Finding your single parent network is an absolute game-changer in your frolo journey. Connecting with other single mums and dads, particularly ones who are in the same situation as you are, can make you feel instantly less alone. As well as being an understanding ear, surrounding yourself with families that look like yours will not only be good for you, but for your kids, too. But where can you meet other single parents?
Frolo Founder and CEO Zoë Desmond created the app after she became a single mum herself. She felt the need to meet other single parents in her area to build a social circle for herself and her son, and her efforts grew into a UK and Ireland-wide app, which is set to go global to help single parents all over the world stay connected.
The app, which features full user verification to ensure a safe user experience, not only allows people to connect with other single mums and dads online, but allows users to find single parents in their area. You’ll receive a notification when a new single parent in your area joins the app, and you can connect with them via the app, even searching by the age of your children so that you can find parents with kids the same age to connect with. There are also groups and message boards organised by area so that you can stay updated with local meet-ups.
Attending a single parent social group can feel a bit intimidating, but Frolo meets are frequently attended by single parents who haven’t met any of the other parents beforehand. If you’re nervous to take the plunge, consider joining an online meetup beforehand so that there will be one or two friendly faces in attendance. There are two types of groups organised through the app, those that are suitable to attend with kids, which are often at parks or child-friendly events, or adult-only meetups that are great for your evenings off, to enjoy a beer or a coffee with single dads and solo mums that will ‘get it’.
Of course, there are other ways to find single parents in your area. Since roughly one in four families in the UK is headed by a single parent at any given time, if you meet enough mums and dads, some of them are likely to be doing it on their own, too! The best way to meet other single mums and dads in your area organically is to be as active as possible when it comes to your child’s social life. Chat to mums and dads at nursery or at the school gates, the chances are you’ll start to figure out who’s single, either by mention of ‘mum’s house or dad’s house’ from a child, or by the ever-so-slightly manic look in the parent’s eyes! Be the one to put your single parent status out there first, and you’ll be surprised by how many people will follow by sharing their own complex family stories, or be happy to connect you to other solo parents in the area.
While being active in your child’s social activities and clubs is a great way to connect with other parents, be sure not to overstretch yourself. Volunteering to be the class rep, the football manager and head up the bake sale might be lovely ideas, but remember you’re already doing two parents’ jobs at once. Single parents have a habit of overcompensating when they’re new to solo life and volunteering for everything, so only say yes if you genuinely have the capacity, and the will!