For 2NOT1, much of what we do concentrates on the father, but as our name states, it takes 2, not 1, to raise a child, so we believe it’s fundamental to connect with mothers. We offer this one day forum for mothers to fellowship, discuss life as a mother, and resources. However, over the years, it has also grown to include fluid, heartfelt discussions about fatherhood, to help some mothers move to a different understanding about fatherhood, and co-parenting.
While the title claims this forum is for single mothers, it is actually a single parenting forum open to not only single mothers, but mothers, wives, aunts, and grandmothers. In the past we have even had a husband or two! The current structure of the Mother’s Forum includes a Fatherhood Panel that is well received by the mothers in attendance. Including the panel is an effort to address the challenges of single parent, how to better co-parent, and brain storm best practices for parents dealing with any conflict attached to raising children.
The Mother’s Forum is the vision of Shawn Gardner, 2NOT1 founder, to recognize mothers. It started in 2005 when, Gardner as a youth development worker, would take calls from mothers about their children, mostly sons, and provide them resources and support. The fact so many of these women had sons gave title to the first forum “Single Mother’s Raising Son’s Forum.” The forum was a huge success. Today almost ten years later Gardner, who founded 2NOT1 is using the knowledge gained from the Mother’s Forums and his work with fathers to establish a curriculum for parents that struggle or look to improve their co-parenting alliances.