Robert Fulghum says, “Don’t worry that your children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” Yes, like it or not, what we moms do is a pattern that our kids tend to follow. From us they are learning skills for their own lives. So, Paul’s words speak loudly to us when he says, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good” (Titus 2:7).
Single moms, this is an especially heavy load for you because you bear it alone. Unless you live with other family members, your kids look to you to meet all of their needs. Your resources sometimes run thin, for there is no one to pick up the slack when you get tired. There is no one else to care for a sick child except you. No one else to run the endless errands. No one else to talk to in the middle of the night.
You have a special promise in the Bible, though. Psalm 146 says that “the Lord,,,sustains the fatherless and the widow” (Psalm 146:9)—and I think that includes single moms.
Remember that your children are watching your faithful parenting. If your kids are babies or toddlers, they can’t voice their appreciation, that’s true. But when they are older, they will realize what you have done for them.
That’s why it’s very important that you don’t let bitterness color your attitude. It’s not your kids’ fault that you are a single mom and carrying a double load. Make sure they know this. As you are thankful for the good things that come into your life—including your kids—they will pick up a thankful attitude too. As you continue to parent with God’s help, asking Him to sustain you, I believe you will see them blossom into appreciative young adults.
Robert Fulghum is right—kids watch you, whether they listen to you or not. I commend you in your efforts to be an example for them to follow.