Meet Jacey Bagwell, a single mother living in Early County. As a part of Early Choices’ continued efforts to support local parents in raising happy, confident kids, we are bringing you profiles of local parents and grandparents as well as inviting guest bloggers from across the country to write about their own experiences. Our goal? To arm parents in our area with tools to become more confident in their parenting skills by addressing common challenges that today’s moms, dads and grandparents face every day.
As a single parent, Jacey can shed some light on the demands – and rewards – that come with this particular type of family structure.
Jacey and her son, Kacen, usually start their day around 6 AM. Getting up and making breakfast together is the norm for this single mom and her 4 year old son. It’s non-stop once the morning meal is over, though – school for both Kacen and his mom, who is a full-time student at Albany State College; carline, afternoon snack, coloring for Kacen, homework for Jacey, dinner, bath, bedtime…and then start all over again.
“Being a single parent is both rewarding and trying,” Jacey says. “I love the time I get to spend with Kacen, and the bond we share. But since it is just the two of us, I don’t have anyone to take over when I need a minute to breathe or need space.” Most single parents out there can probably relate to this Early County mom’s statement. Parenting is not easy in the most ideal of circumstances – and when doing it solo, there are added challenges.
“My most difficult moment this week was when I got home one afternoon and had a million things to do, but Kacen insisted on following me around everywhere, demanding everything,” recalls Jacey. “I became quickly overwhelmed and decided to call my mom to come help.”
Early Choices: We’re Here to Help!
The struggle of balancing being a self-sufficient single parent and asking for help can be a difficult one to overcome. As parents, many of us want to think we can handle it all – which is, frankly, not reality. One of the myths Early Choices’ Parenting Initiative hopes to shatter is that parents magically know to handle everything, along with dispelling the stigma that can be associated with seeking advice.
“We receive education and training for everything in life except the most important job of all – parenting!” says Gwen Houston, Executive Director, Early County Family Connection. “Our goal is to change that by offering group cafes, events and individual sessions to parents in our area.”
Whether you’re a single parent, like Jacey, the parent of a special needs child, a homeschooling mom or dad, parents of multiples or any number of family scenarios – Early Choices hopes to be a place where you can come with your questions, your answers, your needs and your experiences. Stay tuned – we’ve got lots more coming your way… Read more about the Triple P Parenting Program here!