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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Sole Parenting!

A self-portrait attempt...trying something new
The sole parent…

Oh, just even typing those words stirs emotion…

Are you a sole parent? 

Or are you someone who knows one?

Chances are high, that whoever you are reading this, that you’ve answered yes to one of the above questions…

Sometimes sole parenting can seem like an epidemic, and can make us SO angry, because it seems SO unfair!

Well, I believe that it is UNFAIR and that our anger is totally justifiable!

You see we live in a world, where things are not as they should be…our world is broken, and is awaiting its restoration…imagine a perfect world with no death, and perfect peace!  No fighting, no tears, no pain…this is God’s plan! 

For us to be restored to Him through Jesus, and for the world to be made new!

I get very angry when I see struggling sole parents!  However, I don’t get angry at God; because I know it’s not His design, or will for us to be broken people, with broken relationships.

But what about the pain experienced during the interim? You may ask, and it is a valid question!

Well I think that FOCUS is the key!

F – Faith:  Faith in Jesus Christ, that He is enough to sustain, protect and provide for you!  DON’T look to singles bars…seriously!  Is your faith shaky? Well re-new it in Jesus and find REAL Focus!  And a tip for carers, is to realise that single parents are valid members of the Body of Christ, so please remember this, show them equal respect and keep them in your prayers!

O – Optimism:  Don’t sit and mope in your distress, be optimistic and pro-active!  Get busy loving and guiding your kids!  Remember Timothy from the New Testament?  Who were his main influences?  His Mum and Grandmother!  Sadly his Dad isn’t mention…but did God abandon Timothy?  No way!  Remember God cares for people in distress!!!  Perhaps a member of your family is a sole parent, and you are able to help out…DO IT!  You’ll encourage them, and also be pro-active in affecting your own emotions!  You’d be surprised at what even a small effort made once a fortnight could do to help…trust me, I know!

C – Commitment:  No matter what the world throws at you, you know that you’re committed!  No matter what happens, you’re going to get out of bed every day, and love your kids, the best that you can…DON’T settle for cheap love because you don’t have a partner!  Teach your kids that it’s ok to be single…is it what you chose?  Possibly not…but check out the Bible, it is ok to be single…you’re still just as important to God!  BE COMMITTED!  Love your kids like you’ve never been hurt!  Is it easy?  No!  But all things are possible with God!  And if you fall down, pray, and get back up!  And carers are you committed and have you made this known?  Sometimes Christian brothers and sisters are needed to fulfil real needs, when a parent is unavailable.

U – Understanding:  A single parent’s life is not easy…a lot of understanding is required!  Firstly, understand that you have real, adult needs that cannot be met through your child or children.  Take time out from your children when needed, and don’t feel guilty about it; you’ll be a better parent for it!  Make sure that you have an adult support network of family, friends and professionals :) Secondly, understanding is needed for your kids…don’t forget that kids grieve, and get stressed to.  Children need support, and you need to be their advocate to ensure they get it from you, and other people.  Thirdly, understanding is needed to be shown by others.  Sometimes others can be too quick to judge; the messy house; the back chatting child…I’m sure you know what I am talking about!

S – Sanity:  To remain sane…and I am actually being quite serious here…take your time, but try to slowly, and gently build yourself a positive, future picture/story, and take steps to achieve this.  Set some short-term achievable goals, and build from there.  Remember, start small, and slowly dream building your possible future.  It may take some time to be able to do this, when your pain is very raw.  But when you’re ready you’ll know, perhaps begin with taking classes in a hobby you like…or aiming for a promotion…or planning a small renovation…or a family holiday for you and the kids!  And carers do whatever you can, to help make these plans possible :)

In love, Melanie!


Shawn Mullin said...

I was once in these shoes for quite awhile. It's never easy on your own, but in my own experience I found God to be so faithful. He provided in ways I could never imagine. The aloneness of not having a spouse drew me to Him in ways I could not have done otherwise. Use this time to cultivate a relationship with Him and your children will be stronger for it. Your blog was very good and had I read it then, I could have used it to help me through the lonely midnight hours when you feel overwhelmed with the responsibility you've been forced to carry alone. It's in those midnight hours that He holds you close to His heart and says "shhh it's ok I'm here and you are doing a great job"

I'm hid with Christ!

Melanie Baker said...

Thank you Shawn I will treasure this comment! Thank you for sharing some of your story with me :)

Chanda Griese said...

Thank you for sharing all that the Lord has taught you so far about sole parenting. My mom was a sole parent and I know that it was not easy for her. It takes a lot of courage to reach out to other moms and encourage them to stay close to God and don't settle for bad relationships to keep from feeling lonely. Great advice, Melanie. I hope other sole parents find your blog and can be uplifted.