A couple of years after I became a widow, a woman in my community started going out of her way to help single moms. Our church gave her a budget and friends gave her a hand, and I was one of many single moms who reaped the blessings of the loving donations of time and offers of help and even gifts.
by Clare Marlow, The Grit & Grace Project
The thing that I remember most is that they gave the kids of single moms a Visa gift card before Mother’s Day so they could buy their moms a gift. If the children were too young to shop on their own, another mom took them to the mall and helped them pick out something just right.
It was such a sweet expression of people who were not single parents caring for those who were.
This year, as I appreciate a wonderful grown daughter, a faithful new husband and a precious new grandson, I started thinking about all the ways I could bless another single mom. About all the ways all of us could. Many of us don’t have moms to spend the day with, or perhaps grown children who live in other states. But there are divorced and unmarried and widowed women all around us who are struggling or hurting and whose hearts would be lifted by the love of another mom who cares.
So here are 5 ways to love on a single mom this Mother’s Day … or any day:
1. Take a small gift basket (or more than one if you can afford it) of girly personal items to a shelter for women and children. Include something special like a pretty bracelet and good quality shower gel. Add a Happy Mother’s Day card with a note of encouragement and hope.
2. Ask your children’s teachers or principal if there’s a single mom at the school you could help. Tuck a grocery store gift card in a Mother’s Day card and ask them to give it to her for you. Be humble—sign it “From one strong mom to another.”
3. Do you know a widow in your neighborhood whose kids live far away? Take her flowers, or take her to lunch, or just invite her over for coffee. Honor her as a mom. My daughter lives in another country and I miss her terribly when she’s not around…I appreciate other women recognizing that they are supremely blessed to have their kids and grandkids nearby for holidays and every regular day.
4. I’m a court-appointed volunteer who walks alongside children in the foster care system, so believe me when I tell you that being a foster mom is hard, hard, hard. The ones I know juggle their own kids, foster children, troubled parents of the foster children, dysfunctional state and court systems…I could go on and on. Offer to babysit. And set a date! Tell the foster mom she is not to run errands—she is to get a pedicure, have lunch with a girlfriend, or otherwise pamper herself. If you can afford it, buy her a pedicure or lunch gift card to make sure she does it!
Be humble—sign it “From one strong mom to another.”
5. Call your local pregnancy resource center or a home for unwed mothers and ask what the teen mom’s greatest needs are. Meet some of them, or just one of them! If you don’t have a lot of time, you can send a check and write that it’s for something specific on the memo line.
This Mother’s Day, as you are celebrated by your family and honor your own mom, remember that there are many moms who don’t have someone to show them love in extra special ways. Be that someone!