I understand the pain of doing it alonewith no support system. I know it hurts when you think about the sacrifices, and you feel life is not fair.
Believe me, I also have those moments. When I say I understand, I truly mean it.
However, you must understand that while trauma isn’t your fault, healing is your responsibility.
You can’t heal from pain If you continuously visit old wounds or give life to topics that put you in a “dramatic” position where you entertain the public with your private matters. You will end up looking like the problem you are trying to solve.
One thing I have done to protect my energy and peace since I became a single parent is to stay away from things, people, and places that trigger any old wound I’m trying to heal from
The Power of Healing
Healing is an art.
It takes time, it takes practice, discipline, and self-love.
I also learned that healing is in phases, and the more inner work you do, the more things came to the surface.
Instead of explaining myself to folks who have not walked a mile in my shoes, I focused on my healing journey, prayer, and affirmations.
Healing affirmations for tra.u.ma is one of the tips I shared in my soon-to-be-released self-help book. If you would like to have a copy, kindly click here to join the waitlist. I also shared some techniques I used over the years to stay grounded and focused, even when I was gaslighted.
It’s not easy really, but once you learn to forgive yourself, you have the power to control your emotions and your impulse.
I never imagined I’d be a single mom one day. I grew up believing one day I would marry, stay married and have kids. Nothing prepared me for this lone parenthood journey. Absolutely Nothng!
Now….that’s not a complain. I have been on this journey for 7 years and I’m getting better at my solo parenting life, taking each day as it comes and intentionally staying happy for myself and my amazing children. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but It’s a job you do with relish and pleasure, and with the understanding that “You are doing your best.”
While I won’t like to go into the context of my lived experience, and why I became a single mom, I don’t wish whatever led me to this journey on my worst enemy. We live in a world where people only ask the “why” questions when they meet a single mother instead of understanding the “how”, they are ready to judge and throw you under the bus even without having the full picture.
If you had to choose between being a single mom or being married to a man who is destroying your soul, you would choose being a single mom every time. I’ve been through some experiences in my life but nothing quite prepared me for my separation. It hit me hard, it hit me deeply.
With two children who are just 1 year and 7 months apart, I had to teach my mind to be stronger than my emotions. I had to learn how to filter my connections and disengage from folks who were bent on misunderstanding my plight.
The Emotional Struggle Of Being A Single Mom
I quickly got used to being a single mom. It wasn’t too difficult. I had been living in an environment where I constantly had to fight to protect myself and my children. The hardest part I think was the emotional torment I was going through which everyone suffers during a messy separation.
When you are a single mom, you don’t always get the luxuries others get.
You can’t ask your partner to watch the kids while you go to the gym or walk around the block.
I am not too much of a social butterfly but I know the importance of socializing, and having support. When I started coming out of my shell to share my story and build a support system, things changed.
Starting From Rock Bottom As A Single Mom
Moving out of my home country was one of the most difficult, yet necessary decisions I had to make. I had less family support and the responsibility of solo parenting became even greater. I remember how I couldn’t sleep that first night as a lone parent.
Adapting to single parenting was a little tricky and I sometimes felt like some people don’t understand how difficult it is. Single parents hardly ever get a break, unless they have a strong support network or family willing to step in but all too often that is not the case.
Financially raising my children on my own is difficult. As a single mother the income was much less than that of a couple with kids and I often felt the pinch on the purse strings. The money goes as fast as it comes, that’s even If it comes at all.
My plan to dive right back into work was stalled because I wanted to be a present parent. I was so attached to my girls that I almost made a decision to be a stay-at-home mom, but how do we survive If I don’t get up and play my part. The sacrifices I had to make even while working has stalled my career growth.
Sadly, the world would view you as weak or incapable, when In actual fact you are slowing down so your children can fly in the future.
Don’t Judge Single Mothers
The thing is I do think there is a stigma even in today’s society when you are a single parent. Rather than sit and judge it would be better for people to help and support. It’s better to ask questions than assume a woman just woke up and decided to be a single parent.
You never really know how or why they ended up a single parent, so please the next time you see a single parent, let your sense of empathy over-ride your judgement and assumption. There are women who have gone through situations they are still healing from. Don’t judge or nail them to the cross.
Some parents split up, others lose partners to cancer and horrible diseases, others were just unfortunate to meet the wrong partner, and while they can walk away from that person, they won’t do that to children they brought into the world.
I guess the point I am trying to make is we should worry less about why someone is a single parent and think more about what we can do to help and support because single parenting is not easy.
One thing I really didn’t expect was the intense isolation that comes with being a single mom. When you’re married, you’re often so used to your partner’s constant presence that you can crave having the house to yourself—an evening alone seems like bliss from a distance.
The Mental Stress
This is the part of the journey no one warned me about, but it’s the reality of every single parent. There is one parent to go around now and my kids definitely feel it. You feel it too. You are constantly on a think and plan mode, what they wear to school, what they eat, making the best decisions for them, putting them first. It’s alot for one person, and it affects your emotional wellbeing sometimes….
Anyway, I’d rather learn how to de-stress and handle what I can than go back to what broke me.
Vetting Of Potential Partners
With all this independence and empowerment, I’ve become very unwilling to give up or even share my new life with anyone. I’m being cautious. I’m wary of needing someone too much, of leaning on them instead of myself.
Perhaps this is the effect of living with an abusive partner who stressed me mentally and emotionally, and now I don’t want to give up the healed version of me to someone who probably has his emotional baggage too.
