Can I do this alone? Will my children turn out alright? Will they have faith in the heavenly Father even if they don't have an involved earthly father? Where do I fit into the Church?

These are questions and concerns many singles mothers face when they find themselves - often unexpectedly - raising their children alone. Author Sandra Aldrich knows these fears and concerns - she sucessfully raised her two children after her husband's death. For decades she has been reaching out to other single moms as a mentor and encourager. Below is an edited interview with Sandra about the updated version of her book, From One Single Mother to Another (Regal Books).
 

Crosswalk:  First, can you give a little background?  What's your story as a single mom? 

Sandra Aldrich:  I am a Kentucky woman, and I was raised to take care of a man and younguns, have a big garden, and quilt. I did not plan on being a single parent, but then brain cancer came swooping in. Our son had just turned 10.  Our daughter was 8 and a half, and I didn't have a clue how I was going to raise these children alone. 

God had a wonderful idea when he put a daddy and a mommy and a family [together], and it provides that balance. I remember so many well-meaning friends at church would say, "Oh, honey, it's so wonderful that now you're both mother and father."  Well, I didn't want to be both mother and father, but I bought into that.  I even said publically that I wanted to be the type of parent that, on Mother's Day, my children would buy me a dozen roses, and on Father's Day, they would buy me a new 5/8 crescent wrench. 

Now, that was just wrong thinking, because we were not called to be both mother and father.  We were called to be the best mother or the best father that we can be, and then just desperately pray that God will take up the slack.  So, even though I hadn't prepared to be a single mother, I learned the hard way.  That is why I wrote From One Single Mother to Another, to just put my arm around a reader and say, "Honey, you can do this.  Just keep hanging onto the Lord, keep putting one foot in front of the other."

CW:  So, we hear all the terrible statistics of what happens to kids without a father, but your kids have grown up to be quite wonderful. 

SA:  Thank you, Jesus! 

(Laughter)

CW:  So, is it true that single parents can raise healthy, holy kids? 

SA:  Yes, single parents can raise decent citizens, can raise well-educated, happily-married young people.  My children, now, we had tough years of course as a single-parent family, and I'm not going to say it was just all sugar and spice, but my children, neither one of them turned out to be an ax murder.  They are both college educated, gainfully employed, happily married, and I am so grateful for that. 

The media, sadly, tells Christian parents that because they are divorced or widowed now, or never married, that their children are going to grow up to do all sorts of horrible things, and that is not necessarily true.  Our part is to keep hanging onto the Lord, to pray desperately, to keep them in church, but to know that God is not finished with any of us yet, and I am so grateful for that. 

CW:  So, what's a little bit of advice that you would like to give to a single mother today who is in the throws of the younger years, wondering what the future holds?