“How do you do it?” is a question I’ve heard here a few times. I also have a few friends that ask me.
How do I do it?
Of course the first answer is the Lord. There is no way I could do this on my own. If it were up to me, I’d still be in bed with the covers over my head.
Many days, I’ve made it only because of continual prayers that the Lord will grant me his strength.
I wrote Isaiah 26:3,4 on my chalkboard and read it daily. “....in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”
I remember one day standing at my sink, looking at the board and repeating the verse over and over and telling myself “I can do today.”
I also am sure to pray daily, many times hourly. There is simply no way I can do this without the Lord’s strength and wisdom. Much of this prayer isn’t long and deep, it’s quick arrows shot to heaven begging for help.
A wonderful help to me is everyone that prays for us in any way. I know many days I’ve been carried through because others have lifted us up to heaven. Prayers on our behalf by others truly mean so much to us and are a wonderful help.
I have also noticed that the days that I do not take time to read my Bible and study are not the best days in my week.
Last year many people at our church took my son for a day or afternoon. My mother in law has helped and still does.
The never having a break from parenting is draining. I used to think that being a single mom must be hard. Well, I had no idea.
On top of my stress and exhaustion, I am the only parent. The only one to look out for this child who is also sad and hurting.
If a child is going to the park, I’m the one to take him.
If the milk is gone I’m the only one to go get some.
Imagine everything you do, everything your husband does and try to do it yourself.
Even husbands that aren’t very involved contribute a lot to their home.
I try to not dwell on it how hard it is (that’s part of my coping strategy too) but when I’m trying to explain to someone how it is I often say..
There is no one to watch the child so you can run to the store. No one to mow or rake. No one to run decisions by. No one to bring home a paycheck. No one to share the discipline with. No one to say “You’re doing a good job” or “thanks”. There is no one else to do anything. If it’s going to get done, I have to find a way to do it.
The list really does go on.
Being a single mom is truly a 24/7 never getting a break.
On top of all this I was reared in a home where we did for ourselves and didn’t ask people to do things we could do on our own. Needing so much help has been very hard for me.
Our church has been very helpful through this although not as much this year. I’m not sure why other than that people don’t realize that nothing has changed and that I still need as much help as I did before. I guess people get tired.
How else do I do this?
One day at a time. One part of a day at a time!
We attended church with a wise lady once who taught us to just “do the next thing”.
Often when I’m overwhelmed at everything I have to do, I remember her advice and think about what is the next important thing I need to do.
I am very tired. Tired isn’t even really the correct word. I have a lot to do. My son is highly energetic and I am under a very large load of stress.
I stay up too late at night.
I sell online, so that takes large chunks of evening time.
Then often when I stay up too late I’m also researching homeschool things. For example the week we learned about apples, I spent time finding all sorts of apple projects and ideas.
I also like to read other people’s blogs. I find lots of great homeschool ideas that way.
I haven’t slept well since my husband left. I do not lie awake at night worrying. I just don’t sleep well. I do not wake up rested ever.
I do a lot of crying, although that is much improved since this summer.
I feel a lot of guilt. Guilt that my son isn’t getting everything he needs. Guilt that my house isn’t as clean as I want it to be. Guilt that I am not ministering like I used to. Guilt that I don’t pour everything into my business that I think I should. Guilt that I am letting people down. Guilt that sometimes I’m so tired I just cannot go to the park, or do whatever little boy is asking me for. Guilt that I am still having trouble handling things. Guilt that I get annoyed at people or situations.
But then, I pray and ask God to help me.
I am doing good by keeping my son home with me. I am ministering in the small ways I’m able to. My employees are doing a lot of the work at my business and I’m doing what I’m able.
I think that the devil wants me to think I’m doing poorly or that I’m not doing enough or that others aren’t doing enough for me. So I try to think on good things. Focus on God. Ask him what it is that he wants me to do each day and in each situation.
One thing I do that I believe helps is to prioritize my days. Some days there are things that must be done and things that can wait. If things can wait and my day is very busy than those things have to be done later. Somehow it all gets done.
Many times I pass on something that is “good” but is not best for our peace or my sanity.
I try to be home as much as possible especially on Mondays. Monday is my only day off of work or church so we try to make the most of it. I try to do as little errand running or even fun activities on Monday.
I don’t participate in a lot of things that would be fun or good because my home and son are my priorities. When I do a lot of running around or doing extra things, the home suffers.
Some days the laundry pile is higher than I wish it were, the dishes are stacked and my paperwork isn’t done. But my son is being loved on and educated in an environment where he is important and well cared for.
So I’m tired that’s honestly how I do it.
But God is so good to us. Sometimes when I think about all this and how long it’s been I am truly amazed that we are doing so well.
Martha Stewart won’t be knocking for a photo shoot anytime soon, but that’s ok. What God thinks about us and our home is worth so much more than what Martha or anyone else thinks.