I’ve had women approach me and say, “you seem really happy,” or “you make being a single mom seem not so bad.” In fact for the most part I am happy. I’m content and I got my groove down as far as the single mom part goes. It doesn’t mean I don’t experience my share of struggles and trials. I’m just like every other woman who is raising children, because let’s face it whether you are a single mom, married mom, whatever your status is…parenting is serious and sometimes scary business and we all got the scars to prove it! For me, arrving at a place of contentment was and is an intentional journey that I work on because I refused to accept a story that didn’t fit the life I was living, so I changed it.
I can genuinely say that I do feel complete and so does my daughter. She doesn’t feel like she’ from a broken family or a statistic. She feels loved, secure and part of a family regardless of the size. When I first became a single mom I worried about creating a sense of family in our home and at times I allowed outsiders to shape the narrative of my life instead of creating my own. What a disservice we do to ourselves and our kids when we permit others to tell us what’s going to happen in our lives. What’s dangerous is when we start believing them and our actions and thoughts begin to reflect this preconceived notion of what is most likely going to happen to us as ‘single parents.’ If you’re struggling with insecurity about being a single parent, ask yourself if you’re creating the narrative you desire for your life or are you allowing the whispers of naysayers and to take root and wrap itself around your family.
Only you are responsible for creating the narrative of our life. You are planting the seeds of what you want to cultivate in your garden. If you believe your family is broken then it is! If you believe your children are lacking, they will be! If you rely on feeling whole by your marital status instead of on your relationship with God then you will always feel a void, regardless if you’re single or in a relationship. You are the storyteller of your life so don’t leave it in the hands of another narrator or in the shadows of the past.
A major stumbling block for single moms is refusing to let go of a life that no longer fits who they are instead of embracing what remains. They keep trying to breathe air into it and in turn they get breath sucked out of them. Trying to relive an old story never works. It’s like quick sand, every step you take sinks you further in, putting a halt to your progress to move forward until it eventually suffocates you. God doesn’t want you to sink, he’s reaching out his hand to pull you out of the quick sand of an old story because he wants you to rise to the purpose he has in store for you as a woman, a mother and a child of God. He wants your narrative to be based on his truth for you not in the lies of Satan.
God can redeem and restore any situation. Do you think God looks at you and your family as being incomplete? I don’t believe that for a minute. God doesn’t work that way! Step into the narrative God has for your life. Let your story be filled with pages of grace, determination, endurance, love, forgiveness, laughter, family and purpose.
How do you perceive your story? Are you relying on someone else to write the pages? Do you have confidence in who you are as a mom? Are you happy with the family dynamic you’re choosing to create? If you aren’t then change the narrative, it’s your choice. Speak to yourself differently, create another vision for your life, and think about years from now when you look back, will you say your time was well spent or did you spend a lot of time trying to live up to a narrative that was never yours in the first place? If you live in a place of I can’t instead of I can then you won’t.
I believe from the bottom of my heart that God has a purpose for you, but your narrative has to match what a child of God deserves. It isn’t always easy because you have to change your thought and belief pattern, but it is possible. Maybe it requires healing, forgiveness, or something only God can do, but go to him in prayer and ask him to change your story. God is listening! Know that you are capable of creating the life you desire in God’s will, but how you view and speak of yourself and your family will determine if you get the life you want or you settle for less. We only live once, live well!
Who doesn’t enjoy sleeping under the stars? Setting up camp in your own backyard is a simple and inexpensive way to have fun with the kids this summer. A few years ago I invited a couple of Anya’s friends over for a campout. I grilled out, made some fruit kabobs, fresh lemonade, threw up a tent and squirted them with the hose. We painted, told stories, and made yummy smores over the fire-pit.
If you don’t own a tent, no worries! Ask to borrow one from a friend or neighbor. Bring board games into the tent and be armed with a few stories to share. If you live in an apartment ask a friend or family member if you can use their backyard and invite them to join in on the fun.
It’s supposed to be a hot one in DC this weekend, so you may want to hit all the Free Museums in the area to stay cool. But, in case you want to venture outside in the sunshine check out these 10 Almost Free and Fun Things to do with the kids!
- Celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th Birthday! The celebration is happening on Saturday, from 10am-3pm at Judiciary Square, National Building Museum, 401 F St., NW, D.C. The kids will get to learn about this architect giant and try their hand at building some paper masterpieces as well. It’s FREE.
- Free Family Workshop at Peirce Mill in Rock Creek Park: On Saturday, from 11am-2 pm at 2539 Tilden St., NW, Washington, D.C. Kids can grind corn & make their own minature mills.
- Capitol Hill Arts Workshop 45th Birthday: This is a FREE Celebration on Saturday from 9am-7pm at 727 8th St., SE , Washington, D.C., Take a fun walk in the morning, then enjoy performances, music & more.
- Imagine, Inspire, Ignite, and Engage: Family Day: FREE event for families on Saturday from 10am-2pm. Join Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) and the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center (SEEC) for an afternoon of art exhibits exploring math, science and engineering.
- Books in Bloom: Enjoy a day of books with authors, a poetry wall, pop up bookstores and more on Sunday from 12pm-5pm at The Chrysalis in Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD.
- Taste of Jamaica: Enjoy the food, sounds, and rhythm of Jamaica in Silver Spring, MD at the Veterans Plaza on Saturday! All proceeds go to Jamaica education to the Poor Foundation.
- Rockville Community Day: Check out this FREE, fun activity festival for the whole family, featuring a truck touch, bounce house, obstacle course, healthy food samples, activity station on Sunday at 700 Fallsgrove Drive Rockville, MD 20850.
- 10th Annual City-Wide Truck Touch: FREE activities for kids & adults on Saturday from 9am-2pm at RFK Stadium Lot 7. A host of DC government agencies will present and demonstrate nearly 30 vehicles used in the city.The kids can climb aboard, honk the horns, and work the gears! Free boxed lunches will be provided to kids age 18 and under.
- Lake Anne Chalk on the Water Festival: A fun FREE 2 day festival on Saturday and Sunday from 11am -5pm at Reston, Lake Anne Plaza (Waterfront) , 1609 Washington Plaza, Reston, Va. Register and be entered to win prizes for your famille’s chalk drawing.
- West Columbia Pike Food Truck Party: Get some yummy food on Saturday from 11am-2pm. Give yourself a break from cooking, grab some food, listen to music and eat outside with the kids!
Enjoy your weekend and make some memories!
Has pursuing your passion become a distant memory? Your purpose matters! Pursuing your purpose matters, especially to God! Life is busy, kids need us, committements pile up, but that doesn’t mean you should shove your passion aside. Here are 6 simple steps you can take to work towards the goals God has planted in your heart! Look for a video this weekend on this resource.
Summer fun doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re a single mom, most likely you’re already thinking about budgeting for back to school clothes, supplies, maybe tuition or summer camps. But, there are a number of fun, bonding and inexpensive activities you can do in them summer with the kids that will keep your budget on track. This June Series of ‘Inexpensive Summer Fun,’ will give you ideas to implement throughout the next three months.
One of my favorite inexpensive summer activities is to swap your dining room table for a dinner picnic outside. You have to eat right? Why not do it under the blue sky on a blanket? You can have a picnic in the park, in your yard, or maybe at an outdoor event. Ask the kids to help put together their favorite dinner, dessert and drinks and head outdoors!
I’ve been working on an e-Book about tips on avoiding single mom burnout that I hope to release by the end of this year. So, I’ll be share excerpts with you along the way and would love your feedback! This excerpt is all about avoiding stinking thinking and recognizing who we are as women in Christ! Thanks for reading!