Single Mom for Mother's Day
Dear Single Mom on Mother’s Day,
I have so much I want to tell you. In fact I have written, erased, re-written, and erased this a few times because I know what it is like to be a single mom and I have SO MUCH I need you to know, that I can’t decide what to say. Single mom hood has a way of turning a lady into a freaking warrior. So it was important for me to tell these warriors the right things. What should have taken me an hour to write, has taken days in order for me to really ponder on what you really NEED TO HEAR. Alas, I have settled on these three things and I hope with all I am that you GET this. Like really get it. Like, to the point of full digestion, where it becomes a part of who you are.
1. BE PROUD OF YOUR FAMILY- This is YOUR story and you owe NOBODY any explanation. You do not need a man to be complete or to be a whole family. You are whole now. But this is YOUR family. You are not a broken home, you are a whole and healed home no matter what some church betty says. These are YOUR kids, this is YOUR family and unless these cackling Betties want to show up and unload your dishwasher, cook dinner and help your kids with homework, they have no room to be a voice in your head. You know your truth, and you have no need to prove it to anyone. You keep walking straight and honoring God. Those kids are amazing and so is their momma. You are not an incomplete family. You are not broken. So, put your shoulders back, and keep being that vessel God needs to raise these babies. You are a freaking warrior leading this beautiful family well.
2. YOUR KIDS ARE GOING TO BE JUST FINE- I know the doubts that pop up that you are doing anything right. Am I too strict? Am I too lenient? WIll they forever be scarred by their parents choices. Well, you may not be perfect, but I promise, you are doing better than you think. I recently did an instagram survey asking moms if they felt like they were screwing everything up. Do you know 95% of those who answered said yes?! 95%! That means only 5% felt like they were doing a good job. Why? Because we are a whole lot harder on ourselves than we need to be. As long as you keep showing up, and keep seeking the Lord about how to raise your kids, your kids are going to be just fine. Take a deep breath, and remind yourself, single or not, there is no perfect parent. Humanity in itself is flawed. You were never meant to have all of the pieces to raise your children perfectly. Whether married or not, the goal is not to be so smart, strong and diligent that you raise perfect children. I know you’re tired. I know you feel insufficient. I remember telling myself I had four hours to show up big time every day after school until bedtime. After that, I would allow myself to collapse in tears, anger, or confusion. But as long as the kids were up, I tried my best to show up. Sometimes, I executed that plan perfectly. Other times, I bribed them with ice cream for breakfast if they would tuck themselves in because my body was so physically exhausted. Without a doubt, I did not maneuver that season anywhere near perfectly. However, God compensated where I fell weak. His love covered me when I lost my temper. He filled the voids in my kids hearts that I wasn’t able to fill myself. The goal is to realize that you can’t do this on your own without Jesus. Your aim is to seek out Him and truths in His word in order to raise them as God intended. You are appointed by GOD to raise these children His way, and with or without a spouse, you have what it takes do it and do it well. With Him, you CAN do this and you are not ruining your children. You just keep laying them at the feet of Jesus, and those babies are going to be just fine.
3. GOD HAS NOT FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOU- The loneliness is deafening sometimes. I remember especially, the evenings being brutal. Practices, homework, dinner, dishes, bath time, bedtime, exhaustion sets in and then finally when it is your time to relax…nothing but silence. Not the good kind of silence either. You know the kind I’m talking about? The kind where you only feel the void and not peace. The kind of quiet that seems dark and heavy and not healing. This kind of silence is an echo that shouts over and over just how alone and lacking you really are. There is nobody to chat with about problems at work, or the funny meme you saw, or the issue you’re kids are having in school. It can be pretty darn depressing. It is so easy to feel forgotten in these moments. I remember lying my head on my kitchen bar sobbing, while crying out to God, “Where are you now? You said you would never leave me, but I feel alone. I DON’T want to do this!! I have preached you and I have PROMISED others that you would be there for them in their darkest times. BUT WHERE ARE YOU FOR ME?!”. In those moments, I had a choice to make. I can bask in the raw emotion of everything I am feeling, or I can turn to the Bible to speak life into me. I know we live in a world which seems to validate feelings as an authority. However, there is a truth larger than your feelings. His thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. Although all I felt was alone, looking back, clearly, I was not. He never left me. He saw me in my pain, in my loneliness and fear. He was with me, and He is with you. God was doing so much more behind the scenes than I ever knew. Layer upon layer, in His multi dimensional ways, He is taking care of you too. Dear, you are not used goods, washed-up, or dismissed. Quite the opposite. You are seen. You are beloved. You are valuable. It is in our darkest and hardest times that He can do the deepest work within us. So no matter what it feels like, the higher truth is that He is there and He is close. He has not forgotten about your dreams, your calling or the gifts you think have fallen dormant. He still has plans for you momma, and I dare say, they will be plans that only someone who has been a single mom would have the grit to do.
So on this Mother’s Day, I want nothing more than for you to take a deep breath knowing that you can be proud of your family, your kids are going to be just fine, and God has not forgotten about you! (You Freaking Warrior)