Meet Noelle

“Seeing my kids now and knowing they are thriving is my greatest joy. We all have our things of course, but they are good kids. I look at them sometimes now and think, we made it. Seeing this brings me joy knowing that [during the roughest time] I fought for a reason. I fought for them and now we are out of that difficult situation, and they are thriving.”

After a long, rocky marriage, Noelle filed for a divorce from her then husband. Together they have four children, now all teenagers just a year apart. Before being granted sole custody of their children, her ex had supervised visits with them. “But then he started making some poor choices and disappeared for a while. He is facing the consequences of those choices now and my kids haven’t seen him for a long time.”

When the kids were younger, Noelle remembers all the tough transition times they went through when they would come home to her. “We would have to go through almost a deprogramming when they would come home. That would always take some time to get through. But now it is like a night and day difference. I have seen them learn how to handle stressful situations. They know things will happen but it’s okay and life will go on.” 

During that same time, Noelle found a lot of support through her faith, family, friends, and church home. “It was a struggle when they were little. When I didn’t have them, I would worry constantly about where they were and what they were doing. But my faith was a source of strength for me. I would crank up the radio and listen to Lauren Daigle’s ‘I Will Trust in You’ nonstop! It would feel so overwhelming and sometimes I would even feel angry. I would wonder, ‘why is this happening to my kids?’ but my faith was strong. I also had a great family support system. Both my parents, my two brothers and their wives were always there. I don’t know how I would have done it without them. People at church that I didn’t even know that well would also do completely random things for me and it was amazing! I also filled up a lot of my time with my friends because being alone didn’t feel very nice at that time. They were my saviors!”

Noelle also found support through a Single Parent Provision class that was being held at her church. “The class was awesome! Not only the topics but being in a room with so many other single parents and hearing their side of what they were going through. None of my friends were single parents so hearing their stories was cool. I also love going to the Single Moms Christmas Dinner and meeting so many other moms. You don’t realize how many there are until you are sitting in that room and feel the togetherness. It feels like one big community that night. My kids have volunteered there, as well, and it opened their eyes to see that all these kids have gone through similar things to what we have gone through.”

Now that her kids are older, Noelle’s biggest challenge is having four teenagers at the same time. (Pray for her. ) “It’s hard to be there for all four of them in the certain ways that they need it. Teenagers often think they know everything, and the teenage rebellion stage can be a big challenge. I know I questioned things and became distant from God when I was a teenager but eventually came back and I want that for them, too. I see depression and anxiety become stronger when [any one of them] are pushing away from God and it can be a struggle for me to find the balance of saying the right thing without pushing them further away. But I see signs of them coming back and I pray they will continue to.”

Noelle can look back and see the many ways her family has grown through their journey. “I think about everything and have realized I have to give myself some credit because I can’t believe some of the stuff that I made it through. It has definitely made me stronger, and I know I can push through things where other people might crumble. I have learned to be a guide for my children but not their controller – I can be strict but also allow for natural consequences at times. I know that generally, we will be okay. My kids are thriving, and I love seeing their personalities come out and enjoy who they have become. My hope is that we will always stay together as a close family, even after they have families of their own.”

Noelle encourages other single parents to remember, “as cliché as this sounds, this too shall pass. When you are in it, you feel overwhelmed thinking, ‘this is what I have to do every day?’ But it will pass. And remember people will try to help and tell you what to do and not to do, but you need to do what is right for you and your family. If you aren’t a single parent, it’s hard to really understand the struggles. It can be easy to try to give advice but sometimes just offering support is what is the most helpful.”

Noelle, your journey as a single parent has been one of resilience and strength, and it is an encouragement to so many other single parents. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Published August 2023

The views conveyed in each of the Featured Family and Reflection Stories found on our website or any other media from Single Parent Provision (SPP) are based solely on information given to SPP by the parent sharing as they perceive it to be true. SPP is not responsible for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or opinions expressed by the parent in sharing their story.

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