Is that a joke? Finding rest as a single mom? Motherhood is a full-time, 24/7, 365 days per year job and there’s simply no vacation. We love those babies more than anyone else on earth possibly could. They bring us joy and laughter and our hearts could almost burst when we see them hit a new milestone. Mothers love like no other, but we also serve like no other. The role a mom plays in a household is irreplaceable. Many moms often struggle to find time to sneak in a shower or sit down for thirty seconds, much less actually rest. And if you factor in that single moms have no reprieve offered by a spouse, it’s easy to see why single moms are exhausted.
Moms are the boo-boo kissers, chauffeurs, schedulers, advice givers, organizers, cleaning ladies, homework helpers, cooks, sock locaters, problem solvers, and defenders. We iron, wash dishes, make the phone calls, throw in a load of clothes, apply lipstick, and cook a meal – and that’s usually before the kids even wake.
As my older children have aged into adulthood, there are a few things I have learned to be critical for me to be the best mom I can be.
Don’t stop dreaming. When I found myself a single mom of two children at nineteen years old, it was all I could do to simply survive. The day-to-day tasks of caring for children, working, and cleaning seemed to be unbearable. All my childhood dreams went on the backburner somewhere and were forgotten for many years. As the years passed, I began to recognize that the dreams God gave me were not lost, they were stifled. The more I embraced who God wanted me to be through those long-ago dreams, the most at rest I found myself. I stopped striving and simply rested.
Take time for you. I talk to so many single moms that feel guilty for taking any time for themselves. They work full time and have an endless to-do list, so when they do get a few minutes of downtime, they are convinced they cannot spend it on themselves. Yes, it is crucial that your children receive quality time with you. But also recognize that taking the time to rest, to work on you, and to grow as a woman of God isn’t slighting your children. It actually serves them well to have their mom running at 100% versus barely functioning at 50%.
Join a single mom’s Bible study. I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll say it a thousand more. We all yearn for fellowship. Single moms are no different. Single Mom’s Bible studies give single mothers the opportunity to share experiences that are unique to them. They network, share ideas and best practices, celebrate the victories, and pray through the hardships. Single Mom’s Bible studies are growing in popularity around the country. Find one near you.
Enjoy a girls’ weekend. Even if it’s a stay-cation, you can find great rest in gathering girlfriends and enjoying some special time! Get a few friends together and plan a weekend. It doesn’t have to cost much.
And….. if you are single mom looking for that perfect girls weekend for this summer, consider attending the 2015 National TLSM Single Moms Conference June 19-20, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Single parenting experts from around the world are flying in to invest expertise and wisdom into single mothers. This faith-filled two-day weekend is complete with free childcare, 2 meals, worship, breakout sessions on everything from Healing Damaged Emotions to Raising Boys Alone, and national speakers. Single moms from more than two dozen states have already registered. Find out more at www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.
Jennifer Maggio is an award-winning author and founder of The LIfe of a Single Mom Ministries. Through her own mistakes, Maggio is passionate about sharing her journey with other single parents to encourage and equip them, teaching them to embrace the love of Christ. She believes the body of Christ can make a significant impact in the lives of single parent families. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.