January 18, 2013

Tips for Single Parents

Even though I’m remarried, I remember what it was like being a single parent. There were days I wished I could sleep, or had a night off from giving a bath. It’s a tough job parenting alone so this post is for all the single parents. I hope that Jennifer’s tips equip and encourage you!

Also, leave a commitment and enter to win a pack of scripture cards!

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At times, it’ll feel like the hardest thing you’ve ever done. You’ll be forced to make decisions you never wanted to contemplate, and to rely on strength you didn’t even know you had. These practical tips for newly single parents will help you persevere through the challenges you face and gain a renewed sense of hope and personal strength for the days ahead.

1. Develop a Support Network

This is absolutely crucial. You need to know who you can depend on right now. Most likely, this network includes your immediate family and friends, but think about other people in your life who might also help you. Making an actual list of who these people are can help remind you that you’re not alone.

2. Schedule Time to Be Alone

“Me time” is a very powerful tool. It will bring you healing, hope, and perspective. Right now, it’s important that you create pockets of time in your life when you can just be. Time when you’re not accountable for completing a task or responding to questions. Time to sit, to think, to ponder. This is one of the most important single parenting tips, and it’s one that you simply must make time for.

3. Think Outside the Box

If finding time to yourself sounds impossible, consider some creative solutions, like swapping babysitting time with a neighbor or waking up a half-hour before the rest of your household. The time that you give yourself is precious, and it will be fruitful in helping you to establish reserves of inner strength.

4. Be Present with Your Kids

When you’re with your children, make an effort to be emotionally present with them. It would be easy to retreat into your heart right now, but this is a time when your children truly need you more than ever. Simple activities like playing a board game or taking a walk together can go along way toward communicating the message that life will go on and they will, indeed, be okay.

5. Grieve

Expressing your feelings is important to your overall health. Consider writing in a journal or scheduling a regular “date” with a friend to vent, cry, and grieve. Single parents are born of many different situations. Whether you’ve experienced the loss of a spouse, the end of a marriage, or an adjustment to the dream you once held for your life, it is important to grieve and process the loss before moving on.

6. Pay Attention to your Physical Health

This may be a time when you are feeling especially worn down and drained. Combat that by making the effort to eat healthy foods and choose energizing ways to fuel your body. Instead of relying on extra caffeine, try taking a walk at lunchtime. Additionally, getting adequate rest is crucial to your healing and ability to cope. Forgo the temptation to sit in front of the TV. Instead, read a book and retire early.

7. Identify What Gives You Strength

In the past, how have you handled challenging times in your life? What most energizes you and reminds you that you possess the strength needed to meet the current challenge? Focus on what has worked for you in the past

8. Focus on the Positive

This is a time of new growth in your life. Take the time to think about the things that are going well for you. Having a positive attitude – even in the midst of extreme circumstances – can empower you to move ahead and provide your children with a tangible example of the coping strategies you want them to adopt.

9. Ask for Help

Of all of the single parenting tips listed here, this one is probably the most difficult to apply. However, you must know that there really are people around you who would love to help! Keep in mind, too, that asking for help and letting others into your life is a gift to yourself and to the person assisting you. Sharing in one another’s lives during difficult times affirms our human connection and brings a sense of purpose to everyday living.

By Jennifer Wolf, About.com

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Comments

  1. LaShawn Sparks says:

    Praise God from whom ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!
    Thank you woman of God for this message. This word is right on time, it has ministered to the emptiness I thought I had. My husband passed 6 yrs. ago. It has not been easy. I’ve read many books and publications to support me during my grief.This was VERY REFRESHING. At times I feel as if I’m done with grieving, and It’s articles like this that HELP ME to remember to take it one day at a time. God speed my sister! May God continue to use you in this hour to encourage the single mothers in this season!

  2. Adrienne Lynn says:

    This is all very true. It did make me think about the be present. A lot of the time I get tied up even on my cell phone trying to stay connected and it spaces me at times. Thanks for making me think and all the rest is great as well. Single mom 17 year old boy with mental health, 12 year old girl with JRA/JRI And 3 year old speech development delays. Any support and good advice is always a plus

  3. Abby says:

    Micca, Thank you for sharing your story and helping others who have lost their husbands. My close friend lost her husband this past summer in an accident, leaving her devastated and a single parent. These are excellent tips which I’ll share with her, and on my facebook page as well.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a set of scripture cards and for the time you invest in your ministry. ~ Abby

  4. Sonnet Gal says:

    Although I am married, I have an absentee husband, so all that you mentioned about being a single parent also applies to my life. Thank you for the tips! Blessings!

  5. Kristy Hill says:

    Thanks for the tips! I’m a single mom to three boys. My husband of ten years had a string of affairs that ultimately ended our marriage. I feel guilty every day for the energy I don’t have, the patience I don’t have, and for the way that our lifestyle has changed. One good thing to come out of our situation is that our prayer life as a family has grown. My boys have no fear or hesitation talking to God. We’ll be ok!!

