Time is fleeting, especially for single parents - and their kids. Single moms and dads work both ends against
the middle with time and money in a valiant effort to give their children more than they can truly provide alone. In fact, if you break it down, this effort causes a certain amount of self-neglect. Many single parents go without self-care:
1. Physically: Healthy Nutrition/Vitamins, Exercise, and Rest
2. Spiritually: Quality Time with God, Family, and Friends
3. Mentally: Education and Empowerment
For those of us who are single moms and dads, or who are passionate about helping single parent families, it is so important to remember and OVERCOME this.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day present a perfect opportunity for single families to enjoy the gift of time together. If you are an employer of a single parent, or a neighbor, or family member, or even a minister, you can give the gift quality
time with family, or time for rest – or better yet BOTH!
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day also present a perfect opportunity for Empowerment. Both parents and children often need help in “gifting” in a single family. It can be awkward to help your own child recognize you when you are parenting alone.
Kids need to be empowered with ways to express their love and gratitude to their parents. Parents themselves often feel undeserving, or as if they are broken. I really think it is important to acknowledge that being a single family is ok. It may not be what was planned – but it does not mean that single families are broken. There are many paths to single parenthood and it is time to acknowledge that Single Families are not necessarily “broken”. Recognizing single parents by collecting and providing cards and/or restaurant gift cards, movie passes, or other ways for the families to get together is a great way to engage the community to support families who can be very low and feeling incomplete – or worse yet, inadequate.
In order to empower single families during this time, Single Parent Advocate hosts a Mother’s Day Banquet and provides empowering speakers to help remind single moms of how precious and full of promise and potential they are. We also provide crafts for the kids to make and carnations to give. It is always a special time for all of us.
For Father’s Day, in the past Single Parent Advocate has hosted BBQ/picnics and provided sponsor donated raffle prizes that include tickets to local sports events, movies, and other activities that fathers can enjoy with their kids. We have also hosted self-defense workshops and honored fathers at a benefit concert with certificates of recognition and
thanks. Dads are tough to get out and be a part of these things – but it is so important. If you are single dad, please plug into a local single family group
If you are a single mom or a single dad and you are reading this, please give yourself an honest break alongside your children, and your single family friends – enjoy the gift of time this year. Quality time to rest, play, pray and recharge inside and out as individuals and as a family or community. Remember you are irreplaceable and invaluable in the lives of your family.
Often single parents ask me about “being mother and father”. I really don’t follow that mentality. I always looked at God as my spouse in our household during my time as a single mom. That is His promise and His place in a single family. So, even though my son’s father was absent, there was rarely (if ever) a spirit of grief or resentment there - because God made a way. He always filled our hearts and hopes, and He always made a way.
Ok, so here are some words of wisdom from others who inspire me – I hope you will write these on your heart, post them on your fridge, and teach them to your children. Guard your comings and goings with thanksgiving, hope, patience, grace, and above all else – love.
Happy Mother’s and Father’s Days Everyone!
Psalm 68:4–6 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him wh rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing…
“Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside
of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.” - Earl Nightingale
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. -Thomas A. Edison
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time
to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil?
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human
heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while
13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.
14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it
and nothing taken from it.