Parenting – A Tough Job
There is no doubt that being a single parent is one of the toughest jobs around.
Whether you are a single parent due to divorce, death, or gave birth out of wedlock, you are traveling a tough road. It is equally difficult whether you are the divorced mom or dad, who does or does not have custody. Each single parent family has its own unique challenges.
There are struggles of balancing work, childcare, housework, children’s activities, and visitation schedules. You’d also like some free time for your own needs.
Certainly, financial struggles are usually among the biggest of concerns, particularly for a custodial parent. Unfortunately, the delinquent child support statistics add to these concerns. All the while, in the midst of each of these struggles, the children and their need for attention, quality time, guidance, and day-to-day care seem overwhelming. It seems every facet of life is a juggling act.
Single Parent – The Stories
The following stories describe some of the difficulties of single parenting from different
• “Now that my children are raised, I look back and wonder how we survived. I have two children, a low paying job, and an ex-husband who didn’t pay child support — ever. I often worked two, and at times three, jobs just to keep a roof over our heads and a little bit of food on the table.
I still have pangs of guilt. Why? Because I know that my children’s parental attention
and guidance left a lot to be desired. I had no family to count on for help. Since
I had to work many hours just to survive, I was not there for them. But I found that God kept His protective hand on them and gave me strength to endure.”
• “As a non-custodial single father, I missed my kids tremendously Through their growing up years. I tried to be involved and had them with me when their mother felt generous or needed a babysitter. But it wasn’t the same. One of the most difficult things to deal with was her poisoning their young minds against me. All I could do was to love them and be involved as much as possible. My ex-wife is an unscrupulous woman, but the courts didn’t seem interested in the ‘father’s rights’ for any kind of ‘say.’ In fact, as my son became more difficult and rebellious toward his mom, she had him placed in an orphanage, spitefully refusing to let me have him. After three years, I finally won custody. During that time, I had joined a support group through my church that helped me know
I was not alone. They helped me see that I could not let bitterness rule me. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Look after each other so that none of you will miss out on the special favor of God. Watch out that no bitter root of unbelief rises up among you, for whenever it springs up, many are corrupted by its poison.”
These parents had two very difficult situations. Neither gave up and they found strength, hope, and a joy to endure. So can you if you look in the right places.
Single Parent – Finding Help
One of the best things a single parent can do is seek out a good support system.
Many single parents are states away from family support. If you don’t have the nearby support of a loving family, develop special relationships with others. These relationships can be with other parents who are in the same situation or within a church family. There are many single parent groups who share babysitting, outings, and other services.
• Join or start an “adopt a single parent program.” There are many people, (for example, grandparents who live hours from their grandchildren) who would love to help a single parent with chores, transportation, free time, and childcare. Check out churches in your area.
• Speak to a pastor about younger “mother’s helpers” within the church.
• Join a single parent’s support group. Often, these groups have both family and adult outings.
God can give you great comfort in times of loneliness and distress. God says that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Remember that you can use your single parent experience to strengthen the bonds between you and your children. Ask God to give you strength and guidance to raise your children the way He wants you to while giving you joy in parenting. Find Hope! RnB