There is much out there about how depressing and tough single motherhood is. I'm a single mom and the sole support of my children, which includes college tuition (YOUCH).
Seriously, I can't think of one bad part of single parenthood. It has been way healthier for my kids and me than life 2 years ago and prior. The only time I sit on my bed and cry as a single mom are the days when I think about my mom. My bedroom is full of her art, furniture, and rugs. Memories of her abound everywhere, and there are days when I miss her and just cry.
But to cry over the frustrations that come with being a single parent–why? For what purpose? God has it. He brought our family through FAR tougher times. I used to cry for my marriage, for love, for companionship, for a healthy emotional life for my children, for the ability to actually pay the electric bill and cell phone bill. Now, my children are healthier, and I know God has great plans for our future.
Do we have our days of "Mom, I got a speeding ticket." or finishing the 9 a.m. math lesson at 11:45 p.m. or slamming bedroom doors. Yes, those do happen. But compared to life just 2 years ago and the years prior to that–this is a cake walk! Thank you, Lord!
He led my kids and I through it–and trust me, there are some unbelieveable stories–if He lead us through THAT, I now have peace knowing He isn't going to abandon us.
Let's not dwell on "where is God now?" but "What good is God doing with this?"
Trust Him…He has this ladies and gentlemen.
Here Are 10 Things I Have Learned About Single Parent Life
1. God is all that is needed in life. He is faithful. His grace gets us through anything. He will provide. Have there been days where there is $3.14 in the checking account and someone needs gas for their car and there is no bread, milk, or edible fruits and veggies in the refrigerator? Yes, I am having one of those days today. (I"m actually writing this and should be at Aldi.)
2. I was lonlier married than I am single.
3. My children are happy. They have struggled, but we are working through it, and they are fantastic human beings. They are compassionate, non-judgemental, funny, and say I love you and give wonderful hugs. The struggle did not turn them bitter.
4. We all laugh more heartily.
5. I actually have more money to cover the bills, incidentals, essentials and that relieves a lot of stress. I am the sole support of my children, including college tuition. It takes planning and discipline, but the peace in the hearts and lives of my children is so worth financial sacrifices.
6. Life is so much simpler. I love living in a smaller space with MUCH less.
7. My kids are more engaged in life–because there is less stress, they have more time and energy to pursue their interests and talents. They are making good use of their time.
8. The discipline is going well. Since they are happier, there just aren't many issues.
9. My daughter's and my self esteem have soared. We love who we are, including our respective quirks.
10. Struggling marriages are epidemic. So many struggling wives (and there are husbands who are married to drug addicts, alcoholics, unfaithful wives, etc.) have shared their stories in the last 2 years, I have been stunned by the stronghold satan has on marriages. My advice – open your marriages to God, get counseling. If you are in a physically abusive relationship or one that puts your children in physical or emotional harm–remove yourself and the children. God called us to love, nurture, and bring up our children in His ways–beating or verball/psychologically abusing a spouse or child is not the Lord's way. Don't keep yourself or kids in this dangerous situation because you want it to look good in front of the Christian community. Leaving the situation doesn't necessarily mean divorce, leaving gets your children and yourself safe. Being safe allows you to think more clearly and address the root of the issues and begin to work on a solution. Getting to a safe place doesn't mean the family permanently separates.
If you are a single parent and struggling, my prayers go out to you.
And . . . I'd like to share something that helped me conquer the frustration and the feelings of being overwhelmed. I identified some key struggles and then went about tackling the top 3 so I could gain some control back of our lives.:
Here are my questions for you:
- Do you have regular time every day with God?
- Do you have a supportive family member or friend who can bring you dinner once a month or keep the kids for an afternoon?
- Do you have a supportive church family?
- Can you simplify life–move to a smaller home, drop a few activities, get rid of the stuff you don't need–why clean and straighten up stuff that isn't necessary?
- How can you cut expenses? Cut out the trips to Starbucks. Use the library over purchasing that $9.95 book on Kindle. Before you know it, you've saved enough to pay the power bill.
- How can you use what you have more frugally?
- Can you get a part time job either from home or outside the home? Think creatively! There was a time when I worked two jobs. My night job was as a clerk at KMart. All of the jobs in my adult life came easy to me, this was the first job where I had to apply for the position. There I was at 48 walking into a new job surrounded by teenagers. It ended up being a fun job where I had the privilege of working alongside some very real and hardworking people.
Depending on your answers to these, make a plan. Looked at as a whole, the individual problems are overwhelming, but tackling them one at a time–well, in 6 months you can look back and see progress!
Find out what your top 3 struggles are and formulate a plan to handle one at a time. Pray over these; listen for His voice and direction.
This is what I did. I had 3 goals. It took me 3 years to reach them, but I did it. My three were related to finding a job that would at least pay the bare essentials, getting my daughter to a healthier environment, finding a supportive church family.
Let's focus on the GOOD… God is good, faithful, and is doing sometihng beautiful with our struggles and triumphs. My struggles were DIFFICULT, but the beauty in life now is His glorious grace and love.
He brings us to a peaceful place.
Put up those tissues, single parents…Remember, #Helovesyoumom #Helovesyoudad