The first few Mother’s Days after my husband left weren’t easy. They weren’t peaceful or restful. They weren’t celebrations for the beauty that is womanhood. They weren’t shows of appreciation for the gift that is motherhood.
Mother’s Day Isn’t Easy for a Single Mom
Mother’s Day was tiring and stressful, just like every other day. I got up early, made three meals, cleaned up after kids, played Solomon to children who insisted on annoying each other, and wished I was far away from where the courts had ordered me to stay. Mother’s Day was just like every other day except they were filled with an even deeper sense of disappointment and sadness.
These sad feeling were also for my five boys. These boys who were usually so good, did not give Mother’s Day a second thought. They couldn’t understand the significance of the day or what it meant to me. They were just kids after all.
No strong man was there showing them how to treat a woman. No father figure was there to show them what unconditional love is or how to give from the heart. No dad was there to remind them that, while mom may be imperfect, she loved them completely. My heart hurt for what this might mean for their future wives and children and for my boys who would one day be men leading their own families.
One of the worst things I had to deal with was no one knew or understood. Married friends automatically assumed that on Mother’s Day a single mom would be treated like royalty. They assumed the children of a single mom would recognize all the mother does for her family. However, children are just children, and even the best of them seldom realize these things without being told and shown. However, there are concrete ways you can reach out to single moms on Mother’s Day.
Things You Can Do for a Single Mom on Mother’s Day
- Give Her a Gift
I know it’s not about the gift, but it is. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, but a thoughtful gift can mean the world to a harried mom. Perhaps it’s a small gift certificate to a nail salon, a card and a movie ticket for one of her free weekends, or a loaf of homemade banana bread. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, but single moms don’t often get gifts.
- Help Her Children Give
Help her children make gifts or a card. Maybe they’ll give her flowers picked from your yard. Maybe it’s a picture the child worked really hard on or a homemade board game with some of mom’s favorite stops or activities included. Maybe they’ll write a song or change lyrics to honor mom. Maybe they’ll give coupons for 10 minutes of undisturbed time, a night of doing the dishes, or give her a back rub.
When the intense pain of abandonment wears off, the day to day grind wears single moms down. A handwritten card by a child, a teen, or even an adult son or daughter highlighting what they love best about mom is a priceless gift and can remind her just why she doesn’t run away.
- Be An Example
Men, honor your wives and families and then reach out to the single mom’s children. Talk casually with them at every opportunity. Connect with them. Don’t wait for big moments, but reach out with little things so they trust you with big things. Make a point of making them feel listened to and valued by you. They need that. They will notice. Be patient. Be powerful. Be tender. Over time, your words and example eat away at negative influences.
It is vital to a single mom with a scarred heart to see that there are men who are devoted to God and to their family. Married women can also encourage a belief in God’s plan rather than in finding a replacement relationship. Talk about your own path to finding a faith-filled husband and the difference having such a man makes for you and your family. It can be hard for a single mom to hear, but your story is missing today.
- Mentor Her Children
We assume kids know what Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and other holidays mean, but many times children don’t understand the significance or the faith-based roots of holidays. They don’t understand why it’s important to take time out of their day to honor loved ones. By telling children of single mothers about the beauty of a given day , you shed new light on their understanding.
- Pray for the Single Mom
The weight on a single mom’s shoulders is astronomical. Burdens like work, child care, and finances combine with factors like time management, organization, and exhaustion then collide with emotional challenges like worthlessness, guilt, confusion, fear, and pain. Better jobs, growing children, and the passing of time helps the pain, but true healing doesn’t take place with these bandaids. True healing only comes from God. Let the single mom know what you are praying for and ask her what she would like you to pray for; prayer can save the single mom and her precious children.
Mother’s Day isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be in the best of homes, but single moms, whether they are single through abandonment or death, face additional challenges. The good news is you can help make even a good Mother’s Day a great one for single moms, their children, and possibly for future generations.