SINGLE PARENT THOUGHTS

     Tell me about parenting. I know that single moms often raise children with less money, less time available and less personal life.

     In Florida, only 35% of fathers pay their entire child support each month. Many pay nothing. However, some fathers have never missed a payment and are treated like dirt by the ex (I fit here).

     It’s hard on the kids. Higher rates of depression, delinquency, drug and alcohol use, teenage pregnancy, drop out of school, etc.

     If a child is sick, the single parent often misses work. I’ve seen mothers who appear to be sleepwalking because they don’t….sleep because of the responsibility of work and childcare. It doesn’t get better when the kids become teens. Often, unsupervised teens get into TROUBLE and guess who loses more sleep, time, money.

      GOD bless each of you as you continue as best you can. And, double blessings on the single moms and dads who succeed in parenting awesome children.

     Tell me your stories…………………..

    

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5 responses to “SINGLE PARENT THOUGHTS

  1. I have been blessed with a 13-year-old son who has made it VERY easy to be a parent. His dad and I separated when he was 3 because dad was addicted to pornography and masturbation and didn’t think it was a problem for which he needed help. We divorced a year later (I was not a Christian then.) My son became a Christian four years ago, about a year after I did.

    My biggest parenting challenge has been dealing with my “airhead genius.” My son started to read right when he turned 4. By kindergarten, he was reading at a 4th-grade level. By 6th grade, he had surpassed high school reading. So obviously he is intelligent and has very good grades.

    But sometimes he doesn’t take the time to read and follow directions, so his grades aren’t as good as they could be. I can’t count how many times I’ve said as we’re heading out the door, “Son would you like to put on your coat BEFORE you put on your backpack?” Or, “Would you like to put on your shoes before we leave?” Intelligence doesn’t always equal common sense! 🙂

    I hate that the church thinks my family is subpar, or that I’m a worse parent, because I’m a single parent. I am a very good mother, and I have a wonderful, intelligent, kind, goofy son. Look at this blog entry: gloom and doom, substandard life, blah, blah blah. I will always remember a conversation my son started a couple of years ago. He said, “Mom, I’m so glad we have a peaceful home.” When I asked what he meant, he said, “Well, all the kids at school are always talking about all the fighting that goes on in their homes.” When I asked him, he said it involved parents fighting with each other, parents fighting with kids, and brothers and sisters fighting with each other. So I thanked him for his wonderful compliment and pointed out that he actually had TWO peaceful homes, because he and his dad don’t fight, either. Is he better off in a home where the parents hate each other and the screaming is constant? Or is he better off in two happy, stable, secure places?

    My second biggest parenting challenge is the disdain aimed at single mothers — especially from the church. I’m the one who went to counseling for a year, and spent 4 1/2 years in Al-Anon to recover from what happened in my marriage. I’m the one who became a born-again Christian and led my son to the Lord. I’m the one who has gotten a better job to earn more money. My ex-husband has done none of this. He has never dealt with the issues that led to his addiction. He quit his full-time job four years ago and has just recently begun to look for full-time work. I can no longer rely on child support coming in a timely manner. So just when I thought I could get ahead, I’m behind again.

    What would REALLY help single parents is a ministry that would provide actual help. Where a woman like me could call the church, and someone would come over and clean out the gutters, or shovel snow, or mow the law, or move heavy stuff, or take her car and have the oil changed and the car cleaned out. Yes, I am capable of doing all these things, and I do them. But it would be great to have some HELP with especially the heavy outdoor work. Last year I was in a car accident and was told not to shovel snow for a month because I hurt my back. But I had to anyway because there was no one to call for help. (I’ll let the men speak for themselves here on what they would like from the church.)

    The financial assistance, of course, would help, too. Single parents make so many sacrifices for their kids and deny themselves all the time. Gift certificates for gym memberships, salon/barber services, groceries, department stores, Christian bookstores and car maintence would help so much. So would cash to pay the bills.

    The biggest need for single parents, however, is help from people to combat the LONELINESS. There’s no one praying for us, or taking us out to dinner or to a movie, or helping carry in groceries, or encouraging us. We don’t get gifts on holidays. There’s no one to call when it’s late at night and we’re wondering when God is finally going to send some help. I know I’m exhausted right now — physically, spiritually and emotionally — from constantly trying to pull myself up. I don’t know how many more times I can do this.

    Please spare me the talk about getting out there and meeting new people; I’ve done all the recommended things. But the connection seems to end once the event is over or the phone call is ended. I would like to find some people who will reach out, grab ahold, and walk with me — not just reach out and touch someone.

    I am starting to cry as I write this because I feel so invisible. No one sees what I do for my son, and the sacrifices I’ve made. No one sees what I have to offer as a parent, a woman, a Christian. All they see are the labels “divorced” and “single parent” and assume that I’m not an adequate parent, and I’m not providing a safe, sound, balanced life for my son. Nothing could be further from the truth. My home is NOT broken! But my heart is, because the church that is supposed to love me and accept me for who I am, where I am right now, doesn’t. And won’t.

  2. Wow TLC, I want to cry with you. That’s why I keep piping up to the church leaders. You are providing a PEACEFUL, loving environment and have obviously bettered yourself since your divorce. I salute you. I, also, envision a church that helps one another to thrive and bears one anothers burdens, including helping with gutters……..

  3. Well said TLC. I share your some of your feelings. It would be so nice just to know that someone was praying for you. Knowing that someone is thinking about you, calls just to say hello and actually listens to what you have to say.
    My daughter God Bless her when she was small use to always tell me how nice it was to come to me. She too would share some rather hairy tales of her classmates home life. You really never know how truly blessed you are till you hear how hard it is and has been for others. And that part of your comment when you said it would be nice if someone would just come over and do stuff just because…yes you are totally capable but it would be nice to have some help because a single mothers life is everythng is “have to”, you don’t get a choice. If your not doing it, it just won’t get done.
    And the LONILNESS. Lord have mercy, can be so long, deep and wide. Oft times I liken it to an abyss. I pray harder through those time and cling to God’s promises in His to provide for our every need. And sometime we really need to have folks around that care for us. I am so proud of you for trusting God with your all. That had to be so tough given your situation. I applaud you dear one. God will keep watching out for you and your son. He is always thinking of you and loving you so much. And right now one single mother to another, I am thinking of you and your son and praying God’s Best for you both. Now you have me in tears. :O) Hang in there Mom, were not home yet!!

  4. Don’t forget about the single Dads’. I am the only single dad attending church, there are many single Mothers there, but I get left out of most events, I am finding it harder and harder to say in “church” and when my 2 are gone, I may be also. The guys don’t want me around, because I may hit on their wife(right, not going to happen), and I’m tired of pushing the issue with the elders.

    A forgotten one

  5. I’m still involved attempting to make a difference in the church because when I was a single parent (DAD), I had it hard also! The ladies often have stronger ladies groups in the church and IT IS harder to make good friends as a man. I have found that most of my friendships are one way at first with me doing the most work. But, the good friends catch on after awhile. Hang in there! Build fellowship and church will be easier.

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