More than likely, single parenting wasn’t a part of your life plan. Let’s admit it, parenting is difficult, and it’s even more challenging when you are traveling down the road of motherhood on your own. When facing challenges and responsibilities of any sort, we must be honest about the difficulties and grieve the loss of our dreams. Yet, we don’t want to stay stuck wallowing in regret or self-pity. Our kids need us. At a certain point, we must accept the challenges we are facing and choose to step forward in courage.
How do you move in a positive direction when your strength is spent and you feel emotionally overwhelmed? Here’s three important truths to remember to help you thrive, not simply survive as a single mom.
Remember you are not alone. There many other single-moms out there who have journeyed down this path long before you and many who are currently walking this road. Stay connected! Find the other single moms in your community and church. Join groups like The Life of a Single Mom for both connections and resources. Surround yourself with a strong network of people–both families and singles to assist you. Don’t try to go it alone.
Remember to focus on what is good in your life. Yes, you have challenges, but you also have blessings. Start counting them, beginning with your own kids. Take time every day to write down at least five specific things you can be thankful for which happened over the last twenty-four hours. You will find that this simple mindset shift can change your outlook on life and give you a positive perspective for the future. You may want to teach your kids to practice this habit of counting their blessings as well.
Remember there is always hope, even in the bleakest situations. It’s easy to go down the path of despair. Generally speaking, people tend to mentally defer to the negative when given difficult circumstances. It takes a deliberate choice to have a hope-filled outlook and try to see the sunshine behind the clouds. When you look for a glimmer of hope, you can usually find it, but you must be looking for it. Ask yourself: What has God provided? What can I learn from this? How can I grow through this? Who can I help as a result of this?
Finally, remember that the Lord has not left you. In your darkest night, He is close beside you. Pour out your heart to Him, because He is your refuge and strength. Psalm 34 tells us, “He is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 23 encourages us, “Even when I walk through the darkest valleys, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me. Your rod and staff protect and comfort me.” How wonderful to know that Almighty God, loves us and knows exactly what we need to thrive as a mom.
Known as “the Positive Lady,” Karol Ladd inspires men and women around the world with a message of lasting hope and Biblical truth. Karol is open, honest and real in both her speaking and her writing. Formerly a teacher, Karol is the best-selling author of over 35 books including The Power of a Positive Mom, Positive Leadership Principles for Women and her newest book, Becoming a Woman of the Word. As a gifted communicator and dynamic leader, Karol is a popular speaker to women’s organizations, church groups and corporate events and is a frequent guest on radio and television programs and teaches a monthly Bible study called Positive Woman Connection. Recently, she started the Engage Positive Parenting Initiative which reaches men and women in communities affected by poverty (www.EngageParenting.com). Her most valued role is that of wife to Curt and mother to two grown daughters, Grace and Joy. Find out more at www.PositiveLifePrinciples.com.
The Life of a Single Mom Ministries is a global nonprofit committed to seeing no single mom walk alone. Having served more than 46,000 single mothers and 1,500 churches, the goal of the organization is establish support groups for single mothers in cities around the world, while also empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, and parentally. For more information, visitwww.thelifeofasinglemom.com.