Single parent network: connecting single parents

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Colin Cates
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
Most people have heard the saying, "children do not come with an instruction manual." Learning to be a parent can be a daily challenge, even more so as a single parent, and compounded with the lifestyle of a military member it could be a situation that would break many people.

Master Sgt. Kimberly Scott, founder, decided that breaking was not an option for her, so she created Holloman AFB's first Single Parent Network.

"I arrived at Holloman in June 2009 and learned many of the options out there for a single military mother, but Holloman AFB lacked a support group for single parents, which left me determined to reach out to others in the same situation," said Scott. "I had to figure out how to be a single parent. The last thing I wanted to be or had even planned for was being a single mother."

Holloman AFB's Single Parent Network is a group of military members who are either single parents or military to military families with a deployed member, who share information and experiences by meeting once a month to discuss important topics, learn what resources they have available to them, and share personal stories and ideas, said Master Sgt. Dawn Roundtree, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron training manager and president of SPN.

Some of the guest speakers who have attended the meetings include representatives from the 49th Wing legal office, who spoke to them about child custody in different states and other legal matters, and members of the 49th Force Support Squadron, who discussed single parent options regarding the Child Development Center. The Airman Family and Readiness Center also spoke to the group to share information about the many financial resources available to help single parents, along with their G.I. Bill benefits and transfer options.

"One of the biggest concerns single parents have is child care, and that is why it is so important for these single parents to know there are places for their children," said Scott. "Even if they work late or need to find a downtown child care facility, the Air Force has resources set in place just for those Airmen and the funding to make it affordable to them. We want the single parents to have the information they need to make the decisions they need to make for themselves and for their children."

Along with providing support and information through the network, the SPN also makes it a point to let the parents know what kid-friendly events are happening in the local area and have organized multiple network gatherings.

"We hold events like bowling nights and pool parties for single parents to meet one another and build connections," said Roundtree. "Knowing other single parents on base and possibly use each other for babysitting so that one parent can have a break is very important to a single parent. Giving back is also something we do by either volunteering or donating items like clothes to Center of Protective Environment. It is an opportunity for our parents to give to others who need help just like they do."

Being an Airman in today's Air Force is no easy task, and having to be a single parent at the same time is very challenging, but through the SPN, parents are reminded that while it is difficult, it is possible and well worth it.

"We tell our parents you're not going to be the first or the last single parent in the Air Force and there are ways to make it work," said Roundtree. "It's a good place to meet new people, but I think the biggest thing if you are a single parent is that it's a good place to get truthful advice,"

The SPN meets the first Wednesday of every month at noon in the Community Activity Center.

For more information, check out the SPN Facebook page at!/pages/Holloman-Single-Parents-Network/120936991287149