Janesville57.4°

New support group aids single moms

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
October 3, 2009
— When the women’s ministry at Emmanuel Free Methodist Church wondered what it could do for the women in its parish, the subject of single moms came up.

That’s when member Denise DeRemer jumped on board.


“I’d been wanting to do something for several years but never knew how to make that happen until now,’’ DeRemer said.


The 39-year-old Janesville woman has been a single mom for almost 12 years.


Thanks to DeRemer and the women’s ministry efforts, the support group Parenting Single, Together was established last month. It’s open to single moms of all faiths and their children.


The first meeting Sept. 23 was attended by nine women and their children, DeRemer said.


“I think it will grow as the community becomes aware of it, and we want to work with other organizations that work with single moms in the future,’’ she said.


The community is good at providing life skills’ information on topics such as budgeting and child discipline, but there’s not much available to support single moms with everyday and emotional issues, she said.


“We need to know that what we’re doing and the way we’re feeling is OK,’’ she said.


The support group creates a nonjudgmental, open atmosphere where members can relate to each another and share experiences, she said. It’s the kind of support that single moms might not be able to find with family, friends or church.


“To have someone really understand where you’re coming from will help me grow and become strong. You still have that need to feel like you belong and are not that third wheel,’’ she said.


Participants filled out an introductory survey at the first meeting, and each was given a journal that will be used to spark conversation. Every meeting, however, will not be so structured, DeRemer said.


“We’re just trying to get used to each other, tell our stories and want (single) moms coming in to let us know what they are looking for in this group’’ she said.


For now, moms will spend the first half hour doing activities with their children. Then they’ll split into groups. Childcare is available.


“My whole purpose is sharing my experience and what I’ve been through as a single mom,’’ DeRemer said, “day-to-day struggles everybody faces that seem multiplied when you’re a single mom.”


IF YOU GO


What: Parenting Single, Together, a new support group for single moms and their children. It’s open to single moms of any faith and their children. Childcare is available.


When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 7, 14, 21 and 28, Nov. 4 and 11.


Where: Emmanuel Free Methodist Church, 4224 Whilden Court, Janesville.


To learn more: Go online to emmanuelfmc.org/singlemoms.htm, e-mail parentingsingletogether@gmail.com or call (608) 755-1450.



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