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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Being Single: The Divorced Ones - Finding Balance

Photo by Roxana Gonzalez
When a divorce occurs, there are many things which happen. One of the biggest ones is having to carry all of the burdens alone. If children are involved, most commonly, one parent has sole custody. That parent oftentimes does not have backup. They are on their own for all of the child rearing, discipline, and care: with no partner backing them up to or with the kids. Even worse, and just as common: the rules are different between the two homes which is confusing for the kids, and which the children will take advantage of. This makes parenting even more challenging than it already is.

Just a few of the things divorced singles have to deal with, and usually more than one or two of these things are being simultaneously dealt with:

Custody and visitation issues and scheduling
Parenting alone
Being the sole provider for the household
Going to school to update job skills
Working full time, sometimes more than one job
Trying to find daycare
Severely stretched finances
Feeling overwhelmed with all the additional responsibilities and issues
Emotional issues personally and in the children

Those in leadership in wards, branches, stakes, regions, and in singles programs need to understand these things so they do not inadvertently add to the burdens already being carried.

Divorced singles absolutely need to be given opportunities to serve: they desperately need the blessings and the perspective-shift serving brings, as well as the spiritual boost that accompanies it.

However, they need compassion as to their particular circumstances, as well. They are usually overworked, financially-strapped, and without backup to help with the children. Transportation, time, expenses, and daycare are just a few of the obstacles that may be faced in the successful fulfillment of callings, and in participating in church singles activities.

This blog post is one in a series on Being Single. Through the run of this series, please give feedback regarding YOUR experiences with being single and LDS, or ask any questions you may have that I have not addressed.

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