Dear Single Mom,
I’m sharing my story in the hopes that it reaches the mom that needs to hear it. I’ve come so far from where I once was but let me tell you, my journey has not been easy. Raising my son on my own was not how I envisioned being a mother. I so badly wanted my family to work out for him because I wanted him to know a home of two loving parents. Being a young mother to my son, I was afraid to do it all on my own; I was still growing up myself, but you know what I did know? I wanted my son to live in a happy home more than anything and not in one of parents constantly fighting.
At this point, I knew I couldn’t be selfish, I solely needed to think about him and his future. While the decision I ultimately made was one of the hardest, I had no idea just how strong it would make me as person. Before anything, his father and I made an agreement that we would co-parent and do everything in our power to ensure our son lived a happy life. Although, his father and I couldn’t work for our family, it did not mean my son had to pay for it. So many parents forget this notion in the process of fighting with each other. In no way has my son’s father been easy to deal with, but I can tell you he’s always been there for our son, as am I.
Remember, when you keep a child away from the other parent out of spite, the only person you will affect is your own child. Do you honestly think that getting the children involved is worth it? Never share how you feel about the other parent to your children either. It’s our responsibility to teach them to respect their parents and love them. Our children are a reflection of who we are and we want to teach them to be respectful of others, not hateful. We gain nothing by keeping kids away from their parent.
Instead, do what you can to make things as normal for your kids as possible. A little something called being “mature” for your kid(s) goes a long way. You may not see it at first, but I promise it makes things so much easier for everyone.
Moving on to how I picked myself up and got it together because I had a little boy depending on me… At the age of 24, I saved some money up and my son and I moved into our first one bedroom apartment. I didn’t have much, but little by little it grew to feel like home. As long as I had my son, our health, and roof over our head, we were doing well. I did not let the struggle of doing it on my own keep me down. Instead, I decided I would hustle for a better life; I made a plan and busted my butt to get what we needed.
When days got hard and all I wanted to do was give up, my son motivated me to work harder, do more! So, set goals up for yourself; know that nothing in life is permanent and you have control of your future with your kids.
Be smart about your finances! Your bills should always come first over everything. If you’re broke after paying them all then you’re broke Momma, but you’ll have peace of mind in knowing all is paid. Don’t just sit in a situation and hope its changes, you have to change it yourself. You have to have the “ganas” to get where you want to be. No one is going to hold your hand through it. You’re a parent now and you have someone depending on you.
Don’t get me wrong, being a single parent is challenging. You’ll have moments, when they’re sick all night, throwing up all over the place and crying. You’ll have to get up the next day for work exhausted. All you wanted to do the night before was tag the other parent in, the one that’s supposed to be doing this with you. You’ll think to yourself, how will I get through this?! All these moments you’ll go through alone will pass because no bad day last forever. Have patience with yourself; know you’re doing a great job and your kids will understand all you’ve done for them one day. Don’t give up on yourself or them.
Fast-forward to today- I’m in a house now, I have my own car (not fancy), my son is amazing, I have successful career and I’m working on growing Social Butterfly. I’m still learning how to do this on my own and work through the hard days. Not every day is easy; I have my days where I’m tired and want to give up. I have my days that I break down and cry. I am in no way perfect and know just how hard some days can be. Then, I remind myself to be grateful for what we do have, and most importantly my son is healthy and happy.
He is still the reason I keep on moving forward, work hard and pray even harder. I always think to myself, if I only knew then what I know now. We have to learn from our mistakes and grow from them. My point is, never think you can’t do it! You are stronger than you were yesterday; stronger than you think you are. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or take a brake, even if its just for a few moments hiding in the rest room. You’re not alone in this journey. Believe in yourself. In the end, when our children are all grown up, it’ll be worth it.
You’ve got this, Mommacita!