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25 Ways to Serve a Single Mom This Mother's Day

Originally published Wednesday, 08 May 2024.

With 15 million single mothers in the United States today, it is likely that you know a single mom. Maybe you were raised by one and saw how hard she worked to make ends meet and effectively balance the demands on her time. Many of the single mothers in our lives are juggling carpool, daycare, two jobs, or maybe career and secondary education. The lists of demands are endless. We implore the body of Christ to actively look for ways to invest in single mothers and their children. Impact a single mom. Impact her children. Impact a nation. With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, it is important to recognize that the single moms in our lives often do not have someone to create a special day of celebration for them, particularly if they have small children. 

That said, how can we, as loving, compassionate, members of the global body of Christ, reach out and show love to single mothers this Mother’s Day? Maybe the single parents in your life seem like they have it all together. There are some amazingly strong single mothers today, and many are achieving success parentally and emotionally while finding great freedom in their walk with the Lord. But even those strong, amazing single moms could use an occasional helping hand and an extra special show of love during this holiday season. 

Here are a few practical ways to brighten a single mom’s holiday: 

1. Babysit for free and do it often! Single mothers often work many hours per week and do not want to ask for help. They may even work a second or third job or may be attending a local college, too. Babysitting can be expensive. Encourage single mothers in your life to take the night off. Even if a single mom has adequate childcare during the day, while she works, it is very unlikely that she is ever taking a night off to do something special for herself (or simply sleep)! Make an offer to babysit her children for an afternoon or evening so that she can get a few things done around the house.  (It is always recommended that a strong relationship exist prior to making an offer to babysit one’s children).  

2. Offer to grocery shop for her. Shopping is a simple task, but shopping alone with three children hanging from the buggy can seem overwhelming. The simple task of collecting groceries for the week may not seem like much, but this act of kindness can alleviate stress from a single mom’s regular routine and save her time that can be devoted to other things.  

3. Give her some girl time. Sometimes the best way to serve a single mom is to invite her for coffee for some adult conversation. The Lord created us for fellowship. We know how important Godly friends in our lives are to our ability to grow, fellowship, and enjoy life.  Unfortunately, when times are busy, and the demands of a schedule take over, friend time is often the first thing to go. Get to know a single mom in your church or community. Give her a listening ear. Give her the opportunity to talk about something meaningful – her hopes and dreams. Let her know that you see her and that she is not alone.  

4. Bake a single mom a treat. Surprise a single mom this Mother’s Day with a special cake, cookies, meal, or other treat. It’s especially meaningful, when you can get her kiddos involved in the surprise!   

5. Wash & fold clothes. Let’s face it. Who really ENJOYS washing and folding clothes? If you do, you are among the previous few! Taking some time to do a practical, yet necessary chore, can be one way to serve a mom this Mother’s Day!  

6. Buy a single mom a free car wash or oil change. Any car maintenance or repair can be expensive, so whether it is an oil change, tire rotation, tire balance, new windshield wipers, oil change, or other, this can be a helpful, pracical way to serve a mom. 

7. Create a homemade gift that has an encouraging Scripture on it. Or use several Scriptures and write them on notecards or index cards that she can strategically place throughout her home, employment, and car, as a reminder of her Heavenly Father’s love for her.  

8. Rent a movie and provide popcorn for a movie night.  Movie nights are a great way to provide entertainment for both single moms and their children, while also providing an opportunity to get to know her better.  

9. Offer to do some yard work. Whether she’s a homeowner or renter, many single moms have the pressure of keeping their yard manicured.  Perhaps it is even an extra expense for her already-tight budget.  Offering to cut the yard for her on occasion is a great way to show the love of Christ.  

10. Perform carpentry, home repairs, and odd & end jobs.  Married women often have what is referred to as a “honey-do list” for their spouses to perform on the weekend.  Maybe a single mom has a leaky sink, stubborn faucet, or some other light home repairs. For the handyman, this could be a practical way to serve.  (NOTE: We recommend that all men serve in groups of 3 or more. For more details on how men can serve single mothers and widows, visit New Commandment Men’s Ministries).  

11. Clean her house or apartment. A little toilet bowl cleaner and window cleaner can go a long way to show the love of Christ to a worn-out single mother.  

12. Buy her lunch. This is a creative way to not only save a single mom a few dollars but bless her with some adult company while doing so.  

13. Write a handwritten, personal note to a single mom in your life. Let her know how much she is loved and cared for, how valuable she is to her children and community, and highlight Scriptures of encouragement.  

14. Provide gas money or groceries

15. Save your travel-sized toiletries from hotel rooms and donate them to her. Toiletries can be expensive, and many hotels offer high-quality toiletries, free-of-charge that are often thrown away when a guest checks out.   

16. Cook a meal, or even help plan meals for the week. A slow-cooker meal requires almost no time to prepare but can mean a great deal to a mom who is struggling to keep food on the table for her children.  Helping to plan meals for the week may be another way to remove the burden from her shoulder.  

17. Start a running or walking group where single moms can bring their kids for exercise & girl-time. This can become a great time of community fellowship that can also double as a great way for the kids to get exercise.  

18. Give a single mom a rose. In some cases, it could have been months or years since a single mother has received fresh flowers. Discount stores and grocery stores often sell a dozen roses for $10.99 or less. What a beautiful gesture.  

19. Bring cookies & baked goods to her home with an encouraging note. Or offer to bake cookies with her children while she takes a nap.  

20. Bring a gift basket full of goodies. Some ideas could include cleaning supplies, toiletries, great women’s devotionals, candy, bottled waters, hair products, smelling lotions, or something similar.  

21. Offer a day of window shopping, coffee, and a ride through town. It seems like a small act of kindness, but many of the single mothers we’ve worked with say that their lives consist of home, work, home, work, home, work, and they often feel they are “losing themselves” in the day-to-day grind of parenting and working.   

22. Visit a single mom! Make regular visits part of your weekly or monthly routine. Maybe the single mom lost her husband unexpectedly to an illness, and she’s grieving. Maybe she has never actively been in a local church and isn’t comfortable trying it out yet.  Whatever the reason, make it a point to visit a single mom regularly. It just may save her life! 

23. Commit to praying for a single mom regularly. Whether she knows it or not, make her (and her children) part of your regular prayer time. Pray for her children, as you would pray for your own. Pray for financial provision, wisdom, favor with her employer, protection of her lives, healing for a wounded heart, and rest.  Commit to lifting her up to the Lord. She needs it. 

24. Offer tutoring or homework services for her children. When a mom has worked an 8-10 hour day and then has to come home to prepare dinner, wash the clothes for the evening, clean the house, and do homework, it can be exhausting.  Maybe one night a week, offer to do homework with her children. (This is especially helpful if you have children that are similar in age who may be taking similar classes).  

25. Surprise her with a special gift.  Gifts don’t require lots of money. They require thought.  The most beautiful gifts given are those who have a meaningful purpose.  You can visit any dollar store or discount store and find beautiful journals for less than $5. Years may have passed since this single mom has received a special just-because gift.  

Jennifer Maggio is a mom to three, wife to Jeff, and founder of the national nonprofit, The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She is author to four books, including The Church and the Single Mom. She was named one of the Top 10 Most Influential People in America by Dr. John Maxwell in 2017 and 2015 and has appeared in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, Family Talk Radio with Dr. James Dobson, Joni and Friends, and many others. 

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