You cannot control what happens to you, you can only control how you react to it.
This blog is especially is committed to turning our loss into love, and our worry in our work as it relates to facing the odds as single parent families.
3 Defining Principles are
1. Love When Love is Not What You Have Received.
2. Help Others As You Help Yourself
3. Leave a Positive Legacy for Your Children
Self Awareness – Success is Unique to YOU and Your family.
No one snowflake is exactly alike, similarly – no one fingerprint is either. Neither is one life, one family, or one child, one mom, or one home.
You are special, one of a kind. You have tremendous value. You are not like others – as an individual or as a family.
Your perspectives, experiences, perferences, relationships, instincts, personalities, dreams, visions, everything – is unique. Hair/body/eyes –all of it.
Your family dynamic is as a snowflake – as a fingerprint - DON’T COMPARE!! IT’S NOT FAIR!! SUCCESS FOR EACH ONE OF US IS DIFFERENT.
When we try to compare our families, we are setting ourselves up to fail. We can event estrange our friends and families with our jealousy, insecurity, inferiority, envy, and ….well, you fill in the blank.
We should remember that ours is a precious family and trust and value its unique dynamic – and sustain it in a healthy way. Respect others differences, including our own. Believe in yourself!!!
Understand YOU and your family can be fulfilled & that it can be whole as a single parent family.
YOU choose…The choices are YOURS, the results are YOUR LIVES…
Wholeness – Completeness – comprising the full quantity/amount/extent/number/etc without diminution or execption!! Containing all the elements PROPERLY. Belonging, complete. This is hard to sustain when we are in the middle of turmoil, and change.
How many of you feel fulfilled? How many of your kids feel that way? Contentment goes against the grain of our growth mindedness. We get filled up with supposed – to – be’s. I want to encourage you to fill yourself and your kids up with IS’s. Do you know the story of the professor and the rocks? Big Rocks – then the gravel – then the sand – then the water. What are you spending your thoughts on, your time on, your heart on?
Many want to be a more of success at work, & a success at home, but the truth is our balancing act is beautiful and amazing. Like the man spinning plates in the circus – We are agile, smart, prepared, nimble, talented, resourceful, diligent…
You are not broken, you don’t need replacement parts. You are talented, amazing, whole and ABLE. Do your BEST. Make the right choices, and enjoy the right results. You can do it. It’s not a cake walk, but – there is always room for desert along the way – make time for that. Count your blessings, smell the roses, take time to see yourself for what you really are – which is AMAZING. Embrace it.
Commit yourself to your kids. Put your heart & mind & energy & time & pride & joy & contentment into this.
No one – NO ONE can replace you in the lives of your kids. Not your X, Not their teachers, not “neutral role models”, not your neighbors, your inlaws, grandparents/aunts/uncles/family of any kind. NOBODY.
Be present, be beautiful, be reliable, be invested. Don’t replace a relationship with them by seeking a new mate, or by a thriving social life. Make balance in this area, but FIND YOUR WHOLENESS IN THEM & IN YOUR FAMILY. The other things might be good to have, but not if they are in the way of a strong, and healthy family dynamic.
You have such a short time with them. Enjoy it. Carpools, sleepovers, sports, plays, games, deserts, the whole thing – BE THERE. Happily.
Care to Dream & Inspire your kids to do the same.
I take time to seek inspiration and ways to “fly” as an individual. I dance, I worship and sing, and I travel. I love to listen to worship songs, and sermons. They charge me up. These are the things about me that make up the fiber of who I am “at play”. Do you play? Do you hope? Do you dream, and dare to encounter those dreams, pursue them, and bring them to life? Have you shelved them? Why?
