Who knew a married woman could feel like a single mom?
Bookstore shelves are full of parenting resources for single moms. But where do moms turn if they feel like a single parent—but they’re not? Whether he is away on business, deployed in the military, or obsessing over a hobby, families face unique and difficult challenges when dad is unavailable. Moms who parent in these situations need help and don’t necessarily relate to the advice given in divorce recovery or single parenting resources.
Married Mom, Solo Parent is a common-sense, down-to earth look at the struggles wives and mothers face when their husband is not actively involved in family life. Writing from her own experience as a “married single mom”, Carla Anne addresses tough questions such as: Can I do this alone? How do I raise kids to honor a father who’s not around? How do I give my children a healthy perspective of marriage if they never see one in action?
With practical suggestions, anecdotes, and biblical teaching, this book encourages moms to see their position as a high calling, to find healing amidst their worries and frustrations, and to tap into God’s strength for help in facing the daily challenge of being a married mom, solo parent.
Ten years ago when I met my husband he was charming and intelligent. He had a fine sense of humor and seemed quite easy going. He had a child from a previous relationship and he seemed to really mourn the absence of his child. We were married shortly after we met and immediately I became pregnant. We were in many ways a typical young family, eager for the birth of our child and ready for family life. We planned like most parents do and dreamed of what life would soon be like with a new baby.
I might have had in inkling of what life would soon become when he left the hospital that day our baby was born to go to work. I might have had some idea when he left one hour after we brought her home from the hospital to go to work. I told myself that he was simply doing the manly thing. That he was proving to me what a wonderful provider he would be, how responsible he was and dedicated he was to being the man and father we would need him to be. Because of his strong work ethic it was easy for us to make the decision for me to stay at home. We loved the idea of a traditional family and we knew that we had what it took to make that work.
I soon found myself immersed in the daily workings of running a household, caring for our newborn and taking care of a husband and as it turns out my new extended family. Day in and day out when it was evident that my husband was rarely home I repeatedly told myself that I was lucky to have a man that worked hard and provided a living for myself and our child. I kept telling myself that over and over through the years. It wasn't until I found myself hanging ceiling fans, hanging doors, repairing broken sink drains that I began to wonder if things hadn't gone terribly wrong along the way. The internet was a blessing because I could turn to it when I needed advice for home repair.
As my child grew through the years we spent days together at the park, the zoo, Disneyland, birthday parties, shopping, playing, learning. I taught her to ride a bike, how to plant in the garden, how to read and cook. As she grew she began helping me around the house. Her father was witness to none of this. He began to drink shortly after she was born and what began as an innocent night out with the boys soon grew into a habit. We've struggle through the years with his addiction, his coming and going, his hangovers and drunkenness. I've spent many nights alone in bed tears soaking my pillow. I have had to answer some pretty tough questions from my daughter.
I love my husband and for the most part he is a gentle, kind and generous man. He suffers from a disease and we've adapted over the years. We have had some very rough days and I've had one hand holding my daughter with the other hand holding a suitcase on many occasions. I have learned to count my blessings, relying on my faith in God to see us through. It hasn't been easy. I have grown in ways that I could never have foreseen. I've become better, stronger and more patient and reliable than I ever thought I was capable of. The road has been rocky but it is my path-our path-and I've found through God that we could not only survive but thrive.
Unfortunately, I struggled along this path mostly on my own. The shame of being basically a single parent while my husband alternately drank himself into a stupor or worked himself into non existence kept me from confiding in only a very few people. It has taken the courage of a woman like Carla Anne to finally speak up and tell the other people like myself that they are not alone in this journey. Finally, for all of those confused, lonely, angry single parents there is a bright and shining hope. There is a resource available to them that did not exist before. As I read through 'Married Mom' I found myself connecting with Carla's struggles and doubts. If she had written this book ten years ago my path would have been so much easier. I might have cried a few less tears. I might have not thought so many dark thoughts. I might have saved myself so much time...time that I spent in frustration and resentment. I might have understood that this is simply life. My life, like it or not this was my cross to bear.
My husband was never abusive or aggressive. Thank the Lord for that blessing. Had he been, my story would be a different one. It would have been a story of a woman who left her husband for a better life. It saddens me because he missed out on so much. What he was around for he doesn't remember because he was probably either drunk or hungover. He does not have the same sweet memories of our daughter's milestones that I do and for that I have a great sadness. I have tried to honor him in as much as I can but my daughter still holds resentment for his choices. We are working through that. Damage has been done. The seeds for forgiveness and understanding are there but I can't say that theirs is a relationship that will ever become anything more than what it is right now. I am praying and really, other than being open with my child there is little else that I can do. No I should restate that...I am praying and I am solidly present for my daughter and that is the best that anyone can do.
I am very grateful to Carla Anne for writing this book and I sincerely hope that 'Married Mom, Solo Parent' reaches every single Married, solo parent out there.
Carla Anne Coroy is a gifted storyteller and teacher with contagious enthusiasm for life. Even the mucky parts. Her humorous and down-to-earth style quickly engages her audiences as she ignites God’s hope in everyday situations.
Carla Anne speaks and conducts seminars on a variety of topics including Christian life, parenting, marriage and biblical finances. Watch for her upcoming book for married moms who solo parent, and be sure to check out her blog!
A veteran homeschooling mom and Christian mentor, Carla Anne has a deep passion to see others grow to maturity in Christ. She has served full-time with ministries such as Youth for Christ and Crown Financial Ministries, and is currently developing an international mentoring organization for youth. She also serves as a staff writer for the online Christian women’s magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women.
Carla Anne and her husband live with their four children in Manitoba, Canada, where they try to stay warm in winter and mosquito-bite-free in summer.
* I received an advance copy from the publisher for purposes of review. I was in no way obligated to write a review much less a favorable one. The opinions stated herein are all my own.