Katelynn has been a single parent since her son was six months old. With the absence of a father in her son’s life, Katelynn decided to make a change and find the best place possible to raise her son. She started doing research. “I’m kind of a data nerd, so I made a spreadsheet with reports and charts on where safe, affordable places that had good schools and jobs were.” Katelynn and her son ended up moving to Iowa in 2017. “I try to go along with the belief that everything happens for a reason. I have to believe that God is smarter than all of us, and He believes I am capable of raising this child on my own. I sometimes ask Him, ‘What were you thinking?’ But I have definitely grown as a person through all of this.”
Katelynn and her son love reading together and being outdoors. “He loves bikes, scooters, skateboards, and does marital arts and is already halfway to his black belt. We are happiest outdoors. Whenever anything is wrong and we need a reset, we get outside. We like to go anywhere that is pretty and has muddy paths to slide down!” Katelynn says even though it is challenging to raise her son all on her own, it is also one of her greatest joys. “I do all of the work, but I get all of the love.”
Raising her son without a consistent male figure can also be a challenge. “I was raised with brothers, so I have some advantage but helping him with sports and knowing all the rules and being up to date with what the other boys on the playground are talking about can be difficult.” Raising her son on her own can also bring financial challenges, especially in the middle of a pandemic where Katelynn is considered high-risk. “I feel like I have to choose between my son, my health, and my job. I have an idea for a business that I want to start where I can be home and have more flexible time to be there for my son, but with no backup income it can feel too risky to move forward with it.”
Katelynn wants other single parents to know that they are not alone. “It is so important to find that group of people, your extended family, your friends that are family, that fits you. It can feel a bit like dating to find the right fit with your support group, and it won’t look the same for everyone. But you need to get involved with groups like Single Parent Provision or other programs. We don’t need to try to do this alone. I don’t feel like that is what we are meant to do.”
For people who are not single parents, Katelynn says, “If you recognize that a single parent is struggling, or if they are doing something great, tell them! We don’t have a spouse that can say, ‘You’re a great mom’, but I have had other people say things like that to me and it is so encouraging. It makes me feel like maybe I am not failing at this. So if you see it, tell that single parent what you observe about them.”
Katelynn has been a part of the Single Parent Provision programs and groups for the past few years. “SPP has helped me to realize I am not alone. They are always so supportive as I have gotten phone calls checking in or things left at my door. And the Single Moms Group that I am a part of has been wonderful to be able to talk with people that are going through similar things and knowing that you are not alone and there are people that understand.”
We are so glad to know you, Katelynn! We know God has many things in store for you and your son!
Published November 2020