Last week we started a three-week series with a friend of mine who suddenly lost her husband and has been thrown into single parenting.
I believe the lessons she is learning are helpful to many so I have invited her to share some of her journey with us. Gracious is an E coach in South Africa. You can contact her on this website, HYPERLINK “http://courses.knowinggod.co.za/” “_blank” courses.knowinggod.co.za.
Below is this week’s article.
There are several challenges that a single mom face. If I am to be asked what the number one struggle for a single mom is, I would say, “Raising kids!”
I still remember that what broke my heart and still what breaks my heart is the same question my then five-year-old had, just different of course, “Who is going to father my children?” It pains a widow’s heart to embrace the fact that their kids will never be able to see and have a biological father. Parenting is not an easy task, even when both parents are still alive. The joy however when both parents are still alive is that it is a shared responsibility. Every parent desire to raise a well-rounded child who will be able to contribute positively to the society. A single mom desire to do that on her own and it is a battle. Here are some questions we battle with: “how do I replace the father’s love and affection that my kids used to receive, am I giving them enough time, love, and support?” I know in some settings it is different for those who are divorced, some dads are doing their best.
A daunting task for a single mom is raising boys! We desire to raise boys who will turn out to be great husbands and fathers for the next generation! The grand question is how do we do that and who is available to model that especially when the dad is gone forever or absent? Recently I had a chat with lawyer, what pained me the most in my conversation with her is when she mentioned how many times she has to rely on her colleagues who are not Christians to have a man to man talk with her seventeen-year-old son. I know for sure one can say I am biased since I do not know the other side of the story. The second struggle will try to answer the bias!
Stereotype! The sad part is that stereotype is seen even in churches and families. It hurts to be judged without being given the opportunity to share your story! Single moms have been given bad names! Single moms are generally seen as failures and threats to marriages. It is not always true! Yes there cases like that but I would like to put it out there that not every
The same way married couples have clear boundaries to preserve their marriages and honour God, some single moms have clear boundaries and still want to honour God! I talked to a single mom who went through divorce eighteen years ago. She has clear boundaries and she has stayed pure before God. Before I got married, I had my boundaries, when I was married I had them and now that I am widowed, I still have! Above all we trust God to enable us, guide us in each relationship not just the boundaries.
Juggling responsibilities! Some days one has a very long list which has both important and urgent things! Here is my classic example and I must mention that it was my first time feeling the real pressure of being a single mom. Kids had opened school, I needed to help them with homework, there was a meeting for parents in the evening.
I still had other things that needed my attention despite all this. I had taken my car for service, kids’ homework was not yet done and, on my way, to the meeting I got a call that the car was ready for collection. How do I split myself? Tears rolled as I was seated in an Uber Car. I redirected the Uber, went to pick up the car first and was I late for the meeting. I came back home late, still had to finish help my kids with homework and the other staff. I remembered how we used to juggle responsibilities around as husband and wife. I cried my self to sleep and there was no one to say, “what a long day we had!”
I have not even touched on finances, loneliness, and all but you can have an idea of how it feels to be a single mom. In my last article I want to offer a challenge, how couples and the body of Christ can offer practical help to single moms!
*Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker, team building facilitator, author and the Producer of a hit TV show offering practical advice to strengthen families and improve marriages! Episodes of her show can be downloaded from her website – www.ashleythaba.com. You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba. You can buy three of her books, Dive In, Making Marriages Fun, and Conquering the Giants, on her website. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook at: Talking with the Thabas