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Married Mom, Solo Parent: Finding God's Strength to Face the Challenge

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For married women who feel like single parents Bookstore shelves are full of parenting resources for moms who are newly divorced or widowed. But where do moms turn if they feel like a single parent--but they're not? Whether he is away on business, deployed in the military, or obsessing over a computer game, dad may not be available for a variety of reasons. Moms who parent in this situation still need help and don't necessarily relate to the advice given in divorce recovery or single parenting resources.

Married Mom, Solo Parent is a common-sense, down-to-earth look at the struggles wives and mothers face when their husband is not actively involved in family life. Writing from her own experience as a married single mom, Carla Anne Coroy will help wives and mothers sort through their questions, such as: Can I do this alone? How do I raise kids to honor their father? How do I give my children a healthy perspective of marriage if they never see one in action? With practical suggestions, anecdotes, and biblical teaching, this book will encourage moms to see their position as a high calling, to find healing for their worries and frustrations, and to tap into God's strength for help in facing the daily challenge of being a married mom, solo parent.

272 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 2011

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About the author

Carla Anne Coroy

1 book8 followers
Carla Anne Coroy is a Christian speaker and blogger, and the author of Married Mom, Solo Parent . She ministers to a wide audience through her website and blog at carlaanne.com.

Carla Anne has served full-time with organizations such as Youth for Christ and Crown Financial Ministries, and is currently developing an international mentoring organization for youth and a ministry to wives who parent alone. She also serves as a staff writer for the online magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women .

Carla Anne lives in Canada with her husband and four homeschooled children.

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Displaying 1 - 12 of 12 reviews
Profile Image for Sunflower.
268 reviews44 followers
October 25, 2011
By the time I was finished with,"Married Mom, Solo Parent", it was dog earred, highlighted, and post-it noted, everywhere; This is a book that I would recommend for moms who find themselves in that awkward category of, not single, but feeling not married as their spouses are away due to military, maybe their husband's jobs requires him to be on the road for days, weeks, or even months at the time, or they are in situations where a spouse has illnesses that has made it difficult to be an active partner in the marriage, struggling with addiction, or just any situation, that has left the married mom, on her own and yet married.

This is not a book that trashes the husband, but instead, as the author, Carla Anne Coroy, loving shares in the preface, "A solo parent is someone who is raising children and running a home and family alone" (pg.11), and geared toward married women whose husbands jobs require them to be away from home majority of the time.

Addressing topical issues such as discipline, chore divisions, life in the community and more, "Married Mom, Solo Parent", doesn't demonizes husbands whose keep depends on them, often working away from the home, bringing to mind, women whose husbands are in the military or are workaholics and even if they aren't workaholics, just required to travel as part of their job requirement, Carla Anne Coroy uses both grace, humor, honesty and Scripture to help encourage married women on how to balance: life, raising children and being a wife and woman.

I like how on page 45, Carla Anne Coroy shared honestly, the double jeopardy that a married woman, whose solo parenting feels when she (Carla Anne Coroy) shares the following observation:
"Many solo parents are afraid of being honest, at least out loud, about the situation they are in. After years of hearing that we need to respect, honor and support our husbands, we find it difficult to speak truth when it does not make shine. We're afraid of being the woman who trashes her husband with her words or ruins his reputation in his absence. So we carry the shame: shame of being the unsatisfied wife, of spinning a yarn of excuses, of what our situation may symbolize or predict."

She presents hope though when she later says,"It took me many years to respectfully tell the truth regarding Trent's choices. We have to remember that God calls us to be imitators of Christ. Jesus often offended others. As a matter of fact, he was called the Rock of Offense (Rom 9:33 NASB,KJV). Naturally, we need to be careful. The truth we speek needs to be covered in love".

With a chapter, written by her husband, sharing a husband's viewpoint and offering from a male perspective, what husbands usually see and/or don't often say about a "Married Mom, Solo Parent", this is a book that needs to be read by those who are going through the,"Married Mom, Solo Parent" stages in their life and also should and need to be read not only by those who may know of women in those situations, to help gain a better insight of what life is really like for the, "Married Mom, Solo Parent", but even by those who are involved in the church in whatever capacity, for a better understanding of how the body of Christ can reach out to those moms who are not single, but not fully married either.

Painful examples are shared by Carla Coroy, such as being rejected by a church's "handyman" service offered to single moms who don't have husbands in their lives, by sheer virtue, she was married, although her husband was away and not actively involved in the family's life, during that time period.

