I was a single mom for several years and walked through various stages of my kids’ lives. I needed to be all things, at all times—and it seemed like there was always someone to disappoint either in my house or out of it. There’s a mentality many single moms adopt in order to power through those years, and I don’t think it ever leaves. At least not on its own.
I want to offer a caution, single moms, that you keep your hearts soft through these years. Even as you’re raising kids or teenagers, and you’re proving on a daily basis that you can do it all by yourself, be careful not to close your heart to the help of others.
Let people in. Friends, co-workers, church folks—let them lend a hand when needed. Allow them to step in and give you a break, or even just give your kids a listening ear when they need someone other than Mom.
Partner with God. No matter what’s going on, you’re NOT alone. You don’t need to harden your heart on a lonely journey. Let Him carry your burdens as you keep your heart open to trusting Him and walking with Him on the journey. He is your partner and will join you in the task of parenting your kids.
Be open to sharing. Sometimes, the toughest of single moms can find it difficult to share their lives with a spouse one day. It’s hard to hand over the reins that you’ve clutched so tightly for so long. It’s hard to soften a heart that has put up walls against rejection or fear. Allow your heart to hope and stay soft toward the possibility of God sending a partner.
I’ve since married and have had three more kids, triplets actually. Marriage doesn’t magically erase the problems that come along with human inadequacy, and sometimes it creates a whole new set of them. That I-can-do-it-all mentality, that spirit of “I don’t need you!” can permeate your heart if you allow it. So choose now to guard against it as you walk with Jesus and parent your kids, open to what God has for you in the future.
Nicole O’Dell, author of 21 books since 2007, founder of Choose NOW Ministries.
The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com