Advice For Single Parents

January 14, 2009

How to Build Strong Families

Like a bad dream I can’t forget, I will always remember the stomach flu that struck me the first year I was a single mom. Waves of nausea rolled over me that morning. I lay perfectly still trying to shake the nausea then tried to ease out of bed without waking my daughter. But she spotted me anyway. She was eight months old–old enough to stand in her crib and call for Mommy, her chubby arm reaching through the rails of her crib. But too young to understand that Mommy was about to lose last night’s dinner. Young enough to still be breast-feeding, but too old to stay put. It was my worse nightmare.

In between bouts of vomiting I tried to find someone–anyone–who could come and watch her so I could lie still and sleep. But it was hard for my twenty-something single friends to fathom the depths of my agony. Finally, a friend said she could spare a few hours in the afternoon. Her smiling face on my doorstep, later that day was the best thing I’d seen in years.

Single parenting has its black moments. But it also has its moments of intense joy–when the sheer delight of motherhood out shines the darkest days. The love we feel for our children compels us to persevere. And when our children spontaneously return that love, our hearts sing.

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