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Do you find yourself dealing with an out of control child?

The young, trendy store clerk looked me over curiously as I hid between the racks in the clothing store. Chris, my rambunctious two-year-old was out of control and throwing the mother of all temper tantrums about twenty feet away. All the parenting advice I had read up to that point seemed to contradict the other. Should I discipline him or ignore him?  Stay calm or use my “firm” voice? As a new mom, I was as confused as ever, so I hid in a nearby store while my toddler threw himself around and screamed on the dirty floor of the mall.

If this scene doesn’t sound familiar to you, you’re blessed. Chris was more than strong-willed; he was out of control, and I was at my wits’ end. I was a twenty-year-old, newly married mom at the time who had decided not only against spanking my child, but against disciplining him too. The “parenting experts” taught that children needed to express themselves freely.  If I didn’t want my child to need therapy when he grew older, I must allow him to emote without boundaries, I thought. I was naïve, yet good-intended, which is how I found myself hiding from my tot and concerned onlookers in a rack of prom dresses.

Your Response is Crucial

Check out Peace and the Single Mom: 50 Moments of Calm in the Chaos. You can purchase the book HERE in the TLSM Store!

If you are dealing with or have ever dealt with an out-of-control child, you know that your response to him/her is crucial. A strong-willed child can seem like a ferocious dog. They sniff out any area of weakness in you, and then they pounce! That’s why, as a mom, you must remain cool, calm and collected instead of crazy, cranky and cowardly.

Chris gave me a run for my money, until I realized these simple tips for handling his out of control behavior.

  1. Focus on the fear, not the behavior.Fear makes us do crazy things. In a child, it might make him/her act impulsively, say mean things or even lash out at their parent. I learned how to help my youngest son, Collin, write out his feelings when he was only a few years old. Putting words to his feelings helped give him the power to talk instead of tantrum.
  2. Set appropriate boundaries.

    It is not okay for your child to be out of control. It is okay for him/her to be allowed to emote but always within healthy, appropriate boundaries. My sweet Collin struggles with anger. It’s something we’ve been praying together for since he was very little. When he gets angry, he is allowed to go to his room and have a “moment,” but once he comes out, he needs to have himself together.
  3. Stop judging yourself.Why are we so tempted to beat ourselves up when our child acts out of control? Someone once said, “God is the perfect parent, and still his children rebel.” You are not to blame for all of your child’s mistakes and decisions. Take responsibility where you need to, learn from your mistakes, but understand that your child is ultimately responsible for his/her own behavior.

There is hope for you if you are dealing with an out of control child. I have mentored countless moms over the last 10 years who have gained a new awareness and have seen improved behavior in their children by following these simple steps. So, hold your head up high, come from out of the clothing racks and into the loving, open space of positive, purposeful parenting.

MEET OUR FEATURED EXPERT

Dana Che is an inspirational speaker, author, blogger, relationship coach, and host of the online talk show Real Relationship Talk who is passionate about seeing people walk in relational wholeness. Over the last 10 years, Dana has journeyed with all types of moms as a mentor mom and coach. As a speaker, she has served audiences both large and small at women’s conferences, business events, schools, churches, moms’ groups, and youth conferences sharing her story as a former teen mom and other topics like building authentic relationships, purposeful parenting, finding purpose in pain, and more.

Dana holds a B.A. in communication from Regent University. She shares her life with her husband and high school sweetheart, Shaun, their four amazing children, and their “multi-cultural” dog in beautiful Virginia Beach, VA.  For more information or to book Dana to speak at your next event, visit http://danache.com

 

The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. Our primary focus is in helping churches and communities launch single mom’s ministries and have done so more than 1,500 times! Our support groups connect 71,000 single mothers each year to a local church.   We are a one-stop shop for all things single mom ministry related. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.

 

The post Simple Tips for Dealing with an Out of Control Child by Dana Che appeared first on The Life of a Single Mom.

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One Mission. Three States. Lives Changed.

The 2019 TLSM Single Moms’ Summer Conference Tour is Here !!!

The Life of a Single Mom Ministries considers it a great joy and honor to have worked with more than 1,500 churches and nonprofits to launch or improve their single moms’ ministry plans. Over the last decade, hundreds of thousands of single mothers across the United States have joined us at a single moms’ support group. For over a decade, it has been our greatest desire to see no single mom walk alone.

In 2015, we began hosting national single mom conferences for two reasons. First, we wanted to gather single moms from states all over the country to worship the one true King.  Second, we wanted to train leaders to go out and start or improve their own single moms’ groups in their churches. To date, thousands of single mothers from 42 states have come to be part of our conferences and events.  Each year, 82,000 single moms connect to a church, because of our efforts.  Our goal is to connect single moms to the local church for long term growth, support, and fellowship. Because of the massive success of our previous conferences, we are excited that – for the first time – we are hosting 3 conferences across 3 states in 2019.

It is our goal to see no single mom walk alone and we believe that this conference is the start a powerful move of God in the lives of thousands of single mothers. Our conferences host national speakers, breakout sessions, vendor booths, meals, childcare, amazing worship teams, gifts for all attendees from Thrive Causemetics, and lots of surprises. We have brought in the nation’s leading authorities on single parent issues and we want you to be there. We even have special packages at host hotels in each area (but book soon, because they are filling up, especially Florida).

The cost of the conference is $29, which is the cheapest rate we’ve every offered, and registration is now open. We invite you  to come be part. Caravan, bus, fly, walk, crawl….just get here! It’s going to be amazing. We will have a special time of training and ministry for single moms’ ministry leaders, too.

For more information, including host venues, dates, speakers, and schedule, or to buy tickets click HERE!!!

