Recently my oldest daughter celebrated a “milestone birthday”. She is the picture of every parent’s dream of success for their adult child. A loving wife, doting mother, competent business woman, school board member and a Women’s Ministry leader at her local church. She is a multitasking queen.
I have the privilege of watching her up close and personal from the comfort of her home. (Gotta love the “mother-in-law suite”) The life she has fashioned for her family is both inspiring and beautiful. My son-in-love is all about family. Together they have established certain standards for their family. They have dinner together every night barring a schedule conflict. The family dinner is the norm rather than an exception in their home. Their weekends and holidays are well planned events. Often those plans are simply playing a game together or just being in the same room while pursuing individual interests. Their family unit is traditional, strong, and loving.
Quite a different scenario from her childhood experience. Our family looked very different. My daughters are the product of my being a single mom. I was always juggling responsibilities. Doing the math and using creative options to accomplish goals. We were an impenetrable unit, doing life the best way I knew how. We were and still are “The Allen Girls”. There was an abundance of love coupled with some honest mistakes on my part. The good news is that we survived. I believed that I needed to fill the role of both mother and father, which by the way is an impossible task. So for all the single moms who are trying to do both jobs, stop it immediately! I’m here to tell you that when you accept the fact that your only role is to be the best mom that you can be, you will feel a weight lifted from your shoulders. God never intended for you to be both mother and father. His plan for the family looked more like the life my daughter is leading. However, nurturing the family unit with all the pieces in their proper place is still a challenge with it’s own set of problems. The truth is that raising children is a team sport. Attaining success in this arena must include Jesus as the captain. Single moms please know that God will give you all the grace you need to be an amazing mother.
I thank God for my parents and other extended family members who helped me out whenever necessary. My biggest area of gratitude belongs to my Heavenly Father. Somehow His hand was always present in my life even before I called out to Him from my bathtub on a day that I just wanted to quit. The grace of God sustained, encouraged and propelled me to a place of contentment in my vocation of single mom. My circumstances hadn’t changed, my perspective was different. I could depend on His grace to be my anchor. That single fact persuaded me to never give up.
So, to all the single moms in the house let me assure you that you can do this. As I reflect on how I put one through college and the other through cosmetology school, I have to just shake my head knowing that without God I wouldn’t be able to encourage you now. Our family unit wasn’t ideal but the God who makes “all things beautiful in their time” protected, provided for, and allowed us to have a good ending. He is not a respecter of persons. What He did for me and my family, He will do for you and yours. You only need to call on Him.
P.S. (the other daughter is a successful Hollywood hairstylist)
My daughters are my second greatest joy; my adorable GBs are my first. And my God, well He is above all things to me.
To all the single moms in the house, let me encourage you. You can do this!