If you are a friend to a (newly) single mom, you don’t know what to say and you’re wondering how you can be a good friend to her. Here are 7 ways you can be a good friend to a newly single mom – from a former single mom.
It happened in a flash. Much like seeing cockroaches scatter when you turn the lights on. At least, that’s how it felt. Where once I had friends, I now had memories. Even worse, the only family I had within hundreds of miles were now enemies. I felt so lonely. And hurt. And angry.
Divorce does that.
If you have a girlfriend who is a newly single mom, chances are she is feeling much the same way.
Proverbs 18:24 says this about friendship “a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” That’s what we all long for, right? And that’s exactly what your (newly) single mom friend really needs right now. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can be a good friend – who becomes new framily.
7 Easy Ways to Be a Good Friend
1. Love her and even more so, love her kids. She is already carrying so much weight for her children. So much guilt. Hang out with her family. Offer to take her kids to play so she can get some alone time. In fact, ask her.
2. Don’t judge. Depending on how close you are to her it probably isn’t even your place to say anything about it.
3. Don’t commiserate. She’s angry. Joining in her anger isn’t helping her or her children. Don’t commiserate about her current situation or her former husband. It’ll be easy to do and seem like the right thing to do. It’s not. Sure, you can acknowledge that it may feel good to slash his tires but you probably shouldn’t help her figure out the best time to do it.
4. If you aren’t sure what to say, tell her. And then tell her ‘I love you.’ Friends will pull away from her because they aren’t sure what to say. They feel pulled in different directions, especially if they were family friends and not just hers. You probably don’t know what to say either. That’s ok. Tell her that. She’ll appreciate your honesty during a time when she isn’t sure who and what to believe.
5. Be a wise friend. Proverbs 13:20 says “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Be the safe place she can go to walk with someone wise. After you laugh with her a little about slashing those tires, bring her back to reality. She has kids to think about who would be incredibly hurt to find out their mom (and her friend) slashed daddy’s tires.
Help her with her next best step encouraging her to ask herself “What is the best thing I can do to love my kids right now?”
And that includes how to love their dad.
Like Proverbs 27:17 reminds us “Iron sharpens iron, and one [wo]man sharpens another.”
5. Encourage her relationship with Jesus. James 4:8 reminds us, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” We need to bring her closer to God. Don’t just do it with clichés. Be there. In fact, share this post about her strength from God and even these verses about her beauty and self-worth.
6. Be her sidekick. She doesn’t want you to “fix” things for her. She’s angry and needs to get it out. Again, listen and acknowledge how she feels. She needs a friend. Someone to love her and her kids. Don’t agree with things that you know are not going to get her closer in her relationship to God.
Recommended post: The Ultimate Guide for Women: Learn How Awesome You Really Are
7. Empower her. She is angry but still feeling weak. She is going to want to do things that are difficult. She’ll even try things she’s never accomplished before. She is going to have to do things she has never done before. Offer to help. When she declines (and she probably will), offer to be her sidekick instead. Cheer her on to the new confidence she is developing.
Join her in her journey.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9 – 10
The world will encourage her to think that all men suck and she’s better off anyway. Be the friend that lifts her up and toward the One who will redeem her story. Don’t be the one to push her into that downward spiral.
Don’t be the cockroach.