Family Dinners Expanded For Single Moms

I am a huge advocate of family dinners. I especially love Sunday family dinners. I have fond memories of going over to my grandma’s house on Sunday and having family dinners around the table when I was younger. It is a tradition that I dearly miss by living in one state and my parents living in another state. But, families aren’t restricted to only immediate family members. Family are those people you love, support, and spend time with, so why not include them in on Sunday dinner?

Tonight I was thinking about Sunday dinners past and thought how as single moms we should include in our family, those who aren’t family members by blood but are family in every other way. So, I am proposing that a few of these lovely ladies and our families have a Sunday dinner once a month or more, but at least once a month that includes all of us sitting around the table with our kids. We can either take turns cooking or do a potluck. I think this is a great memory to create for our kids and it strengthens our little village.

I’ve read some emails from moms who feel as though there is an element missing in their single parent family, especially those moms with one child. This is a fun way to expand your family experience, while building friendships, strengthening bonds, and allowing the kids to experience a lively Sunday dinner.

I’ll post pictures of our first dinner soon!! Let the Sunday fun begin!!

The Single Mom Expanded Sunday Dinner Tips:

  • Choose one Sunday a month be commited, and to stick to it!
  • Decide on whose house will host the dinner.
  • Make a cooking schedule. Potluck probably works best, you can rotate, for example, one person makes the main dish and the others make the sides one week and then rotate who makes the main dish.
  • Help with the cleanup. Don’t leave the host with the stress of a sink full of dishes.  
  • Have activities for the kids while the adults are cleaning up (better yet have them help!) or throw in a quick movie.
  • You may want to do a family activity, such as play a board game or take a walk.
  • Create a ritual. Try going around the table and saying one thing everyone is grateful for, or the high and lows of the day. Make sure you have a positive conversation  flowing that is kid friendly!
  • Pray together.
  • The biggest tip is to do this all with LOVE!

The Gratitude Project!

Hebrews 12:28-29

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Gratitude. We all should be grateful right? Grateful for our life, our children, our Lord, and our salvation. But, when the storms come rolling in and oh do they! It is easy to forget about all the positive things in our life and dwell in what is wrong with our life. Instead of being grateful for the home we have we may complain because it is too small. Instead of being grateful for the car we have we may rant about the amount of gas it takes to fill up the tank. I know this because I’m guilty of doing it! I don’t mean to, but I do. I”m ashamed to admit I forgot how God has shown me has grace, forgiveness, and goodness to me over and over even though I don’t deserve it!

I know alot of single moms out there are struggling because I read your emails. I know just people in general are struggling!  I want us to try to take our eyes off of our struggles for just a few moments a day and focus on what we are grateful for. Hence, I want to ask you to participate in ” The Gratitude Project.” Each day I’d like to ask you to share one thing you are grateful for and it can be anything, for example, maybe you’re grateful for a cup of coffee to start your day out! Or maybe it can be some small miracle God performed in your life and you want to share it to uplift others. That is my hope here! I want us to share one thing no matter how big or small it is to BE GRATEFUL for in our life.

Let’s take our focus and shift it from our worries to our simple gratitude. Each day I will create a post that will say for example, “Gratitude Project Day #1,” and you post one thing. The post will be on my blog and on the Facebook Page, please join if you haven’t at:!/groups/120048504702316/

My overall hope for this blog is to build a community of women who share with one another, uplift each other, and participate in God’s ministry of raising our children and obeying in him. Have a great day and let’s share!!! You never know how your post is going to effect someone else!

Thou Shalt Not Judge Another Mom

They Got It Right!

It is extremely easy to judge others, too easy in fact. It is interesting how quickly we can point out the faults of others, but rarely see our own shortcomings. I’ve been guilty of it and afterward I feel awful about making such hasty judgments. Most likely at one point in your life you’ve been criticized harshly and it isn’t a good feeling. Especially if you’re parenting skills are judged. Let’s face it parenting is difficult whether you are married or single, and when you are a single parent you could be dealing with a host of issues that make parenting extremely challenging.

It is important that as mothers in general we support other mothers, especially single moms. I’m not saying single moms are a charity case on the contrary most of the single moms I know do an phenomenal job at raising their children, maintaining a home, a job, friendships, and they can juggle a number of balls in the air without dropping a one! But every once in awhile, the ball does drop and instead of criticizing or judging them, take time to help them out.