The Life of a Single Mom is a national faith-based nonprofit that educates the general public on the challenges single moms face, while providing programs that ensure single mothers are successful in 3 core areas: Parenting, Finances, and Health & Wellness.  In 2018, the organization served over 82,000 single mothers.  Hundreds of churches launch single moms’ support groups through our efforts. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com

The post 2019 National TLSM Single Moms’ Conferences Will Change Lives appeared first on The Life of a Single Mom.

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Dear Mothers:

“Mothers and their children are in a category all on their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”

-Gail Tsukiyama, Dreaming Water

If you ask any mother what is most important to her, she will respond with absolute conviction: “my children.” Where would our children be without their mothers? For most of us, we are the foundation of our households. We are made to push through obstacles without breaking down while continuously trying to make the breakthrough. We are fearless and bold. We are the lifelong cheerleaders. We are made to be strong and build our children with an aptitude for success and without limitations. We are nurturers and heroes. Regardless of what happens in our own lives, we always persevere and move forward. When we are sick, we simply medicate ourselves with no complaint to others. If we have moments of fear or weakness, we go to an area where no one sees us. In that spot, we let out a big sigh, have a cry, stand up, and push through despite never knowing what lies ahead. When our hearts break, and we are engulfed with pain, the only person that truly knows what we are going through is God. Being a mother is the greatest job in the world, but it is also an endless job. Despite all of this, mothers are not perfect.

Check out our Single Mom Help page for tons of resources and guidance. Click HERE for more!

While mothers inspire dreams and possibilities, there are wounds and misfortunes along the way. No one ever told mothers that such wounds and misfortunes would leave crushed inside suffering massive amounts of pain. No matter the pain, mothers will endure it because of the immense love for our children. Mothers are educators, disciplinarians, confidantes, and best friends to their beloved children. When the unexpected happens, our painful heartbreak runs deeper than any abyss of darkest oceans. The pain of our children will always overshadow the pain of our own past.

As mothers, our duty is to not only hear our children, but to listen to them. There will be things we are excited to hear and we celebrate. Unfortunately, there are also things that will bring us to our knees with a sorrowful reality intimidating our souls. Repeatedly, there will be times we must mute our voices even when we have so much to say so we may listen to our children. Our children need to have a voice and, as mothers, we know this is a necessary part of their growth. As much as we try to prevent any pain from harming our children, we are also aware that there will be times we cannot prevent such sorrow. During those times, we must stand firm that God will fix all unimaginable events … even if we do not bring them to him.

Mothers give life to their children with a love so beautiful there is no scholar that can define it. Mothers can also chip away life with their own thoughts, actions, and ever-changing experiences. In our life shattering moments, we cry rivers. Some of us have been raped, beaten, and brutally broken; yet, we rise. We usually stand in silence, because that is what we are taught.

Mothers are amazing women who love so unconditionally.

MEET OUR FEATURED EXPERT

Tosha Smith Mills is a courageous 40-something-year-old (not going to tell her actual age) with almost any life experience that any adult could experience. She is a serial entrepreneur with over fifteen years of experience as CEO of The Talent Connexion, LLC, a successful talent agency in New Orleans, who has placed talent in an extensive list of Hollywood accredited films, television shows, and commercials; Tosha also has over eighteen years of experience in the legal field. Through this, she has discovered her passion in writing and is fulfilled by sharing her testimonies, empowering those in need, and helping others find their life’s purpose.

 

 

The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. Our primary focus is in helping churches and communities launch single mom’s ministries and have done so more than 1,500 times! Our support groups connect 71,000 single mothers each year to a local church.   We are a one-stop shop for all things single mom ministry related. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.

The post Dear Mothers by Tosha Mills appeared first on The Life of a Single Mom.

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Winning With Your Words

“You’ve got this!”  These are three words that I have spoken at least a million times in my ten year journey as a single parent.  Short yet profound. These three words helped me to push through some of the most difficult seasons of my life.  Through countless sleepless nights with sick kiddos and hospital stays, I whispered to myself: “You’ve got this.”   Laying on the bathroom floor of the extended stay hotel after being evicted with my 3 small children, God said to me “You’ve Got This.” 

Did you know we offer FREE resources on our website? Check out this FREE e-book about Finding Yourself HERE!

While completing my Doctoral Studies with three children under the age of 5 and working full-time, I resiliently told myself “You’ve Got This.”  When I was without health insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, a bank account, I would fall asleep hearing a still small voice in my ear: “You’ve Got This”  until I drifted into sleep.  Through bouts of depression, oppression, sleep deprivation, and financial hardships, I screamed, whispered and tearfully declared: “You’ve got this.”  Through parent conferences, open houses, projects, special education meetings, and behavior intervention planning in three different classrooms at two different schools, I reminded myself, “You’ve got this.”  With every trajectory of my life, these three words, coupled with a solid foundation of God’s word, have enable me to withstand the journey of being a single parent. As a result, God never allowed me to succumb to the doubt, defeat, and despair, and statistics of single parenting…and neither will you because, “You’ve got this!”

As single parents, our voices are often the most loudest and powerful in the ears of our children, and ourselves. What we speak and what they hear can drastically impact their ability to be hopeless or hope filled.

God has taught me that what we declare or say is what will determine our outcome. Declaring positive words through the use of self-talk is a powerful way of combating negative emotions and increasing self-confidence.  It is common to experience self-doubt when are the sole individual responsible for making various decisions that will affect the physical, financial, mental and spiritual aspects of you and your children’ lives. Therefore, the need to know and believe you are competent and capable in your own decisions is built through positive self-talk. Yes, “You’ve got this.”

A Group of Single Moms at the National Single Mom’s Conference

Encouraging Yourself

Encouraging yourself with your own words, in your own voice is the most potent tool in creating a faith filled atmosphere for yourself and your children.  It may sound odd to refer to yourself in the 2nd person. However, speaking in second person provokes action and allows you to see yourself overcoming, achieving, and accomplishing what lies ahead. It allows you to see yourself defeating negative thoughts building faith filled strategies for you and your family to win, “You’ve Got This!”