  6. Micca: Thank you for the Biblegateway.com Encouragement For Today Article 1-18-13. I prayed the prayer for God to open my eyes to see His help on my behalf. Truly, I felt the spirit of God strengthen me.

    Thank you, E. Michelle Lee

  7. Kara says:

    Thanks for the encouragement! I was a single mom for 3 years before remarrying and now I have a husband that travels half the week…I still long for alone time! Good advice I am going to apply today!!

  8. Dana Cockfield says:

    Thank you for this message for Single Moms. I am a single mom of two great kids, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. I also teacher a Sunday School class for Single Moms.

  9. Shirley says:

    Uplifting article and great reminder that God is with us through the bad times

  10. Teresa Kuhl says:

    I was a single mom all of my daughters’ growing up years. One of the best things you can do for yourself and for your children is to find them regular, Godly male role models. While you can teach them the virtues of a Godly mother, you will all benefit from the influence of a man who will model strength, respect, integrity and other characteristics they can learn from men. Ask your girlfriends husband, your brother or a man from your church to help.

  11. Sherry says:

    It is so empowering to read confirmation of so many things that I have been learning in the last 2 years as a newly single mother of 3 sons. Thank you for this place. I have found that of all the tips, asking for help has been and still remains the hardest one. For many reasons – fear, pride, independance…
    Learning to adjust to a whole new viewpoint of life leaves me in shock if I dwell on it. It is only God who gets me through one day at a time. I thought I knew that before; I didn’t. I do now.

  12. Angie says:

    Thank for this blog and tips! I have been feeling real discouraged lately being a single mom with a preteen and a young child. I think the hardest thing on the list of tips for me is Asking For Help. Sometimes I tend to think I am Super Woman and can do it all but I know I am not because I am starting to feel burnt out and frustrated. I will print these tips and reference them when need be. Thanks again!

  13. Sharon says:

    Thanks for your words of wisdom.

  14. Karen Swanson says:

    How do I leave a commitment to be eligible for the scripture card drawing? I am new to this. I am a widow, single parent and trusting Jesus every step of the way.

  15. Tammy Beyer says:

    Thank you for this refreshing reminder.

  16. carol says:

    If I am picked to win the pack of scriptures, I would give them to my friend who is single parenting her two young children. Todays message is exactly what she is experiencing in her life right now.

  17. Tanya says:

    It’s so important to rest and refresh! I wish I’d had these tips two years ago :) That “me” time is important and also time to pray and fellowship with other women, etc. I found this one of the hardest, because of taking time away from my child who already needed me – however, this rest and refreshment helps so much to be truly present….

  18. Cindy Gammons says:

    Becoming a single mom is very difficult. I have been single for 5 years now and it is still difficult at times. God uses every situation we are in for His glory. I have seen God work in my life through these 5 years. It has not been easy. I have grown in my walk with God through this process and He continues to teach me each day.

    But it has not been an easy road. There are still difficult days where I ask God why I am doing this alone, with no one to help me. Three children ages 11 – 20 is a mountain in itself. It is so hard sometimes just to fix a toilet that is messed up or a hot water heater that does not work, the car that broke down or just to have a companion. But something that God has taught me through this process, I am not alone. He has been with me the whole time. He is there to comfort me, to hold me and to lead me. There are days that still get lonely, but God always finds a way to pick me up.

    Thank you for your tips.

  19. Carol says:

    I ditto your prayer: “asking God to open my eyes so I could see Him & His power & not the concerns of this world!”

  20. Margaret says:

    Thank you for sharing your honesty, Micca! Though I am not a single parent, I face other fears daily and love what you said in today’s devotional on asking God to open my eyes to see His power and love working together to fight MY battle. I love that visual. I want to know, really know, His truth which will set me free!!
    Have a blessed day~
    Margaret

  21. Lisa Norris says:

    One word….AMEN. My loss was the result of a dream of forever togetherness tarnished by infedelity and the lies that gave the other one a way out….now they have been married for a few months now and I have been feeling less than adequate….like he really did better without me, like that grass really is greener. I really wish people would understand that you dont have to mistreat people to make someone else feel secure in the relationship. At any rate, I do feel like going forward in the Lord. It is hard. but I am determined to do it….because I dont feel like crying another year. GOD bless each and every woman on this post/blog and GOD bless you Micca. Thank you for sharing the heart of our Father. Lisa

  22. Michelle W. says:

    Thank you for the perfect timing of your devotion today. Although not a single parent, I face daily fears about parenting and life’s daily challenges. What a great reminder of what God can do in our lives if we trust in his love and power. Your book “An Untroubled Heart” looks like a perfect read for me.

    Blessings,
    Michelle

  23. kristin says:

    Thank you for this post. Following the death of my marriage last august (it was divorce but feels like a death nonetheless) I relied on me and prayer. The idea of making a list of folks you can count on is brilliant! Doing that now! Thank you.

