Tell Her the Truth
I was a single mom for eleven years, and for me, that meant I had a collection of eleven years’ worth of negative messages in my head that I battled. From friends who are single mothers, I found out that many of them had the same battle. Here are a few common themes: “My son is going to suffer because of my failures.” “My daughter is doomed to failed relationships because of me.” “No good man is going to want a woman with three kids.” “No man will see my scarred body as beautiful.”
The single mom that you want to support may have some ugly lie, like the ones above, floating in her head, popping up from time to time. She may not ever voice the fear, but what might help is for her to hear truth from you. Tell her about the strength you see in her, and how you see her child flourishing as a result of the love she gives. A spoken truth from you may be a balm to her doubting mind. A spoken truth from you, the person she trusts and respects, may provide her with the arsenal she needs to battle “single-mom lies.”
Give Her a Break
913 nights…that’s the approximate number of nights that I spent caring for my son before he ever slept through the night. Single moms may work hard to fulfill dual roles of mom and dad, while juggling work, quality time with children, financial woes, all the housework, family dynamics…the list can go on and on. I know how tired and stressed I was, so often, WITH a great support system.
Support that single mom you love by asking how you can help. A “break” is defined differently by different mothers, so it may be as simple as babysitting for two hours so she can get a pedicure, or gifting $5 for that Happy Meal her child wants. A little break can go a long way in helping a single mom continue the marathon of motherhood.
Love Her Children
One of the best ways to show love to me is to show love to my children. As a single mom, I saw how much my son benefited from having cousins, coaches, teachers, and friends in his life, people who took a real interest in him and spent time with him. If we remember that many single moms worry about how their children might “miss out” on essential factors needed to feel loved and to be successful, then the value of having individuals to help provide those essentials becomes priceless.
So, be her son’s fan at his ball games. Be a healthy role model to her daughter. Show genuine interest in her children and their development, and you will show genuine love to her.
Dear Single Mom, My prayer is that you will see how valuable you are. Be kind to yourself. Remember that your children can be resilient and overcome any challenge, as long as they never doubt your unconditional love for them. My Valentine’s wish for you is threefold: I wish for you to replace a lie with a truth, I wish for you to get a quality mental and physical break, and I wish for you and your children to be surrounded by a loving support system.
With love, Bridgette Enloe Kiser