Michelle Crawford is a great friend of many years. Her character and vibe for life rest in her strength in God. It is apparent in every word she speaks, every friendship she holds, but most of all in her daily walk with her children. As a single mom she continues to trust in the Lord, speak His truth, and continues to stay planted in the Word that gives her strength. It has been a joy to know and walk with her. I have asked Michelle to share her thoughts and encouraging words to all single moms as they prepare for the new school year ahead. Her words are practical and innovated. Be encouraged!
Michelle Covington-Crawford is a single mom of five children and two grandchildren. She has built her life in Pensacola, Florida surrounded by a circle of family and friends that keep her encouraged. She is an author and a motivational speaker. Her books and inspirational blog help encourage women to love life and live with purpose.
Back to School Tips for Single Moms
It’s back to school time, and if you are like me, you are looking forward to a little structure and routine returning to your home. Those summer sleep overs, late movie nights, and big grocery bills can take a toll on any parent. Although I look forward to early bedtimes and quiet evenings, as a single mom, preparing for my four children to return to school can be financially challenging and somewhat stressful. Over the years I have tried many different ways to overcome financial burden, and I have discovered five tips that work without fail.
This time of year, many churches and non-profit organizations are reaching out to the community by helping with back to school supplies for kids. Along with a day of fun and games and sometimes food, you can usually collect a few items to add to their backpacks.
One year I hosted a uniform exchange at my children’s school where parents could bring their child’s gently used uniforms that they’ve outgrown and exchange them with other parents that have done the same. Some parents even donated new uniforms. It was a great help to the parents in the school and to my children as well.
As a single mother, you should already have a network of people who don’t mind helping and sharing. My network consists of family and church friends as well as other single moms. We help each other when there is a need. It helps to have several resources instead of just depending on your income.
As a single mother sometimes we can let guilt talk us into overspending. It is hard not to fall victim to the wants of our children. Be careful not to make purchases that are unnecessary. Focus on the ‘must have’ list first. Remember that your child will be in school all year long and some things can be bought later in the year.
Tip#4-Shop Second Hand
If you can sew on a button or hem a pair of pants, you’ve got the skill it takes to make the most of your neighborhood thrift store. Many times you can find name brand clothes for very little. Just be sure to check for damages or stains that can’t be fixed and have your child try on everything before you buy it.
Tip#5-Make it Yourself!
Homemade things are very trendy right now. If you are crafty, and your kids like to create, you can save by making some things yourself. The internet is a great source for creative ideas in refurbishing old book bags to making planners and agendas. If you are not crafty, maybe someone in your network who likes these types of projects would be willing to help.
These are very practical things that you can do to alleviate some of the financial stress that comes with the new school year. And while these things are very helpful those things alone cannot sustain the peace that comes from trusting God to meet the needs in your home. The responsibility of parenting can be overwhelming for one person, but no matter what situation may have put you in a position to be single and parenting God is still at the foundation of family. Learning to live practically, networking and sharing resources, and keeping God at the center of all that you do are the keys to rising above the label of single parenting and will help make the coming school year successful for you and your children.
All written works by Michelle Crawford © 21012 Copyright. All Rights Reserved.