Dear Single Mama,
I am writing you this letter to let you know you are not alone. Being a single mom is hard and it is even harder for people who have never been in a single moms shoes.
Everyday life can be a challenge from making a budget to managing the thoughts that cross our minds.
Will I be able to pay the rent?
Do we have enough food to last?
How will I pay for Christmas?
What if my car breaks down?
Is there enough toilet paper to last until payday?
These and so many more thoughts become struggles because it is so easy to focus on what you don’t have. Especially when you have no idea how.
I remember being a single mom. It was hard. And it seemed like every married person thought they knew what was best for me and my kids. Truth is they didn’t because they have never been in my shoes before.
When you have to wash the same pair of socks three times a week and dry them in the oven, life is hard. And maybe a little embarrassing. I know because this was my life when my daughter was little.
We were so broke I didn’t even have enough money to go to the laundromat let alone buy new socks.
It wasn’t always like that though. Eventually things got better and I could afford new socks and a trip to the laundromat.
It wasn’t until my daughter turned 19 that I really felt like I wasn’t struggling anymore. Yet here I felt like a complete failure because I was never able to give her much as child like I am able to her brother who is now 10.
Looking back there are four things I wish I would have known. Four things that changed my life.
- Take 100% responsibility for where you are in life –
This was life changing for me. You see I went to college to better myself but things only got worse. I couldn’t find a job and a minimum wage job just didn’t pay the bills.
I felt stuck. It seemed like no matter what I did, I couldn’t get ahead. But once I realized I was where I was because I chose to be there, things began to change.
Where are you in life right now? Where do you want to be? What have you done to help you get there?
Do you want a better paying job? Do you have the skills? Have you done anything to get the skills?
When I realized this I took a job that I liked. It paid just a little over minimum wage but I was grateful and I worked that job like it was my last resort.
Eventually I got a better job and then an even better job. That job is now allowing me to build a business from home.
- Stop Playing the Blame Game –
If you are blaming anyone for anything you need to stop. This isn’t healthy and it will get you nowhere!
You are where you are because you chose to be there. That hurts I know. It hurt me too when I first heard this.
I don’t know about you but I blamed everyone around me for everything. At times I even blamed God.
If my car broke down it was not my fault even though I never had the oil changed or a tune up done. If I got a flat tire well that wasn’t my fault either. After all things are supposed to last forever, right?
And it was not my fault I was $80,000 in student loan debt. Nope that was the world’s fault because no one would give me a job directly out of college with absolutely no experience.
- Forgive Yourself and Forgive Others-
The Bible talks a lot about forgiving. Yet it seems so taboo. We tend to hold onto a grudge sometimes for no reason at all.
For most of my life I hated men. Why because growing up I watched my men beat on my mom until she was a bloody mess. There was one time I witnessed a man nearly kill her right in front of me and my brother.
Over the years the anger just kept building and building until finally as an adult myself I pushed away every good man who crossed my path.
It took me a long time to realize we choose to hold a grudge and we let go of it whenever we want. We just have to make the choice to do so.
Forgiveness is a choice too. We have to make the decision to forgive both yourself and others.
For me it was easy to forgive others but when it came to forgiving myself I couldn’t do it. It just seemed wrong. I felt like such a failure as a mom. And an even bigger failure to God.
My past haunted me for so long until one day the truth was revealed. How can God forgive us if we don’t forgive ourselves?
Yes, my past still haunts me from time to time but now I understand that is only the devil trying to throw me off course.
Whatever is in your past is in your past. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. So why dwell over something you can’t change?
Instead you need to focus on the now. Forgive yourself and anyone who has ever done you wrong and move on.
- Show Gratitude in everything-
Gratitude literally changed my life. When I went through these four steps gratitude is the one that really had an impact.
Coming from someone who hated the world and was ungrateful about everything, gratitude gave me a new life.
I don’t know your current situation. Maybe you are sleeping on a twin mattress on the floor like I once did with my son.
Or maybe you washing your kids clothes out by hand, like I once did. Whatever it is you are going through find a way to be grateful.
I promise by showing a little bit of gratitude instead of complaining will lead you to a better outcome.
So if you are working at a job that you hate, be grateful you have a job. And trust that a better one will come when the time is right.
If your car is old and ugly, like my old car, then tell God every time you get it just how thankful you are that He is supplying you with a car that runs. After all an ugly running car is better than walking.
When I started showing gratitude I would thank God every day for my car and the ability to put gas in my car.
There was a time when I had to scrape change. One time in particular I remember because it was one of the most embarrassing times in my life, I paid with for gas with pennies.
Yes, pennies. And to make it worse, I didn’t even have enough for a one gallon.
When people say don’t forget where you came from this is exactly what that means. God can taketh away just as fast as He gives.
Know this, single mom, you are not alone. God loves you and He is there even when you feel like He isn’t.
Don’t allow others to pave your path or distract you from your calling.