No matter how our natural situation appears, we must speak words of life. Belief in one’s self, and the ability to accomplish the insurmountable tasks related to single parenting is not an easy feat. However, it is possible when you recognize where your strength lies. Yes, we have this, because GOD HAS US. He gives us biblical promises that with HIM all things are possible. Therefore, I challenge you to stand firm on Matthew 19:26, Mark 9:23, Luke 1: 37, and Luke 18:27 in all you do. You are a child of God. He loves you and He has equipped you to walk through any obstacle that you may encounter.  Stay the course. Your best days are ahead for you and your children. Develop a consist habit of saying positive faith filled words over yourself and your children.

A “God’s Got Us” Mentality

I challenge you to create a “We’ve Got This because God has Us” mentality in your household. There is an awesome future that God has in store for you and your children.  Embrace it! Believe it!  Receive it! 

MEET OUR FEATURED EXPERT

Dr. Shelia Truelove holds a B.S. in Psychology, M.S. in Management, a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD), and an Alabama Professional Educators Teaching Certificate in the area of Collaborative Teaching. She has taught in the field of Special Education over 14 years. Dr. Truelove was honored as Teacher of the Year for Birmingham City Schools (2010) and nominated for a Disney Teacher of the Year award for her work in Special Education. She has served on Special Education Task committees, conducted training for parents and general education teachers, supervised graduate students majoring in Special Education, and created transitional programs for students receiving special education services. Dr. Truelove is a philanthropist at heart and believes in motivating and equipping others to become their very best.  Divorced for nine years, Dr. Truelove  is the proud mother of 10 year old twin daughters and an 11 year old son.  Some of the most notable accomplishments achieved, has been as a single mother. When she completed her Doctoral Degree, her twins were 4 years old and her son was 5.  When she completed her first published children’s book entitled, “I CAN WIN,” her twins were 8 years old and her son was 9.  The one source of her strength is that of God. Her overall mission is to empower other single moms to raise God-fearing, hope filled, and prosperous children in spite of any challenges faced. For more information, visit https://drtruelove.com/.

 

The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. Our primary focus is in helping churches and communities launch single mom’s ministries and have done so more than 1,500 times! Our support groups connect 71,000 single mothers each year to a local church.   We are a one-stop shop for all things single mom ministry related. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.

The post “You’ve Got This” by Dr. Shelia Truelove appeared first on The Life of a Single Mom.

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Single Mother Statistics That Will Shock You

Did you know that there are more than 15 million single moms in America today? Or that they are currently raising more than 22 million of America’s youth?

As single parenthood has become more common, many stereotypes about single mothers have become increasingly inaccurate. Much of what people assume about the typical single mom is untrue or not grounded in fact. It’s important to recognize that single mothers arrive at their journey in a variety of ways and their stories are as varied as they are. That’s why we gathered these shocking single mother statistics to shed light on the life of a single mom and the reality of the circumstances many of them face.

Who are America’s single moms? Where are they living and, more importantly, how?

Let’s find out!

Single Parent Definition: What is a Single Parent?

Merriam-Webster defines a single parent as:

“...a parent who lives with a child or children and no husband, wife, or partner.”

But let’s face it, that does not even begin to scratch the surface of the life of a single mom.

There are plenty of single mom stereotypes to go around, but the fact of the matter is that there is no one type of woman that encompasses all single moms. As an increasing number of women face single motherhood, through a variety of circumstances, the spectrum of ladies filling this role has broadened to encompass all walks of life.

These shocking single mother statistics paint a better picture of what single motherhood looks like today and the mighty women who are raising nearly a quarter of our country’s youth.

Percentage of Single Mothers in the US

Most of us know at least a few single moms. Some of us were even raised by them. They are mothers, grandmothers, coworkers, church members, and daughters.

But how many single moms are truly out there today?

An exact number is hard to pinpoint, but of the nearly 15 million single parent-led households in the United States, more than 80% of them are led by single moms. This means that more than 22 million children across the country under the age of 18 are being raised without a dad at home.

But how does the United States compare on an international scale?

Worldwide about 17% of children ages 14 and younger live with a single parent and 88% of these single parent households are led by a single mom.

The countries with the highest percentage of children living with a single mother are:

  1. United Kingdom
  2. Lithuania
  3. United States
  4. Latvia 
  5. Denmark

Industrialized countries seem to be where the trend toward an increase in single parenthood is most notable, which is most likely linked to a number of different social and cultural factors.

So to all you single moms out there, we know it can be tempting to feel that you are all alone in your struggles, but the statistics show that this is simply not the case. You have women all around you who are facing some of the very same battles or who have at some point been exactly where you are now.

Do not be afraid to reach out and connect with other single mothers. We are stronger when we stand together, and, by sharing your experiences, you can use them for the betterment of everyone involved.

There are a number of nonprofits, churches, and agencies that provide safe meeting space through single mom support groups, such as The Life of a Single Mom, Embrace Grace, and Single & Parenting.

Stately Comparisons: Single Motherhood from State to State

There is no denying that the overall number of single mothers has drastically increased over the past several decades.

There are now three times more single mother-led families in the United States than there were in 1960, though this trend is not evenly distributed across the country. Certain regions show a much higher percentage of both children born to unmarried parents and single mother-led households than others, with the South in the lead.

The same three states, topped the charts for both statistics, with Louisiana and Mississippi swapping places for the highest percentage born to unmarried parents and the greatest percentage of households led by single moms and New Mexico ranking third in both measures.

  1. Louisiana 
  2. Mississippi
  3. New Mexico

Interestingly, while births to unmarried mothers fall around 50% in both New Mexico and Nevada, the rest of the West generally has a relatively low percentage of unmarried births in comparison to other regions of the country.