It led to thoughts...not only just her experience, but what of moms whose spouses were in the military....were their needs for help around the home, be it, fixing the sink, or in Carla's case, needing help, installing fans in the homes, being ignored and how we as a society, not only has changed, but that reaching out to the community, also means not ignoring the fact, that by virtue of "being married" does that mean, a family always have, one of the parent, available, be it due to medical related reasons, or in this case, one of the spouse, being required to be out of town, leaving the other spouse, with the full brunt of the responsibility.

I bristled at the story of how Carla and her family were excluded at a family dinner sponsored by a church and how she ended up sitting alone, quietly crying, with her kids, and yet, as Christians, are we not all members of the same family, irregardless, if we are single, married or the spouse is not at home for whatever reason.

In addition to encouraging words of scripture and encouragement, that as a, "Married Mom, Solo Parent", I was floored by the statistics that Carla shared, that many of us, may not think about or take for granted, such as the fact that 84% of "married single moms" find vehicle maintenance and repair a difficulty.

One of the first two chapters, "This is Not what I signed up for" and "The Emotions of a Solo Parents", really hit hard to the root of the matter, for many women, who find themselves, living separate lives, while their husbands were not at home to "help out", and Carla does a wonderful job of gently encouraging, "Married Mom, Solo Parent" to find ways to not only confront their emotions, but how to deal with their emotions in a way that doesn't adversely affect the marriage.

I could relate to the feelings that Carla shared and the helpful advice she offers to,"Married Mom, Solo Parent", who feel alone and how to find group support in the form of through bible studies, going to the park, joining mom groups and if that doesn't work, find ways, oneself, to get out of the comfort zone and connect with other moms, particularly, others moms who are going through the same, awkward life style, of the mom, often having to play both duties, while dad is away.

She also offers realistic and sound ways to honoring and loving the man in your life, even if its often long distance and offers a needed reminder, that no matter what, he is the father, that the kids need.

Its easy to approach situations, like this, with cynicism, or as Carla Coroy shares in the book, feeling "emotional divorce" already from your husband, but she shows there is not only life, but hope and there is a relationship that can happen and that the "Married Mom, Solo Parent" and her spouse can make things work.

It's difficult to go over everything that is in the book, in a review, but this is a much needed book, in today's world and as Carla Coroy shared in the preface,
"Each solo parent has a unique set of circumstances. Your struggles will be different from mine. Every generation has had its share of married solo parents. Yet somewhere along the line, we've forgotten how it is done: how a woman with a husband does the job of raising her kdis when he is not around."

If you are one of these moms, know someone who is, want to understand more about the married single mom, or part of a church seeking to reach moms who are married and yet solo parenting their kids while their spouses are away for indefinite times for whatever the reason, this is a book that all must read and comes highly recommended.

"Married Mom, Solo Parent" is an excellent book and a humbling read and if you are a "Married Single Mom", essentially a mom who, although married, but due to your spouse not being home fully all the time, due to his job, it's so easy for the reader to relate and know they are not alone going through being a "Married Mom, Solo Parent".

Carla Coroy doesn't promise that it will be easy and there are tears, but there is also laughter, and hope and smiles. Check out,"Married Mom, Solo Parent" and discovered more about what it means to be a, "Married Mom, Solo Parent" and how no matter what, to God be all the glory, that for the, "Married Mom, Solo Parent", there is hope, there is encouragement and there is strength.
Profile Image for Bluerose's  Heart.
532 reviews28 followers
October 15, 2011
This book deserves so much more than 5 stars!

I really thought I needed this book. After reading it, I KNOW I needed it! I can honestly say this has been a life changing read for me. I haven't automatically became a better wife. It takes lots of time and prayer when change is involved, especially for good! My heart and mind have been opened to so much, though.

I'm not a full time married, solo parent. I am part time, though. I am very blessed to have my husband, and he is a good one, but our situation is what it is. For me, it comes with anger and resentment, like probably every other mother out there. While our schedule is very different from the average "stay at home mom" family, I wouldn't say it's any better or worse. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it's harder! ;) I'm excluding any type of full time solo parenting from the previous statement. I know that's a new level of difficulty. I pretty much had to take on that role for 16 months(9 of them, I was a sick, exhausted pregnant momma) several months ago, and I'm glad that season of our marriage is past! And I hope it doesn't come around again!!

