As single moms, sometimes we carry a lot of guilt and shame. We carry shame about the fact that our kids don’t have the other parent. Sometimes we think that it is our job to love them times two. I had a conversation with a friend of mine today, and I told her that I just want to love my kids more to make up for the fact that their dad walked out. Trust me, I use the word “dad” loosely. I already take on the parental responsibility of two parents, but I also try to love my children times two so that my children will never feel a lack. My friend told me that she tried to be both parents. She felt that not only did she need to love her child times two, she also needed to buy gifts times two for Christmas and birthdays. However, that left her worn out and financially drained.
After that conversation, I started to reevaluate what I was doing and the pressure that I was putting on myself. I realized is that being a mom and a dad is not my job. My job is to:
- Love my children with my whole heart and to be the best person that I can be. I must be a good role model because my children watch and mimic what I do.
- Speak empowering words into their lives. As a mom, my job is to guide them, uplift them, build up their confidence, help them discover their God-given talents, and to be someone who prepares them to be amazing people.
- Accept that I am only one person. I am a mom. I am human and I’m not superwoman. I can do a lot, but I can’t do everything. I have to show myself grace, be kind to myself, do the best that I can, and ask for help when I need it.
- Trust God. If I’m trying to manage everything then it shows that I don’t trust God. I have to surrender to the will of God and trust Him to provide. I can’t worry, stress, or control everything because it is His job to provide and He keeps His promises. We can’t live in fear, inadequacy, stress, or overcompensation because that is not trusting God. In John 6, Jesus fed 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish. He is the God of unlimited blessings. Focus on being the best that you can be; love your children as only a mother can; focus on the things that are in your control; and turn the rest over to God. The other is not your concern. Let go and let God.
- Spend time with my children. Love is spelled TIME. You have to be there and present for your children. Think about the moments that you want to share with them and the memories that you want to create. I have another friend who has a mom who made great money growing up, however, she did it at the expense of missing him grow up. She showered him with gifts, but all he ever wanted was her time. He wanted to see her in the audience for his sporting events, school assemblies, and the things that mattered most to him. He would have gladly had less stuff if it meant having his mom more present in his life.
Think about your role as a mom, and then think about the unnecessary stress you may be inflicting on yourself as you try to make up for an absent parent. Don’t let this pressure impact your health, well-being, and finances. If you feel like you have to make up for the other parent, then ask yourself the following questions:
- How will the additional spending impact my budget?
- How much time are you spending away from your child to earn that extra money to buy all that stuff? Will I need to work overtime or earn more money in order to have the money to buy the other gifts?
- Can I use the money to contribute to my financial priorities that would improve my family’s financial security? For example, could I use the money to fund a college savings account, contribute to a retirement plan, increase savings, etc.?
Remember, our job is to do our best and love as hard as we can because we are mothers and there is no love like a mother’s love. Surrender your worry and guilt to God and trust Him to provide and cover your family with peace.
Aisha Taylor is a single mom of twins, personal financial coach, work from home entrepreneur, and #1 Amazon Best Selling Author of the book “5+5 FNPhenomenal Ways to Save $100 This Week Without Killing Your Lifestyle.” Aisha has been featured in ESSENCE and Jet Magazine. She is also the Founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal –n- Phenomenal), a movement designed to help single moms transform their finances, enjoy life, and stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s time for you to be Financially Phenomenal!
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