The high concentration of single moms in Louisiana and much of the South hits close to home for The Life of a Single Mom, a Baton Rouge-based national nonprofit, which all began when Founder Jennifer Maggio launched a single moms support group with just three other single moms in her living room more than a decade ago. These numbers are just a reminder of why her agency does what it does and the ever present needs of single moms in communities all around us.

Single Fathers vs. Single Mothers

What about all the single dads out there?

It may not surprise you to hear that there are significantly more single mothers raising children than single fathers in the United States today, but the numbers are still staggering. 

  • Of around 22 million children currently living with a single parent, only about 3 million live with their dads, while a whopping 19 million live with their moms
  • Less than 20% of single parent households in the US are led by fathers, which makes you wonder to where have all these dads disappeared.

These numbers do not, however, reflect whether or not the fathers are at all present in their children’s lives, but they do drive home the point that the predominant parenting responsibilities are falling on moms when it comes to solo parenting.

The Top 8 Areas Affecting Single Mothers

Single parenting would be hard under even the most ideal of circumstances, but the harsh reality is that most single moms have more hurdles to clear than just the fact that they don’t have a partner with whom to share the responsibilities of raising children.

From the high costs of childcare and higher education to something as simple as being able to put food on the table, single moms have a lot on their minds.

These 8 areas cover some of the most common issues affecting single mothers today.

1. Single Mom Demographics

Each single mom did not end up going it alone in the same way as another, which can have a different impact on various areas of their lives. A widowed woman may have an entirely different financial situation than a woman recently divorced, just as a single mom with one child is going to face a different set of challenges than a woman with three children.

So how does it all break down?

Currently, about half of women who are single mothers were never married at all, and of the other half:

  • 17% are separated
  • 4% are widowed
  • 29% are divorced

So, while some feel that the escalating divorce rates in our country are the primary cause of single motherhood, that is not necessarily the case. It is a contributing factor, no doubt, but there is a general trend toward single motherhood that has its roots in other societal beliefs and values, as well.

The unmarried (as opposed to divorced or widowed) single mother stereotype is often associated with teen moms or women in their early 20s who became pregnant unexpectedly, but statistics indicate otherwise. 


Only 60% of single moms are younger than 40 years of age, which supports the idea that more women are having children later in life without necessarily being married.

It is also interesting to note that:

  • Half of single mothers have only one child
  • 30% have two
  • About 20% have three or more children

This seems to go hand in hand with the general trend toward smaller families as the birth rate in the United States has decreased over the last 30 years.

2. Employment Gap

To work or not to work?

That is usually not a question that single moms have the luxury of contemplating. Employment is one of the most critical areas affecting single moms, because it influences so many of the other issues with which they are faced.

More than two thirds of single mothers work outside of the home, and more than 25% collected unemployment for the entirety of 2017, though less than a quarter of those unemployed actually collected unemployment benefits. As the sole providers for their households, employment is crucial for the single mom but also leads to a number of other complications and considerations, such as full time child care, including limited childcare hours, costs, and availability of openings.

3. Income Insecurity
7 Simple Money Tips for Single Moms | Single Mom Budget - YouTube

Did you know that finances are the number one cause of stress in America? 

Considering the fact that the majority of people are experiencing anxiety in regards to money, it is no wonder that income is a serious concern for the single mom.

In 2016, the median income for households led my single mothers was only $35,400, which is less than half of the $85,300 earned by married couples.

Pair that with the fact that:

  • Around 40% of single parents in the US are employed in low-wage jobs
  • Only a third of single mothers receive any child support
  • Millions of moms are left to struggle to survive on less than adequate incomes

Making ends meet with only one source of income is challenging because the cost of raising a child (or multiple children) doesn’t change depending on the number of parents doing the raising.

Being money-wise is one of the many superpowers the thriving single mom has..

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One Sunday during the Christmas season, my three-year-old son explained to me what he had learned in Sunday School. I had asked him what the teacher had taught, and like any typical child his age, his one word answer was, “Jesus”. I pressed further and asked him what he had learned about Jesus. He answered, “About Jesus being born”. I thought I would investigate a little more and I asked him where Jesus was born. With all the confidence and excitement he could express, he answered, “Behind the stove in the kitchen!” As the minutes ticked by, I attempted to correct him. There was no correcting him. He was thoroughly convinced that he was right, and I was wrong. Later, as I was talking with my best friend, who was also his Sunday School teacher, we realized what had happened. While she was telling the story of Jesus’ birth, her husband was sitting nearby. When it came to the part of the story of Jesus being born, her husband pulled a baby doll from behind the play stove (where they had hidden him until time to reveal the baby) and gently laid him in the designated area so the kids would see. Of course, on that day and for many years now, there has been much laughter over this particular version of Jesus’ birth.

Join Single Mom University for tips & info on parenting, finances, and health & wellness. Enroll HERE!

What we realized is that while our son was listening to his teacher tell the Christmas story, he was watching her husband and saw him take the doll out of the hiding place which was behind the play stove. As I have thought about the humor of this story; I also find truth for us adults. There are times, we are listening to what someone is telling us about God, but we convince ourselves that what we are seeing trumps real truth. As a single mom, your circumstances can overwhelm you. Your situation can seem bleak. Your tired body can begin to listen to raw emotions.

Don’t Know Where to Go From Here?

It can be easy to begin to allow what you see to shape and overshadow the truth of God’s Word. When you are focused on the impossibility of your circumstances, you can be tempted to minimize the power of God. It is real and much bigger than your circumstances.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Ephesians 3:20

Feeling Hopeless?

When your situation seems bleak and those feelings of hopelessness are trying to be the truth to your hurting heart, and you begin to think you will not make it. Satan will put things and people in your path that will try to persuade you that what they offer is real comfort. You will want to focus on what you see and tune out what you know to be true. “We never cry out to God and receive a returned check stamped, “insufficient grace””.

