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After my last post, I’d really like to give some serious credit to single mamas (and also single dads).  It’s a very real tragedy, in our society, that there are so many single parents out there.  Those folks have it hard.  Their kids have it hard.  In an un-fallen world, there would be no death or divorce.

Today, I was reminded of how prone I am to take it easier on kids than I should and just “be gracious” and Smiles came along with his man-perspective and reminded me that sometimes we all need a consequence to learn a lesson.  Thank God for this wisdom.  I was about to do a kid a serious, long-term disservice by not making him responsible for his actions.

This is a single, isolated example of how balancing our mom and dad perspectives are for one another.

I recall when my kids were much smaller, as I would begin to open my mouth in violent frustration, I’d often feel a gentle father’s hand on my shoulder and hear a soft “They’re just boys, Space” in my ear.  And I would think, “This is why my mom sometimes lost her temper, because she didn’t have a partner to remind her that souls are more important than feeling vindicated in those moments”.

And, of course, my kids have had incredible advantages with me being a stay-at-home mom.  If I were a single mom, this advantage would not even be an option I could offer them.

Then there’s the fact that you never, ever have another grown-up to just give you a short break, or tell you that it’s going to be okay and tomorrow’s a new day.

I know my kids are great.  I know they are a blessing to those that know them.  And whenever they start to get a little arrogant about another kid’s immaturity, I often remind them that they’ve had some incredible advantages, like being raised by both parents, and unified parents at that.

Which only serves to bring up another challenge: usually the kids are a little messed up from coming from a broken home, so these single parents have a much greater challenge with raising their wounded kids than I do raising my healthy ones.

My mom was a single mom.  I cannot think of a more holy, victorious, glorious, precious, beautiful woman.  And I recognize that almost all of the mistakes that she made, while raising me were due to the fact that she didn’t have a husband around supporting and balancing her in the incredible job of raising my brother and I.  And she still did a better job than I could ever hope to do.  In the midst of all the grief that I put her through, she taught me how to worship through suffering (although I didn’t care to learn that lesson at the time).

So I just wanted to give a shout-out to all the single parents out there, I can’t even begin to imagine how hard your job is, or how many struggles I’ve failed to acknowledge due to my limited perspective.  I hope your parenting journey is super blessed.  I hope God sends wonderful saints into your children’s lives to fill the hole left by the missing parent.  And I hope you have a lot of joy and encouragement and that, although you don’t have the support of the missing parent, that you find incredible support in community.

And if your precious child is an absolute nightmare, take courage… I was too.

Space 4-3-14

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