Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

I listen and it sounds all too familiar.

A mother I know can’t stop beating herself up.

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Will her children suffer permanently since they don’t see their father enough?

Will her son be okay without a present male influence in his life?

Are her children experiencing typical adolescent angst or is it a result of the separation and divorce?

Do her children know her outbursts are born out of fear and love and outright stress and fatigue rather than true anger?

Will her relationships with her children suffer?

Will they blame her for their family falling apart?

What is it about this structural family change which makes one parent assume total responsibility?

Of course, adults should accept responsibility for their actions but there is a difference between ‘accountability’ and ‘beating one’s self up.’

No individual sets out to choose divorce.

It is an unfortunate result.

A destination arrived at when all other options have been exhausted.

One person can fight all they want to save a relationship. It’s exhaustive and futile and sadly, a battle taken on by far too many when ultimately two have to fight for one successful whole. Certainly, there are some marriages which end with a joint decision but far more end because one person stopped caring long before the other.

The evolution of life can’t be controlled.

So many things cause the end of a marriage.

Here are at least Three Reasons Single Parents Should Give Themselves a Break:

You’re Present

Your marriage may be over but your commitment to your children and your family is not.

You never left them. You just left a relationship which was unhealthy for them to continue to be immersed in.

You are there day in and day out. 

Parenting is a combination of love, security, stability, accountability, advocacy, and support of all kinds – emotional, physical, and financial.

Children recognize love. 

They understand the parent who is continually available to them emotionally and who makes their world safe.

You’re Strong

Being a single parent is not for the faint of heart.

Gone are the shared burdens.

They are replaced by quiet pillow conversations of one. 

There is no one to whisper your emotional, financial, or parenting concerns to late at night.

If you are tired you must keep going. If you are worried you must discount those fears.

And you chose to go it alone rather than let your children continue to see a poor example of a loving relationship.

You’re Human

Babies are brought home with the love and hope for the future they intrinsically represent. 

Every single person who marries hopes to defy the odds or they wouldn’t walk down that aisle.

Life is built upon growth which stems from many twists and turns, some new and exciting and others filled with change and loss.

Any single parent can bear witness to the incredible guilt which accompanies choosing divorce and the sense of failure.

It’s a sense of letting not just your children but yourself down.

And worse, you can’t correct it.

You can’t restore your children’s idyllic childhood.

But you can reinforce your love for them, their unique gifts, how special they are, and how God somehow believed this was their intended path.

 

It’s this type of faith which restores empowerment.

Your children see you surrendering to God’s plan and confidently modeling this was meant to be.

And that as long as you have God and each other you still have everything.

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist

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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com

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