Women and single parenting is a subject in which I know only too well. The statistics across the United States now show that there is 50% of households with children that have divorced parents. Many of these households have remarried, and many have been in more than one divorce. For myself? I have been a single mom for 28 years of my now 70 years. It is not a subject Christians want to address. My younger daughter, now 46, is a single mom with 3 teenage, one 22 and working but, still living at home.
I’m sure there were unmet needs when she was a child, that most articles on the subject do not even begin to cover. When you are a single mom and working; there is no choice, there is pain involved on every side. There is resentment too, because you cannot be an at-home mom and tend to every need, and in a sense, had it not have been for my parents with my oldest three kids who were alive then, in the 70’s, they would have been latchkey kids. And with my youngest I had at 40, who in all essence, was an only child, living with me alone, I was thankful to have Christian babysitters. It is not only difficult for the mother, but the children as well.
When I was 38 years old and my oldest went to college, I tried again going to college too. I took art education in college, and had a lot of plans, but then remarried for the last time, never knowing this man was bi-polar either; and I’d have a son with him, that I’d later loose to suicide (bi-polar also). I know pain. The decent men were not out there, and by that time, we put up walls of distrust.
Women need to help these women when they see them struggle. I see these young mothers in church and in mu neighborhood and with family and friends. I now have 8 grandchildren, 7 of whom I see and are a blessing. The other, who has two of my great-grandchildren, I haven’t seen since she was small. (Another product of my oldest son’s divorce, as well as mine.) Unfortunately, for me though, my oldest daughter who is happily married, with three children, now all nearly grown, lives in VA. I miss them, and look forward to their summer visits, which do not happen every year. Links such as this and Facebook, bring us closer together!
I wish churches would be there more for these young women. If any one person needed the Lord, it is them. When my youngest daughter had breast cancer, her world was devastated 8 or so years ago. And she was alone with her children, scared. You cannot show all your fears to your children, after all. To them she had to be strong. She has done a good job as a parent and her children are all Christians, though I know not if saved, but active in youth groups at church. But, it comes as a price as it did with me. Now in my older age, and with all my arthritic and health problems, I could not help her and she could not help me. But the love is there. For that is what I hang on to.
I don’t want people who read this to think I am advocating being a single mother. I made wrong decisions young. I should have stayed married to my first husband, who I married in church. I then picked the wrong men; the 2nd husband was abusive, and a womanizer, and the last 10 years later was bi-polar and deserted. Three strikes your out! The wall went up around me. The ideal situation which is God, country, and the Bible, is for a man and a woman to be married. The man head of house, not as an abuser or controller but as an equal. And I do not advocate the far lefts’ version of anything goes either. But, it was not the fault of my daughter that her husband cheated on her, or my fault that my husband deserted with panic attacks and bi-polar, too stressed to deal with a wife and baby. Nor was it my fault when my oldest children’s father beat me in my 20’s and cheated on me, with a woman he would not give up on my doorstep, with three children upstairs sleeping. (I could have ended up like Joey Butafuco’s wife with my face shot, for this woman was vile.) Whether or not, I made wrong choices young isn’t even up for discussion. I know I did. When I fell in love, I fell totally. Gut, even out of errors I had the fruition of my children, and so much love, and my grandchildren, who I am so proud of. It is a hard, hard, road. And while married mothers’ have a hard road, they have someone to lean on at the end of the day, as well as Jesus, if Christians. But, these single moms, have only the Lord, as their husband, father, and head of house…(if Christian). And without God? I don’t know how they can even endure!
I think churches and communities ought to reach out more to these women. For are we not to show compassion to those that are struggling?
I also think communities need to reach out to young men, and teach youth in churches, young men, especially, to be good husbands and fathers, and how to commit. Teach them to be monogamous, and sensitive to women’s needs. The world has changed too much now, and we have lost all our values. Pop culture and reality shows have taken over, casting out morality. It is not the real world, but a world of fantasy the young are looking for. The days of upbringing in the 1950’s are over, and temptation looms all around. These young women today, are under so much pressure from the outside world in competition in the workplace, and then get criticized when the marriage fails. These young single moms and their children that are forced into single parenting, in my estimation deserve a gold medal. And these young girls that are still teens having babies though to stay on welfare? Someone needs to reach these girls. Teach them to stand on their own two feet, get state aid yes, but, only for awhile. Get an education and stop thinking the State and a “man” is going to take care of them. And kick that boyfriend out, who is eating up your food stamps, maybe doing drugs, living on easy street, drinking beer all day. Make something of yourself, then you could meet someone decent, and go to church! They have no self-esteem whatsoever. I worked my way up with 3 children at home, going to night school, and bettering myself in my 30’s. I can’t was not in my vocabulary. I love to learn. And I had good jobs young, for non profits, the legislature in NH, insurance companies etc.
I hope this gives some understanding, for it’s a hard job raising children alone. I hope young women that read this and are teens with a baby? Go out and get that education. Go to your local church for help and counseling. There are FAFSA grants for college, even a tech. school for nursing, etc. My daughter now is an RN and as a single mom, is going after her BA degree. It can be done. You can do it. Don’t quit. Have a goal, and a plan. Don’t let anyone ruin your dream, for your life only comes around once. And with that call on the Lord to help you. My prayers are with you. One of my daughters did it, and a good job at that. God bless you…