Summer is upon us. Most schools are already off, the remaining will be within the next week or so. For many, summer break means family vacations, down time, and a slower-paced life. However, for a single parent, now having the kids out of school can mean loss of structure, schedule, and even finances. A single mom or single dad now must worry about the heavy costs of childcare and the burden of balancing the kids’ time off and a work schedule. So yeah, the heat is on—but not always in a good way.

Do you know a single mom or single dad you can help during the upcoming months? Can your church, small group, or community help to share the load? Here are a few quick suggestions on what you can do to make the life of a single parent that much easier over the summer:

 

Offer to take the kids for a day. Maybe you have a little flex time where you and your family have a day trip or fun planned. Do you have room for a couple more? Not only does this remove the cost of childcare for a day (which can be up to $200 a week!), but also the stress of having to get them there on time and pick them up.

 

Buy groceries. Or make a meal, pay a bill, or any other cost you can help offset. Approximately 25% of single father homes and 50% of single mother homes live in poverty—and 50% of those children are considered food insecure. In fact, many children from single parent homes rarely eat consistently or healthy over the summer; and now do not have the security of school-provided breakfasts and lunches.

 

Do some chores around the house. Same as the point above, this removes one more thing from an already overwhelmed day. Clean the house, mow the lawn, do a little fixing up on areas that need it. Trust me, an hour or two to us will be equivalent to a whole day to a grateful single mom or dad!

 

Take the whole family somewhere. Whether it’s just to the park or beach for the day, or even a week camping, this will be a tremendous blessing. Single moms and single dads need downtime just like the rest of us (perhaps even more so); so why not bless them with an opportunity they may normally feel guilty taking or unable to do themselves? Friendships can be built, and it’s also a perfect chance to share the Gospel with them too!

 

Whether relaxing or stressful, it’s easy to get caught up in our own lives. Still, there is always someone in greater need than us—we just need to keep our eyes, ears, and heart open for the opportunities God places in our path.

 

Is there a single mom or single dad you know that you can help out over the upcoming summer break?

 

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them… –Matt 7:12 (ESV)

 

 

Originally posted on April 21, 2016 at 1Corinthians13Parenting.com.