By Lisa Ivory
Single Parent Support Coordinator
Can we survive as single parents? I'm sure a lot of single parents ask that question. Since my twins are still relatively young, they just turned twelve, I decided to ask a couple single moms of older twins. I first contacted Dr. Susan Griffith of Louisville MOTC (KY). Susan has fraternal twin boys, Brandon and Chad, who turned 21 in May. They are both now attending different colleges. Susan left their dad when the twins were eight months old. At first, her closest family lived 90 miles away, so when minor emergencies happened she relied on work and MOTC friends. When Brandon was 20 months old he almost died from an asthma attack, so Susan decided it was time to move closer to family.
Susan's advice to single parents is to "accept help from wherever it comes-family, work friends, MOTC friends, neighbors, church family." She also says to not feel guilty about carry-out or microwave meals. "The important thing is to have time to spend with your kids when you're home from work." But what Susan feels is the most important piece of advice is "to have some time to your self! If you aren't in a good physical and mental state, you won't be the best mom you can be." Susan made sure she stayed active. Early on she went to aerobics classes regularly making sure she went to gyms with free child care. As her boys have gotten older, Susan has been able to do more things, like join a tennis league. She now plays three to four times a week in the winter and almost daily in the summer. She's also very active on church committees and in a book club. So yes, Susan did survive. She says she at times wonders how she managed, but she stuck to her own advice and made it through.
I then contacted Misty Fry of Sacramento MOMs (CA). Misty is a Creative Memories Consultant and volunteer for NOMOTC (our Executive Vice President). She has never been married, so it's always been just her and her fraternal girls, Kayleigh and Megan, who are 18 years old. Misty is lucky to have come from a large family and had lots of help. But when the twins were ten Misty and the girls moved about three hours away from family. Misty says it was a difficult adjustment for the girls, but she was able to rely on her friends at Northern California Assoc. of MOTC. Here was a "ready-made support base" just waiting to help out. Misty's biggest piece of advice is to "accept help when offered-it's very difficult to always be ‘on' and never get a break."
Misty's lifesaver was her bi-annual state convention. This was the time when she was able to get away from day-to-day parenting, and because of that large family, she always had someone willing to watch the girls for the weekend. Then Misty started attending the National Convention and says, "It was the best! I would go home so much more rested and ready to be a MOM again!" Now her daughters attend the convention themselves at times. So, once again, a single parent has survived. Misty gives credit to her family, both personal and within NOMOTC.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, single parents. If you feel you need help or contact with someone who is in the same situation, please contact me at
NOMOTC offers a pen pal service, as well as a brochure with support services for single parents.