I set my dating boundaries from the get-go, It probably makes me come off as a little on the edge. You know what they say about life being a teacher? You learn the hard way, but don’t become hard, be smart. Unfortunately, the reverse is the case for abusive partners, they move on easily.
When a car hits a person, the accident victim might spend the rest of their life nursing the Injury. The owner of the car probably won’t feel the impact of the accident. He would still live his life and drive round, while the victim nurse the pain. That’s what I tell folks who judge and are quick to say, things like, “Oh, but the person you claim is abusive has moved on”…
In conclusion, before you judge another single mom, remember you didn’t live through their pain, If you don’t have kind words to say to a lone parent, please, don’t say anything at all.
Life is hard for many already, don’t make it harder. We are trying to make lemonades from the lemons life threw at us.
Are you a single mom? Would you like to join a group of for single mothers for financial support and empowerment ? Join Single Moms Ville
I dedicate this article to all the single moms out there, and to Late Dr. Olabisi Igbalajobi , who was a member of our community, and one of the first women I I spotlighted as a Columnist in Guardian Newspaper. May her gentle soul rest in peace.
You may have recently come across the story of Shaina Bell, the 24-year old mother of three who was arrested in Liberty Township, Ohio, and charged with two counts of misdemeanor child endangerment after she left two of her children alone in a motel room while she worked her job at Little Caesars.
This was one of those stories where it behooves compassionate people to steer clear of social media comment sections regarding Bell’s situation unless they want to bear witness to the dumpster fire of misogynoir and poverty-shaming that happened on a lot of threads. Fortunately, this story has a happier ending than many like it as people who are naturally empathetic to the struggles of a fellow human being were able and willing to say “I’m here for you” with their wallets.
NBC 10 reports that a GoFundMe page set up by Bell to help her find permanent housing and other financial support—with a goal of raising only $5,000—has raised more than $150,000 in funds.
Her top donations include Music label co-founder, Pierre “Pee” Thomas donating $10,000 and a Cleveland Cavalier, Javale Mcgee, donating $5,000 dollars.
Thomas wrote on Instagram, “My mom used to have to do the same thing when we were young, not cause of abandonment issues, it’s because people can’t afford child care working at a pizza shop. She wasn’t hanging out at a club. She was at work.”
Bell’s story also hit the political sphere. An Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego tweeted, “Women are dammed if they do or damned if they don’t. Stay at home with your kids and receive government assistance and you are a leach, go to work for poverty wages and can’t get consistent sitters and go to jail.”
In an interview with WKBN 27, Bell—whose children are age nine, seven and three—said simply that she “had to go to work.”
“My daughter decided that she wanted to stay here,” she said. “My daughter told me that this is where she wants to be, and I felt that she was old enough to be able to stay here with her sister for a few hours because my job is right down the street.”
At the time of her arrest, Bell told police officers that she usually has someone check on her children whenever she needs to leave them while she works.
Listen: People are going to think what they will about a young mother leaving her children home alone, but no one does this for shits and giggles. Any questions about whether or not this woman is a capable mother who loves her children are questions that miss the mark by miles in addressing what’s really going on here: Poverty makes you choose between being with your children at all times and working to keep them fed cared for.
“My kids bring me joy. They make me laugh. They’re my world,” Bell told WKBN. “I would never do anything to harm my kids. My kids are everything to me. That’s all I do is go to work and take care of my kids. That’s all I do.”
Of course, the holier than thou will beat their chests and exclaim that “no one is to blame for her situation but her”—which in and of itself is assuming a lot as none of us knows this woman’s life—but she doesn’t seek to blame anyone so the point is moot.
“I never set blame on anybody for anything because, at the end of the day, nobody left my kids in the hotel but me,” she said. “I’ve cried a couple of times since this situation started. I’m just trying to keep a level head and trying to stay strong because that’s all I can do.”
Bell appears to be taking the attention her story has gotten her in stride and allowing the outpouring of support to outshine the comments of projecting-ass haters who live to condemn strangers.
“A lot of people are saying hurtful things, but a lot of people are also being there for me and showing great support,” she said. “I have over $100,000 in a GoFundMe account right now. I didn’t ask for that, but people gave it to me, and I’m just over appreciative to what’s going on.”
Financial literacy is essential to anyone, and for women responsible for providing for their children and families, the skill of making, managing and growing wealth is fundamental. One of the common threads of most single female breadwinners (single mothers) is that they live in survival mode. When society continues to portray women responsible for their families as struggling, broke and always needy, it is not farfetched for women to begin to believe these narratives and live into it, but it does not have to be so.
Therefore, Wevvo Nigeria has partnered with the founder of Smart Money Africa and Author of “The smart money woman” and “The smart money tribe”; Arese Ugwu to educate single moms on financial literacy and savings culture.
According to the founder of Wevvo Nigeria Weyinmi Eribo; “We believe that it is possible to live parallel lives of caring for the family while attaining financial freedom, hence our reason for partnering with Arese Ugwu to share her knowledge in this regard. I founded Wevvo because I know that women struggle in many ways, and for single female breadwinners it is worse, a full circle of negligence and lack of appreciation for the struggles we go through. I have seen several times how narratives have put women in boxes, this single story continues to create gaps in women’s’ careers and businesses. At Wevvo, we are changing this narrative.
Wevvo Nigeria is a resource and community-based platform that supports single female breadwinners with access to finance, business capacity boosting trainings and workshops, mentoring and a community to thrive, a safe space for healing and growth, learn more about our work and join the community.
Join us on the 18th of July in a zoom event where we will be learning money tips, asking questions, and sharing experiences unique to single female breadwinners.