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Battling Fatigue?

When the fatigue of the single mom life is driving you (and there are those days), you can find soul rest. The tired life of the single mom is unique, and Satan will use it to steal your joy. In these moments listen intently to what God speaks over you and don’t give in to what you see and feel.

“The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. Zephaniah 3:17

MEET OUR FEATURED EXPERT

Joy Anisa would have never dreamed that her life would be filled with such incredible sadness that comes with loss. She never would have imagined that she would experience the personal effects of emotional and mental abuse, the silent killer of the soul. She is in awe of how God is the keeper of her soul and He has kept what she committed to Him. He would not allow her soul to be destroyed! Joy Anisa is married to Jeff, a bi-vocational pastor and they live in Conyers, GA. Their oldest daughter, Meighan, is serving for a year with the London City Mission in London, England. Their son, Caid, is a sophomore at Eagles Landing Christian Academy and plays football. A graduate of She Speaks with Proverbs 31 Ministries, Joy’s story will inspire, encourage, and bring laughter through the tears.

The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. Our primary focus is in helping churches and communities launch single mom’s ministries and have done so more than 1,500 times! Our support groups connect 71,000 single mothers each year to a local church.   We are a one-stop shop for all things single mom ministry related. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.

The post Focusing on What God Says, Not What We See by Joy Anisa appeared first on The Life of a Single Mom.

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Being a Single Mom: 17 Seemingly Impossible Struggles & How to Overcome Them

Being a single mom is H-A-R-D, and it is easy to feel like you are all alone in your battle to make ends meet and hold your family together.

But did you know that there are more than 15 million single mothers in the United States going through similar struggles?

The challenges you face on a daily basis are shared by millions of women across the country, each with her own unique story and set of circumstances. Be empowered knowing that despite how you may feel at times, you are not alone in your single mom struggles.

That is why The Life of a Single Mom has compiled this list of 17 of the most common hardships encountered by single moms and how to conquer them. We are here to help you do more than survive as a single mom; we are here to equip you to thrive.

Single Parent Families: Hard but Not Impossible
THE SINGLE MOM'S JOURNEY - Hardship and HOPE - YouTube

Let’s face it. There is nothing easy about being a single parent. But then again, there is nothing easy about being a parent in general, and just because something isn’t simple doesn’t mean it can’t be great.

Unfortunately there are many challenges associated with being a single mother. For example, when you are the only parent at home, you have a lot more responsibility and no one to share it with.

You often operate on only one income, may have to interact regularly with a former partner and share time with your children, play both mom and dad on a daily basis, and cope with loneliness, stress, and self-doubt. People may judge you for your relationship status or minimize the struggles you face, but many fail to see the positive side of single motherhood. The reality is, for whatever reason, you find yourself a single mother, so you might as well embrace the advantages it may bring.

Now for some advantages. There is a certain freedom in being a single mom that other women may not experience. It gives you the opportunity to grow as an individual and to grow in your relationship with others as you rely on a larger support group and God rather than only your spouse to be your source of strength, peace, guidance, and fulfillment.

Single moms often have the chance to form a unique bond with their children that married mothers may not. Not to mention, you will never have to nag anyone to stop leaving the toilet seat up or worry about hogging the bathroom when you get ready in the morning.

Motherhood is a beautiful experience and gift from God that is to be cherished regardless of your circumstances. We believe that every mother should have the opportunity to thrive, which is why The Life of a Single Momwants to provide you with the resources to cope with these 17 struggles unique to being a single mom.

How to Be a Single Mom: 17 Struggles & How to Cope and Thrive

You may feel like you have no idea how to be a single mom, but that’s not true. Every single mom has the potential to thrive, and we are here to help you unlock that potential. It won’t always be easy; in fact, it is going to be challenging and frustrating and feel overwhelming at times.

But you can do it. And remember that there is no one right way to be a single mom, so don’t worry if your family does things a little differently than others. You have to determine how to be a single mom to YOUR family and discover what will help you to thrive.

Let’s dive right into the list of 17 challenges...

1. Lonely Single Mom

One of the hardest parts of being a single mom is dealing with loneliness. Sure, you love your kids and enjoy the time you spend with them. But the parent-child relationship can’t replace having a partner and teammate to walk with through the madness that is parenting.

So how do you cope?

While you may not be able to eliminate loneliness completely, there are several little things you can do on a day-to-day basis to keep it at bay, starting with taking care of yourself. As a mother, it can be tempting to prioritize everyone (and everything) in the world before yourself, but making sure that your needs are being met is an important part of thriving as a mom. When self-care falls by the wayside, you are much more likely to feel rundown, which is when loneliness can hit the hardest.

Other helpful tips for curbing loneliness include moderating the time you spend on social media, which might serve as a momentary distraction but usually results in feeling much more alone, building and maintaining face-to-face friendships, spending time reading the Bible and in prayer, taking time to pursue interests or hobbies, or joining a single moms’ support group in your area. It can be tempting to allow feelings of loneliness to cause you to withdraw and cut yourself off from the people and things you love, but all of these things can help take your focus off of feeling lonely and replace that feeling with a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Do not be afraid to reach out to others for companionship and support or to explore the resources available for single moms in your area.

2. Are Single Moms Allowed Free Time? Importance of Self Care

Being a mom often means placing your children’s wants and needs above your own, a responsibility that tends to be intensified for single mothers. While good parenting involves making sacrifices, it does not mean neglecting yourself or becoming isolated from others.

Every mother needs to take time to make sure her physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs are being met. Though it may seem counterintuitive, taking time for yourself will actually make you a better mom.

