I’ve been single parenting for eight years now and from the outside, it may look like I have it down pat. Gratefully, we have found a new rhythm and my kids are healthy, engaged in school and active in sports and dance.
But in the quiet after kids are tucked in bed, I wonder whether I’ve given up in some areas. I pour so much into raising my children, making a home, fixing a home, and a long must-do list that I often end up neglecting myself. There is hope for single moms. Let’s double-down in 5 areas where single moms shouldn’t give up.
It’s like a part-time job to keep my children current with the dentist, orthodontist, pediatrician, optician and other medical appointments. It’s easy to let my check-ups go in the when-I-have-a-minute category, especially if I don’t feel sick. The longer I go between appointments, but less making an appointment is even on my radar! I may get an A for exercise and eating right but I need to bring up that C- I’ve got for regular check-ups.
After my first babies were born, I let my dream of a tennis league go. I’ll join when they’re in school, I thought. School turned into homeschool and parenting became single parenting. Time has never been more at a premium. But one of my interests is writing and I carve out time on most afternoons to write. It sometimes means pizza for dinner and I have to work at training my children not to interrupt when my bedroom door is closed. But making time to pursue what challenges and interests me is super refreshing.
Achieving New Dreams
When the future you planned and expected is suddenly gone, it’s painfully difficult to re-imagine it. Why make dreams when life could ambush and take them again? Part of healing from deep loss is finding hope for the future. As time softens our wounds, we can make a new bucket list. We may have learned to write in pencil, but we can take steps to make it happen, even if it means doing it afraid.
Becoming a Better Mom
It’s easy to see our weaknesses as moms because single parenting stretches us so much. Those weaknesses may be a negative attitude, anger or permissiveness. If we think we’re just wired that way, we give up trying to change. That triggers guilt and regret only making things worse. There is so much hope for single moms when we give our weakness to God.
Finding Happiness Again
Two things will kill joy: looking back at the life we had and looking around at the life others have. Both of those will keep us stuck in ruts of disappointment or bitterness. Single parenting may not have been our choice but we can choose everyday the life we make of it. When we once again begin to count our blessings, we find that we have too many to count. And as the old adage goes, grateful people are happy people.
Two things will kill joy: looking back at the life we had and looking around at the life others have.
Is there a specific area where you tend to throw in the towel and give up?