A mother experiencing an unplanned pregnancy is not going through a trivial crisis. While abortion may be portrayed as the easy way out, this is simply not the case. There are emotional, physical, and spiritual ramifications that follow abortion. On the other hand, choosing to continue the pregnancy is also not easy.
Pregnancy is a sacrifice. Labor is a sacrifice. Motherhood is a sacrifice — it is not entered into lightly. A single mother embracing the life inside her womb experiences that sacrificial choice two-fold. If mothers are heroes, then single moms are superheroes.
According to the US Census Bureau, one in four children under the age of 18 are being raised without a father, which is a total of 13 million children across the United States. Abortion is not the answer to this overwhelming statistic, nor is it ever. With that being said, how can we support single mothers in choosing life for their babies?
Challenges of Single Motherhood
Single mothers often face stigma, judgment, and criticism for raising children alone. In actuality, single moms are brave women who chose life instead of abortion. Odds are that mother didn’t choose to raise her child alone. She didn’t choose to be abandoned. She didn’t ask for her husband to relapse. She didn’t ask to get kicked out of the house.
Whatever the case may be, chances are things didn’t go according to plan. Still, single mothers make daily sacrifices and lay their lives down for the sake of their children despite going at it alone.
Raising a child alone can be difficult. The lack of financial, physical, and emotional support from another parent is often the most challenging part of single motherhood. Lack of childcare and health insurance are also common issues faced by single mothers.
It is often unavoidable that single mothers experience feelings of stress, guilt, fear, and loneliness as they juggle their responsibilities as the sole parent and provider.
Managing financial and emotional strain.
Single mothers often experience difficulty securing employment due to inflexible work hours, lack of access to childcare, and difficulty balancing a career with parenting. Many single moms spend half of their income on housing and a third on childcare.
The national annual cost of a center-based infant care averaged over 40% of the medium income for a single mother. Mothers can pursue childcare subsidies from their state, but many have wait lists ranging from 90 days to two years or have frozen intakes for childcare assistance.
Lack of support from family and friends.
Because of a lack of support and judgment from family and friends, single mothers can often face feelings of abandonment.
Take Alyssa’s story for example. Alyssa is a young mother who found her way into a PreBorn! Pregnancy Clinic. When she found out she was pregnant, she was immediately isolated. Her parents were against her pregnancy and pressured her to abort, and the father of her baby cut off contact with her upon finding out about the pregnancy. She worried that abortion was her only option.
After choosing life, Alyssa was kicked out of the house and left homeless. She slept at a local beach park before getting help. Many women face similar circumstances and are left to make life-changing decisions alone.
The Importance of Having a Support System
Single moms don’t have to do it on their own. While new moms want to provide a safe environment for their children, they may lack the emotional, financial, and practical support they need to do so. We often hear the phrase “it takes a village” when referring to the support required to raise children. Without it, many moms face increased stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
Pro-life Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) like the PreBorn! Network Clinics are important because they can be the vessel where the body of Christ operates. We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus to come alongside new moms and provide the compassionate support they may not get anywhere else.
In Alyssa’s case, the support she received at a PreBorn! Network Clinic confirmed her decision to choose life. Alyssa reflected that the support she received “encouraged me to do my best.” Following her decision, the Clinic stepped in to help her communicate with the father of the baby regarding his responsibilities, provide food and housing resources, and gave free supplies along with childbirth education classes.
PRCs help single mothers from start to finish.
Our culture tells lies of the enemy, demonizing children as burdens that keep women from accomplishing their dreams. Single mothers recognize their strength when they are surrounded by truth-tellers who build them up and encourage them in the right direction.
How to Support Single Moms
Do you have a heart for single moms? Are you Pro-Life for the whole life and recognize the daunting life change it can be for a new mom to care for a baby with little support? Single moms can create a successful life for themselves and their children, but they need our help.
Support helpful organizations and ministries.
Organizations and ministries need your help to reach single mothers, especially in crisis situations. There are resources available to single mothers from the realization of their pregnancy to juggling life goals after their baby is born. They just need guidance to get plugged into the right resources.
PRCs are vital at the start of a single mother’s journey to make a plan and get connected to programs, resources, supplies, and education. Here are some ideas to support your local PRC.
Oftentimes, single mothers may be in school or want to finish higher education to support their family while pursuing their dreams and aspirations. The MOMentum Network is an example of a ministry that helps student parents succeed by helping provide housing, community, and childcare while single moms pursue an education.
Pay attention to your community.
Are you in community with any single moms? Whether it’s church on Sunday or a school event, take a look around. There just might be a single mom that would be blessed by your friendship. How is the Holy Spirit leading you to care for the women in your community? Do you have the gift of hospitality? Bring her a meal or offer to throw her a baby shower!
Is the Holy Spirit urging you to bless single mothers with your time and finances? Single mothers often neglect their own well-being in favor of caring for their children. Offer to babysit and send mom on her way with a gift certificate for a pedicure or massage. Is there a bill hanging over that single mom’s head that needs to be paid? Your generosity could change the trajectory of her and her children’s lives, leading them towards Christ.
Single motherhood is undeniably hard. These mothers are living out sacrificial agape love for their children. We must support these brave women to change their story from hardship to joy for the glory of God.
With your help, we can make sure that single moms know that they are not alone. Oftentimes, their journey starts in the ultrasound room, connecting with their baby and surrounded by compassionate Clinic staff to guide them to resources that make it easier to choose life.
When you gift an ultrasound or give a general donation to PreBorn!, you are allowing moms to receive the free resources they need to be equipped for motherhood. PreBorn! Pregnancy Clinics see story after story of single moms finding their confidence in Jesus Christ as He becomes their strong tower.