October 2, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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By Danielle Veerapen
No one ever dreams about becoming a single mom, especially one of two-year-old triplets! But sometimes life throws us curve balls we just can’t dodge. I certainly never thought I’d end up divorced, unemployed, and responsible to raise my three beautiful children all on my own.
There’s no doubt it’s hard being a single mom. We need to support our kids spiritually, emotionally, financially, and physically while also taking care of ourselves. I can remember having to use my vacation days—yes, my vacation days—from work just so I could stay home and take care of my kids when they were sick. And when I was sick, I still had to take care of the kids!
But you know what? God is so good! He knew I was going to be a single mom. This was no surprise to Him. And He brought me and my kids on an incredible journey. As I look back on it, my time as a single mom was one of the best seasons of my life. I bonded with my kids in such a unique way—and that time has kept us so close to this day!
So, what did I do to bond with my kids? And how was it possible to do when I had to work a full-time job, keep my house clean, pay bills, get the kids to school and back, cook meals, assist with homework, and on and on and on? It was easy really. I was just very intentional with my time.
Here are just a few things I did to spend quality time with my kids, to disciple them, and to just be present with them.
1. Little Helpers
Believe it or not, kids love to help out. So, when I had chores, I’d invite them to do them with me! For example, on laundry day, we’d all go in the laundry room together. One kid got to put the clothes, soap, and fabric softener in the washing machine. When the cycle was done, another kid got to put the clothes in the dryer. And once the clothes were dry, we’d bring the clothes in the living room and fold the laundry together! They loved learning how to fold clothes and seeing who could do it the best. By the time my kids were six years old, they could all do laundry on their own, and they enjoyed it!
2. Let’s Get Cooking!
Kids love to cook, at any age. Every weekend, one of the kids would pick out a recipe from the cookbook, we’d go and buy all the ingredients together, and then they’d help me make the meal. We’d have so much fun cooking together and learning new recipes. And the upside is, by the time they were teenagers, they each knew how to cook!
3. Make Time for Fun
After dinner, we’d have play/family time! When they were little, they loved to play hide and seek, so much so they wanted to play it every single night. As they got older, we’d all play video games together or we’d watch family-friendly TV shows or movies. On movie night, they’d take turns picking out which movie we’d watch. They were always so excited for the night they’d get to pick out the movie! I’d make them cinnamon apples and hot chocolate, or something fun to eat and drink, and we’d curl up on the sofa together and enjoy.
4. Getting In the Word
Starting when they were three years old, every night before bed we’d have Bible time. They loved Bible time. I did my best to make it a fun experience! How? Well, one way was to start off by singing a Bible song to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” The lyrics are:
Twinkle, twinkle starry shine
Now it’s Bible story time.
We can sing of God above.
Read of Jesus and His love.
Let’s get ready right away, and be with God to end our day.
My triplets are 24 years old today, and they still remember the lyrics to this song!
Another way we made Bible time fun was to act out the stories of the Bible. For example, one night we were reading about how God parted the Red Sea. One of my kids pretended to be Moses, another pretended to be an Israelite, while the other pretended to be Pharaoh. They had so much fun when the sea swallowed up Pharaoh and his army!
Every time we’d finish reading a Bible, I’d buy another age-appropriate Bible until they graduated to an adult Bible. When they were teens, we’d do Bible time in the morning before school instead of at night before bed. Each one would spend time reading their Bible alone and then we’d all meet together and share what we learned. To be honest, over the years, as I was reading the Bible and teaching the kids about Jesus, God was teaching me! It was a win-win situation.
5. Mommy and Me Time
As my kids got older, I’d carve out time to be alone with one of them once a week—mommy and me time. We would do simple things like go out for ice cream, walk the mall, go to a park, or go to a donut shop. That time was important because it allowed me to just be present with them. Spending alone time with them let them know they were important to me, and it allowed me to stay connected with them. That’s when they’d open up and tell me everything that was going in their lives.
So, you see, if you’re a single mom, my encouragement to you is to make the most of this time! God has blessed you with this time with your kids, where it’s just you and them. This is your opportunity to pour into their lives, to raise them into the people God has created them to be. And remember, you’re not raising them alone, because God is always with you. Just ask God to help and guide you each day, and He will.
At Calvary, we want to partner with parents to see kids grow physically, spiritually, and emotionally. One way we do that is by providing you with various resources. Click here and here to view our parenting resources. Also, be sure to check out our parenting page where you can view a calendar of great activities for you and your kids.