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Doing It Alone
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“In the final analysis it is not what you do for your children but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” --Ann Landers

Single parenting can appear and feel like an overwhelming, never-ending task.

I had been a full time wife and mother for twelve years. One day it all changed. After the divorce I had to support myself and the children. I was good at being a mom, but it didn’t pay the bills. So I moved 3,000 miles away from my entire family to complete my college education, begin a career in the working world and start a new life with two small children in tow.

It wasn’t easy, but we did it. The kids and I made a pact. We wouldn’t dwell on the past, we wouldn’t talk negative. We would just work as a team to keep the home environment clean and running smoothly. We talked to each other a lot, about anything and everything. We helped each other with everything that needed to be done. We respected each other and appreciated each other. We left love notes for each other, or notes of encouragement. We made a list of responsibilities and all shared them.

My kids are 27 and 24 now. As I look back over the past 14 years, I know that God was watching us and we got through it all because we depended on Him, and on each other.

Give and get support

Offer your children structure and consistency. Find joy in daily activities with them. Catch them doing good. Give them positive reinforcement often. Recognize their skills and talents. Encourage them. Make friends with other single parents and get together often.

When you stop trying to make your children fit your fantasy of who you think they should be, only then will you begin to see who they really are, and be able to appreciate them. When you relax about your situation; your life will immediately become easier.

Allow your children freedom to think for themselves, and to be who they were born to be. Always be there for them. The rewards are innumerable in all they will give back to you.

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.” --Hodding Carter

By Denise Taylor, pseudonym. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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