For the next two weeks we will feature a different woman from #theFives as she shares her heart with us. In an attempt to break down walls and promote unity among women, we will uncover the real lives of those we haphazardly label and judge. Wanna grow in your own journey of loving without walls? Join #theFives HERE. (<–Today is the last day to sign-up!)
Here is the story of Mandy Rice, who is raising her son without a father-figure:
Every parent faces similar struggles and one common goal — whether they are parenting alone or alongside a spouse.
“I’m just a mom, trying to not mess my kid up,” said Mandy.
In Mandy’s case, she takes on parenting challenges alone, but she refuses to embrace the stereotypes or baggage that comes with the label “single mom.”
“In today’s society, many people have this misconception that single moms need pity,” Mandy said. “They will say things like, ‘I’m so sorry the father isn’t in the picture.’ I just smile through it in an effort not to be rude, but really all I would like to say is, ‘Why, I’m not. If the father isn’t in the picture, chances are it’s for the best.’ Though they mean well, their pity doesn’t do us any good.”
And yes, there are challenging days in which Mandy said she struggles to address issues with her son, keep her temper in check or find time to even take a shower, but she said being both the nurturer and disciplinarian in her relationship with her son mirrors the relationship she has with her heavenly Father.
“If you think about it, God is kind of the ultimate ‘single parent,’” she said. “I’ve learned that if I can refer to Him whenever I’m in doubt then I won’t fail.”
Investing in friendships along the way also helps her keep her perspective.
“I have one friend who always gives the best hugs,” she said. “Some studies have proven the importance of physical touch, such as hugs. Being a single parent, I often give the hugs and am the ‘embracer.’ Seeing my friend and receiving these hugs is always a highlight of my week.”
In addition, she appreciates loyal, sincere, honest friendships sprinkled with lots of laughter.
“Being able to have good, deep belly laughs with my friends is great,” Mandy said. “There is something beautiful about laughing so hard with your friends that your mascara runs and your face hurts and you have to catch your breath.”
Her friends also point her back to God.
“It also seems like we look out for each other,” she said. “I am so thankful that I have friends I can be open with and they give me good advice, whether it’s what has worked for them from personal experience or sending me to the Bible for scriptural references.“
She said parenthood also provides insight into Christ’s sacrifice and the Father’s love for his children.
“Sometimes when I’m ‘soaking’ it hits me just how much He truly loves us, and it breaks my heart just to envision the sacrifice he made, giving up his only son for us,” Mandy said. “It’s beyond describing with words, and I think I’d have a hard time understanding the concept if I weren’t a mom.”
Are you a single mom? Share your story below.
We hope you can #findyourtribe here with us.
*All stories featured in the#FindYourTribe series were collected and written by Sarah Gooding. We love her so.