Who is today’s single mom? Let me introduce you.
- One in four homes is single mom led
- 50 percent of kids are expected to live in a single parent home before reaching age 18
- 3/4 of single moms have full-time careers
- less than half receive government assistance
- most single moms who do receive government assistance, do so only until they can support their family on their own
- less than half receive child support
- for those who do receive child support, the average is less than $6000 yearly
- 40 percent of single moms are over 40 years old
- 100 percent wish the cleaning fairy showed up weekly to leave everything sparkling and something delish simmering in the oven
- 85 percent do not attend church
- most feel alone, isolated, and judged
Yet, single moms are not alone: nationally 15 million solo moms are raising 22 million children.
Most solo parents began in a committed relationship and never anticipated raising a child alone. The unwanted companion to this change in relationship status is the trauma that frequently accompanies.
The tricky part about trauma is how our body reacts. In a natural occurring sequence, trauma causes the thinking part of our brain – the cerebrum located in the front of our head – to go offline. In an emergency, the flight, fight, or freeze mechanism takes over, while the thinking part of our brain is disconnected. That flight, fight, or freeze part of the brain, the amygdala, is adjacent to the memory-making department which is why a smell, sound, or taste can trigger an unwanted ricochet back to the trauma we prefer to not recall.
All parents need the ability and skills to make wise, discerning decisions. Single moms often feel too overwhelmed to focus and be decisive when they most need to. Decision-making is critical in the best of circumstances, and the process can be daunting for a solo parent.
What Does the Single Mom Need?
Scripture provides guidelines for making life-giving decisions. Hope and healing come from relationship with Jesus. Church provides wholesome community among those who share relationship with Jesus Christ.
Invite a single parent family to church where the single mom and her child can find that the door is open, there is a place for them, and someone will introduce them to the Source of hope, salvation, and unconditional love.Invite a #singleparent family to church where the #singlemom and her child can find a place for them, and someone will introduce them to the Source of hope, salvation, and unconditional love. @PeggySueWells Click To Tweet
A church offers
- Regular childcare
- Excellent children’s programs
- Welcome and inclusion in church life (Many single moms prefer not to be relegated to the singles group)
- Support, mentors, and friends
- Hope more than advice
Like others in the congregation, single moms want
- Genuine friendship
- People to do life with
- Someone to sit with
- The occasional hand with household maintenance
- Fun and laughter
- Voices other than her own to sort through life decisions
- A small group
- The Word of God
Those who attend church, and those yet to come, share two common denominators; we all long to connect and belong, and we all need a Savior. At its best, church is the place where grace is lived out, and where relationship with Jesus Christ grows.
Consider inviting the single mom in your circle and her family to church, Bible study, or small group.
The 10 Best Decisions a Single Mom Can Make
Recognizing the transition single moms experience as well as their need to make excellent parenting decisions, co-authors Pam Farrel (Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti) and PeggySue Wells (The Slave Across the Street) offer support and encouragement in The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make and the companion, resource-rich website, SingleMomCircle.com.
An excellent resource for the single mom in your circle.
Bio: PeggySue Wells is the single mom of seven children, and the bestselling author of 29 books including The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make. Connect with her at PeggySueWells.com and at SingleMomCircle.com.
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