Thankful for Connection
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s a natural time to reflect on what we’re grateful for. Some of the main things that come up for many of us are our families and friends.
Giving thanks is something that is familiar for the members of our YWCA Single Mothers’ Support Groups.
Each week, single mothers meet in one of our support groups offered in 16 locations across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. These groups exist as an opportunity for single moms to share support and resources and to connect with one another. The participants have often told us that the group begins to feel like family to them.
Despite the stress and difficulties many members face, the group becomes a safe place to talk about the challenges and to celebrate the victories they experience as single parents. The groups also offer free childminding, so while the moms connect during the meetings, their children play together and often form tight bonds.
This month several of the groups will have the opportunity to share a Thanksgiving meal together, others will gather around coffee and cookies, but the spirit remains the same - a shared time to connect and to reflect on what we’re thankful for.
The weekly meetings give single moms the chance to create a family from the friends they have made. This support often allows the moms to feel supported to redefine their own values and priorities based on what is important to them, with the understanding that family isn’t only what we’re born into, but what we value and those who we choose to be in our lives.
Holidays can be a stressful time, but connection often helps us keep perspective. Thanksgiving is less about one big meal and more about taking time to be grateful for the connections we create and the journey we share.
“I’m thankful for the support in our group so I can keep myself going on the rough days by having encouragement from lovely friends and facilitator. I know I am not alone and I can be confident to raise my daughter.” – Program Participant, Burnaby Support Group
If you’re a single mom living in Metro Vancouver, consider connecting with a YWCA Single Mothers’ Support Group. They are a great way to meet other single mothers and connect with resources and supports in your community. The groups meet weekly and free child minding is provided.
Jenn Bateman is the Program Coordinator for YWCA Single Mother’s Support Services. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.