Mother’s Day and the Single Mom
by Laurie Whitaker
I have a drawer in my home where I keep treasures. Hand written notes, cards, and artwork from my children. Among them is a poem that my youngest son wrote for me one Mothers Day and I will share it with you so that you can smile just like I do every time I read it.
You are my Mom, my one and only,
you help me at times when I am lonely.
I love you Mom above all the earth
from all the way back to my birth.
Mom you were made from above, in the
hands of the Lord with unfailing love.
You do not hate, you do not envy
and you keep on going when the burden is heavy.
You’re smart, you’re kind and you’re Super Mom!
When I am mad you make me calm.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the light.
He keeps you on track both day and night.
Even if the problem is tight,
He will keep you in His sight.
Your love is great. Your heart is clean.
It does not go in the washing machine.
Unlike Satan with his heart of mold,
you’re heart is of solid gold.
What a great responsibility and privilege is the role of motherhood, having little ones look to us for love, protection, guidance and hearts that do not need to go in washing machines!
As this is the month that we remember and celebrate moms, I have been spending a lot of time thinking of the women who attend our Single Moms Fellowship here at the church. I have spoken to these moms about their experiences and have been contemplating and praying about how we as a church can support these women and really make a difference.
First of all I believe that it is possible to make a difference in the lives of single parent families. Single parents arrive at single parenthood through different circumstances, and while it is important to understand how they got there, it is more important to understand who they are and where they are going. God has a plan for them all.
The church has the ability to change and encourage for the good the lives of single parents and their children both spiritually and practically and we should be actively involved in the pursuit of that change.
We should be praying for this significant part of our church body. They are part of the CrossRoads family and story.
The truth is, there is probably not one of us who is not affected by single parenting. Maybe you are a single parent, and you experience the journey on a daily basis. Or maybe you were raised by a single parent. Maybe you work with one or have one in your family. All of us know a single mom.
Maybe the single moms in your life seem like they have it all together. There are some amazingly strong single parents today and many are doing well financially and are successfully parenting. They are healthy emotionally and spiritually. But even those strong, amazing single parents could use a helping hand and a word of encouragement.
Think about it for a minute.
For some they experience years with no financial input but their own, no partner to discuss parenting strategies or dialogue with about a decision, no words of affirmation or encouragement at the end of a difficult day. No partner to stay with the kids so they can run to the store for some milk. It’s all up to them. This is reality for many parents in our church and community.
Single moms are of great concern to God. He calls Himself “father to the fatherless” and the husband of the woman who has no husband. If that is who God calls Himself, then it’s who He is. And if we are trying to be more like Him then it should be of high importance to us.
God wants to step in – and wants to do so through His people. We have a responsibility, a personal responsibility as God’s people to care for (in the Bible’s words) the orphan and the widow. When we seek to truly know God’s heart for single moms, we enter into a tender place in His heart and we learn more of Him and His character.
How can you practically help a mom who is parenting alone? Not one suggestion fits all as there are many different situations, but here are a few things I have been told by some of the moms in the group.
- Babysitting. Single mothers often work many hours per week and are hesitant to ask for help. Babysitting can be expensive. Encourage the single mothers in your life to take a night off without worrying about the expense. They need it.
- Provide childcare to the Single Moms Fellowship group. There is a need for loving care for the little ones who come with their moms. You are welcome to come early and share supper with us and spend some time with the moms as well.
- Offer to grocery shop for her, watch her children so she can shop in peace, or go together. Shopping is a simple task, but shop alone with three children hanging from the buggy and you’ll see the challenge many single parents face weekly.
- If you as a family are going to the park, invite her children or all of them to join you. Or invite them over for a meal. This builds relationships between families and also allows this mom’s children to spend time with a father figure that they may not be getting otherwise. You have opportunity to have a positive impact.
- Give her some woman to woman time. Sometimes the best way to serve a single mom is to invite her to coffee for some genuine adult conversation.
- Find out her practical needs. Perhaps she needs some advice about her vehicle or home repairs. That clunky sound in her van sounds dreadful to her and she doesn’t know if the mechanic is going to overcharge her. That constantly dripping tap can seem overwhelming when you don’t have any knowledge of such things or know who to call for help.
- Invite a mom to join your small group. What a way to be the body of Christ and get to know her and her needs. Give her a place to feel comfortable and welcome inside your home and group and grow in her faith, to develop supportive and nurturing relationships.
- Share your story or giftings. Our group of women would love to hear your story of how God sustained you and was faithful to you in your experience as a single parent or growing up in a single parent home. This is so encouraging and hope giving. Perhaps you have some gifting or talents or professional experience that you would be willing to come and share with us. Please contact me so we can discuss this further.
- Provide mentoring for her children. There are children in our church longing for some male interaction. Mentoring provides an opportunity to meet that need. To these young ones it does not matter how smart you are, or how athletic you are, they are looking for someone who can be there. A number of people in our church mentor kids in the community. They would tell you that mentoring enriches their lives as much as it helps the children.
- Men – take two. Are you taking your son or daughter on an outing? Why not take along the child of a single parent as well? Of course this would entail you knowing the mom already, and that is the point.
Although there are organizations and programs around that support the single parent, there is no organization that can replace the act of one person reaching out to another and demonstrating God’s love. And is that not what we are called to do? I encourage you this month to make a connection with a mom who is parenting on her own. Take time to consider how you may be of encouragement and blessing to her in her role as a mother.
If you would like more information on the Single Moms Fellowship or how you can get involved in the lives of these women please contact me (LaurieW@CrossRoadsChurch.Ca); I would love to meet with you.