The life of a single mom in America isn’t easy, and for all their talk of women’s liberation and women’s equality, too many of today’s politicians have done too little to strengthen the lives of women in America. When Hillary Clinton and others talk of equal pay for equal work, they often fail to take into consideration that many women take time off from work to raise children, take care of the family home, and, yes, even cook and clean for their husbands (shocking I know)! What may be even more shocking is that many of these women enjoy (horrors!) doing such menial tasks for those they Love.
Becoming a single mom for these women is beyond devastating. They are cast into a role meant to be shared by two. In addition to losing self-worth, they also lose their work identity as they are told they are no longer good enough at being wife and mother to maintain their positions. To make matters worse, society and even their own churches often look down upon them casting them in with other single mothers.
Other single mothers are those the abandoned housewife knows as little about as the as well as the highbrow politician does. These other single mothers may include: the girl who gets pregnant at 14 and keeps her baby, the college co-ed who gets drunk on a one night stand but decides against the abortion mill, the low-income, lonely divorced woman who already has three children but, in an effort to prove she is not worthless, reaches out for love from an unworthy man and finds herself pregnant and alone again despite “precautions” taken, the rape victim who runs away in shame but decides not to make two victims from one man’s evil, vomit-inducing action.
Life is not easy for single moms in America no matter what their situation or how they got to that point, but today, Independence Day, I don’t write to those who put single moms down. I don’t write to those who judge or criticize without knowing the situation that took each of us to where we are. I don’t write to those too busy with their own lives to notice our lack of sleep or the longing for real companionship, friendship, or free time. I don’t write for those politicians who claim to care about equal pay for equal work but never address too many women pushed out of healthcare benefits by unwanted divorce or the court system which allows deadbeat dads to hide, women and children to live below the poverty level earning a fraction of the abandoning spouse’s paycheck, alimony that is short-lived or non-existent because employment as a homemaker is no longer valued and a homemaker is expected to find employment capable of supporting herself and her family quickly.
Today, I write for the single mom because despite all the hardships single moms face, single moms in America are far better off than in most of the world, and we need to stand strong, proud, and take advantage of all we are given in America – and what we are given has nothing to do with what happens on the social services line or in those courtrooms.
10 Great Things About Living in America as a Single Mom
1. Single Moms are Free to Live
In many countries, being rejected by a husband is a death sentence. A woman does not get to move on with her children. False accusations of adultery and other crimes justify the man’s actions and too often this results in the death of the woman or a cutting off of the woman from those she holds most dear, her precious children.
In America, the abandoned knows total rejection, but single moms are given our children to hold onto at least part time. It may feel as if a part of us is dying, but we must never take life for granted. We must grasp all life has to offer with both hands, embrace our new existence, and be eternally grateful for the opportunities which lie ahead.
2. Single Moms can protect ourselves
In other countries, a woman is not free to defend herself. Guns are handled by men, often only by the elite, but any victim of domestic violence in America or abroad knows that weapons include more than just guns. According to SafeHarbor.org, 1 in 4 women is raped or attacked by her partner and 1 in 3 female homicide victims is killed by her current or former partner. Risks to children in abusive households are far beyond risks present to their peers. An order of protection is not bullet proof or knife proof or strangle proof as is evidenced by the fact that the riskiest time for an abused woman is right after she leaves her partner. An order of protection will not protect an abused woman’s children.
In America, we love and respect our law enforcement, but they cannot be everywhere at all times. It is physically impossible. This is why the Hollywood elite and left wing politicians have armed security. Their lives are at risk because of who they are and the choices they’ve made. An abused woman is also at risk because of who she is and the choices she’s made. She has a right to protect herself just as much as the elite. Her life is worth just as much as any monied politician’s. The 2nd Amendment provides her the ability to do so. In America, we need to stand for women and for that right.
*A note of caution: If you are going to own a gun, you MUST be properly trained, you MUST be ever vigilant concerning the safety attached to such a responsibility, and you MUST be prepared to use it. Not all women can do this. If you cannot or will not be trained, vigilant, and willing to take a life if absolutely necessary, DO NOT GET A GUN!
