“We have wonderful friends in our local congregation. They are loving and supportive. They feel like real family.”—LIZAAN, A MOTHER OF TWO TEENAGERS.
“My greatest challenges,” says Alina, who has two young boys, “are tiredness and a constant lack of time.” Alina’s situation is the norm for single moms. That is why many single parents build a support network—a group of people on whom they can call for help without embarrassment.
Look for support from trusted relatives and friends. Why not make a list of people whom you can call on for help, whether for child care, transportation, home maintenance, or emotional support? And keep the list current. Also see what assistance is available through governmental and nongovernmental agencies.
Renata, who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, has received much help from fellow Christians. “They are always there to help me,” she says. “When my two nine-year-old girls and I came down with the flu, I could not prepare meals. As soon as the congregation heard about this, someone came every day with food.” Such kindnesses call to mind the words found in the Bible at 1 John 3:18: “Little children, let us love, neither in word nor with the tongue, but in deed and truth.”
Can the noncustodial parent help? If the other parent, usually the father, has legal access to the children and is responsible and willing to help, why not share some of the load with him? After all, children need to spend time with their dad.*
Train your children to help. When you give your children tasks appropriate to their age, you help both yourself and them. Work teaches children to be responsible, and a good work ethic will be invaluable later in life.
Christian parents should apply Bible principles in the best way they can under the circumstances and consider what is in the children’s best interests. Court decisions should be respected.