“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.”
Friends of Life,
As I type this, I’m hoping my unusually quiet children aren’t making a mess in one of their rooms. This is the calm before the storm – that period of time after dinner and activities, but before bedtime. My wife is out of town on a quick business trip, so I’m outnumbered 3:1 – I’ve transitioned to zone defense. Generally, these short trips are opportunities to have a little fun with the kids. I let them pick some of their favorite dinner spots – places like Waffle House or IHOP, restaurants mom normally doesn’t allow. However, due to other commitments, we haven’t been able to do that this time.
Life doesn’t stand still when my wife is gone. Like many others, I have work responsibilities. There are the pick ups/drop-offs from swim lessons and volleyball camp happening this week. Of course the kids haven’t agreed on anything for dinner, so I end up making three different meals (do chicken nuggets count as a meal?). There are also dishes to be washed and, of course, there is the topic of bath time. To top it off, we had a nighttime “accident” – so sheets had to be stripped and washed as well. This is what fatherhood looks like, certainly when both parents work outside the home.
I don’t mention any of this to highlight what a great father I am – far from it! I bring this up as a timely reminder of how easily anyone – but certainly a single parent – can feel overwhelmed. Thankfully, we have a strong support system that makes these occasional work trips far from difficult. Yet it’s during these moments when it’s easiest for me to understand how overwhelmed a single mother might feel – either before or after her pregnancy. Alone. Intimidated. Afraid.
This past month I had the opportunity to visit Lifehouse Maternity Home
and see first-hand the support system they provide women, both before and
after pregnancy (up to four years!). Lifehouse is a wonderful example of a life-affirming environment that continues to support mother and baby. If you are unfamiliar, definitely check them out.
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