3. Single Moms can educate ourselves
Success does not mean getting free housing or food stamps or government issued healthcare, heat, cable, phones, internet or whatever else the government offers. These items are not free. Accepting these items causes you to pay with your freedom, to pay with your soul.
In other parts of the world we see girls literally risking their lives for an education. In America, when school gets hard, we make excuses and whine about the difficulty of the material, the time we’d rather spend in front of Youtube videos, and feel self-conscious because we are not doing things like everyone else.
In America, education is the introduction to success. Free and low-cost high school equivalency, learn to read, and other such classes are available to those needing basic skills. Single moms have looking for more have grants available to them others do not, and there are often ways around some classes. For example, I could not afford time or money for college classes but was determined to upgrade my teaching expired teaching license to something more marketable. I taught myself difficult material and tested out of classes, earning three credits per test I passed (up to 12 credits) through the CLEP program. Was it hard? YES! was it worth it? DEFINITELY!
4. Single Moms can get a job.
Education is the start, but education doesn’t guarantee employment. In America, it is important to choose a profession that has job openings. In America, we are free to do anything, but that doesn’t mean it is our right to do anything. An employer is also (usually) free to choose the best candidate. That means single moms must be the best of the candidates available. We are free to live that life, to make ourselves the best, to take rejection and discover where it leads us to. Maybe we were not meant to do that particular job. Maybe that particular position wasn’t meant for us. Maybe we blew that particular interview and need to reexamine our responses before the next one.
But in America, that isn’t the end. In other countries, women are forced into demeaning, menial jobs and often have no recourse for injustices suffered in those positions. Many women and young children are forced into prostitution and sexual slavery. Never bemoan the job you should have gotten. Be always grateful and on the lookout for the next opportunity instead.
5. Single Moms are mobile
If the education is not what we want it to be, if we do not get the job we hoped for, if we want to move our lives, in America we have the freedom to do so. Unfortunately, there are too often court ordered restrictions on how far a custodial parent can move even to find employment; however, the grass is not always greener somewhere else and mobility is more than just where one physically lives.
If you are unable to relocate physically because of restrictive court rulings, move your mind, move your spirit, move your will. See the positive in where you are. Take a risk. Meet people who reinforce the Good in the world rather than those who encourage negativity. Mobility is a state of mind. Thoughts are limited only by exposure to possibility. In America, our thoughts are freer than anyone, anywhere’s because our education and employment opportunities are freer. Take advantage of all of that. Be mobile. Take small steps when giant leaps seem too overwhelming, but be mobile and be grateful for your mobility.
6. Single Moms can choose better
Whatever led single moms to where they are today does not have to lead them to where they are tomorrow. In America, we are free to choose. We are free to choose blame, pointing fingers at individuals and circumstances that played a part in our present, but we are also free to look in the mirror and accept the responsibility we must bear in how we got to where we are.
Once we accept responsibility, real choices begin. In America, we are free to choose education. Free to choose employment. Free to choose chastity until we are strong enough to choose Real Love. Free to be in a different position tomorrow from the one we are in today. Free to shape our children’s future differently from those of our peers. Free to change our family tree. Free to recognize that we will fall down, that obstacles will arise, that betrayals will again hurt us. Free to experience so many failures and free get up and start over again anyway.
7. Single Moms can earn the resect of our children
By choosing to live, to protect, to educate, to provide, to move, and to choose better, by choosing to do the hard work as soon as the hard work crops up, we earn the ultimate earthly prize: the love and respect of our children.
Too often people attempt to demand respect from their children, when they must command respect instead. This is not done through gifts or expensive trips or the bff attitudes many non-custodial parents dish out. This is done through doing the hard work, day in and day out. It is done when you want to give up, run away, throw in the towel. It is done when you think you can’t take this one more minute of one more day but you do it anyway. This is done when you are so angry/frustrated/exhausted/(fill in the blank), but choose to Love your child 100% anyway.
In America, never take the Love of a child for granted. In too many areas of the world, the life of the child of a single mother is stolen or taken entirely. There are no words to define that loss…
8. Single Moms can pray
In America today, freedom of religion has been severely limited, but it still exists. In America, we are still free to support one man, one woman marriages. We are free to hope others do not experience the loss we have. In America, we are free to pray before a meal in a restaurant. We are free to teach our children our values. We are free to Trust in a Father who Loves us, a Man willing to die on a Cross for us, and a Spirit willing to strengthen and live within us every second of every challenging day.
