Mother’s Day has been a difficult day for me for many years. That’s why I’m especially pleased to redeem it this year… with a story.
The fourth book in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series includes one short story by yours truly called, “A Good Mom”. Of all the stories I’ve published in this series, this one is especially close to my heart. Writing from the point of view of a single mother, I was able to pour in some of the emotion of my own experience.
When you are a single mom, you often find yourself in awkward situations. Like suggesting a family your kids made friends with come over to dinner sometime, and getting a laugh from the wife as if you made a joke and the comment, “But who would my husband have to talk to?” Or meeting new people at a homeschool social event and getting along great until the question comes up, “What does your husband do?”
The thing is, I’m pretty contented being a single mom until these weird moments pop up. Like, I practically forget I’m different, because single parenthood has become my normal. My comfortable normal, in fact, like a comfy sweater that I wear every day and forget that it has unusual patchwork colors until someone stares or comments. My kids and I have good relationships, finances are stable, and I have a solid circle of friends who know my back-story.
And actually, I’m not so different. When I get into heart to heart talks with other mothers, whether they are married, divorced and remarried, or single, if I get past their facades, I often find someone who shares my values and feelings. I find that we all worry about our kids, and we all want what is best for them. I find we all think we fall short. I find we all get tired.
And most of all, we all love our kids.
I’d like to think that what we have in common is much greater than our differences.
When I see other mothers, I don’t think of them as different from me, I think of them as the same. When I am with mothers in labor as their midwife, I remember my labors. When I see other mothers struggling to get their crying children into their car seats, I remember that struggle all too well. When I see moms cheering for their kids, or hugging their kids, or praying for their kids- I identify. I do all those things too.
And so, here is my request to the mothers who are married- don’t see single mothers as different. They are no less than you. They are doing their best, just like you are. They love their children. And they are broken, just like you are. Their brokenness just shows in a more visible way.
To the other single moms this Mother’s Day, I want to tell you something too. You are no less able to parent your children than someone who is married. You have everything you need inside of you.
And God is for you. You are a good mom.
And by God’s grace and with His help, so am I.