There were days I was so desperate for this book to arrive in the mail, that I loaded the boys and carseat up in the wagon and rolled them to the mailbox hoping I'd find it sitting there. I just can't express how grateful to Carla Anne I am for writing it!

I related to a great deal of Married Mom, Solo Parent! There's a few parts that I didn't relate to so much, because they just didn't apply to me or our situation. I don't 100% share the same spiritual beliefs as Carla Anne, but there is so much that I love about this book! I'd say that 3/4ths of the book is just plain old good advice for EVERY mother out there. (I'm completely guessing at that percentage).

When I first started reading Married Mom, Solo Parent, I set it down and thought that it wasn't for me. Since I agreed to review it, though, I did pick it back up. That was the best reading decision I could have made!!! Unless you're a full time solo mom, in which case you will most likely completely relate to the introduction, I encourage you to keep reading. That introduction chapter might scare you off a bit.

I don't take advice from women who act like marriage is one great big walk through a butterfly garden! They aren't being honest with me! Sometimes I read about these women and I'm tempted to be jealous(this is covered in the book, by the way) and then I remember it's not true. Marriage takes hard work. I really think that marriage is the hardest thing you will ever choose to do! Carla Anne is honest! I appreciate that! At first I was uncomfortable reading about her husband's lack of involvement, but she's not husband bashing and she doesn't approve of it in any kind of way. She's just being honest! I needed for her to be in order for me to relate with her and to be able to take her advice. This book is written with her husband's blessing and he even gets his own chapter at the back. That was really important for me to know while reading. I actually discovered the husband's chapter after reading the first one, and it really helped my outlook in the book.

Carla Anne kept the focus on the wife. She doesn't let you point fingers at your husband or blame him for things going wrong. I was forced to really look at my actions. I'll leave you with one of the many things in this book that really touched me.

"One day he will stand before God and have to give an account of how he raised his children. What will that look like? As you stand beside him that day, will you be cheering at his sorrow? 'Yeah, now you'll get what you deserve!' No. Oh, my friend, my dear, dear solo mom, that will not be your song.
As you stand before a holy God with your husband at your side, God will ask you what you did to make it possible for your husband to be the incredible dad he was created to be. What did you do to smooth the road for him, to allow your love to cover a multitude of his sins?"

That really put things in perspective for me!!!

*I was provided a review copy through the Litfuse Publicity Tours in exchange for my completely honest opinion.
Profile Image for Heather.
957 reviews91 followers
January 1, 2016
I signed up for this tour because I have a husband who travels a lot for work, and occasionally is gone for 30-day work assignments. In addition to that, he referees local/area football games every fall, and is gone every Friday (usually until quite late) from the end of August to late October or even early November. There have been many, many times that I’ve felt like a solo parent. When I read about this book, I had to get my hands on it. Finally, someone who understood completely what it’s like.

One thing that gets stressed repeatedly is that the husband is responsible, and will answer to God, for his own behavior. We, the wife left behind, will answer to God for our own response to this situation. While the husband might be wrong, we still are to honor, support, and pray for him. Our attitudes should be one of prayerful acceptance. God is in control, and we need to honor Him, however difficult it can be under these circumstances.

Overall, the book is great. It goes through the feelings we face as well as logistics on how best to keep on keeping on. There were occasional statements about what God wants of us that I wasn’t 100% sure I agreed with, and some of the suggestions just aren’t going to work for me. But, as a whole, Married Mom, Solo Parent is a great resource for those of us who end up managing the home front without our other half’s presence. For one thing, it made me glad that my husband doesn’t travel nearly as much as he could, if God had placed him in a different job and/or industry – and I’m not just talking military. I am grateful that my husband somewhat recently accepted a new position that required less travel. I am grateful for the time I do have him around – and that when he is here, he is engaged with his children. And with household business. I am very blessed, and very grateful for that blessing!

Still, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who struggles with the times I spend parenting – and running a household – on my own. It’s nice to have this book to help me work through the emotions, to help me focus my attention on God, and get my heart where He wants it to be.

I think, though, my absolute favorite part was toward the end, where she talks about adjusting to having him back. Let me tell you, that is rough – and it’s so nice to know that it’s normal for it to be rough. The kids and I get into a good routine, things run smoothly, they respond to my correction, etc. Then he comes home and all bets are off. Kids are crazy, he has to do things his own way, etc. Time for a new routine that includes Daddy. Fortunately, his tendency to be engaged with the children and at home in general makes it a bit easier, I think. He doesn’t fight me on getting back into things or on spending time with the kids. We just have to negotiate rules – in some areas I’m more lax than he is, and vice versa. We butt heads a bit, then come to some understanding. Still, it’s awkward for the first few hours/days – depending on how long he’s been gone.

