We came home to a quiet house again today. Most Sundays we do. Most Sundays we come home to a house that is screaming with quiet.
Before, Sundays were a day of friends, of family, of food and laughter and fellowship. Sundays were sweet and loud and fun and full. Sundays were a day of church, learning and growing, followed by being at a friends’ house, friends coming to our house… simply being with friends.
Before he left. Before we became a single mom household.
That’s when things changed. That’s when we became invisible.
Families invite families over. Families go out with families. Families fellowship with families. Sadly, we have come to find that most families don’t see the single mom family. We’re just not seen.
And we grieve over this. We hear the excruciating silence. We wish and pray it away. We hope every week to get an invite, yet we rarely do. We mostly come home to our quiet house.
Why do I share this? Why do I share this vulnerable and uncomfortable part of our new life? Why take the risk?
Because we’re not the only ones who live this reality. Because I hear this same heart cry from my single mom friends. Because it matters that much.
Because I know we can do better. I know this world, our neighbors, our friends, our church… can do better. Because I know, I hope, that if we know better, we can do better.
Before I became a single mom, I didn’t notice the single mom. When I was a stay-at-home, homeschool mom with a husband and children, I noticed the other stay-at-home, homeschool moms with husbands and children. We went out with families, we invited families over, we fellowshipped with other families and I’m embarrassed to say, single moms weren’t on my radar. I’m ashamed to think back on the safe, Christian bubble we allowed ourselves to be in that just didn’t see her.
Seasons have changed. Life has changed dramatically, and if I can find a small positive in this time, it would be that my eyes have opened wide to the needs around us. Our needs, others needs… the need for family, for fellowship, for sweet Sundays.
Yes, we are a family… a beautiful, whole family. Yes, we have friends and we invite them over and see them regularly at meetings and classes. Yes, we are okay… but. But when you’re missing a vital part of your family, you feel it. You feel it all the time, and you especially feel it when traditions have ceased because of that void.
And I get it, I do. It can be uncomfortable for both parties. It can be hard to relate to a single mom. Conversation may not flow easily at times. The dad of the home may seem left out or awkward. I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it, I get it. And that’s okay. It may be awkward, it may take time… and it may be the greatest blessing to both families that they have each encountered in a long time.
When our quiet Sunday is filled with family, with friends, our spirits are lifted, our hearts are lighter, our smiles bigger. It may seem strange, but just the small act of going to a family’s home for lunch, makes the world of difference to us, and I know many single mom families that would cheer loudly in agreement.
So what can we do? What can you, as a family, do to see us? There are many needs of a single mom household, and there really always will be. We can’t meet them all, but we can share our table on occasion.
Invite them over. See them. See us. See the mom courageously working herself to exhaustion in caring and praying for her children. See her, reach out to her, and invite her over to share a meal.
It sounds simple, and it is. In this world, we all know or know of a single mom. Find her, seek her out, and next Sunday, invite her family over for a full and loud and sweet Sunday afternoon.
Let’s make our quiet Sundays sweeter, friends.
From our whole family, to yours…