As A Divorced Mom, I Know It Takes A Community to Raise A Child

Posted by Delaine - June 19, 2011 - Career & Money, Children, Financial Help for Parents, Parenting, Single Dads, Single Moms - 1 Comment

 

I never really understood – at a HEART level – what the expression “It takes a community to raise a child” meant.  But now that I’m a divorced single parent, I ‘get it.’

I’ve needed to rely on other people’s help these past few years in raising my three kids:  neighbors, friends, girlfriends’ husbands, even teachers and coaches.  They’ve each, in their own way, played a special role in my  children’s lives – from building their confidence, to acting as role models, to helping my kids feel loved and secure.  Even though these teaching didn’t come from the ‘nuclear family’ I’d always dreamed of giving of my kids, I realize the ‘who’ doesn’t matter as much as the ‘what’.  And in the end my kids have been well-loved – for that, I am incredibly grateful.

Since becoming a divorced single parent, I’ve developed a much strong social conscience.  I KNOW how hard it can be to single parent, I KNOW how stressful it is to want to give your kids the world yet come out short.

I’m also very aware that a lot of single parents have life situations much harder than my own: Way less money.  Way less opportunity.  Challenges and hardships I couldn’t begin to imagine…

This is why a program called Fresh Air Children recently caught my attention.  This program helps many children of divorce, aged six to eighteen, experience a new way of living beyond the streets of New York City – people can either sign up as a ‘host family’, and open thier homes to a child for a week or two during the summer, or they can make donations so that these kids at least get a chance to go to camp.

The majority of Fresh Air children grow up in towering apartment buildings without large, open, outdoor play spaces.  The things that we so often take for granted are true treasures to them…such as:

  • Playing in the backyard
  • Laughing in the sunshine
  • Catching fireflies
  • Riding bicycles
  • Learning to swim
  • Running barefoot through the grass
  • Gazing at the stars on moonlit nights
  • Building sandcastles
  • Making new friends
  • Simple pleasures of life away from the inner-city

I know a lot of you reading my site are not emotionally or financially in the position to take on a child right now.  But some of you may be in the position where you are – ‘giving back’ may be exactly what you want to do at this point in your life.  Cause without a doubt, divorce teaches us that it takes a community to raise a child.

Please watch the video below for more info on this program:

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