She didn’t dream of this when she was a little girl. At night, the house is finally quiet except for the occasional sheets shifting in the room near hers. More often than not, her face is buried in her hands, wondering how she is going to get through the next day.
She carries the load of two. In one hand, the house work, the bills, the laundry, working, the grocery lists, the car cleaning, more piles of laundry.; in the other, cuddles, the character leading, finger painting. It was never her dream to do it alone.
It wasn’t God’s either.
And yet, no matter the road that got her to this place, she is in need, of more things than she will probably ever verbalize to you. And, more often than not, if you offered to help her, she would probably cheerfully decline. Chances are, she had someone promise to help her for the rest of her life, who may have let her down. She’s lost the ability to learn to depend on the people around her.
It’s like she is in a secret club, but instead of matching jackets she has lists of days she doesn’t remember how she got through. List’s of things to do, the things to remember are more constant than the scurrying of little toes from one room to the other. She probably doesn’t remember the last time she had a shower with out it being interrupted.
She had no idea what she was getting into. The incredible blessings and the incredible challenges.
I often say I don’t know how single mother’s get through the day without Jesus. I really don’t. After almost 4 years of raising two children alone*, I think about the woman above more and more. And the more I think of her, the more I want to reach out to her… to come along side of her and just love on her. To do her laundry for her. To take her car to get cleaned. To bare her burden with her.
(*I co parent raising my children. I once had a man scold me for saying I was a single mother because of this. I think I smiled at him and…. then came home and cried.)
I use to judge single mother’s so harshly. I remember standing in church (YES, IN CHURCH) watching the single mothers and thinking. “She should have just made it work with the dad. She’s made this choice. It’s going to be hard for her because she made so many bad choices.” -like she deserves challenges because ….. she is a single mother.
Yup. That was totally in my heart.
Oh how wrong I was to think those things. Oh how God has had to humble me over and over again and rip that junk out.
AND now I am a single mother.
The single mother’s I have met all have had such different stories but their daily needs are the same. The same as families that have two people to wash the dishes, fold clothes, go to work, make breakfast in the morning. Sometimes their needs extend to more than just household duties. In most cases they are just barely scrapping by financially too, which add another level of added worry.
They have the same hopes for their kids as you do for yours, but they can’t even imagine sending them to ballet school let along splurging on something for themselves they want “just because.”
It is a blessing to serve my children… and there are moments, where I have to take a moment to sip a hot tea, take a deep breath, and say yes to resting in Jesus for strength. Let’s face it, we all have long hard days where we are tired.. and on those days for me…. there is only one person to cook dinner. There aren’t choices or rock paper scissor for who will get up for the little ones in the middle of the night. There is not a physical person to depend on.
This is on my heart because I believe we as a community are the answer to this. We have resources, time, love affection, words and incredible blessings that we… we can share.
I promise you, today, the single mom’s in your life, needs to be told that she is beautiful. No one has probably told her that in a long time. She needs to hear she is a GOOD MOTHER. EVERY DAY. That she is more than a peanut butter spreader and face wiper. That she is lovely. And the storms of her life does not define who she are.
She needs you. She needs me. She probably won’t reach out to you….. she won’t ask you to do her laundry, or buy her groceries. She won’t ask you to watch the kids when she is sick, or to get her a Starbucks because she hasn’t had one in a while. She will probably look pretty put together when you see her…but she probably hasn’t been able to do something for her self in a long time.
She won’t ask because, she has learned to do it all her self. She’s had to. We have made her this way. And it breaks my heart knowing that their are women right now completely overwhelmed, feeling like there is no answer. And to make it worse…. she more than likely needs more than just help with the dishes. She needs love. She needs groceries… but more than anything.. She needs hope. She needs Jesus. She needs Hope that God has good things planned for her. That she is not forgotten by the One who made her princess heart.
My hope is that if this note tugs on your heart…. that if someone pops into your mind while you read this… you take it as an invitation from Daddy God, to come beside that lovely one and help her carry her burdens. Get to know her story. Listen.
Listen to her.
Love her the way she needs to be loved. God has place her in your life for a reason. There may be more than one single moma you know. HECK have a girls chocolate party just to celebrate them. Offer to watch the kids so she can get her nails done, and pay for it. Be Jesus…….. to her… <3
She needs you to be Jesus to her.
Ask Him how to LOVE her well….
He has the answer. <3
Be radical love for one. It will change her life…
P.S. My encouragement to you as you close this browser is for you to make a choice to be LOVE for one. Come along side one…just one single mother and be the hands and feet of Jesus to her. He has called you to this, to be His love to the poor and the majority of single mothers int he US are under the poverty line despite working multiple jobs, and more hours than the typical two income family mother.
For more into read
This week in Poverty: US Single Mothers- “The Worst Off”