So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

Dear Single Mama,

I’m sorry I never understood the load you carry. I get it now.

I see the heaviness you carry. I know you’re carrying far more than you ever thought, juggling way more than a person should. You’ve gotten used to it—being one in a world of two. You’ve grown accustomed to being good cop and bad cop, manning drop-off and pick-up, and cheering in the stands by yourself. The always-there, low-level stress is almost unnoticeable anymore.

I see your decision fatigue. They say an average adult makes 35,000 decisions every day but you’re not average. You’re single-handedly managing the finances, the parenting, the house, your work, the calendaring, the schooling, the sports, the check-ups, and melt-downs. You’ve got too many decisions to count or to catch your breath.

I see you doing hard things. Facing the unknown and facing your fear to keep moving forward. Figuring out a hundred things he used to do, stepping out to do it scared, and stepping up to make a childhood for your kids. 

RELATED: The Single Mom Struggles in Ways You Can’t See

I see you bone-weary—up before your kids to start the day and working long after they’re in bed. Barely making a dent in that too-long, must-do list. Always behind and never enough time to do it like you used to, like your friends do, or like you want to.

Overwhelmed isn’t a season for single momsit’s the rhythm of her days.

I see the tears you cry into your pillow. Your loneliness on evenings when the house quiets, using the scrolling and screens to make it bearable. I see you willing yourself to cheer the date nights and anniversaries of friends, to honestly applaud their full family snapshots on vacation and the father-daughter dances your own will never have again.

I see you struggling with the labels. Widowed. Divorced. Who knew a box on the form could define you? Or undefine you? Life and friends and invitations sure shuffle when the labels change. 

I see the smile you give to others and the brave face you put on in mothering. I see you showing up for your kids and for this life you never expected. I see you working hard to rebuild your family and trying your level best to re-create that magical family life you had and desperately want again for your children.

Sometimes you make it look easy to everyone else.

Like you’ve embraced a new normal. But it doesn’t feel normal, no matter how you try to set new routines and traditions and rhythms.

And yet, you don’t really share it because who in the world could you share all of it with? You’re the only one who knows the full breadth of the hard, the loneliness, the overwhelm, the weariness, and the deep pain that this is not the life you wanted. This is not what you planned for your children.

I don’t have to know your details to know it’s the hardest path you’ve ever walked.

All those years I was married, I’d known single moms and I’d heard the stats about single moms. But I really had no idea. And I’m so sorry.

But I get it nowthe struggles and wins, the regret of what was and fear of what lies ahead, the nagging feeling of failure and competing tendrils of hope that God’s got this.

I know you’ve had to grow a stronger spine than you ever thought possible. People call you brave. A testimony. But you never asked for this testimony.

And you don’t feel brave. You’ve simply walked forward feeling fragile.

I know single parenting has brought you to your knees. It was hard enough when there were two, but now you’re a student all over again begging God for wisdom and guidance and energy to parent these kids and point their hearts to Him.

Dear single mama, you are seen and you are loved.

God has so much for you. He is not a God of surviving or getting by. He is a God of abundance. God promises strength to the weary and generous wisdom when we ask. 

RELATED: Dear Single Mom, God Sees You

He promises to take our burdens and to give us peace. To sustain us with His grace and multiply the less-than loaves of our parenting. 

Where we see need, God makes provision. Where we sense lack, God brings fullness. Where we harbor regret, God pours forgiveness. And where we see ashes, God brings beauty.

Dear single mama, I’m so sorry for the circumstances that got you here. But God who calls you beloved goes with you and before you in each hard step.  

Originally published on the author’s blog.

Lisa Appelo

Lisa Appelo is an author and speaker inspiring women to cultivate faith in life’s storms. Her new book, Life Can Be Good Again: Putting Your World Back Together After It All Falls Apart, addresses the raw pain of loss with Biblical hope that God can reshape what has shattered. A former litigating attorney, Lisa is passionate about rich Bible teaching. She launched a local widows ministry in Jacksonville, Florida and founded a team of writers at hopeingrief.com. Lisa’s days are filled with parenting, ministry, speaking and long walks to justify lots of dark chocolate. Connect with Lisa at LisaAppelo.com and on IG @LisaAppelo.

You Didn’t Set Out To Be a Single Mom, But You Are a Great One

In: Motherhood
Mom with two kids by water

I didn’t set out to be a single mother.  Actually, my goal was far from that.    I come from a broken home, so actually I wanted the life my friends seemed to have—both parents under the same roof, for starters.  Life’s circumstances brought me here though. Working full time, raising two boys on my own.  And honestly, as I take stock of my life . . .  I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I’m actually on good terms with both boys’ fathers—yes, they have different fathers—which I am aware is not common in a lot of single-parent households. I...

Keep Reading

Being a Single Mom is Completely Exhausting

In: Motherhood
Sleeping toddler in a bed with blanket and stuffed toy

Grief. . . emptiness. . . depression. . . anxiety. . . those are a few of the words I would have used to describe losing your spouse before it happened to me. What I didn’t expect was the tired . . . the fatigue . . . the exhaustion. I feel like I was put through the wringer, and I came out worn. The absolutely mind-numbing weariness—scratch that—my mind is apparently the only thing that is never worn out. It goes and goes and goes. Suddenly becoming a single mom means I can’t turn off my mind because now...

Keep Reading

Dear Single Mom, I See Your Heart

In: Motherhood
Mom helping daughter on bike

Single motherhood is running alongside the bike.  Although it feels so hard to keep up with a moving bike on foot, all your child remembers is your presence.  That you were right there to catch her if she falls.  You are her constant safety net.  Her security.  I’ve watched you love with your whole heart, even when you felt there was nothing left to give.  I’ve watched you show your child how to work hard, have determination, and you have done so with an immense amount of grace and honor.  RELATED: Dear Single Mom, God Sees You I’ve watched you...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections