An Open Letter to 4:30AM Single Mom

Dear Single Mom,

It was a significant insignificant comment. And it stuck. Most likely you had no idea. But that’s usually how those go.

In describing your morning routine, you halted then flew by the fact you get up at 4:30 in order to get everyone ready for the day and get to work. As a guy who moans about mornings period, that didn’t go unnoticed. As an adult with no children, that urged my respect. As a bachelor, that forced a pause.

In my opinion, no one in their right mind chooses to get up at 4:30. But you don’t really have a choice. And I’m guessing that’s because if you don’t you might lose your mind. And you nor your children can afford that; at least, that’s what you’re modeling.

I’m guessing if I could ask 16-year-old you what you’d be doing at your age, she wouldn’t say getting up at 4:30 to do “all the things”:

  • Have three minutes to yourself
  • Shower/dress/etc.
  • Check the dryer
  • Check the dishwasher
  • Wake the rest of the house
  • Prepare breakfast/lunch/dinner
  • Sign school stuff
  • Doublecheck everyone’s everything as you walk to the car

And that’s just the physical stuff. Lack of life experience leaves her unable to comprehend the emotional journey she’s going to take between then and now. No matter why you’re single (never married, divorced, separated, widowed), she has no idea the weight on your shoulders, much less your heart. All the emotions I won’t bother to list-generated by your own thoughts and likely magnified by those who should know better-she had no idea they were coming.

Before I share the five things I most want you know, I want you to know that we (dad, mom, siblings, children, neighbors, coworkers, friends) see you. We see your tenacity. We see your fortitude. We see your faithfulness. We see your love. Even though you didn’t choose this place, you are choosing to stay in it. No leaving. No abandoning. No quitting. No resigning.

And all the things we see, God sees. I believe he wants you to know he is pleased with you today and every day.

I close with these final thoughts:

  1. I’m sorry for all the judgment you’ve gotten/get/will get. It’s ugly. And it’s not a gift from God.
  2. I’m sorry your 16-year-old-self’s dreams aren’t reality. Yes, that’s life. But it’s not the vision you had. Yet, God is with you even in the broken dreams.
  3. I’m happy your children have you. You are the mom God intended them to have. He knows that. They know that. We all know that.
  4. I’m grateful for your faith model. Not everyone chooses to keep their faith when their dreams are shattered. Be of good courage. Fear not.
  5. Tomorrow is the next day of the rest of your life. Sure, reconcile with the past. But God has something ahead that only He can give you. Keep getting up. The rest of your life is waiting.

Photo by Benjamin Manley on Unsplash


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