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I became a single mother when my boys were just 7 and 8.
It was a challenging time of change and adjustment – stay-at-home mom to working mom; previously involved husband and father now largely absent.
We began our journey together as just mother and sons. It seemed, at the time, that not enough hours existed to do everything. Sometimes the tasks of life greatly interfered with just enjoying my children. Now, we can laugh and wonder how we all got through the difficulties, and be thankful that we did.
As my children went through the process of growing up, I did not have the benefit of the Baha’i teachings, or the guidance and support they could have provided me. Luckily I discovered the Baha’i Faith in time to apply the spiritual lessons learned in the lives of my grandchildren.
Single mothers everywhere: I understand. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, in at least some places of the world, let’s reflect on what our mothers did for us, especially if they had to do it alone.
The statistics tell us that sixteen percent (16%!) of the world’s children live in a single-parent household – and the vast majority of those parents are mothers. In the last United States census in 2010, forty percent (40%!) of births were from unmarried women. In the United States, as just one example, more than a quarter of all children (27%) now live with one parent, usually the mother.
Typically, places with high numbers of children living in single-parent households include most European countries, many African countries, most of Latin and North America, and many island nations. Asia and the Middle East have the highest percentage of two-parent households.
This means, in most parts of the world, that single mothers have enormous responsibilities, not only to raise their children but to provide for them and educate them. Single moms: you have my dearest and most heartfelt wishes for your success.
I want to share with you the most wonderful thing I have ever read about being a parent. In whatever circumstances you are raising a child, take the time to savor it — for I can vouch for the truth in the statement “Childhood is but for a day.”
While they are at your side, love these little ones to the utmost. Forget yourself; serve them; care for them; lavish all your tenderness upon them. Value your good fortune while it is with you and let nothing of their babyhood go unprized. Nor for long will you keep the happiness that now lies in your reach. You will not always walk in the sunshine with a little soft hand nestling in each of yours nor hear little feet pattering beside you, and eager baby voices questioning and prattling of a thousand things with ceaseless excitement. Not always will you see that trusting face upturned to yours, feel those little arms about your neck and those tender lips pressing upon your cheek nor will you have that tiny form to kneel beside you, and murmur baby prayers into your ear.
Love them and win their love, and shower on them all the treasures of their heart. Fill up their days with happiness and share with them their mirth and innocent delights. Childhood is but for a day. Ere you are aware it will be gone with all its gifts forever. – Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West.
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