I've been thinking about how to create a better support system and expand the one I already have, as a single mom. My parents don't live in the country and my ex, while supportive in terms of (mostly) sticking to access arrangements with DS, and occasionally bening open to extra visits if I need it, isn't supportive in any other way - we have a pretty up and down relationship. Most of my friends with kids are partnered, one of my neighbours occasionally swaps childcare with me for short periods but she's not very available. I have another one who has swapped childcare with me for a long time now but I no longer want to do this as her discipline methods differ wildly and I think it's not good and confusing for my child (and frustrating for me looking after a child who acts out as a result of being over controlled). She is still able to babysit on the odd occasion at night but I don't want to set up favours anymore, rather I'd like to be able to pay her but I don't have the means most of the time. I know two single mothers in the area, one lives on my road in fact, but their kids are younger. Still, I was thinking of meeting up with them more formally (they're both open) and seeing if and how we can support each other more. I've heard of single mothers who share houses so they can all get out and see boyfriends etc, but I have decided sharing a house is not for me. I've also heard of single mothers having their kids sleep over at each other's house but my son's a bit too young for that (he''s three).
Anyway I am curious about how you create support around yourself, not only in terms of childcare, but just support like, someone to talk to and share the challenges of being a single mother? I'm thinking about things like when you are sick and there's no one around to help. That sort of thing.