This week kicks off a series on single motherhood. For the first 7 1/2 years of my daughter’s life, I was a single mom. I know the struggles, frustration, loneliness, stigma, and pressure that comes with being in this position. So let’s look at some ways to make the best of this season of life, starting with building a healthy support system.
One of the hardest battles of parenting alone is prioritizing relationships that will strengthen you and your children. Oftentimes a woman can feel pressured to find a new mate and end up in a bigger mess than the one she started with. Don’t be afraid of being single. Instead, use this time wisely and pray for wisdom in how to manage your circumstances. By ensuring that your priority relationships are in healthy order, you can avoid being tossed around by the foolish counsel of well-meaning, but often incorrect, voices around you and build a stronger foundation for your kids.
- Jesus. He is not just our Savior, but our healer, our comfort, our corrector, and our strength. He loves you, cares for you, listens to you, and will never leave you. A mom that is rooted deeply in the Word, “is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that [s]he does, [s]he prospers.” Psalm 1:3
- Your Pastor and church family. The influences that you allow in your life, and especially your children’s lives, are critical in this season. Understanding and applying the truths of Scripture regarding the various trials you will face in this position are of utmost importance, therefore the significance of pastoral care should not be underestimated. Additionally, there is wisdom in the Body of Christ that will help you build your faith, strengthen your parenting skills, and encourage you through difficulties. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- Your family and friends. Having loving, honest relationships in which you can confide your struggles eases some of the pressures you will face. Maybe you need a good cry over coffee, or a night out to unwind. Perhaps you just need some grownup conversation that has nothing to do with the latest toy/cartoon/boy band. These relationships will help fill those needs. Plus, strengthening the bonds in these areas will also help your kids, because sometimes they need an objective confidante as well. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
- Your kids. Spending time with your kids helps comfort and reassure them that there is stability in their lives. Have routines and start new traditions. At times it can be exhausting to maintain consistency, but the rewards far outweigh the costs of stewardship. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3
- Yourself. Momma, make sure you are taking good care of yourself. I know there are sleepless nights, more chores than hours in the day, and unpredictables that can wear you down. But you must maintain yourself. Spend time in the Word. Let the dishes wait while you soak in a bubble bath. Cultivate your health. Take some time for serious introspection; are there attitudes you need to change, wounds you need help healing, or dreams you want to revive? This season of singleness is the perfect opportunity to sift through those issues and make adjustments. “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3
Being a single mom is tough, and strong women learn how to not just survive, but thrive in these circumstances. Each season of life is an opportunity for growth and prioritizing healthy relationships creates fertile ground to foster it. Embrace this time, Momma. I am praying for you!
Abide in His Grace,
p.s. Check back later this week when we will discuss ways to combat loneliness.