By the Thrive Leaders
There is a stigma in the world today about single moms. I never understood what it was like to be a single mom. My thoughts were always, “Why do they need so much help? They got themselves there!”
Yep, I was that person! Thankfully, God decided to set me straight… and I became a single mom. At the time I was four months pregnant and had a 14-month-old and 2-year-old. It only took about 30 seconds to change my attitude! I quickly learned that this life was HARD! I did not sign up this! I asked God over and over, “Why me??” I was overwhelmed, exhausted, lost, frustrated.
Life as I knew it was over. There were so many emotions. My marriage, my life-long partner, all my hopes and dreams were now gone. We had this picture-perfect plan for our lives: lots of kids, ministry, homeschooling, and homestead. Now all of it was now gone!
I could not get my bearings. Where do I start? The emotions were everywhere. I was grieving a marriage, future, future kids. Money seemed impossible to manage. How do I get in control of all that was going on? I had a good job, but it was not enough. And the world said because I have a good job, I didn’t need any financial assistance.
I was scared to talk to anyone; I did not want to be judged. I would try and open up, but as soon as I started to tell my story, somehow people would be letting me know how it was my fault. They would begin questioning my past, or even better, asking why I got pregnant again. I always felt judged.
I can now tell you a lot of that judgment was in my own mind. I was insecure. Who wouldn’t be when everything you ever relied on was gone? The man you pledged your life to had chosen to leave, and you sat there alone. For me, my husband is the one who had taught me about Christ. Could I even rely on Christ?
There are ways we can be and things we can do to come alongside a single mom and help restore her confidence:
- Be a safe place for mom, a person she can come to without apprehension. By being safe, you are creating a space for the mom to be able to confide in you some of her concerns without fear of judgement because of a decision she has made in the past.
- Keep your word. Remember what you have told her you would do, and do it. Keep your commitments to her. Many single moms have experienced deep hurt in this department. Lack of commitment and not keeping your word – with even the simplest things – can bring back up old hurt and mistrust. Try to always be conscious of this. If you do need break your word, or forget something, communicate with her. Apologize and try if possible to correct it. Life happens, things change, and that is OK. But don’t hide from broken commitments.
- Be on time. When making plans with a single mom, try your best to be on time. Remember most single moms are juggling two or three jobs along with school, maintaining their home, and raising their kids. Time is precious. But keep in mind that single moms can often fall short in this area. Give her grace if she is late.
- Don’t gossip. The world does not need to know anything she has told you in confidence. Please only share what she has given you permission to share and with whom she’s given you permission to share. A single mom needs to know that you are a safe person to count on.
This is part of a continuing series on our Thrive ministry. For more information on how to care for single moms, check out the Thrive ministry page for the complete list of posts! Thank you for your support of this ministry!