This is me: A Single Mom Stereotype

Single Mom Stereotype

Once, I had a dream. Of finding love, and getting married, and having a family.  Of cooking meals in a kitchen full of children, and building traditions, and holding hands through the hard times. Of growing old together, and enjoying grandchildren, and kissing each other goodbye as we left this world for something better.

A dream that ended too soon.

So this is me now. And, I am a stereotype.

I had a dream of teaching Sunday school, and Bible studies, and leading the Women’s ministry. And though we once worked hand in hand, your eyes no longer meet mine in the hallways of the church I love. Because now, I am a stereotype.

I had a dream of reconnecting with my girlfriends as my children grew. Of time to slip away and go enjoy some down-time laughing, and reminiscing, and enjoying the company of other moms. And though I’m still the same person who stood by you when life threw you curve balls, you can’t relate to what I’m going through, and have slipped away as quietly as you can. Because now, I am a stereotype.

I had a dream of cookouts with our families. Of our children running through each other’s yards, and us bringing baked goods covered in plastic wrap to the table. Of swatting mosquitos, and mending scrapes, and all the things that neighbors do. But I see the way you move in now when I speak to your husband, even though we were all friends at one time. Because now, I am a stereotype.

I had a dream of cheering our children on at school events. Of being on the sidelines with you at field day. Of class parties, and field trips, and parent lunches with you and your children by my side. But, I’ve heard the comments you make about the problem children at school, and the way you turn from me and suggest under your breath that it’s simply because they are being raised by a single mom. Because now, I am a stereotype.

But you are wrong about me. You are wrong about all of us.

You see, I haven’t changed. Though the things in my life certainly have. My kind of tragedy is common, and expected, and unnoticed. My kind of pain is overlooked, and shooed away, and not even recognized. I should have seen it coming, after all. Because it is all a stereotype.

Now, I am a single mom. And I’m chasing my dreams anyway.  I’m rebuilding my family. And my home. And my finances. And my self-esteem.

I’m connecting with new friends. And ministering to a different group than I ever thought I would be. I’m building a new idea of family. I’m giving my kids every ounce of me. And they are watching in real time what it looks like to fall to the very, very bottom in life.

And then, to overcome.

Because I refuse to be your stereotype. So,this is me. I am a Single Mom. But, I choose to live free.

 

 

Stop by Proverbs 31 Ministries, Suzie Eller’s, blog this Live Free Thursday to discover more stories about living free. <3

LIVEFREETHURSDAY

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13 Comments

  1. Hey Laura. Build! Build some more! Chase those dreams and instill dreams in your kiddos! Encouraging your journey. Hugs. Susan (neighbor at Suzie’s live free today.

    May I invite you to share your words tomorrow at DanceWithJesus linkup? Bless others there with them. SusanBMead.com/blog each Friday. Hugs!

  2. My mom was a single mom, and didn’t want to go to church because of judgement from others. You are truly brave to embrace God’s calling on your life and to serve Him through the circumstances. Bravo mama!

  3. Laura, I am in tears. I’m trying to find the words… to see the screen beyond the tears. This is powerful stuff, sister! You are incredible, and I am honored to know you. I want to reach out and hug you. I want to invite you to my house for that cookout, letting our kids run wild into the sunset. I want to stop you in the hallway of the church and tell you that I appreciate you and what you’re doing for your church. I want to go on a getaway with you (soon, maybe?!) and laugh until we cry. And, I want to punch that stereotype in the face, and cheer you on in life, because YOU DIDN’T QUIT! And you refuse to let the detour in your journey stop you from pressing onward. You are A FIGHTER! And I adore you! Thank you for your gut-wrenching honesty today. Seriously. WOW. Love you, sweet girl! #livefreeThursday

  4. You are such a wonderful mom! I have no doubt that you and my grandkids will do great, Shine on, love MOM

  5. Sadly, painfully accurate. Except that I knew. I knew that my circle of friends would change. I knew that other adults or parents would see my child differently from here on out. Perhaps pity him even. I knew we would have to change schools. I’m not as readily approached by the other moms at the new school.

  6. Laura – are you hiding in the bushes outside my house??? Thinking these thoughts lately. As a single mom, I am cheering you on and joining in to live out my dream. Watch out world. 🙂 Thank you for such an honest and encouraging post.

  7. Laura, this is beautiful. God ministers to us in a truly special way when we are at the “bottom” and all alone. He lifts us up, restores us, gives us new dreams and a bright future. I am sorry for the pain you have endured, but grateful it has brought you closer to the One who can meet all of your needs. Blessings to you as you continue on in your new life and your new ministry. Stay strong girl!

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