In December 2020, I moved to New York City for a dream job; the chance to connect with and support others like myself, to humbly attempt to ensure they had what I felt I lacked in those early years post-loss: support. People tried to help me many times in many ways, don’t get me wrong, but at the end of the day I really was alone. I never wanted anyone going through traumatic loss to feel so DEEPLY alone.
In July 2021, I relocated back to North Carolina from NYC and by the Grace of God was able to bring an abbreviated version of my dream job back to the south with me. I loved New York City, to be clear, but I was still in a variety of circumstances, impacted by several factors, that left me with little support as a struggling single parent.
Needless to say, moving hundreds of miles away twice in less than ten months added its own challenges. I could see the struggle I was in, but I could not see where I was going; I could not imagine having the level of support that would truly help me thrive. I had honestly never experienced it before. I had been a lone wolf as long as I could remember for a lot of reasons, and that was all I knew.
Others could see what I could not though and gently, they and God guided me into my current position. It has been a year and a half of settling into it and developing it fully, still in process always, and yet, I can see how far I have come; see the other side I have now arrived at having more support than ever before, and feeling ways I cannot begin to describe.
Having deep support changes everything. It really does.
What is this support I speak of?! To begin with, friends that are local to me. For YEARS, all my friends had always been geographically distant. By the time I developed a friendship, I was on the go again to a new place. Now, here, I have friends in my area to talk with and enjoy life with, which is probably my favorite thing about being here.
I have a psychologist who supports me remotely out of the kindness of his heart when I am struggling emotionally. I have medical and psychological support available to me locally, in person, when needed; and a great dentist nearby for myself and the kids. I have an elementary school who provides stable academic and social support for my kids; and their own psychological support there as needed.
I have a person who is kind enough to offer me financial support and guidance to ensure wellness in that area of my life. I have my job for occupational support; as in having meaningful work to do with my life. I have my Mary Kay Director for entrepreneurial support which is a beautiful blessing alongside my job. I have a church home where we have faith support and community.
I have my friends for childcare support and another friend for “in case of emergency” support. I have JuicePlus and a Wellness facility locally for micronutrient support. I have boatloads of personal nutritional knowledge and experience for nutritional support. I have a local track and YMCA nearby for exercise support. I have a man who I am growing to deeply enjoy who has recently given me “romantic” support. I have a whole host of resources for encouragement and inspirational support.
The point is, wellness is holistic. We need all these things for a balanced, healthy, meaningful life. As much of them as possible anyway. So my question to you is this. If you are struggling in any one or more of these areas, could it be because you are lacking support? If so, mark support as your NUMBER 1 PRIORITY. Find it. Create it. Develop it. It will not happen overnight, but it will change everything.
Whether you are lacking support in local friendships, healthcare needs and concerns, motivational support, childcare support, or otherwise, if you are a single parent, YOU need support because it is on YOU to support your kids and if you are not supported, you will inevitably crumble under the weight eventually. Take care of yourself. Identify what you need. Find it. And fight for it. It looks deeply different for each and every one of us, but it is out there.
In solo parent circumstances, it definitely takes some creative measures for many of us, but it is absolutely critical to our wellness and operational success as parents. For years, I did not have the most basic of the support I mentioned, the “in case of emergency local contact” and I know how painful and scary that can be when you feel like it all falls on you and you have no backup. Identify backup. Employ them. Even if you have to pay for it. It is worth it for your well-being. For your peace.
Wishing you peaceful parenting,