Parenting is a tough task. Diapers and feeding fill the early years, while help with homework and saving for college tuition are in the forecasted job description. But for women who are taking on the responsibility alone, the regular duties are doubled -- then added to the stress of overcoming stigmas attached to single motherhood.
Women in the Baltimore area who have opted for single `f motherhood, as well as those considering the challenge, can find support, education and resources through 12 weekly meetings beginning tonight.
"I hope the group gives people a sense of affirmation that their choice is valid," says Ellen Dumonceau, a clinical social worker who is one of the leaders of Mothers on Their Own, an independent group sponsored by the Towson mental health practice of Gloria Vanderhorst and Associates.
Mothers on Their Own will provide a network of individuals who can help one another deal with the questions and problems that arise when a mother is raising a child alone. But, Dr. Vanderhorst says, "We wanted to do a little bit more than leaderless support."
The sessions will be led by Ms. Dumonceau, whose daughter is a single mother-to-be, and Lesley Martinelli, a psychology associate. Guest speakers include a lawyer specializing in domestic law, who will offer guidance on topics such as paternity suits and child support, and a gynecologist, who will provide medical expertise. Other topics will include financial planning, creating a support system, and coping with negative attitudes from others.
What: Mothers on Their Own.
When: Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
Where: Gloria Vanderhorst and Associates, 101 E. Chesapeake Ave., Towson.
Fee: $25 per session or $250 for all 12 weeks.
Call: (410) 321-6327.
Advance registration is suggested.