Interestingly, I found myself reading this during one of my husband’s week-long business trips. Coincidence – or Divine appointment? I’ll let you decide.
Profile Image for Kendra Neal.
878 reviews17 followers
October 19, 2011
I really enjoyed this book! Carla Anne is a brand new author and she really "hit a home run" with this book. I have never seen a book based on this topic and this book really opened my eyes to what some Moms have to struggle with to keep their family "going". I was really amazed at how many different reasons a dad can be an "absentee husband". I think the most common ones many think about are a husband who travels a lot or one works long hours. I really like the practical,biblical and wise advice that Carla Anne gives to the Moms struggling with the fact that their husband is "there but not" or away for long periods of time. I know I get frustrated sometimes when I become a "sports widow", but that is only for a day a couple times a week. I am blessed that my husband is "active participant" in our family and helps out. The moms who "solo parent" on a daily basis for weeks or months at a time=STRESS. I really enjoyed reading the Letters and Stories from "real moms" dealing with being a "Solo Parent" and how Carla Anne answered the letters with sound advice and wisdom.

The book shows the moms how to rely on God more for the strength they need to make it through the "Solo Parent" times and also gives them pratical advice for dealing with "daily life situations". Some of the hints include making sure the kids are helping when possible, training the children and setting boundaries, and most importantly making sure "Dad" in on board with the rules. It is important that Dad is in agreement and helps maintain the rules, boundaries and chores when he is home. A "team divided" is not good for the kids to see and will cause issues for the family. The author suggests doing a major declutter and getting the house in order will help maintain things and make things run smoother. The book has many many suggestions and practical advice for dealing with an "absentee husband". A really great part of the book is where the author talks about honoring the husband even through our own anger and frustration.

EXCELLENT book! I highly recommend it for Moms who struggle with an "absentee husband".
Profile Image for Kaylea.
Author 1 book8 followers
February 14, 2012
What do you do when you are married, but your parenting seems to be more of a "solo" effort?

In Married Mom, Solo Parent, Carla Anne Coroy helps "pull back" the curtain to show another side of parenting - parenting solo, while your spouse travels (or focuses) on his career.

Whether it's by choice (career building) or by force (today's economic climate), some moms find themselves parenting not as a married team, but rather as a solo parent.

I'll be honest, this book made me think. A lot.

I've talked with moms who are in this situation, but I never knew what to say or do. As a children's pastor, I would see moms go thru a cycle of being "uber" busy while dad was gone, to almost being a recluse while he was home.

Corory gave me a new perspective on how to minster to moms in this situation - to know what questions to ask, and what things NOT to do.

In the book, Corory gives two very painful illustrations of how her church (I can't believe it's still her church) did NOT minister to her family - one involving a home repair ministry and another, a church dinner.

Wow. Wow. Wow. Both situations left me cringing at the injustice and the well, lack of compassion. At the dinner, she attended alone with her four kids in tow, people avoided sitting with her like the plague - and no one helped as she balanced a baby, plates of food and her other kids. Not very welcoming and definitely not the way to show the love of Christ to a mom who just needed some encouragement.

(The only thing worse about attending a church dinner like this, is attending as a single woman....but I digress...)

I'm glad I picked up this book. I'm recommending it to other children's pastors to read - and making it available to moms in the church who need an extra dose of encouragement. While the overall message of this book is designed for "solo" moms, many of Conroy's lessons can and do provide words of wisdom for anyone, married or single.

This, I believe is a much needed resource for moms everywhere.
Profile Image for Kevin Sorensen.
73 reviews5 followers
July 2, 2012
What in the world am I doing reviewing a book for women, for moms, for "solo parents"?

Well, here's what went through my head when Kregel first contacted me about reviewing this book: We have "solo moms" at Cornerstone, some of whom are the primary spiritual influencers in their children's lives, so-o-o, I figured this book would give me a leg up on understanding them and helping other women to help them.

Well, I was partly right, partly wrong.

This is a very helpful book. I'll say that right up front. The experience of the author alone would be worth it. Add to that the testimonies of many others in similar circumstances and any woman who finds herself in this same position (and there are many) will immediately find those with whom her heart rings.

