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Valued Yet Vulnerable: Caring for Single Moms and Their Babies

By Zoe Berthiaume

Saint Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish missionary, founder of the Jesuit order, and the author of The Spiritual Exercises. From his teachings derive the concept of cura personalis, referring to caring for every part of the human person: body, mind, and soul. Continuing on this theme, one should care for single moms and their babies physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.

First, one can help single moms and their babies by making sure they have the resources they need to take care of their bodies. There is a direct correlation between single moms and poverty. Poverty leaves the moms struggling to feed, clothe, and house themselves, not to mention the added cost of caring for one or more small children. A good way to assist these mothers is by volunteering or donating to a charity that specifically helps struggling mothers. If blessed with personally knowing a single mother, try to visit her often, while providing an example of what it means to be a good motherly figure. Take children to play with hers if possible. Babysit her children for her so she can work. Taking food items to their house would be helpful in ensuring that they can stay healthy.     

Second, one can care for a single mom psychologically and socially by being positive, comforting, and understanding. The last thing these mothers need is another person to hurt them. There never has been a single mother who has not experienced hurt. Shaming them for actions that led up to their situation will not help. Assume the best of them, knowing what it is like to be misunderstood. When talking to them, try to imagine how they feel and translate that understanding over to the conversation so as to be able to more personally relate to and connect with them. These women made a leap of faith and trust in God by bringing their children to life. They are beautiful models of perseverance. They and their children are blessings, not burdens. Let them know that they are loved and not alone.

Last, help single mothers with babies by praying with them and for them. Pray that God will provide for their needs, bring them peace in their hearts, and specifically that God will surround their children with fatherly figures. Additionally, introduce the mother to saints who were also single moms such as St. Margaret of Cortona, Bl. Columba Kang Wan-suk, St. Cecilia Yo So-sa, Bl. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida, Servant of God Dorothy Day, and Servant of God Catherine Doherty. Knowing that sanctity is achievable, even considering their situation, may bring them hope and a newfound surge of faith.

In summary, one can help single moms with babies by providing for their physical needs, being positive, comforting, and understanding, and by praying with and for them. Please do not ignore this call to help single moms with babies. Everyone is capable of helping in some way!

Zoe Berthiaume won second place in the high school category of the Culture of Life Studies Program’s 2023 Pro-Life Essay Contest.