If you are one of those moms who are feeling judged, my advice is be confident in yourself and your parenting skills. Don’t internalize everything someone says about you or you will start questioning yourself in ways that will only be detrimental to your entire family. When you second guess everything you do as a mom you begin chipping away at the joy of mothering. No one walks in your shoes, but you. Learn to distinguish and discern between advice that is beneficial and advice that isn’t. If it isn’t simply say thank you for your input and move on. All mothers will mother differently. Is it wrong, no everyone has their own unique parenting style. Married mothers may have a different support system than a single mother so their technique may be different, is it wrong? No it is different. Don’t allow anyone to make you doubt yourself. Ask God for advice first and listen to him first and foremost.

The old saying it takes a village to raise a child is true in every community. Moms need a village that is united and not divided. When you criticize another mom unfairly you hurt her very deeply because mothering is personal, it’s intimate and is a huge part of our identity. Sure, you may see things that another mom does with her kid that drives you batty and you may be biting at the chomp to tell her how she needs to discipline better but think before you say it. There is a gentle way of offering advice that doesn’t have to sting or make someone feel inferior in their parenting skills. The words we say have long lasting effects that can be damaging in ways that severe consequences.  Ephesians, 29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear,” is a scripture we can all keep in mind when offering our two cents. 

Moms are a community. We need to build one another  up so that we’re all contributing to raising our children to be loving, compassionate adults. We also need to support and love one another so that we can be the best woman and mother we can possibly be We all need advice on how to do something better or more efficiently.Moms are an invaluable resource to one another if they do it in a way that is encouraging and loving. I don’t have all the answers and sometimes I’m just simply at a loss so I welcome  hearing tips from other moms. It is comforting to hear what other’s are going through and how they handle their challenges. Remember, we all experience peaks and valleys it is how we navigate and help others through them that matter. So, the next time you see a mom struggling, please be kind, offer a hand, and think before you speak. It is all in the delivery. Build up your community by supporting it with positivity, loving words and gestures.

Learn More About the Global Orphan Crisis

Please take a moment to check out  this site, The Global Orphan Crisis. Diane Elliott is writing a book about the crisis that is taking place globally with children who are orphans. She is doing amazing and meaningful work and is a true inspiration! Diane came across my blog and asked me to write a piece on single parenting for her book that is coming out in Fall 2012 addressing this crisis. I was deeply honored that she asked me to write my insights and be part of this vital project. Take some time to look at her site, you’ll go away thinking about how you can help. It really does take a village to raise children and her site reminds you that every child matters.

It Takes A Village.. Single Moms Reaching Out Globally

A few of my friends and I gathered together in Chick-fila-a night while our kids were whooping it up and being entertained by Uncle E. We sat back and watched them them dance and enjoy themselves, a laugh we all needed. Individually we’ve been encountering different challenges as single moms that have been at times difficult and somewhat painful. Personally, I’ve been contemplating relocating to another area with a more affordable cost of living and where I would be surrounded by more of my family. The one hesitation I have is leaving this wonderful group of women that have offered me their friendship, their time, their ear, and their shoulder when I’ve needed to have a mini breakdown…they are family. We support one another without question. Whether it is a girl’s trip, a slumber party, an encouraging email, or an 18 mile hike (yes we did!) we’ve risen to the occasion, proving that we’re a pillar of support to eachother. My friend said it very simply when we were talking about how important it is to have a support system in place when you’re a single mom . She said, “It really does take a village.” I’ve heard this before, but never has it resonated with me so deeply.

Single moms need to be part of a village. A village that assists her in her phsyical, emotional, and spiritual growth, in raising her family, and nurtures her through the ups and downs of single motherhood. I must admit that my group of friends are blessed. We have jobs, comfortable homes to live in, healthcare, access to clean water and food, and a support system. It made me wander about single moms on a global level and the challenges they encounter. Being a single mom is hard and I can’t imagine how much harder it would be if I lacked the basics such as shelter, food, and healthcare. We have sisters all over the world who need a village to survive and eventually thrive.

Women Photographers at National Geographic
Cathy Newton

I believe that collectively women are powerful and especially mothers. Mothers carry an intense love for their children that enables them to go beyond their limitations, to take risks, and to love ferociously! I am so thankful for the little village my friends and I have created and I want it to reach beyond us. I want us to stretch our arms across the globe and embrace other single mothers with our love and support. Hence, my new blog, “It Takes A Village.” My hope is to bring awareness into the living rooms of all you beautiful single moms out there of your sisters around the world who are struggling in single motherhood and to create a global village for them to connect. I will be posting stories about single moms around the world and their plight and how we can reach out as a global community. Let’s go on this journey together and become the village our fellow sisters and their children need.
Check out my new blog for updates on organizations who are helping single moms globally and become part of the change!