Job Loss
Loss of Job: Top Five Gifts for Single Parents in a Gig Economy

Give InKind spoke to single parents tasked with managing the trifecta of childcare, economic insecurity, and the general stress of life. It’s important to emphasize that while problems a single parent may face can feel overwhelming (and amplified by solitude), it is precisely this combination that lends seemingly small acts a certain weight of grace and mercy. Remember that single parents often operate in something of a void and that any help is received as a welcomed surprise behind closed doors where any garden variety stress (i.e. homework) is likely to be exacerbated by financial insecurity.

Our survey revealed that these are the top five most useful gifts for a single parent managing job loss and underemployment in a gig economy.

Other things that are appreciated are texts that say “I love you," calls to say “I miss you," or postcards that say “I got you." Solidifying community when solo parenting is many small acts and seemingly tiny gestures that, when calculated together, tip the scale in positive ways impossible to fully quantify. 

15 Minute Meal Kits from Gobble

Meal Kits – If you love to cook, but don’t have a ton of time, meal kits like Gobble include multiple meals for kids that can be made in less than 15 minutes. If you have more time, options like Blue Apron is always delicious but maybe isn’t as kid-friendly and sometimes more complicated to prepare. The delivery of a healthy ready-to-make meal is an incredible value in terms of savings of time and money. Many even appreciate the fact that you can’t really even plan the meal – it just shows up – because at a certain point, and I mean unless you really do love to cook – what’s for dinner devolves into everyone’s least favorite question. It’s helpful to know your audience and the rhythm of their life. Also keep in mind the meal kit options that are prepared for specific medical needs and delivered ready to eat. Magic Chef, for example, provides meals for people with Diabetes, Celiac Disease, and more.

$100 Visa Gift Card (plus $5.95 Purchase Fee)

Visa Gift Cards – Again, money that can be applied where it is most necessary can be truly helpful. It allows the parent to pay utility bills or any number of other expenses that add up and quickly snowball.

Spafinder Wellness 365™ eGift Card

Spa Gift Cards – No surprise here that not one single parent suggested this. We are putting it on this list just the same as a go-to gift. Single parents place themselves dead last on the list of people to care for. However, we cannot imagine a person more deserving of 90 minutes of hands-on relaxation and muscle kneading tension knot removal. When you give the spa gift card, they can’t use it for something else they think is more important.

Instacart Gift Card

Instacart Grocery Cards – Freedom from budgeting for groceries is huge. It’s like found money. Having someone pay for the groceries that you select and then can just pick up or have delivered is straight-up stress evaporation. And even if that feeling only lasts ten minutes, that’s still ten minutes to rest from a panic attack.

UrbanSitter Gift Cards

Help with Childcare – Services like UrbanSitter, and Bambino are always expanding. Providing a professional service relieves a parent of the obligation to offer reciprocity. It’s possible they will want to anyway, but enabling a parent to choose a babysitter they like to free up a day to catch up try to manage multiple balls without the distraction of children is a welcome gift indeed. TIP: If you don’t live in an area that participates in these services, be creative. Identify a babysitter trusted in your area and employ them for a day.

Give InKind does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We have an affiliate relationship with many of the advertisers on our site, and may receive a commission from any products purchased from links in this article. See Terms & Conditions.

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