While being a single mom is undoubtedly one of the hardest chapters I’ve had to walk through, I’ve also realized it’s not all bad. Nothing ever is. Even though this isn’t how I would have written my story, I’ve come to see the gift of singleness.
Seeing the good in single parenting helps us and our children. It allows us to let go of what we hoped for and mine the joy right where we are. That optimism also helps us create a happy, stable, pleasant home for our kids because we’re not only making our memories but their childhood memories as well. Here are 5 ways to see your singleness as a gift.
1. We find new strength.
You never know how strong you are until you have to face high and difficult hurdles. As a single mom of seven—five of them boys—I’ve grown a strong spine. Making decisions alone has slowly become normal. Rather than phoning a friend, I’ve learned to pray for wisdom and insight. A broken water heater doesn’t undo me like it once did because I’ve developed deep emotional and spiritual strength.
2. We become brave.
I just made a life decision that will mean a significant shift for our family and finished a week of hard phone calls to put that decision into place. Old me would have done this with a husband but new me has navigated it alone. I’m filled with a sense of satisfaction. Single moms become brave because we have to. You may have to do it afraid, but that first brave step will inspire more.
3. We have freedom with our time.
As long as we’re here, we might as well admit that it’s nice to be able to have dinner when we want and spend evenings the way we want. When I was first widowed, dinners and evenings were only pain and grief and even now, I have to fight loneliness. But I’ve also come to appreciate the freedom of time in this season and try to steward it well.
4. We develop new interests.
The sequel to having freedom with our time is being able to pursue what interests us. I enjoy choosing where to travel, what to do with the weekend, and what to do with my free time. Yes, I know the irony is that we single moms have so little free time. But I’ve enjoyed deepening friendships and developing my writing and speaking, which bring deep fulfillment.
5. We develop our identity.
Becoming single wasn’t a choice, but these last few years have helped me find my identity apart from wife and mom. I have a new sense of self and purpose, of capabilities and passions. If you’re struggling with this, these three steps can help you find your identity in single mom life.
Which of these is the biggest gift of singleness for you right now?