My oldest daughter has begun an amazing blog journey. She is writing so transparently about her faith, her life as a single mom, and her growth as a person. I am learning so much from her. And you have to check out what she says here: God’s Work in Progress.
This is what she posted the other day.
How to Speak to a Single Christian Mom
I read this blog post last week when I found it through a friend. Brilliant and so true!
I don’t know the woman who wrote this, but I can totally relate. It got me thinking. I’m a single mom of two young boys, and apparently I fit into some template that also results in many unwelcome questions and comments. So here’s my take.
Things Not to Say to A Single Mom
1. “Were you married to their father?” First of all, it’s none of your business, oh stranger who asked me this question. This often gets asked by Christians, who seem to think that if I had been married to their father, then the children are legitimate, and that’s one less sin I’ve committed. This question is often followed by “Did he leave you?”. Again, none of your business, but either way, it doesn’t really matter. Anything that you consider my sin is between God and I, and really has nothing to do with you.
2. “Are you dating anyone now?” Again, unless you are family, not really any of your business. This question is often asked by married women. Let me tell you one thing – divorce is in no way comparable to breaking up with your boyfriend in highschool. You should not be jealous that I am now back in the dating pool. Do you think men are beating down the door of a divorced woman with two kids in order to date her? Not exactly prime dating material. This was a situation that I did not ever want to be in.
3. “I guess you married the wrong person.” While I do believe that once you are married, it is for life, people are a product of their choices, and things don’t always work out the way we want them to. No, I didn’t marry the wrong person. People are surprised when I say this. First of all, if I married the wrong person, then I – and all of my friends and family – were either idiots when I got married, or completely naive. Neither was the case. Secondly, if I married the wrong person, then I have the wrong kids, which i would never, EVER, think is the case.
4. “Do you ever want to get married again?” Well, since it was never the intent to be single again at this point in my life, yes, I do. But that doesn’t mean that I’m ready for it today or tomorrow or even next year. This is a silly question, and I often want to answer with a sarcastic “Of course not, I’m perfectly happy being alone for the rest of my life.”
5. “How are you doing?” and “Are you okay?” It’s always said in that “pity” tone of voice. How do you think I’m doing? Don’t let anyone tell you that divorce is as easy as a breakup. It’s not. There’s a reason that some psychologists have compared it to a death. It’s that hard. It’s an emotional roller coaster and it takes a LONG time to not feel like you’ve been stabbed in the heart every time you breathe.
6. “I don’t know how you do it all by yourself. I could never do it.” I’m not sure if this is meant to be a compliment or making the point that I can’t possibly be a good enough person/parent/woman on my own.
There are a few other things happen. Married girl friends seem to distance themselves. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to steal your husband. I’ve seen one home broken and it’s something I never want to repeat. People don’t know what to say, so they say nothing. I’m still interested in the same things as I was before, so whatever we had in common is still there.
Green Light Subjects
1. “How are the kids?” I won’t answer with anything but how they are doing in school, what they are into right now and that kind of thing. Don’t worry about being overwhelmed with their emotional state.
2. “Can I pray for you?” Absolutely! It seems so often that the words said are meant to be a criticism for my situation. I’d much rather know that you are lifting me up in prayer – goodness knows I need it – even if it is only a few words at the end of the day. It’s all appreciated.
3. Any small talk. I don’t want to talk about my marital situation all the time. Sometimes I need to bounce things off someone, but that’s usually family. Usually, I want to talk about normal things like the weather, the stock market, shoes and football.
4. My kids like other kids. It seems like other parents are reluctant to let their children be with the children of a single mom. The situation is not their fault. They still need their friends and life to be as normal as possible.
There are a hundred other things I could write here, but this will do for now.
If you’re in a reading mood, take a look at my graphic designer daughter’s blog here. Great insight into how the creative process works. And my baby girl’s blog is here, looking at life as a stay-home mom and a very innovative way of doing it.
Yup. We’re a bloggy kind of family!