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Because family life matters

Single Parent Support: “On my own”

by Elaine Joy Ward


Adults who are single, whether they are unmarried, divorced, widowed or a parent, often describe themselves as “on my own”. I did that, I suppose because I didn’t want to tell others I was divorced yet “single” didn’t seem to describe my life with three children.

Over the years, I have come to see that the description “on my own” is unnecessarily negative, and in reality: not really the truth.

When I worked as a Life Coach, clients would describe themselves in this way too. I would nod my head seriously and say, “So you have no family, friends, church members or neighbours who support you?”

Straight away the client would reply by listing the people in their lives, from family, social worker, friends and their children’s friends’ parents who support and encourage them. So in reality few of us are “on our own”, though I am not denying there are days when we are at a low ebb and can really feel alone.

With that in mind, on a good day, it is worth listing our support network. I did this by drawing a daisy, with my name in the centre and in the petals around the centre writing the names of those I could call on when I needed support. Just the process of doing that was helpful, and it continues to remind me of the truth that I may be a single parent, but I am not “on my own”.