Forrester gives much-needed solace, support to other single moms

Published 1:30 pm Monday, January 17, 2022

MacKenzie Forrester, a Lake Charles native, believes everything happens for a reason. The proud mother of two has determined not to be bound by the stereotype of being a single mother, an outlook that has been strengthened by the support group she’s been a part of for the last three years.

“Sometimes people think certain things about being a single mother — some things good but some things bad. But no matter our story, there is something beautiful inside of every mother who is determined to live a productive and positive life for their children.”

When Forrester entered the support group, she said she could see herself in many of the stories the women told. “I realized that truly I wasn’t alone. Others also struggled with co-parenting or child support or just feeling like they needed help. I realized we are all sort of part of a bigger family of motherhood.”

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One common theme Forrester noticed in the support group was the need for single moms to have a lifeline and backup when childcare falls through for necessary things like appointments, work or family emergencies. “It’s (childcare) a simple thing, really, but it can be hard to come by when it’s just you. Or especially with COVID and school is suddenly closed but you have to go work, who do you call? Some people have extra family and friends but some of us don’t,” she said.

Forrester realized her job skills and the ability to work from home on her own schedule could be used to benefit more than just herself. She began offering her home and time as a last-minute, free-of-charge resource when other women in the group were in a bind with childcare.

“At first, honestly, I was nervous it would get out of hand or that people would take the option for granted. But that’s been what is so beautiful about this: We’re all moms,” she said.

“We each understand how precious home and space and time is and so no one has ever taken the option for granted. In fact, now we’ve set up something like a phone tree where if I can’t help, I’ve got several other moms who are ready to step in as well.”

What started out as a service to others actually ended up being a great blessing to Forrester, as well, she added.

“I knew from personal experience that offering myself to the women would be helpful to them but I had no idea how much I needed it to. There’s something special and fulfilling about living outside of yourself and doing something purely for the benefit of someone else.”