My son knows my dreams, and what makes me have joy – strawberries, travelling, diving, dancing, music and singing, and he LOVES to support me in those as I support him in pursuing his dreams. IF YOU DON’T DREAM AS A SINGLE PARENT – YOU ARE TEACHING YOUR KIDS TO STOP DREAMING TOO. If resources are a challenge then rotate the dreams you are working on at different times of the year, apply for scholarships (SPEAK UP), volunteer and just give your gift away donate your time and talent– it is up to you to walk in this. You must never feel like you cannot overcome and be who and what and how you dream to be. It is crucial.
Don’t give up on who you are just because you are a mom. You are MORE because you are a mom – not LESS!!
Educate yourself about resources for support – this is not a one person job.
Faith based, community based, and civic organizations have a TON of support for families. This is not always in the form of cash to pay a bill, but may be in the form of a better job, and good friend, and a helping hand. If you need food, go to the food pantry in your area. If you need clothes, go to the Goodwill or a Thrift Shop in your area. If you need shelter, seek a job at an apartment complex. PUT YOUR MIND INTO THIS LADIES. Our hearts have been sliced – not our heads!!!!
Create a babysitting network, a Sunday School or Bible Study, a social outing club that is family friendly. SPEAK UP about how you are seeking flexible job solutions, and boldly pursue your options, and even ask for new options to be created. Be ready to hold up your end of the bargain in all this. Don’t look for a hand out – look for a hand UP. Sometimes those come with bonuses.
Resources. Use them. Apply for financial assistance for a degree and get a better job. Whatever it is we are looking for, sometimes we feel like there is no where to go – but that is a lie. Be steadfast. Be smart, be resourceful and engaged with your talents and USE THEM. Speak UP when you need help – shelve pride for the sake of your kids if not for yourself. Pride comes before a Fall! You MUST lay down your pride – and submit to the fact that we are not designed to raise children alone. You need to ask for help when you need REST – so your child will not be the victim of impatience and what comes with it. You need to ask for practical assistance, so your child doesn’t have to do without.
Parenting education, safety education, resource education (USA.gov, United Way, Salv. Army, Goodwill, YW/MCA, BBBS, Boys & Girls clubs, Habitat for Humanity, HUD, Workforce Commission, Nemours, Care.com, CCCS….it takes a village. There sometimes seems like there is nowhere to turn and that there is not a hope. This is A LIE. There are many working to make them more reachable for single parents and their children of all ages.
Seek Spiritual Wholeness, physical fitness, & mental empowerment so that you can pass this on to generations to come.
• Spiritual Wholeness: find peace with your beliefs. If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.
• Physical Fitness: Take care of yourself so you CAN take care of other. Get exercise & REST! Eat Healthy.
• Mental Empowerment : Guard your hearts- Garbage in Garbage Out – Zig Ziglar, Joel Olsteen, Oprah…whatever! Eat it up!! You can go to our social sites and pick up some great things too!
Take time to POWER UP! So, you can pour it out on your kiddos Remember you are no good to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself. You have to take care of yourself so you CAN take care of others. . Your child needs you to be healthy and in order for that to happen – you need to do a good job of networking and reaching out. You don’t have to do this alone.
Surround yourself with strong, positive, supportive, caring & kind network of family and friends.
We have discussed so much, but I don’t want to leave this stone unturned. BE CAREFUL ABOUT WHO YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH
DON’T COMPROMISE OR SETTLE OR “MAKE DUE” IN your personal relationships or in those relationships that you allow near your kids. Be careful who you place them with.
There is a saying that YOU ARE who your top 5 friends are. Your choices, perceptions, hopes, and standards are established in yourself, and enforced in your daily life. Be very careful about who you give your time to, your mind to, yourself to.
If you don’t have friends or family that will support you physically, emotionally, practically, THEN GET OUT AND FIND SOME ADDITIONAL ONES. I am not saying alienate family – or friends, - but consciously, befriend those who are headed in the same direction you are – who are already there.
Stop, look, and listen. Look at yourself exactly for who you instead of who you think you “should” be, and Listen to words of wisdom and grace. Accept your life – and know it is yours to live abundantly – even now. Especially, now.