Single, With Amazing Kids
In the Spring of 2012, Niki Rankin started SWAKlife (Single With Amazing Kids), a website and Facebook page that provides a community for single parents.
Raised right here in Alabama, Nikki graduated from Bob Jones High School and attended Alabama A&M before enlisting in the military. While in the military she got married, moved to various cities, eventually got divorced, and moved back to Huntsville for a fresh start. She’s a single parent to three beautiful, amazing children: Kennedy age 6, and fraternal twins Carter & Camden. “There is NEVER a dull moment in my house… never ever!”
“SWAKlife was created as a result of being a single parent myself and feeling overwhelmed at times with all the responsibilities, and just wishing for a support group to be able to lean on. Sometimes just having someone to listen and be there is the best thing you can have! (A glass of is a close second.) Seriously, parenthood is hard, period, but being a single parent is especially hard when EVERYTHING depends on you. Only other single parents truly understand the everyday trials and struggles that we go through and it’s great to be able to come together and support each other on this journey.
What makes SWAKlife unique is that we don’t just have single mothers, we have single fathers as well. There are a lot of great single fathers out here raising kids alone who don’t get any type of support or acknowledgment! Last year there was a single father raising two daughters who just needed help learning how to do their hair – we were able to actually find him a class at Spoiled Rockin’ Kids that taught him how to comb and style their hair!
In addition to emotional support, we also provide a network for babysitting, job hunting, and just helping out financially if we can. SWAKlife has the best supporters – many who are not parents at all, but sympathize with parents who are working & trying to provide for their children, not seeking a hand-out but a hand up when things get hard. Most single parent households are living from check to check and it seems the smallest thing can take you on a financial rollercoaster. In these instances I have SWAKlife parents email me asking for help and through various programs (church, community, and just good Samaritans) and most times we are able to provide a single-parent family with whatever support they need.”
SWAKlife also hosts free seminars for single parents: how to build up emergency savings, co-parenting, single-parent mixers, dating with kids, and blending families. Nikki also coordinates a Summer Fun Expo at the end of the school year for parents to find summer programs for their children, often at a discount at the event.
“My dream for SWAKlife is to eventually become a non-profit organization so that we can receive grants and funding to provide more help for single parents and expand into different cities. I already have single parents in various locations interested in starting the organization in their city.”
Rocket City Parents ROCK[sws_yellow_box box_size=”490″]As far as we are concerned every parent, guardian, and caretaker is a total rockstar. But even among all these rockstars, some people just stand out. They go above and beyond star status and are headed into the stratosphere.
With our new series “Rocket City Parents Rock” we want to draw attention to these supernovas and we need your help to do it. If you know someone who stands out because of the work they are doing for other parents or children in our community, let us know. Nominate them using the form below. Each month our committee will look over the nominations and pick one outstanding parent to highlight on Rocket City Mom.
We know our parents are awesome and we know they don’t do what they do for recognition but it’s still nice to get noticed every once in a while. [/sws_yellow_box]
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.
SWAKlife has helped in so many ways to include when you think that Minh meltdown you wanted to have would take completely over. Seeing and knowing that you are not alone in the world as a single is a huge relief. Funny stories that are shared provide amusement and laughs. Various activities and kids eat free nights that are placed on the site have become a place of reliability when searching for low costly ideas to entertain the kids while already on a tight budget. Thank you for the acknowledgment!