Feeling rundown and overworked is likely to make you irritable and less patient or could even lead to depression. Children are perceptive and will pick up on your negative energy, which could lead to their own negative thoughts and feelings. In short, if mom is healthy and happy, her kids are much more likely to be, as well.

Having trouble finding time to yourself? Here are 10 ways single parents can get some much needed alone time.

3. Single Mom Depression
How I Recovered from Depression As Single Mom (3 Tips) - YouTube

It may or may not surprise you to know that single parents are twice as likely to be depressed as mothers and fathers living in two-parent families.

Depression is likely to come knocking at your door, most often at night in those few moments after your children are in bed and before your own tired head hits the pillow, but that doesn’t mean you have to open the door and let it in.

First, you should recognize there are different types of depression with different causes, which is something to be aware of in addressing your own thoughts and feelings. Though it often goes undiscussed, postpartum depression is a real issue for many mothers regardless of whether or not they have a partner. The stress of parenting can be another cause, which may occur well beyond those first few years after having a child, and the loss of or separation from a spouse or partner may lead to depression, as well.

There is no shame in feeling depressed; the key is not to let it get the best of you. By facing the issue and addressing it through support groups, self-care techniques, and professional help, you can overcome those negative thoughts and emotions and not allow them to affect your well-being or your parenting. If your depression persists or worsens, it is wise to seek medical guidance.

4. Surviving Financially as a Single Mom (and Thriving)

Finances are one of the top concerns of single moms, and it is no wonder since only 32% of single mothers earn $40,000 or more a year. In a country where the average cost of living for a four-person family is around $48,500 a year. That means millions of moms out there are struggling to make ends meet.

There are several contributing factors. One of the most obvious is that you have to be the breadwinner and simultaneously play the part of the sole homemaker when you aren’t at work. This means less time to commit to work, or possible greater expense paying for childcare when office hours run late. Striking a balance between work and home life and still managing to pay the bills on time becomes a daunting task, but there are things you can do to ease burden.

Budgeting, smart spending, and being faithful in your giving are three key ways to survive financially.

  • Budgeting requires some time and effort but is worth the investment when it comes to stretching your income. Sit down and figure out how much you have to spend each month and then determine where it will all be going. Start with the big bills and expenses and work your way down to the small things. It is always a good idea to leave yourself some wiggle room for any unexpected expenses that pop up, as well.
  • Smart spending is all about your attitude toward your money and what you do with it. Make lists when going to the grocery store rather than shopping on a whim. Look for discounts or off-brand products to cut the cost of your essentials. Shop for things you use regularly in bulk. You can also check out some of these money saving tips.
  • While giving money away may seem contradictory to saving it or feel unnatural when things are tight, faithfulness in giving a portion of your income to your church or other ministry is a way of expressing trust in God’s faithfulness to meet your financial needs. Many single moms can attest to God’s provision in their time of need that was rooted in their diligent giving even in the midst of their own need.
5. Worries, Fears, Stress, and Anxiety
Single Moms Rock- I'm So Stressed Out!!!! - YouTube

Mothers tend to be worriers, but single moms have their own set of fears and anxieties that just add to the list of things over which to fret. Outside of finances, here are a few of the most commonly felt fears faced by single moms and how to handle them.

“Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one”.

~Jodi Picoult

  • No father figure. Without a father around, it is typical for single moms to worry about the effect this might have on their children. Don’t boys need a dad to be a role model to teach them how to be men? And aren’t little girls more likely to struggle with their identity and feelings of self worth without a daddy in their lives? While there certainly are needs fathers meet in their children’s lives that are hard for mothers to fulfill, it does not mean that your children are doomed without a dad. The two most beneficial things you can do are to find a man of solid character through your local church or nonprofit agency who can be consistent in the lives of your kids and serve as a father figure or male role model and to make sure your children know how much you love them. Children are amazingly resilient and can thrive beautifully as long as they are given the love, attention, and guidance they need.
  • Not measuring up. A fear that goes hand-in-hand with children’s lack of a father figure is that of simply not being enough. It can be tempting to look at other, two-parent families and wonder if you are really giving your kids everything they need. While it may be hard, the key to this one is to stop comparing yourself to them. Every family is unique, and different doesn’t mean your kids are necessarily missing out. Remember, two-parent families are not without their own set of struggles.
  • Emergencies and catastrophes. While most moms tend to worry about that moment when the unexpected strikes, it can be the source of even more anxiety for single moms. As the only one there to support and care for your kids, just catching a hold seems out of the question for you. What would happen in the event of something more serious? And what if something happened to one of your children that you were unable to manage by yourself? The truth is that no one is ever fully ready for those moments of disaster. The best things you can do are to have an emergency plan in place and to not let fear of the unknown to keep you from thriving in the present.
6. Coping with Co-Parenting
Iyanla's Best Advice for Single Moms Dealing with an Ex | Oprah's Lifeclass | Oprah Winfrey Network - YouTube

Working together and and sharing parenting responsibilities is hard enough for married couples, so doing it with someone who is not or no longer your spouse is likely to seem daunting. Co-parenting will look a little different for everyone and is something that might take some time for you to determine what works best for you and your family. There are, however, some basic guidelines that can be useful when first adjusting to the idea of co-parenting.

  • Keep it classy. Even if your children’s father is not a pleasant person or someone you think highly of, your kids do not need to hear it from you. Talking bad about your ex in front of your children will only create more problems and make co-parenting more difficult.
  • Maintain a shared calendar. Coordinating pickups, drop offs, school meetings, weekends away, and a myriad of other life events and activities is much less stressful if you use a calendar to which both you and your children’s father has access. This way there will be less surprise encounters, and it will be easier to organize everything going on. It also will help you establish a set schedule for your children’s time with you and their father.
  • Be flexible. While having a set schedule creates a sense of normalcy and routine for your kids, it is also important to be willing to accommodate reasonable alterations to the usual plan. If something special comes up and dad wants to swap weekends, consider going with the flow and working with him. Remember that withholding your kids from him is also affecting them, and what goes around often comes around. When the shoe is on the other foot, their dad might be more willing to return the favor.
7. Should Single Moms Date?
Single Moms Rock - letter- No Time To Date (Dating Struggles) - YouTube

To date or not to date? For a lot of single moms, that is THE question. It’s a question that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your future, and that of your children, could be riding on it. That said, here are 6 rules we recommend for dating as a single mom.

