Judy separated from her ex-partner seven years ago, when her children were aged only 3 and 1. Judy was in total loneliness and depression. Her friends had abandoned her, and even her own family members frowned upon her. Judy had no motivation to put on a smile for her boys, knowing that their family was broken, and that it would never be the same. For a year she was all by herself with her two boys.
Judy will always remember the day she met a stranger at a park who suggested the 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre to her. Hesitant, not knowing anything about 1Up she decided to give it a try. Looking back Judy says she knew even less how much the Centre would change her life. From the moment she stepped into that place Judy felt open arms embrace her – with no judgement, just an eagerness to listen.
After a couple of counselling sessions, the Moms and Mentors Program was suggested to Judy. She entered the program nervously, thinking there couldn’t be anything she could benefit from joining. In her words, “I was so wrong!” Judy met many other single Moms who were in far worse situations than she was. And they sought out her advice – even though she wasn’t a mentor. Understanding that Judy had some of her own issues to deal with, the program coordinator matched her perfectly with a mentor who is now like a best friend. Even though that first “match” ended years ago, Judy has continued a friendship that she thought would slowly fade away, and she has maintained her involvement in the program.
Judy treasures the valuable connections she’s made with other single Moms and the enduring friendships she developed with some of her mentors. “Without that first step of admitting I needed help, my life would not be as fulfilled as it is now.” Judy has made her sons her priority, and enjoys a close relationship with them. Even communication with her ex-husband has improved greatly, without the previous difficulty and hostility.
Judy credits the Moms and Mentors Program for the clarity and the closure she was able to achieve in her life, and wishes she had gotten the stranger’s name and phone number so she could thank her for the referral to 1Up. “Without her I don’t know what I would have done 7 years ago. I sometimes think she might have been an angel, because I go back to that park hoping I’ll bump into her, and I never see her.”
In the midst of a very busy life raising two sons as a single parent, Judy also completed the 1Up Peer Helper Training program. She is now a passionate and dedicated volunteer at the Centre, offering support, encouragement and inspiration to other single parents.
**name changed to protect the identity of member