Survival guide for single moms

By From page B2 | January 07, 2013

What: Successful Single Moms: Overwhelmed class

Who: Instructors Amy Cogburn and Jan Shepard

Where: Green Valley Community Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road, Room 303, Placerville

When: Sundays starting Jan. 13 through March 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Fee: $7 per person

Registration information: Contact Cindi Ehrgott at 530-622-3231, e-mail [email protected] or visit Sign-ups for the class will be taken the day of the class

Amy Cogburn is starting a new adventure on Sunday, Jan. 13. She will be teaching a class titled Successful Single Moms: Overwhelmed at Green Valley Community Church in Placerville.

The 10-week class to be held every Sunday through March 17 will offer “… a journey through immense struggles, personal doubts and the challenges that face single moms everywhere,” according to the course catalog.

Subjects to be covered include financial freedom, parenting advice and relief from emotional stress. The class is a hands-on guide to both “surviving and thriving as a single mother.”

The idea of teaching the class came after Cogburn and Jan Shepherd, pastoral partner and counselor at Green Valley, discussed the idea.

“Green Valley has a lot of classes, but single moms fell through the cracks,” Cogburn said. “That’s where the idea came.”

Cogburn approached the church with the idea for the class and it was approved.

“They were ready for it,” Cogburn said. “It focuses on being able to look at past relationships, identifying and healing. Trying to learn some new tools to better organize your life.”

Cogburn will be sharing teaching duties with Shepherd.

“She has been my mentor for the past two years,” Cogburn said. “She’s an amazing woman and I have been extremely blessed by meeting her.”

Cogburn, 25, knows about life as a single mother. She has twin boys, Austin and David, who turn 3 in February. Austin is the oldest by 4 minutes.


Busy day

The mom wakes up at 5 a.m. on weekdays to attend college classes. The Cameron Park resident is in her second year in a court reporting program at Bryan College in Rancho Cordova. Cogburn hopes to graduate this spring and land a full-time court reporting job in El Dorado, Placer or Sacramento counties.

“I absolutely love it,” Cogburn said. “It’s an extremely difficult program. My class started out with 13 girls and it’s down to two.”

Cogburn wakes up her sons and makes them breakfast. Then it is off to daycare for the boys and class for Cogburn. Her classes end at 2 p.m. on most days and then she picks up her boys. There is also an evening class twice a week. Her mother and sister help out by watching the boys during that time.

Cogburn has homework like all college students, plus household duties. In her spare time, she plays games with the boys and watches a little TV.

“I’m up until 11 p.m.,” Cogburn said.

Cogburn graduated from independent studies at Ponderosa High School at 16. Wanting to “find her place in the world” Cogburn traveled around the United States until she turned 18 in 2005. That’s when she married and joined the U.S. Army.

In the summer of 2009, Cogburn became pregnant. David and Austin were born prematurely at a hospital in Topeka, Kan., where she was stationed at the time. They entered the world at 7 1/2 months and weighed 3 1/2 pounds each.

It was a very traumatic time with the children in the hospital and a divorce in the process.

“It was very scary,” Cogburn said. “The boys stayed in the hospital for almost a month.”

Cogburn stayed at the Ronald McDonald House during the twins’ stay at the hospital.

“They came home and they were on heart monitors,” Cogburn said. “I was trying to nurse and give them supplemental feeding. It was just chaos.”

Cogburn’s military unit was being deployed to Iraq in ’09 but she was given an honorable discharge because of her pregnancy.

With all the challenges and lessons learned Cogburn believes she can help other single mothers.

Cogburn invites single mothers living in El Dorado County to sign-up for the class. The single mothers do not have to be members of the church.

The class will be at Green Valley Community Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road, Room 303, in Placerville, Jan. 13 through March 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Registration for the class is $7. The fee can be waived for single mothers who cannot afford it. Childcare will be provided.

For more information on the Successful Single Moms class, contact Cindy Ehrgott, Life Skills Department coordinator at the church, at 530-622-3231, e-mail [email protected] or visit Cogburn and Ehrgott said sign-ups will be taken until the day of the class.

Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter. 

Mike Bush

Mike Bush has been a Staff Writer at the Mountain Democrat since August 2011. Follow him on Twitter @MBushMtDemo
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