Guest post by Alysha Abrams
Dear Newly Single Parent,
I remember the first time it really hit me – “I’m a Single Parent”. That was never what I intended nor was it something I had ever imagined. I know a lot of single parents but I never figured it would be my reality. I wasn’t like the majority of my friends who got married and had children in their early 20’s. I waited until I was 31 to get married, to ensure I knew what I was doing and wasn’t stepping into this commitment lightly. I had my son at 32, YEARS after the rest of my friends had entered parenthood. I was positive I had it all figured out. I could’ve never predicted that just 5 weeks after my son was born, my husband would clear our bank account and disappear…never! The words “single parent” all of a sudden rang loud and clear with a different definition – This.Is.Me. I was terrified! How was I supposed to raise a child on my salary? Would I ever get a moment to myself? Who would help when one of us got sick? How could I do this all alone? Loneliness found me and haunted me on a level I’d never known before.
Hebrew 13:5 states, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”. This verse was all I had to cling to. In a time of complete hopelessness, I had a choice: to feel desperate and alone OR believe this truth and live it out. I had to make a conscience choice every single day to believe God was with me and find the blessings in the mundane.
5 weeks after my husband left, I went back to school to further my education and secure a future for myself and my child. The next 3 years were grueling but I never gave up. I fought hard; I persevered when I didn’t think I could. Every time I looked at my child, I found strength in myself that I never knew I had, and it helped me push a little harder and walk a little further. So why do I share my story? What are my words of encouragement to you? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! There will be times that you feel like it, there will be times that exhaustion steps in and tries to suffocate you. There will be times that you question everything you are doing (there will even be times when you get up to publically speak
and due to lack of sleep, you forget to zip of the fly of your pants – well, maybe not you…maybe that was just me). Reality is, it won’t be easy but it will be totally and completely worth it!
Can I be honest? I LOVE being a single parent! I love not having to share my little boy’s snuggles when I come home after a long day. I love that our weekends are just the two of us. I love that I have sole decision making for his little life and I LOVE that he is all mine.
My advice to any parent stepping into the single parent world is, “have an attitude of gratitude”…always. It’s easy to look at what we don’t have, especially when we step into unchartered territory, but make a conscience effort to focus on what you do have instead and it will take you far! Focus on your child’s health, the roof over your head, the job you have that is paying your bills (even if money is tight). Focus on the fact that you have a child when so many women try to get pregnant and can’t.
On days when it’s hard to find the good…find the gratitude for life and the fact that God has handpicked YOU to raise your child. Wake up every morning and CHOOSE gratitude. I promise you, when the dust settles, when you find your “new normal” and get into your groove, you will look at yourself in the mirror one day and say, “I’m a single parent. What’s YOUR super power”?
A Fellow Single Parent
P.S. You CAN do this!
Alysha Abrams is a mother. A survivor. And, above all else, a child of the Most High King! She has found that being a mother has made her a better person and is her joy in life.