Do you know a single mom or single dad in your community or church? I encourage you to do something extra special for them on Monday, March 21st. Maybe you could offer to babysit and send them out to dinner with a friend? Maybe you could invite the parent and children over for dinner with your family? Be creative and think ahead about how you might bless that person and his/her children in a meaningful way to simply let them know you care and that you are proud of them in this season of single parenting.
I was a single mother for eight years and there were some “moments” along the way that really blessed me, and I will forever be a champion for moms and dads who are walking the single parent pathway. Sometimes a note in the mail or an in-person hug and a few kind words can really make a difference. I received a few letters in the mail and a book or small gift from friends that simply wanted me to know they were thinking of me – those moments were deeply encouraging and priceless to me.
If you have never been a single parent, let me tell you it can be a lonely experience sometimes. It can also be a delightful and happy experience as well. Single parents quite often are doing the work of two in their homes: chores, laundry, bill paying, lawncare, disciple, homework, parenting – so many things that used to be a shared load with the other parent, now the full responsibility lands on just one. For the single parents that have a good working relationship with the “other parent,” their co-parent, it can be a positive experience to share the child(ren) between two homes. Often, co-parents struggle to communicate and support each other due to the past marriage or relationship ending and it can feel like they are in high conflict with that other parent all the time – – that situation can be very depleting and exhausting. The good days can be clouded with negative feedback from the other parent, thus feeling like they are always at war.
Single parents quite often don’t get any affirmations or “good job” since there is only one adult in their household. Maybe you could write a note to all the single parents you know and simply affirm them in what you see them doing well. A card in the mailbox with good old-fashioned handwriting is a lost art these days and maybe you can simply take a few minutes to write some notes, include a small gift card and send your love and support to several single parents you know and care about. March 21st is a good time to start, and this can also be done 365 days a year. It’s never a lost opportunity when you show love and support to a single dad or single mom. Compassion and kindness can be given all-year long.
Tammy Daughtry, author of “Co-parenting Works! Helping Your Children Thrive after Divorce” and “One Heart, Two Homes” resides in Nashville, TN. See CoParentingInternational.com for more information.