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Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

On Tuesday night, I was so excited to have everything on my to do list done and get to bed early.  I climbed into bed and closed my eyes, and God put my good friend Patty on my mind. 

Patty has been going through some trials this last week.  She’s a teacher and one or her student’s parents is really trying to make life miserable for Patty.

I prayed for Patty as I laid in bed and I couldn’t get her off of my mind, so I turned the light back on and wrote Patty a note to give to her the next day.

I ended up not going to bed early after all, but it was worth it.  I needed to let Patty know what a good friend and encouragement she is to me, and I needed to be an encouragement to her in the middle of her rough and tough week.

Here are some things that I thought of that are easy ways to be an encouragement to other people.

  • Pray for them
  • Write them a note
  • Take them to lunch or buy them a coffee
  • Smile
  • Say positive things to them and about other people
  • Bring them a small gift or baked goods
  • Shovel their walk (for those of you who live in a winter wonderland)
  • Lend them a good book you just read
  • Volunteer to watch their kids so they can Christmas shop
  • Get together to bake or wrap presents
  • Give them a sincere compliment
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I’ve talked to a few single moms lately who shared that they feel a little left out now that they’re single moms.  It’s like when people you grew up with or went to college with find out that you’re now a single mom, they seem to translate this information the same as if you’d just announced that you have Leprosy.  Even sometimes new friends you make learn that you’re a single mom and they begin treating you differently. 

I took this information in, and decided to do some of my own research to see what the general public’s perspective is on single moms.  I turned to the internet since most of the people who post things on the internet do so with a screen name, and don’t reveal their identity.  People seem to not be as shy about stating their opinions when they do it under a screen name, so I felt I’d find out some good information this way.  So, do you know what I found?  I found that a lot of the people who posted comments about single moms said that it didn’t bother them if someone they knew was a single mom, but some people left comments like:

  • Single moms are obviously bad judges of character if they were with someone who was a jerk.
  • Single moms are a drain on society because we (taxpayers) pay for them and their children.
  • One blog entry I read actually listed 13 reasons to AVOID single moms.

I was a little bit surprised to find such judgemental and uneducated comments posted about single moms.  Let me address the comments one at a time…….

#1 Single moms are obviously bad judges of character if they were with someone who was a jerk.
-Could it be that the jerk they were with was a really good actor and was on his best behavior until they were engaged or married?  Could it be that the relationship for some reason just didn’t work?  Could it be that the person they were with lied and had another family?  Could it be that they were raped? Could it be that the person they were with died?

#2 Single moms are a drain on society because we (taxpayers) pay for them and their children.
-A statement like this is stereotyping single moms.  I know several single moms who do not receive public assistance, and I know two married couples that make three times more money than I do who receive WIC benefits because they have their child on state medical insurance.  (In our state, if your child receives a medical coupon, you automatically qualify for WIC until the child is 5.)

I was on public assistance for five months, (two months before Grace was born, and three months after she was born.)  I started working when she was three months old, called my case worker the same day I got a job and canceled my cash assistance and she said that she wanted me to transition off of food stamps for the next five months since formula and baby food are expensive.  But, I’ve also worked and paid taxes for nearly TEN years, so I don’t really think that being on public assistance for a few months when there was absolutely no other way we could have made it is a drain on society.

I believe that public assistance is there for when you REALLY need help, but it’s not there to live off of for generations and generations, that’s when it drains society.  I made the decision to end public assistance as quickly as possible after Grace was born, and not sign up for WIC benefits, (even though we still quailfy for them since I buy Grace’s health insurance from the State.) because there are so many other people out there who NEED the assistance.  If I applied for public assistance and qualified for it, but we didn’t need the assistance, that would be a drain on society.

#3 One blog entry I read actually listed 13 reasons to AVOID single moms.
 -The entire blog entry showed how uneducated the author is on a variety of subjects, so I’m not even going to make statements about this one.

Really, what I’m getting at here is that you can’t judge someone for what has happened in their life.  You also can’t steryotype people.  What happened happened, and they can’t go back and change it.  Another thing that most people don’t even think about is that single moms are not taking the “easy way out”  they chose to give life to their child, and that’s a life long commitment.   Sometimes, I think that people need to step out of their “comfort zone” and get to know people who’s life situations are different from their own so they can be a little bit more open-minded.

No matter what situation someone is in, single parenting, divorce, getting out of prison, recovering from addicitons, or any other situation you may know someone in, remember that you don’t know, nor do you need to know all of the details.  What happened happened, and no matter how much they’d like to, they can’t go back in time and change what happened.  What they need is your friendship, your support (including them on activities, prayer, I’m not talking about financial support.) and your encouragement.

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