11 Things You Must Have as a Single Mother and Abuse Survivor

Being a single mom is truly a superpower. One that you weren’t born with (and probably wish you didn’t have). I had no idea what I was doing as a young mom, I didn’t have the time to get used to being a mom (let alone a single mom). Then things just kept getting harder. I will tell you now, IT IS possible. You are going to need a few tools to help you in your journey of single parenthood, though.

We will talk about these 11 things you must have. And these things only become more true if you are co-parenting with an abusive ex-partner. 

  • Daily Quiet Time with God

  • A Healing Strategy

  • An Attorney 

  • Quick Answers- Why do you say that? Can you elaborate?

  • Boundaries 

  • A Friend

  • Belief in Yourself

  • A Dream

  • A Hobby

  • A Notebook to document

  • Songs to Pump you Up

11 must haves

Daily Quiet Time with God

The FIRST and most IMPORTANT thing you cannot afford to miss is... time with God. You must have discernment and guidance because the journey will be hard. 

You will gain wisdom from your journey but it won’t be enough. I wish I could prepare you for how hard it may be. Sure there will be times where things slow down and savor them when they do, but please, do not do this ALONE.

Pray and seek God through your trouble. He cares for you.

Matthew 6:26 Quote

Reading your Bible will remind you of who God is. 

  1. He will speak to you through His word
  2. He will Sooth and Comfort you
  3. He will guide you
  4. You will gain understanding
  5. You will feel prompted with His tender guiding hand
  6. You will see how He comes through for His children
  7. You will be strengthened

Read this post: Prayer Journalingit can be a great way to keep you focused. 

When circumstances are hard, you need God to guide you! 

A Healing Strategy

Healing does not just happen. Time does not heal all wounds, you just get familiar with the pain.

A healing strategy is a plan you will use to make sure you have the help and support you need for healing and breaking away from an abusive relationship. Not everyone’s healing journey will look the same, but everyone needs a plan to heal from abuse. 

The sad truth is that women take an average of seven times to leave their abusers. That means some leave in less than seven attempts, but for some, it takes many more. Some of this may be because they do not have a plan. Safety plans are important, but a healing strategy is just as important.

How to Leave an Abusive Relationship

  1. Do not do things you used to do with your abuser. Going to a park where you met, or listening to your song will only bring more of an awareness of the void his absence has left in your life now. Even though leaving may be the best thing for you and your children, there is still a sadness that lingers. 
  2. Do not hang around people you used to be around with your abuser. I have two reasons for this: A. They may not be on your side and giving info about you to your ex-husband. B. They may also remind you of the good times. Reminiscing can be dangerous when you are trying to leave an abusive relationship.

Learn more about what not to do when leaving an abusive relationship.

  1. Build a support system. Community is so important when you are healing, and navigating life as a single mother and abuse survivor.
  2. Get into some therapy. You need help processing your trauma and help to untangle your brain and heal some of those wounds.

Learn how to find a counselor and prepare for an intake.

11 must haves pin

An Attorney 

A good attorney will help you navigate your divorce and custody battle. Whether you will be going through mediation or litigation, an attorney can help you to navigate the ins and outs of the family court system. They will file court documents on your behalf, represent you in court (or join you in mediation), and help you to understand what the next step is.

Through the process, the court will sign a parenting plan that both parties must comply with. This is an enforceable ruling that determines who gets the children on weekdays, weekends, holidays, and vacations. It also grants the parents a percentage of decision-making sole, shared, or split. 

50/50 decision making is most common and can be the most difficult, especially when there has been a history of abuse.

Having an attorney can help you create a parenting plan that is healthy for your children and limits the opportunity your ex-husband will have to victimize you further.

Get your Guide to Finding the Right Attorney

Quick Answers- Why do you say that? Can you elaborate?

You must have these quick answers in your back pocket.

These two questions are gold! 

  1. Why do you say that?
  2. Can you explain that better?

They will make your ex-husband own his own words, and makes it difficult for him to manipulate you. 

Asking these questions can buy you a minute to think of what to say. This is valuable time as you try to learn a new way of communicating with him. 

