings were over, we always planned activities outside the classroom.
Being a single parent doesn’t mean you’re alone in the game. Your village is out there—you just have to find ways to discover it. To this day, I’m still friends with many of the single parents I associated with when I moved to Maryland. Now, as the mother of a teenager, I realize that networking with other single parents was the best thing I could have done. Not only can you share your own experiences and issues, but you can also learn from others in situations similar to your own.