Q: I’m a 36-year-old, unmarried, single parent. I was wondering what it takes to get started on the road to self-sufficiency. I’ve tried school and haven’t quite succeeded due to transportation problems or financial obligations. I’m a quick learner, flexible, not afraid of a challenge. Please help me get through this. I’ve been trying for so long.
—D. Caesar, Moreno Valley, CA
A: Your cry for help is typical of someone who may be a bit overwhelmed. One solution is to pick one goal to accomplish. If you want to attend school, for example, find out everything you need to know—from admissions requirements to course selection—before you begin to worry about how to get there. This is where the dean of students, advisers, and continuing education professionals can help. Once people see you’re committed to the process, they will assist you.
For more help, seek out support groups in your area, ask your children to help support your goals (because mommy can’t do it all), talk to local organizations and community schools about free programs for single parents, and log on to sites such as www.clubmom.com, a national membership organization for moms, and www.ocfamily.com, a site dedicated to single parents in Orange County, California. Don’t let circumstance hinder your goals. Asking for help is a positive step in the right direction.