Now that you are no longer giving into him these questions can be helpful in giving you your own power back. The power he should have never taken in the first place. 


Boundaries are kind of a buzzword. They seem to be everywhere, but do you know what they are?

A boundary shows where something begins and another ends. In marriages where there is abuse, boundaries are non-existent. The abuser typically has complete control over what his wife does, thinks, and feels. 

Boundaries teach people how to treat you, allow you to have control over what happens to you and what’s yours, and keep you safe. 

Can you set boundaries in an abusive marriage? The answer is Yes, but not how you would think. 

Read more about setting boundaries in an abusive marriage here

A friend

If you have a close friend, that is safe and will not report to your abuser on what you are up to, then by all means turn to them for support. 

Support is something we all need. Leaving an abusive marriage can be hard because the isolation you experience sifts out any person who may help you be strong. You see, an abusive husband strategically removes anyone who may help his victim to see what is really going on. His goal is to isolate you, so he can dominate. It is harder to control multiple people than it is to control one.

Having someone to talk to about the good and bad in life, will be very healing.

proverbs 27-9

Believe in Yourself

It’s been no easy task living the life you have lived. You have overcome though, under very difficult circumstances. 

Life is tough, but doesn’t the fact that you are still breathing say the same about you?

Admit to yourself that you have made it through every single thing that has come your way. And start to believe in yourself again.

I am so sorry that it’s been so hard for you! I believe in you, now start believing in yourself!

A Dream

Allow yourself to dream about the future. What would you like your new life to look like?

Would you like to have a house with a picket fence?

Does the sound of owning your own business make your heart leap?

Do you want to go back to school?

If you are not sure how to answer this then try to ask God to give you a glimpse of something to look forward to. He knows you! Cling to Him and seek Him in all you do!

A Hobby

When you start to resemble someone who is completely different than the person you used to be, a new you starts to take form. 

Learn to do something you have always wanted to do. Are you drawn to art, music, writing? Do you love to read but haven’t in a while? Could you start biking or remodeling a part of your home?

You get to be anyone you want to be. And you are never limited to the things you have always done. This can be a great outlet from the day to day life. You are never too old to learn something new.

A Notebook to document

DOCUMENT! DOCUMENT! DOCUMENT! As you co-parent with a toxic ex-husband, it is so important to document. Though most courts will not allow a notebook full of events and dates to be submitted as evidence, it is good to have. Over time you will forget the specifics of an event, or what was happening around that time. Keeping track of dates can be tricky too. 

Here are some ways to help your child through trauma. 

If nothing else, documenting can also be very healing. As you are separated from your abuser and grow as a person, you will start to see patterns in his behavior. You will come to recognize more of the things he is doing and relate them to things that happened in your marriage. 

Songs to Pump you Up

You need a few songs to remind you who you are and where you are going. Go ahead and go blare those tunes! Pull them out when you are feeling down or confused by what is going on around you. Use them to worship God and align your heart with HIS! 

One Last thing! Sing like no one is watching!

music notes

Here are a few of the songs that got me through:

1. Fight Song- Rachel Platten

2. Stand by You- Rachel Platten (If I could serenade you with this, I would! You’re not alone!)

3. Hallelujah Even Here- Lydia Laird 

4. He will- Ellie Holcomb

5. Rescue- Lauren Daigle

6. Worn- Tenth Avenue North

7. Wisdom in the Secret Heart- Shane and Shane

8. Lord of Hosts- Shane and Shane

I believe that as you practice these things you will be able to build a life you love and feel safe in. You are not bound to the way things are now. If you do not like something you can change it. 

Continue to give yourself grace through this journey. It is ok to have bad days, the days you felt were getting easier, but turn out to reappear now and then. This is not a reflection of your growth or how far you have come!

8 Ways to Stop Beating Yourself Up


6 thoughts on “11 Things You Must Have as a Single Mother and Abuse Survivor”

  1. I love that you clarify that healing doesn’t just come with time… I’ve spent days wondering why it still hurts when so much time has passed. Such a good reminder that the arms of our Creator is where healing really happens 💜

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top