Moms who do it all shouldn’t have to

Day 14. One more week to go. Am I a wuss to be missing my husband and wanting this separation to end? I feel like I should buck up and relish the chance to do this parenting thing all by myself. After all, millions of parents lead their families by themselves year after year. Three weeks? No big deal, right?

Honestly, I don’t know how single parents do it day in, day out. Even though I have my parents and grandparents, and my in-laws, not to mention the kids’ aunts and uncles on occasion, to help, I still feel the burden of responsibility for my children — a burden I’m used to sharing.

I don’t know if the kids recognize a difference with my husband gone, but I know they are missing out on a whole different aspect of parenting. I’m not comfortable tossing my son in the air, but I don’t mind if my husband does. I’m not as good at wrestling with my daughter as he is, either. I usually jokingly say that he’s the fun one, I’m the serious one. I’m missing the fun side, and I’m a poor substitute.

With Mother’s Day tomorrow, we celebrate all that mothers do for their children, and that would be a much longer blog if I tried to list what I, or any other mom, do for their kids. And there’s a sense of pride in knowing we “do it all” for our families, but I wonder how often we ask for help.

I like the feeling of accomplishment I have when I’ve completed a challenging task, but I don’t want to be the kind of wife who doesn’t need my husband for anything. I don’t want to be Supermom or Mrs. Incredible. Too much pressure. I’m content to do what I can and let others step in when I’m in over my head.

I know that being a single parent isn’t always a choice a person gets to make. Sometimes it’s chosen for her, and I in no way judge or condemn the single parent. I admire her. She’s an amazing woman (and the majority of single parents are women, thus the gender choice), and getting just a taste of what her life must be like makes me want to do all I can to help her.

What do single moms need most? How can the church offer their hands and lives to those who are raising kids by themselves?

Happy Mother’s Day!

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One thought on “Moms who do it all shouldn’t have to

  1. When I was a single mom I needed God the most… or finally recognized that I needed Him most. I have never gotten closer to the Lord (through evening conversations and devotions) than I did when I was single. The side of the bed that used to occupy my husband was occupied, during that time, by my Bible and a notebook. I hand-copied the New Testament just to have something uplifting to do. I had made a “god” out of my husband/marriage. God finally received His rightful place.

    Aside from that – practical things – loneliness was a big problem – especially when the kids were gone. I got so used to having them and being busy with them that there was a big aching hole when they were gone on the weekends. So – companionship or more accurately genuine friendship… the kind that would give up a quiet Friday night with family to invite in an outsider. Lawn mowing was a HUGE help. My children were so young I had to get a babysitter so I could mow. Car care was also very helpful. Each single mother’s needs are very different. Some never had a husband to do things for them in the first place and are used to handling it self-sufficiently. They might need childcare so they can have a quiet evening alone. But I think that’s the key – ask one that you are near. “Can I take the kids? Can I make you a meal one night a week? Can I help with childcare during your work hours?” Just knowing someone is there to lean on and talk to if you need to is a huge burden-lifter.

    There is NOTHING wrong with being thankful that God has placed the blessing of a husband in your life. That’s as it was meant to be – especially when children are involved. They need both of us equally and for very different reasons. I’m thankful that my singleness was only a season, but I’m also mindful that it could happen again someday. I’m not afraid of it anymore though – because God is always faithful. I know that now.

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