Raising a child as a single parent has not been easy. I can remember many days crying out to God, not knowing if I could do it on my own. In those moments I realized I could not. I can do this only with God’s help and the support of my parents, family and friends who have come alongside me from day one. What brings me the greatest joy are the times that I spend with my son laughing, going to the movies, or traveling. I would not trade the life God has provided for anything in the world.
What have I learned on this journey as a single parent?
- Friendships are important. Wherever I have lived, God has always placed friends in my life who are willing to help me. However, more importantly, their friendship is invaluable.
- With God and my friend’s help I am enough. Although it may be hard, I have the skills and love it takes to raise my son to be an awesome, God loving, compassionate, human being.
- Routine and time management are important, but so is self–care. Although it has gotten easier as my son has gotten older, I cannot be the best mom for my son if I am not taking care of myself.
Looking back over the past 16 years that I’ve been a single mother, I realize that when I remember to take care of myself and rely on God, I am stronger. It has made me who I am today. We read in Philippians 4:13 (KJV), “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Recently I attended an Embrace group where we were to share what we are thankful for. I mentioned being thankful for the people God has placed in my life who are always willing to help with my son, to pick him up from school, keep him while I am away at a conference, or watch him when I have to work. God allowed me to share with someone at the conference who had recently become a single mother. Since I know what it feels like to have to rely on friends and not a spouse, I was able to help her. I was so happy that God allowed me to be of assistance in this way.
To the single mothers: Keep going. Do not quit. Love your children. Love God. To other mothers/women: Befriend a single mother. They need your support and love.