Single Mom Saga: Lessons I've Learned Along The Way

Updated: Sep 26, 2018

Raising children alone, lack of support, judgement, grinding harder, dating, sustainability, super woman fails, super woman succeeds, against all odds children, the back bone, head of the household, imperfect perfection, the maid, the cook, the teacher, the career woman, the how the hell am I doing all this, mommy. You're going to need to sit down and relax to read this post cause its a long one.



Being a single mother has now become a popularized badge of honor, for mothers who have successfully navigated through the uncertain, and unstable life of single parenting. Some people and cultures still however look down on women who are single handedly parenting with imperfections. Talks with my sisters {friends} that are single parents and the struggles that we have endured made me want to write about this topic, because on the outside looking in its easy to make assumptions and judge what you don't know. Standing on your own and using the tools and resources around you to excel is what Womb-Man PowRah is all about. The fact is that most of us didn't have a choice in parenting alone. I'm going to be a little vulnerable and be an open book as I briefly tell my story and the lessons I have learned so far from this experience.

BACKSTORY:

Before becoming a mother myself, I witnessed my own mother do a lot of things on her own. Although my father was extremely present in my life my mother was the one that made all the magic happen in our family. I grew up with my father being and artist so he always worked odd-end jobs and really only made enough to care for him the majority of the time. They stayed together for a while but lived in separate homes directly across the street from one another. The creative inspiration and emotional abundance my father supplied me was the balance to the sternness and discipline my mother taught me. Their situation worked for them and they were able to both be there for me as I evolved. I always saw myself { if I was to ever have children} to be married, and not a single mother. I also didn't I see myself in a situation like my parents had although, at this point my level of understanding for having your own personal space is so much greater.

"It's odd, the things that you come to realize after an experience that you wished would have been your thoughts before hand."

FASTFORWARD:

My story maybe like many, in that I had a baby before I reached a great level of maturity. I was twenty-one....I thought I was in love, but I was ready for a life that he wasn't ready for. He was abusive in the worst ways cheating, verbal abuse, and physical abuse. Therefore, I could no longer hold on to the relationship for the sake of my unborn child. When I made the decision to break up with him, he made the decision to be an absent father. *{ some people may say well you chose the wrong person, well let me add this: Peoples issues often don't show until years later, they spend lots of time showing your their representative, when the real them shows you have often spent years with them or people change according to the circumstance.} I began to do the best I could alone and just focus on being my son's mother. My parents fell in love with my son and I moved into our old two bedroom home across the street from my father, and helped my mother maintain the house and paid a very discounted rent. From that situation alone I learned that you never stop being a mother, because if it wasn't for my mothers help with my child and giving me a place to stay, I would have been struggling more than what I did.

Being a first time mother and a single mother is a huge task no one can prepare you for, I know I made a lot of mistakes. I ended up on government assistance after losing my job trying to help friend, and was still living check to check trying to pay a car note. Dating was also a nightmare, because I was young and had a child many men didn't take me seriously, and honestly my failed relationship left me with such low self esteem I was attracting men that only wanted to sexually objectify me. In the midst of my situation I was working on my music, recording mix-tapes, doing features with Dallas artist, and taking care of my son. I took him everywhere with me and I was determined to give him 100% of my love and time. Just thinking back on that time period it had its difficult moments but, I was preparing myself for a journey through motherhood, building my strengths, and building my mindset.

By 2009 I had remarried to a man I dated for 2 1/2 years prior. He was such a wonderful husband and father, he was a true gentleman. He adopted my oldest son as his own as soon as we started dating. It was so cute, they would dress alike and wear the same haircuts. Unfortunately he he went missing in early November 2009 and a week later they found his body in a creek. This was a devastating loss for my children and I, and you would think that the support would increase during this time but I only had one friend that was by my side through out the ordeal. My parents didn't even know how to truly be here for me during this period other than my mom stepping in to watch the boys once I started working. This placed me back into the realm of single motherhood, and my feelings were that I'd rather him be alive and not present than deceased and unable to physically be in our children's lives. This situation made me lonely, confused, and severely depressed. By this period in my life I was extremely stressed out, here I was with a 2month old son, a five year old in school and very little support. My dad living across the street was some what helpful but honestly he just stayed at his house most of the time, so I didn't really have too many breaks. My health began to suffer as a result of all the stress and depression, and I started my journey toward healing by infusing meditation into my lifestyle. Meditation and exercise was one of the best things I could have done for myself at the time and a wonderful healing tool. By learning to quite my mind and incorporating deep breathing exercises into my routine my levels off stress lowered. This also became something that I could share with my boys.


The Lessons :

It took me five years to get into another serious relationship, I went on a couple of dates during that period and tried to date someone seriously but there were too many games being played. As single mothers a big part of trying to have serious relationships with anyone is asking yourself how having this relationship with another person will effect your children. Luckily during my period of exploration my children were young, but with my oldest son I always wonder how he thinks about seeing all of these mistakes happen before him. I'm always mindful of that, and I try to show them that mistakes are evident. The best way to go through them is gracefully with your head held high, because we are all here to experience and learn from those experiences. In dating I shaped what I was looking for so that experience was very necessary and I am so glad that I didn't end up with any of the guy's that I dated during that time span. The most important thing single mothers should understand is it's okay to be highly selective about who you meet and have enter your life and the lives of your children. Make sure that whom ever you choose understands what type of journey that they are embarking on, and that it is a gift and a conscious commitment to grow with you all. There are many personal adjustments that you and the other person will have to make and if that person doesn't have children they need room to adjust to the added responsibility of a family. In my opinion, we should take more time to individually work out the kinks before living together. Plus taking your time and developing a tribe of great people for your children to be around is awesome and helpful to their growth and development. If you can gather a good support system they will help you as well when things become overwhelming and you need some self-care time. It's odd, the things that you come to realize after an experience that you wished would have been your thoughts before hand, but thats life somethings you learn as you go. Making solid decisions based on the fact that children should have the most healthy experiences that you can provide for them is something that I have learned to put first. If there are consistent imbalances, arguments, and behaviors that can be harmful to their level of understanding then you need to do something different. At this time I feel more empowered and not ashamed of being alone through this process of motherhood, because my children and I are deeply committed to this journey with one another. As they grow so do I and its a reciprocal experience of teaching each other on so many different levels. We have an exciting future ahead of us and I hope to cultivate new experiences for them that ensures their greatest success. We sacrifice so much more as single parents because you don't have the other parent there to bounce ideas off of, take half of the load, or assist you in refining your way of seeing a situation. You have to make the mistake and then analyze it later and make adjustments where YOU see fit, their is just so much responsibility, accountability, and humility in this role. If you have never done it then you won't fully understand my stance or the stance of many parents that are doing it on their own. Hopefully I was able to give you some insight and a few tips that all single parents can use. If you enjoyed reading the blog drop a comment below.


#motherhood #singleparenting #parenting #advice #lifestyle #choices #decisions #family #children #friendship #relationships #choosingamate #experience #behavior #lessons #growth