I didn’t think I’d ever anonymously write an article about help for single mothers and fathers.
I mean, I had friends who were single parents, I knew of single parents, but the appreciation I have for single parents grew exponentially once I became one. It’s hard. And we need help. But it can be hard to find help for single mothers and fathers to meet the daily, sometimes relentless challenges: not being there for all of your child’s firsts, helping your child integrate healthily into different homes, not having a partner to share in parenting responsibilities and decisions. It’s hard to know if you’re doing it right as a single parent with integrity and consistency. One challenge is navigating single parenthood during the holidays and vacations. On a recent vacation, God taught me something, yet again, about parenthood.
I enjoy snow skiing and seeing God’s beauty on display in beautiful snow-covered mountains. This year, I decided to take my son skiing for the first time. He is 5, and I wasn’t sure if he’d like the cold, skiing, or going on a vacation that didn’t involve trains.
He walked into the ski school and said, “Mommy, will I be able to do this? I don’t know if I can do it.” I kneeled down to look in his little brown eyes and gave him the best mommy pep talk I could muster.
I stood at the fence as he was in line to take his first ski run down the kiddie hill. He looked at me through the fence nervously. I told him to be brave, have fun, and that he could do it. At the top, he put his skis into a “pizza” triangle, bent his knees, and gave it his best try. I found myself crying with joy (actually sobbing) watching him step into something scary and new. He looked at me after and said “Mommy, I did it!”
That experience made me think of being a single parent.
When I ask Jesus if I will be able to do something hard or something new, He shows me in different ways that I can. When I am mentally, physically, or emotionally drained (often at the same time), I remember to pause and ask for His truth, strength, courage, or whatever I need in the moment. And when the Lord sees me go to the top of the mountain, bend my knees, and bravely step into my role as a parent, I believe He is there beaming with joy.
Right there, on a ski slope, I found help for single mothers and fathers everywhere. God reminded me how very much He loves me. We are never in this alone if we lean on one another and into God, His strength, and His comfort. What a gift! And we can remember that He sees us. He loves us. And He’s proud of everything we do out of our love for Him—even when it’s scary.
If you’re navigating the path of being a single parent and find it challenging—I do too! My best piece of help for single mothers and fathers? Find your people. I can’t imagine doing it without Jesus and community. I am blessed to have followers of Jesus in my LifeGroup who can pray for me and give me parenting advice. Seriously, if you’re a single mom or dad, find a church community you can plug into and grow with. I get to speak the truth of Scripture over myself every morning, which I learned in church from Pastor Craig, especially from two teaching series we did this past year: Words to Live By and Mastermind.
Because I am a follower of Jesus, I can seek His courage, strength, and wisdom every day. I get to take my imperfect human self and do the best I can every day to help a little boy grow and know how much Jesus loves him (and how much Mommy loves him, too). As I experience the challenges of being a single parent, I also recognize the amazing blessings.
God has placed help for single mothers and fathers in unexpected places everywhere. In the gift of His Holy Spirit encouraging, teaching, and comforting us—even on a ski slope. In the kind words and actions of our friends. And certainly in the love of the amazing children we get to raise.