Some of you might even be thinking, “Who has the time?”! Dating can be difficult to navigate as a single parent, and it’s one of the many challenges specific to one-parent households.

Being a single mom does not mean that your dating life is over forever, but it does mean that your dating life is going to look very different than it did before. It can be helpful to set some basic rules for yourself and your family and to communicate those things to potential partners.

It is better to be upfront and end a relationship early that would not have turned out to be healthy anyway than to invest yourself in someone that is not going to support you in your role as a mother.

8. Self-Doubt as a Single Mom: I Am Enough
I am Enough | Fred Johnson | TEDxUWGreenBay - YouTube

Can I really do this? Am I making the right decisions? What if I do everything I can and it still isn’t enough?

Every parent is likely to ask themselves these questions from time to time, but single parents may find them to be a common occurrence, which can lead to overwhelming feelings of anxiety and self-doubt.

If you have or are experiencing those feelings, hear this: you are enough.

God is enough for you, and He is enough for your children. And He will see you through. Every parent has shortcomings and makes decisions that turn out not to be the “right” ones. No one knows all the answers when it comes to raising children, but you can rely on God because He does have all the answers.

In those moments when you feel at a loss for what to do or when you things seem out of your control,..

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He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.” Psalm 104:3 (NIV)

Are you a single mom that finds yourself consumed by emotion because of everything you have going on? As I followed my 19-year-old son to his doctor’s appointment, I watched his hand stretch out the window against the wind. I was immediately reduced to tears as I hit the gas to get a closer look. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

Welcome the Wind when Consumed by Emotion

This moment took me back to one of my most painful nights as a single mom. Full of tears and anxiety, I looked in my rear-view mirror to see my then 2-year-old son doing this very thing from his booster seat – hand stretched out, his chubby little fingers welcoming the wind and the forcefulness of it, curls blowing around his face, and his baby sister sound asleep next to him. Just pure joy, peace, and comfort.

It was at that moment, when I realized that even though the three of us were now homeless and would be sleeping in our car that night, we would be ok. God was with us and He would work all things out for His good.

Are you a single mom in need of resources? Click HERE our National Resource Guide, filled with tons of resources in all areas: housing, utility assistance, and more!

I pulled up behind him at a stoplight and was quickly reminded of my own childhood driving in our family car – windows down, the wind hitting my face, and demanding my full attention.

Hearing nothing but the force of the wind, left little room for negative thoughts and destructive voices telling me I’m worthless and stupid.

When You Have Nothing Left to Give

Relieved that I no longer had to breathe on my own, the wind became my oxygen for survival. It lifted me when I had nothing left to give. It replaced my toxic air with peace, comfort, hope, and a strange sense of strength. 

As my young adult life was caught up in addiction and one bad relationship after another, I had forgotten the wind was there to comfort me. Until one sober, lonely, and depressive night, I got in my car and drove. Windows down, hair blowing, and I was no longer suffocating from my life and circumstances, as the wind was once again breathing life back into me.

Are You Alive In Christ?

Only this time, I knew exactly what this was – this was God. I didn’t know Him yet, but everything in my soul was telling me that I was being filled with the Holy Spirit. 

I wondered if this is what it felt like to be alive in Christ, to be loved by Christ, to know that without me – this was just the wind. It was apparent that God wanted me fully connected to Him.

I gave my life to Christ that night and my life was forever changed.

So many years have passed, and the thought of my little ones now grown and leaving for college is weighing heavy on my heart and mind. Following my son this morning, my head was filled with a constant chatter of doubts, worries, and bouts of uncontrollable sadness.

Consumed by my mess of emotions, God gave me a front row seat to a reminder of His faithfulness, goodness, and grace. My son – hand stretched out the window, welcoming the wind, quickly reminded me that God’s got this. It’s all safely in His hands.

MEET OUR FEATURED EXPERT

Shaylah Coogan is a writer, speaker, abuse survivor, and once a homeless single mom of two in diapers. She launched There Once Was This Girl in 2012 to encourage and empower women who are parenting alone. It is through this platform where she openly shares the messy and most ugly parts of her life as a single mom and how she survived through a deepened relationship with Christ. Shaylah spent years in ministry walking side by side hundreds of single moms, helping them uncover their profound worth, purpose, and full potential through the freedom that can only be found in Christ. Shaylah lives in North Texas with her husband and two adult children who are now in college. You can find Shaylah at www.thereoncewasthisgirl.com.

 

The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. Our primary focus is in helping churches and communities launch single mom’s ministries and have done so more than 1,500 times! Our support groups connect 71,000 single mothers each year to a local church.   We are a one-stop shop for all things single mom ministry related. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.

The post When We’re Consumed by Our Mess of Emotions by Shaylah Coogan appeared first on The Life of a Single Mom.

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Have a Heart to Help Single Moms?

Join The Life of a Single Mom Ministries (TLSM) on Thursday, May 9, 2019, at 11:30am for our 2019 TLSM Impact Luncheon. This annual fundraiser celebration will highlight stories of single moms whose lives have been changed through the work of the organization and the national impact of the organization, along with a chef-prepared 3-course meal, entertainment, a speaker, and a silent auction. 