In other countries, faith is too often denied or forced. When Love of the Father is denied, it cannot be fully known. When love for a god is forced, it cannot be Love. Love only results when we choose Love. A single mom knows better than anyone, Love cannot be forced. Never take the Love of your God for granted. Pray in pain. Pray in anger. Pray in hurt. Pray in despair, but never forget to pray in Thanksgiving, in Peace, in Strength, in Hope, and always Pray in Love.
9. Single Moms Can Be Appreciative
In America, we tend to compare ourselves to the perceived perfection of our neighbor’s facade. It is easy to become embittered or saddened or overcome with feelings of victimization. It is easy to look at all we do not have, hard to be grateful for all we do have. We tend to forget that most of us are far better off than those in the rest of the world.
In America, we can be grateful for the hardships which led to where we are and which provide the opportunities to allow us the strength to stand for our beliefs, for the future, for our children, for our country, for our God.
In America, we can be thankful to the men and women who protect our lands, who protect our freedoms, who protect our Constitution without which the life oaf a single mom would be vastly different. In other countries, the military can be cause for fear. In America, our Military is cause for inspiration. In America, our Military is cause for flag waving, ribbon tying, and car magnets. In America, we can be thankful for those who sacrificed their time, their bodies, their minds, their hearts, their family time, and their lives to give single moms and our children lives they could not have in other parts of the world.
10. Single Moms can make a difference
In America, life is not fair. There are injustices. There is bigotry. There is discrimination. There is too much wrong with America to list. Rather than dwelling on all that is wrong, American single moms who have taken advantage of the first 9 are in a unique position to help others.
In America, single moms are told too often they are powerless. They are told their lives are hard. They are marginalized and told to keep their heads down and not to call attention to themselves, but in America, single moms can make a difference.
Single moms can stand up for life in all its stages and places. Single moms can testify the fact that all lives matter, especially those overlooked by others. Single moms can defend themselves and those who have no voice both in the womb and halfway around the world. Single moms can gain wisdom through self-education and tenacity. Single moms can retrain themselves to move up the corporate ladder or start their own businesses. Single moms can choose to move, to shake the populace out of its status quo. Single moms are free to choose success and selfless Love. Single moms can inspire others to learn and to grow. Single Moms can pray to end injustice. Single Moms can lead others to find the Love the Lord offers in a way no government voucher can. Single Moms can reach out to say thank you offering donations of money or time or cards to Wounded Warriors, Veterans Hospitals or other Military organizations to say Thank You.
I sit here in my living room listening to the last of the fireworks. Their blasts still occasionally booming and fading over the darkness of the distant mountains, and I think of the life of a single mom in America, not of the hardships, but of the unique opportunities presented to these special women in the Land of the Free. I think of all the challenges and of what those challenges do for us, not to us. I think of how meeting those challenges, how never giving up, how picking yourself up day after day no matter what the day before held prepares us for what tomorrow holds.
In America, single moms are uniquely prepared to take on some of the challenges of the world, but will we? I sit in my living room and look over my notes, seeing so many things single moms can do, but will we? Will single moms in America stand in the tough times, will we look ourselves in the mirrors, will we make changes, difficult, painful, humbling changes? Will we work hard and pick ourselves up to try again another day when all our hard work seems to result in failure with no success in sight?
The Lord has provided single Moms the opportunity. Our Military provides the freedom of protection. America provides the land. Will single Moms keep our heads down, mumbling to ourselves about the unfairness we have every right to complain about or will single Moms provide the Will to make a difference.
Single Moms CAN have limitless possibilities in America, but will we? Life is not stagnant unless we choose it to be. You can choose to make a difference or you can choose to be in the same place you are now next Fourth of July. You are a powerful single mom. Be grateful to be in America. What will you choose to be, how will you choose to change your corner of the world by this time next year?
Be grateful to be in America. Take advantage of all this great nation has to offer and make a difference.