Sandra Aldrich Speaks 'From One Single Mother to Another'
By Jennifer E. Jones
Author, speaker, and southern lady Sandra Aldrich sat down with CBN.com to give some down-home advice about single parenting. “This is the book I wish I had when I first started out,” she says.
Sandra Aldrich: I’m originally from Kentucky, and as a Kentucky woman, I was raised to take care of a man and young’uns, have a big garden, and quilt. I hadn’t signed on for single parenting. None of us chose to be at this spot, yet God brings His good out of whatever we give Him. Whether we come into single parenting by death, divorce, or never having married, we’re all in the same boat.
Jennifer E. Jones: I asked some single mothers about the issues that they face. Here is what one of them told me: “How do I find someone who will dare to date me?”
Sandra: First of all, don’t panic. As soon as you panic and say, “Who’s gonna date me”, you wind up in a worst situation than before. Instead, take a deep breath and say, “Okay Lord, for now, You be my husband.” Isaiah 54:5 says, “For thy Maker is thy Husband. The Lord Almighty is His name.” If every single mother is claiming that verse, then we all share the same Husband… and I’m not jealous. He’s big enough that He can help all of us. As we learn about who we are in Him, we learn about His strength and more about our own strength. Later on, He may say, “Here’s who I want you to partner with.” But as we are concentrating on Him and on our children, good things happen. He will bring strength, excitement, hope, and joy into the desolate places. That’s what I want young women to know. Don’t be looking to be rescued. Build on the strength that’s already there. Then, if that’s what He wants, He can bring the man not only that He wants, but that you will want.
Jennifer: Another issue mentioned was finding time for themselves – women whose whole lives are their children. So when the children leave, mom’s lost. What should they do?
Sandra: That is a major issue. I was trapped into that because I had two little kids. Jay was 10, and Holly was 8 and half. I stopped playing tennis; I stopped going for long walks. Somehow I didn’t give myself permission to take care of myself. That’s the one area where I tell single mothers to do what I say and not what I did. I encourage them to find ways to incorporate family exercise time. Walk to the park. Chase each other around the yard. Don’t listen to the church that says you can’t go out. Get a baby-sitter, and get your hair done. If you can’t afford to do anything, then walk. Just take care of your body. We have that old saying, “If Momma ain’t happy…”
Jennifer: “…ain’t nobody happy.”
Sandra: Well, if Momma’s not healthy, the rest of the family is not going to be healthy either. If the children see you exercising, that teaches them that it’s important.
Jennifer: You tackle loneliness in the sexual aspect. How did you deal with that?
Sandra: When I was first dealing with these issues, I was a lot younger. My skin at the eyes may be wrinkled now but there’s nothing wrong with the hormones. Those little critters are ageless. You still have those longings. When you’re single again, suddenly, all you see are loving couples around you holding hands.
Jennifer: That’s true.
Sandra: Where were all these people before and why are they suddenly here now? We’re aware of a loneliness that we never knew existed. That’s why it is so important to say, “Lord You made me. You know the way I work. You know my desires. You know the longing that I have be with someone who loves me desperately.” As we give that to Him, He shows us ways to work through that. It’s a very important word – sublimation. We take all that sexual energy, and we give it to the Lord. Then He brings other things into our lives. Some say, “Well, that’s not filling me up”. It’s amazing how if we don’t feed that area, it does not become more and more ravenous. Now you may remind me of all of this when you hear I’ve married some banjo-playing gypsy. [laughs]
Jennifer: And you're gone to Vegas! [laughs]
Sandra: I would not have discovered who I was in Him if I had given in to that physical desire. That’s the way God has made us. Just because we are hungry in an area doesn’t mean we have to choose inappropriate food.
Jennifer: Another issue that single moms have to deal with is discipline. How do they deal with that when they’re already dealing with so many other things?
Sandra: As single parents, we deal with too much stress, too little time, too little money, too many projects, and all the overwhelming stuff. The children don’t realize all the pressures that we have in life. They have their own stresses. They can’t verbalize them so they act them out. We can’t pick up on their stress so we explode. That’s why it’s important that we not allow ourselves to get too stressed. We can take care of ourselves. We’re calm, and we talk to the child to find out what’s really going on. If kids are talking to us, they’re not going to act out as much… Kids will fight less if they know they have a special time that is just theirs. They don’t have to vie for the attention of the mother.
Jennifer: How do single mothers deal with the rest of the family? While they don’t have the husband, they do have the mother, or sister, or aunt who’s trying to tell them how to live their life.
Sandra: You take a deep breath and make sure you are totally prayed up in that area. My family did not know what to do with a young widow. After a year it was, “Let’s marry her off.” So the cousins are saying, “I really want you to meet my ex-brother-in-law. He’s a good guy. He’s just out of rehab. His first two wives were really awful to him. What he really needs is a good woman.” They wanted to get me married off so that they wouldn’t have to worry about me. That’s why I needed to get a backbone. We can say strong things without being ugly. I had to tell my own father, “You know Dad, I have been your daughter, Don’s wife, Jay’s mother, I want to find out who Sandra Aldrich is.” He didn’t like that answer, and my cousins didn’t like that I wasn’t going to date their drinking buddy. But as I took a stand and said no, they finally found other things to worry about. When the Scripture says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath”, that is such practical advice. Many times before going into a family gathering I prayed, “Lord put angels around my mouth to keep it shut.”
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