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Birds Of A Feather

March 2, 2018

There is a reason why birds fly in flocks and fish swim in schools. Dogs and cats have litters and we humans have families. We are better together.

We were created for community. We were never meant to do life alone.

Being a single mom can be a lonely place. Day in, day out, it’s you and your kids. The days seem to go by so fast, as you try feverishly to tend to your children’s every need. The exhaustion you feel is like continuously pushing a 50-pound boulder up the side of a mountain. It’s endless. This is why it’s important to find your tribe.

Who are those friends you can count on to help you pick up your kids when you’re stuck late at work? Who is that person that could take your child to the school event because you have to work?  Who is the mom you can hang out with while your kids play so you can have an adult conversation?

When We Live Our Lives In Isolation, What We Have Is Unavailable And What We Lack Is Unprocurable.

We need others. and others need us. So when we live an independent lifestyle others don’t get a chance to benefit by what we have to give and we are poorer because they haven’t had a chance to bless us with their gifts and talents.

This was a very difficult lesson for me to learn. I didn’t want to be a burden on anybody, so I thought if I could just manage to not need help I was doing good. The problem was, I did need help. A lot of it. I struggled most days to figure out how my daughter was going to get home from school because I worked 15 miles away. Saturday’s were always a challenge because I had to work. My daughter was involved in sports and her games were on Saturday’s. I was able to justify my need for help on Saturday’s because there was no way I could possibly get my daughter to her games. Sometimes I made my life more complicated by not asking for help.

It’s humbling to ask for help. It’s been a long lesson in learning to be vulnerable for me. I’m certain if I had not been so stubborn in this area I could have been enjoying the freedom that comes from not trying to be perfect sooner.

There are many ways to find your community. You need to pull from a bunch of different circles. That way you don’t wear out your welcome, or overuse one friend in particular. People want to be needed and be given the opportunity to help you.

I was a part of a church community. This is a great place to find women that are also in your situation. Women that can be there for each other. Even the friends I made that had husbands, were gracious enough to loan them to me when I needed a repair in my home or help with my computer. As a precaution, I urge you to always make sure someone else is home or the wife comes with him. As a single woman, it’s important to have strong boundaries with men, especially someone else’s husband.

I will never forget the unbelievable kindness of one friend and her husband. It was the year after my husband had left. We still filed our income taxes as “married.” There was a tax refund due us and it was going to be about $1,500. My husband was living in another state at that time and we had very little communication. I was living in the marital home still and the carpet had become completely worn. It took a lot of self-talk and praying, but I called my husband and asked him if I could use that money to put new flooring in the bedrooms of our house. He was agreeable. I told my friend and she volunteered her husband for the job of installing hardwood floors that would be more durable. Since I had limited funds I scoured the internet for prices on flooring. I ran it by my friend’s husband and with his help, I made a purchase for just enough wood to do all 4 bedrooms. It took him 3 years to complete the job because he did it in his spare time.He would come over in the evenings and work for a couple of hours and on weekends. In between a full-time job and caring for his own family. I am forever grateful.

Because of that amazing act of kindness, I now look for ways to bless others in need. There will be seasons of giving and receiving.