  24. Pam says:

    I have gotten through and you can too,being a single mom. My husband left me and I raised my kids with just the Lord on my side! With God ALLLLLLLLLLL things are possible! I am living proof. If I can do it, anyone can.I now have met a godly man and will marry at 53.God is resoring all that the locusts have eaten!.
    Would love to win some scripture cards………Lord you know who needs them most. God bless and Happy New Year to all!
    Every thing WILL BE beautiful in it’s time!(HE says so and you CAN count on it!)

  25. Anita says:

    I am a single grandparent to a 4 year old and 2 year old. I don’t live close to family that can help me very often. I am starting all over. It is a little difficult the second time around. What if I mess up? Can I give them all they need and still have time for me? These are questions I ask myself often. I work full time and try to give them as much time as I can but it leave little time for me. I feel guilty if I try to take time for myself. These 9 pointer are a new start for me. Thanks.

  26. Aimee says:

    Thank you for these helpful tips. My husband of nearly 11 years went home to be w/ Jesus suddenly in September, just three wks after our son was born. I have been through what seems like every emotion there is. God has truly taken me from a pile of ruin on the floor to a place of real hope over the last few months. And my son needs his momma to be the best she can be for him. He deserves a healthy home. Not one full of saddness & despair. God bless all of the single moms out there!! We need God AND each other for strength and encouragement!

  27. Missy Edwards says:

    Thank you so much for all your encouraging words and wonderful advice! I have been a single mom to two wonderful Godly childern for 9 years and for every down day I have 10 that make up for it! I love to live by the old saying that God never gives us more than we can handle…I add to it and say that when we think he has…remember that we are just not pushed to our full potential and he is just nudging us closer to see in our selves what He ALREADY sees!!
    Thank you and may God Bless you every day in every way!!!
    Missy
    Tennessee!

  28. Lisa says:

    I have a 10 year old boy, was never married & have been a single mom since day one! I feel like there are many points made in your blog that remind me of how I should be facing my day versus the way I actually face my day. I think having the burden to provide and face every decision and challenge alone has worn me out! I liked the reminder to be emotionally there for your children. Sometimes I am here with my son, but mentally I realize I’m not even paying attention. I pray every day to be a better parent and the strength to work past my tiredness to be emotionally there & give him the attention his wonderful self deserves!

  29. Alicia says:

    Thank you, for your words and wisdom. I pray that one day I to can be the hands, feet and eyes of Our Lord! Although my walk has been slow and detoured at times, I know that I am not alone! It will be 3 years in April that I became a single parent of my two extraordinary girls. Between Gods strength and my girls showing me that life can be full of love I ln

  30. Alicia says:

    Thank you once again, For your words of encouragement and wisdom and I continue to pray that God will use me the way he sees fit. Right now I volunteer in my children’s school every week, which refuels my heart with joy and love! I work three days a week and love what I do! I also teach in a fourth /fifth grade girls classroom, ministering at my church, Which also happens to refuel me for the entire week… although my vision is to minister to single moms out there and encourage them that life will continue on and just to know that no matter what storms come in to darken our lives, always know that our God WILL NEVER LEAVE US OR FORESAKE US!!! He will bring back OUR LIGHT, OUR HOPE AND FILL OUR HEARTS UP AGAIN WITH HIS LOVE…….

  31. Matrika says:

    Thank you for this message it’s exactly what I needed to hear! I am a single mother of one and its difficult but I thank God because he has been there every step of the way!

  32. Sue says:

    I agree with all the things you said. 10 years ago I suddenly became a widow after 20 years, and had 4 children, with the 2 youngest in pre-school. Thank goodness for church family and amazing friends. Focusing on the kids is what got me up every morning and through the day, and with God’s help I managed the 10 years ok. I’m getting remarried later this year!

  33. Mary Angela says:

    I am so thankful to have found your blog. I have been a single Mom of three young boys for more than 5 years. I struggle every day just to keep our heads above water. Reading your “be present” encouragement really hit home for me. As much as I try to provide for my sons, oftentimes daily life obligations get in the way of our connections. Thank you and God bless.

  34. Lisa Cullen says:

    My husband left us 4 years ago for another woman in another state. He was back and forth the first 2 years and I tried everything to keep my family together but was unsuccessful. 3 years ago I started attending church in the midst of this crisis. It has truly helped me. I feel that the Bible is the greatest self help book available. I am still new in my walk with the Lord but am trusting him to raise my daughter correctly. This was a wonderful devotion for me to read. Thanks so much!

  35. Amber M says:

    Doing it alone is so hard, it never crossed my mind I would have to. I know God will see us thru, Im trying hard to keep my faith forefront in my mind because its hard to “feel” the truth that i thankfully “know”

  36. Kerry ANn says:

    Wonderful article and great reminder that God is with us through the bad times as well as the good!

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