I am in my early 30's and have been a single parent for many many years. I have my two beautiful crazy son's, whom I love to absolute bits, but they can and do drive me batty at the best of times. There is no denying it, single parenting is one hell of a crazy, emotional, challenging and rewarding journey. I have my boys fulltime, and am a single parent in every sense - I am not in a relationship, and my boys father is inactive in their lives due to his own choice. They see him a couple of times every year, more often than not at family occasions, but he just doesn't seem interested in being a parent, he's more like an uncle that they don't really know all that well. There are a lot of stories that come off of that, but they can be told at a later date.
I am currently a fulltime student, and have just finished my 2nd year of a 3 year degree. I am studying towards being a social worker/community developer, with community development as my main career focus, with having the security of social work to fall back on when jobs are scarce in com dev. With the exception of parenting on my own, studying has been the most challenging thing I have ever done, especially since the challenge increases when you are a parent. I have had many times where I've hit the wall and wanted to throw it all in, but it is something that I have to do to make a better life for my children, giving up is just not a possibility. I am proud of myself for how far I've come, and I am ecstatic that next year will be my last year - I'm on the home run to getting my degree!! I take my hat off to any single parent out there who goes through a course of study, it is not easy - far from it, but it is so worth it. To break through the bounds of financial restraint will open up a whole new world for us, financial stress is a horrible burden that many of us carry, but rise above it we can and shall!!
I am very fortunate to have supportive family around me. I live in Auckland, a born and bred westie - the Waitakere's will always run through my blood, and I have my family support base in West Auckland also. I few years back, my boys and I relocated down to Tauranga for a couple of years. It's was a fantastic journey that took me on a discovery to finding me, who I was, and what I wanted from life. I also learnt how difficult it was being a single parent without family support around, and how much the community lacked support for single parents. Seeing the need, I set up a support group for single parents, through which I found my passion for community work, and some fantastic friendships were formed. If you do not have support from family around you, it is important to have a base of solid friendships with good people, they will become your family support and you and your children will thrive from it.
Relocating back to Auckland saw me leave that fantastic journey behind, but from it I brought this website with me. It has been a work in progress (very slow progress), and it is one of my goals to use its valuable resourcefulness to it's full potential to link single parents to support networks in their areas, as well as having this as a fantastic online support base. I really encourage you to participate in our forums, the more who use the forums, the more everyone can get from them. An upside to using the forums instead of Facebook groups is that you can remain anonymous with your postings. With anonymity there is no chance that your ex, or others close to him will be able to identify you. Create yourself a profile and get posting!
This has been a quick post, and I'm feeling tired, so will end with this; Remember who you are and where you've come from, keep the good and shake off the bad, your future has not yet been set in stone, take forth the good and ride the journey; only you can truly determine who you are!