These married moms, solo parents find themselves married to:

• a man in the military
• a long-distance truck driver
• a busy doctor or lawyer
• an executive, traveling businessman, or workaholic
• an alcoholic

There are hard questions that these women face every day:

• How do I find time to spend with God?
• How can I honor my husband and teach my children to honor him when there are times I wish he'd never come home?
• How can I raise my kids with consistency when my husband comes home and changes the rules?
• What do I do when my kids are suffering in some way because of my husband's absence or lack of involvement?

The final chapter is actually written by the author's husband, Trent. This fascinated me, simply because he's the one who, in part, caused this book to be written. And he admits this, even confesses, if you will. This added an extra note of encouragement. He writes his final words to these suffering women. Yet I think his words would be equally valuable for those men in their lives.

This would be an excellent resource for a women's ministry in the church or for the mom's in your church who find themselves in Carla Anne's shoes.
3 reviews
February 5, 2012
I was completely delighted to have the opportunity to read the book, “Married Mom, Solo Parent”, by Carla Anne Coroy! There are a lot of books out there on single parenting, but I have yet, until reading this book, seen one about being a “married, solo parent!”

What is so interesting is, that a married, solo parent could be a military mom or dad, a spouse of a Dr. Or lawyer, there are so many family dynamics in this area, that this could fall under. My favorite by far, would be the military mom or dad. Being the spouse of one, the military can be so stressful with the long day to day hours, and even more so with the long deployments, that of course, mom is going to feel like a ” Married Mom Solo Parent!”

My favorite part of the book was the chapter in closing, written by the author’s husband, Trent. It was very enlightening to have her husband’s point of view and perspective. It is not every day that you will find a chapter set aside written by the husband, especially in a book on this subject matter.

This book was perfect for me, as through the years, I have faced this same challenge, with my husband when he was in the Marine Corps, and then over the years with his present job, he works for the Federal Government. Committing to a marriage is not just committing to one another for lifetime, but it is also committing to the raising of your children, and sometimes sacrifices have to be made, through those commitments to each other.

FTC Guidelines disclosure, I must state that I was given a copy of the book, “Married Mom, Solo Parent: Finding God’s Strength to Face the Challenge” from the publisher in exchange for my review. My opinions are expressly my own, and are in no way influenced positively or negatively, due to receiving this book in exchange for the review.
Profile Image for Jacque Stengel.
277 reviews54 followers
February 1, 2012
I had a personal reason for reading this book, my husband is a firefighter/medic, which means if he isn't gone because of work (24 hours on), he's gone for training or his time with the volunteer department or whatever. I try not to whine, but sometimes (with five kids) it gets crazy. I was hoping to get encouragement from this book and I did. If you are struggling to make sense of being alone in a family, I highly suggest you pick up this book. There are small tips (like how to pick a friend) big tips (how to honor your husband). It is filled with Biblical references so you know that you are following God's will in anything that you do. I liked that she included her husband's perspective on the years she felt like a single mom, and I believe that many men are probably oblivious like he was. I read this rather quickly to form a review for the publisher, but I am now going to take the time and get in depth and use the personal reflection journal that Carla provides on her website. She has many other resources available as well, including study discussion guides if you want to use this as a book discussion guide.
It is a small book, but it is jam packed with inspirition and how to open a line of communcation, between yourself and God, your spouse, family and friends.
Profile Image for Sheila Gregoire.
Author 19 books356 followers
April 9, 2012
Carla Anne Coroy knows what it's like to feel like a single mom--even when you're married.

If you're married to a truck driver, or a pilot, or a soldier, or a marine, or a contractor, or a consultant, you can probably relate. You signed up "til death do us part", but often it feels like "til paycheque do us part", because he's never home. He's away, earning money for the family. And it's hard.

What I really liked about the book was how honest Carla was about her own problems and struggles. This isn't a "do as I do so you will be perfect like me" Christian book. This was a "I've really struggled, and I've failed, and I've had to run into God's arms more times than I can count" kind of book. And Carla shares the lessons she's learned as she has had to run into His outstretched arms.

I highly recommend it for those women trying to keep a marriage alive and thriving under difficult circumstances, and trying to protect the kids through all the chaos.
21 reviews
March 31, 2016
Very applicable not only to the married mom solo parent, but also to married people and parents in general. The married mom solo parent is an all to real and more commom dilema than seems to be recognized within the church and is a segment needing special support. MOPS is good at this.
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