Daniel – “It takes a village to raise twins.”

Daniel’s experience as a single parent began when his sons, Elias and Aiden, were 8 months old. The task of raising twins, he says, has been the most challenging and rewarding of his life. He has embraced single-parenthood wholeheartedly, and brings determination, compassion and love aplenty to his role.

Some of the challenges Daniel has faced include balancing his children’s day-to-day needs with work and financial responsibilities, and sometimes having to stretch the days and dollars far enough to make ends meet. He also finds that while he benefits from co-parenting with his sons’ mother, being a single parent can feel lonely at times “when things get really hard and I wish someone had my back.”

Thanks to his determined and optimistic attitude, and his willingness to learn, grow and reach out to others, Daniel has built a strong and nurturing environment for his family. Without extended family nearby to lean on, he has created his own circle of kinship and peer support, mostly with other single parents. As he says, “It takes a village to raise twins.”

Asking for support was a big step for Daniel, but seeing a friend access the resources at 1UP inspired him to become a member too. Once he did, he discovered a vibrant and caring space where he could build connections with other one-parent families, and access programs and services that met his immediate needs. He jumped in with both feet, participating in parenting courses, one-on-one services such as counselling and parent coaching and the Dads with Dads support group. Daniel also appreciated receiving free practical support like food, clothing, hampers and school supplies.

Daniel believes that his experience at 1UP helped build his confidence as a parent and gave him a sense of “always feeling enough”. Now, he feels that he is at a point to give back as a 1UP peer support volunteer in order to serve other single parents who reach out for assistance. As he says, “Community is our family, and building it successfully takes time and work.”