Single parents share their 10 loneliest moments



Many single parents will tell you loneliness is one of the biggest frustrations of parenting alone.

10 loneliest moments

  1. When my grandmother died and I didn’t have anyone to console me in my grief
  2. It was a New Year’s Eve party. My house was full of people and everyone had someone and I didn’t
  3. When I walked into the house after my husband died
  4. I had just found out my son was diagnosed with autism and wondered how on earth could I get through raising an autistic son by myself
  5. My son was in track and sitting at a track meet by myself was excruciating
  6. My best friend was getting married and she wanted me to be her bridesmaid. As I stood beside her I couldn’t quit weeping. I was so happy for her but had never felt lonelier than at that moment
  7. Attending school conferences. Every school conference after we divorced was when I felt my loneliest
  8. At night when I’m lying in bed and it’s dark and quiet
  9. Friday nights on my ex’s weekend. The long weekend is stretched out before me and I feel so very lonely and missing my kids the minute they walk out the door
  10. Church! Church was where I felt the loneliest. As one single mom said, “I never felt so alone in such a big place. ”

I know for myself I couldn’t believe how loneliness consumed me. Before I was divorced my husband traveled a lot. He missed almost all of the band concerts and other school events.

I’d go to a concert and sit by myself but I didn’t feel alone because I knew at some point, either that night when I got home or the next day I’d tell him all about the concert and how one of our kids looked in their uniform; how well they played; what they had to say about it and all the things that parents share with each other.

After the divorce I’d go to the same school, same auditorium, same people in the audience but the knowledge of knowing there would be no one to share this event with created an over whelming loneliness. So there I’d sit in an auditorium full of people feeling so very alone and isolated.

Church leaders

If you are a church leader and you have never parented solo, it is hard to comprehend the painful loneliness a single parent feels. I had no idea how loneliness can overwhelm one’s life until I experienced it personally.

Single parents need friends who can help them through some rough patches. Church family can help fill that role.

Church family can be the “friend” in the, “Two are better then one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and he has no one to help him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

For every lonely time a single parent experiences there is an “if only” that church family can fill.

If Only

  • If only someone would have offered to go to the school concerts with me
  • If only there had been someone I could have called to advocate for my son when I went for the IEP sessions because of his autism
  • If only someone would have talked to me and welcomed me when I went to church
  • If only someone would have come and sat with me at church
  • If only my church would sponsor some events for single parents so I would know there were other people like me (Single and Parenting is an excellent resource that a church can use effortlessly)
  • If only there were someone I could call or text on those Friday nights when my kids leave to go their dad’s.

The “if only” list is endless. If you are a single parent what would you add to the “if only” list?



25 thoughts on “Single parents share their 10 loneliest moments

  1. It has been 6 years since my divorce and to this day i still feel lonely and say to myself what if. Today it is even harder to find a church that has a single/parenting class or small group. Now I have no Church to go to for i am tired of that one person sitting a lone and not fitting in.

  2. Terrific article! I recall almost every one of those times even though it was many years ago. The heartache is hard to forget. Church “people” pay attention. There are millions of single parents and most of them aren’t in church.

  3. Ms. Linda, I felt this very thing today. I just found out that I will have surgery next Wednesday and the tears came like a flood. The realization that I wouldn’t have my ex to talk to about the surgery and he wouldn’t be the one to calm any fears that I may have, was a horrible feeling. Even though he wouldn’t be there for the surgery (bc he’s always overseas), I just felt an overwhelming sadness and loneliness. Thank you for the article. Will churches ever see the importance to help fill the gap? Maybe a better question for myself would be….Would I ever allow the church to fill the gap?

    • Rebecca, I have prayed for you and will continue to do so. Since I know you personally I can honestly say that yes someday you will allow God’s family to fill the gap. Right now you are adjusting and that takes time. That is something we need to educate church leaders about and ever so slowly they are listening. However, the loneliness of a single parent is hard to understand if one has never experienced parenting alone. I also know that one day you will be a leader yourself because you love the Lord that much and well I’m getting pretty old 🙂 and someone needs to be thinking about filling in the gap. Ha, ha!

    • Yes I agree, holidays are awful. Just said to a comment on Facebook that Mother’s Day was the worst day for me when my kids were at their dads. You are right Jo. Thanks for the reminder

  4. “9.Friday nights on my ex’s weekend. The long weekend is stretched out before me and I feel so very lonely and missing my kids the minute they walk out the door.” – Just remember how much your ex misses those kids when he/she has to go most of the MONTH without seeing his/her child. A couple weekends a month during the school year isn’t enough. When possible (assuming there is there are no abuse/neglect issues), 50/50 custody is best for both parents, but especially the child.

  5. I too feel the most lonely at church. It has been seven years since my husband walked away from his family, leaving me to raise three kids. It seems no one in churches understand the pain and loneliness I feel.

  6. I have experienced all the things on that lonely list and still do. I’ve been divorced 22 years now and am still lonely. I raised my 3 kids alone through their difficult teen years. My boys are twins. It was all so difficult. I have never found a single Christian man, but oh how I’ve tried. I gave up 4 or 5 years ago. And yes, church can be so lonely. I go to a small church; it’s all couples or single people who are younger. I often feel like I don’t belong anywhere. And to the person who commented divorce is a choice…for me it wasn’t a choice. My husband of 19 years left me. He said he that I was a good wife but he wanted more excitement out of life. What was my choice in that? Please tell me. I do live a contened life due to the fact I love God; serve Him. I gave up bitterness years ago. But I’m still lonely.

    • Valerie, I’m glad you have given up your bitterness. Perhaps now the Lord wants to use you in some way. When I went through my divorce I thought I could never serve the Lord again but oh how wrong I was. I remarried and my husband died of cancer. I thought I would never want to serve the Lord again but oh was I wrong again. It’s never to late to serve our Heavenly Father. Perhaps you could be the prayer warrior that prays for each of those younger couples in your church. I don’t know but I know the Lord will use you if you are willing.

  7. I was associate pastor in one church, pastor of another. Together, we served God and His people. We taught about the sanctity of marriage and we raised our children. Then…divorce. It’s been four years; very difficult & lonely to be in the church environment.

    • Yes Steve it is so difficult but you can do this. Give yourself time to heal. Thanks for sharing. We need to hear from more men.

  8. Christmas is always such a lonely time for me even with the kids bc I’m the only one to make this great for my kids and there seem to be so many reminders that I don’t have a partner. I have however finally found a single parent friendly and accepting church that has just poured out love and shown me that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. And it has changed my life! Church of the Highlands for any of my Alabama single parents.

    • Oh Sarah, thank you so much for sharing about your church. My heart yearns for more church to pick up this baton and run with it. I keep thinking of the children’s lives that could be changed forever if their single parent could find such a church as yours. Thank you for sharing.

  9. So I am not a single parent. I am not a parent at all, but I am single and I did parent foster children for 2 years…and I work for a church. Actually attending is still lonely, just as a single person (even though I work there). However the loneliest I have ever been in my life was when I had to call 911 (yet again) for my last foster child. I will never forget sitting in the hospital and wishing I had someone to help shoulder a little of the burden of what was happening. I hope those experiences have made me more aware of the single parents in the ministry where I work and more of an advocate for them.

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