Event will be hosted in the grand ballroom at the Crowne Plaza, located at 4728 Constitution Avenue Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Tickets are $50 each or $500 for an 8-person table. Proceeds of the event go to directly impact the lives of single mothers and their children. Corporate Sponsorship opportunities are available and all inquiries should be directed to info@thelifeofasinglemom.com.  Seating is very limited. Corporate sponsorships are available for additional advertising and support of our single parent programming. Get your tickets through the form below!

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We are honored to have a star-studded line-up for the 2019 TLSM Impact Luncheon that includes: Jill Garner of Manners of the Heart, Jamie Tindle of Families Helping Families, Kelly Pepper of Louisiana Association of Nonprofits, and Collette Deselles of Lean on Me, Inc.

Each woman is a star, in her own right.  All current or former single mothers, each speaker has drawn on their personal experiences of hardship to become the top leader in their respective organizations.  Their desire to give back to others and unique life challenges will lead to a meaningful and in-depth discussion on the current single mother epidemic and most importantly, what can be done about it.  This event is sure to be one of the most special Impact Luncheons we’ve ever hosted!

Jill Rigby Garner is a parenting expert who founded Manners of the Heart, a national nonprofit focused on heart education. She is an inspiring speaker and award-winning author of Raising Respectful Children in a Disrespectful World. Jill’s deepest desire and calling are to bring a return of God’s principles of respect and civility to our society. A former single mothers of twin sons, Jill knows all too well the challenges single mothers face and the necessity of giving them a hand up to catapult them into success.

Jamie Tindle is a faith-filled single mother of 3 amazing adult children, one of whom has disabilities. She is a parent advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families as well as the executive director of Families Helping Families.  Jamie knows the importance of sharing her personal experiences with other families, so they will know there is hope, help, and happiness through the journey. Jamie’s life work has been dedicated to serving children and adults living with disabilities and ensuring that their families have the resources they need to live productive and meaningful lives.  The joys of seeing her own son thrive compels her to give back every day.

Kelly Pepper is a veteran within the nonprofit state government communities.  Currently, serving as LANO’s fourth President & CEO, Kelly has extensive knowledge in organization and communications. She cites her most important role as mom to her young son. Pepper has directed fund development, marketing and public relations for arts organizations in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, New York, and Nashville, and served as Executive Director of the Center for The Arts in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Collette Desselles is the Founder and Director of the non-profit organization Lean on Me, Inc. which has been in business for 11 years.  Collette currently oversees the daily operation of the transitional shelter for homeless women. In addition to housing, the organization also sponsors outreach events and dinners bringing awareness to homelessness, domestic violence, mental issues and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.   She is a graduate of University of Phoenix with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. She has worked for State Government for the last 20 years in multi-faceted areas including: Medical Records, Workers Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, the Road Home Program Advisor and Case Manager at Volunteers of America. In addition to working and attending college, she raised her three children as a single parent.  She believes her struggles and her passion and desire to help others qualifies her to serve as the Executive Director of the organization.

Jennifer Maggio is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Life of a Single Mom. As a former homeless, severely abused, single mom, Maggio has a passion to encourage single moms and inspire the nation to transform the lives of single mothers. Maggio will present a State of the Union for the organization at the annual luncheon, where she is expected to highlight stories of lives changed, events held, and the overall impact the organization has had on the state of Louisiana and the United States throughout the last 12 months.

A silent auction will also be held, where attendees will land some amazing deals on high-quality items that will further support the cause of seeing no single mom walk alone.  The Silent Auction will be held from 11:00am-12:00pm.

Silent Auction Items Announced Soon!!!

To read stories from the single moms we are helping across the nation, visit our Testimonials page HERE!

The Life of a Single Mom Ministries is a global nonprofit committed to seeing no single mom walk alone. Having served more than 72,000 single mothers annually and 1,500 churches, the goal of the organization is establish support groups for single mothers in cities around the world, while also empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, and parentally. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com

The post Join Us For Our 2019 Annual Impact Luncheon! appeared first on The Life of a Single Mom.

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The Life of a Single Mom is a national nonprofit focused on ensuring no single mom walks alone. We achieve this mission by offering a number of programs, including launching support groups in churches & communities throughout the United States (and beyond), hosting national conferences for single mothers, providing more than 100 life skills classes in Single Mom University, awarding a National Single Mom of the Year Award each year, and much more.  The organization has served more than 83,000 single mothers in 2018 alone!  And we’ve just launched a brand new program to reach even more single moms!

The 2019 TLSM Ambassador Program is a unique opportunity for passionate, God-loving, women, to join the TLSM family.  What does it entail?  If selected, you would represent The Life of a Single Mom in your state & community. You must hold a leadership position in your church (or once have) and you must have a personal tie to single motherhood (e.g. currently one, once was one, have a family member that is, raised by one, work with them on a regular basis).  Additionally, you must be comfortable discussing the challenges single mothers face and steps to serve them via phone and in person.  Beyond the satisfaction of a job well done, you will receive a number of free gifts, be mentored by our executive team, and even earn extra income for your efforts!

What would we require of you? Number one, stay in connection with your spiritual growth through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Understand that He is the reason we do what we do.  Next, be bold in your faith to present the idea to pastors & community leaders that starting single moms’ ministries does help single moms grow in critical areas, while also providing them necessary friendships along the way.  And don’t worry! Our team will guide you step-by-step along the way!  It’s that simple.  Deadline for 2019 applicants is Friday, November 30, at 11:59pm CST.  There are less than 7 hours left to submit your application to our underwriting team for review, so hurry.  You just may be the next ambassador for your state!

For more information and to apply, visit HERE.

The Life of a Single Mom is a global nonprofit committed to seeing no single mom walk alone. Having served more than 83,000 single mothers each year, the goal of the organization is establish support groups for single mothers in communities around the world. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s group. Our programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, and parentally. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.

The post 7 Hours Left to Join the 2019 TLSM Ambassador Program! appeared first on The Life of a Single Mom.

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