Single Parenting in Silver Spring – Guest Post by Danielle Ehrman

A reader wrote asking for this piece that originally ran on APISS over one year ago and so I’m reposting. The list of resources Danielle provides, as well as her heartfelt perspective, makes this guest post so memorable.

“So what’s her deal, anyway?”

This is what I fear is going through their heads as our kids play together, oblivious to the adult evaluations of one another. Well educated, well spoken, well traveled, yet with dark circles and disheveled appearance (at least in my estimation of how I “should” appear), I am well aware of the dichotomy I present.

It wasn’t always like this. I wasn’t always like this. I would go even further and say I was one of those people who would hardly ever be seen without an impeccable appearance. My eyes tear up at the very memory that three years ago things were very different. I lived on millionaire’s row, in Key Biscayne – waterfront property, a defendable 16 footer sitting in our personal peer, a Ferrari, a classic Mustang and a gem of a Fiat 500 in the garage.

None of it was mine. It all belonged to my ex, which was fine by me, it’s not the lifestyle I miss. It’s the total package of what could have been. Financially secure, a good future, an international life for my children and a man I truly loved. How could it not work out? One word: addiction. But that’s another story. What I want to focus on here is the plight of the single parent.

Often overlooked or looked down upon, until recently I never realize the stigma that comes with single parenting. Forget the fact that suddenly you are in financial duress, that if you have more than one child you are the outnumbered minority in your household. The fact that suddenly people give you static, well, it’s really quite daunting. I’ve learned that single parents range from women and men that are divorced or separated, those too young to be parents but brave enough to assume the consequences of their actions and widows and widowers. I’ve also learned a few things that I would like to share with other single parents.

First and foremost, you are not alone! Try not to despair, despite the fact that this will be your most prevalent emotion, it does go away eventually. You will get through this and you will be that much the stronger for it too!

Do seek help. Here are some important resources:

  • Montgomery County Health and Human Services has amazing services for single parents. They can help with child care, immunizations, health services and even financial assistance for those in need.
  • Houses of worship can also provide guidance, help with children and community.
  • SPARK (Single Parents Raising Kids) is a Rockville-based support group with a calendar of activities.
  • Divorce Central is a good site for local metro area resources, offering legal advice as well as child care guidance.
  • Single Parents Network has all sorts of chat rooms, tips, book reviews, a dating service and job postings.
  • Yahoo! Single Parents Group this is an interesting group with many members from all over the country.
  • A Parent in Silver Spring Thank you Jessica for letting us know about all the local events, goings-on, cool tidbits and ideas.

    I hope this information helps those who may need it. Being a parent, whether single or married, is very hard work. We should help support one another, and come together as a community to help raise our biggest assets: Our children.

    Danielle Ehrman is a single mother in Silver Spring.


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