While it’s immensely rewarding, parenting is a job that can have its challenging moments, and many moms are tackling it all on their own. Single moms are often doing the very best they can to raise their children, but they still need support. If you know a single mother, chances are she may not ask you for help, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t need it.
It’s hard to estimate how many single moms there are — some statistics show that there are as many as 15 million single mothers living in America today. While the circumstances that lead people to single parenting are varied, one thing that’s true for almost all single moms is that they could use the support of a friend.
Many people assume that single moms may face financial difficulties, but this isn’t always true, and money isn’t the only struggle that a single mother faces. Even if you can’t help her financially — or she doesn’t need monetary assistance — there are other, often more meaningful ways you can offer her support. Show her you care with some of the following ideas.
1. Offer to babysit. The cost of child care can be astronomical, and if a single mother is struggling to pay for it on her own it can be a real financial hurdle. Offer to babysit every once in a while so that she can have a chance to work, run errands, or even just take some downtime to relax and recharge.
2. Provide transportation assistance. Can you help give her kids a lift to school or soccer practice? Figuring out carpools and multiple schedules can be a juggling act even in two-parent homes, and the struggle is compounded when a single mom is trying to arrange transportation for everyone’s needs. Even if it’s just once in a while, it can be a great help to provide rides when her kids need them.
3. Offer your gently-used hand-me-downs. The cost of baby items and children’s clothes adds up quickly. If you have items that are in good condition, passing them on to her children can be a big help.
4. Offer household assistance. Managing a household is a big task for one person, so consider if there’s something you can do to lighten the load. You may offer to take on household chores, perform routine maintenance, or take on a DIY task like painting a room.
5. Volunteer to mow her lawn or shovel her driveway. Yard upkeep is another big job that many single moms simply don’t have time for. Volunteer to mow her lawn every so often, or shovel her driveway when it snows.
6. Invite her over for the holidays. The holidays can be a lonely and difficult time for a single mother, especially if she doesn’t have any close family. The difficulty can be compounded if her children are spending the holiday with their father. Welcoming her and her children into your home is a generous way to show that you care.
7. Offer to be an emergency contact. If a single mother is alone with no family support, she may be stuck as to who can serve as a backup or emergency contact should her kids get sick at school or at an activity. Knowing that you’re there to fill that role can be a huge weight off her shoulders.
8. Lend a listening ear. Parenting without the support of a spouse or partner can be difficult. Sometimes all a single mom needs is a friend who can offer emotional support and a listening ear. Be someone to whom she can vent, complain, or simply ask for advice. Let her know that you’re available whenever she needs to talk to someone.
As a pro-life community, it’s important to support all parents and families, no matter what their circumstances. Showing support to single moms is just one way to affirm the dignity of all life.
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