The first thing that strikes you about Catherine is her bright smile. The next thing that might make you take notice is her straight talk about what it’s like to be a single parent.
Catherine is an elementary school teacher, raising a teenager in “suburbanite America,” with an amazing support system of a wonderful family, a great church, and the parents of the girls in her daughter’s dance classes.
Her single parent journey began at a difficult time when she was, “at a bad place in my life and making bad choices.” At the time she found out she was going to be a mom, she didn’t think she could get pregnant. It was then she says, “I knew my daughter was a miracle. She is such a blessing. It drew me back to Christ and that I couldn’t possibly do it without him. And I knew I wanted to direct my daughter to him.” She began making better life choices, but unfortunately, her daughter’s father was going down a different path. Although they tried to make it work, the relationship ended.
The biggest challenge she faces as a single parent is T-I-M-E. Time to get everything done she needs to get done as she tries to play too many roles. Another challenge she struggles with is, “watching the hurt my daughter has to deal with at no fault of her own. I find I have to forgive myself for my mistakes over and over and over again.”
Her greatest joy is watching her daughter grow and understand things, watching her interact with other people and watching others love her. Catherine also loves worshiping God, plants, and teaching. She says, “Teaching brings me an amazing amount of joy. It has not only made me a better person, but it has made me a better parent.”
The advice she would like to give other single parents is, “You are not alone. The Bible tells us God is a father to the fatherless. Even though the design is broken, being a single parent is not the ideal plan, God can still mend it. We need to seek the peace that he wants to give us. If we seek it, God truly will give us peace that is beyond our understanding."
She goes on to say, “I have seen a lot of single parents searching for more stuff. Stuff for our kids, stuff for ourselves. But, that is not always what God has in store for us. More stuff doesn’t necessarily mean more happiness.”
Catherine says, “When I think of Single Parent Provision, I think of a great resource.” She says, “I used to always feel segregated, called out as a single parent, and I often didn’t feel included. I wasn’t really invited to do the couple things, like going out to dinner with friends who were couples. It was just awkward. So, when I first heard about SPP, I thought, ‘let’s not isolate ourselves more!’” She was extremely hesitant about getting connected, but after some time, she thought, “I’ll give it a go.” She says after becoming part of a Single Moms Group, “Now, I really enjoy being around other women who get it. Single Parent Provision provides support especially for the single moms (and dads) who don’t have other support to rely on like I do. It’s so important for single parents to realize they are not alone.”
Thank you Catherine for your contagious smile and your straight talk!
Published September 2018