Shortly after graduating college, pursuing my career was no longer my first priority. I was preparing for the full-time job of becoming a mom for the months ahead of me. What an enormous responsibility for a single, young aspiring journalist!
It was an even bigger discouragement hearing advice from loved ones who put it at the top of their to-do list to tell me: “this was the worst mistake ever.” Their belief was that I could basically kiss my career good-bye. Five years later, at 31, I can confirm that finding balance hasn’t been easy. Now, I understand what all the hoopla was for after realizing that it takes a considerable amount of strength and maturity to balance single-parenting and a career, an internal mission that I hadn’t yet conquered. Were my family and friends right? Partially. Do I regret becoming a mom? Absolutely not! Plenty of moms out there share my sentiments while pursuing their God-given dreams. Hopefully in the process, we all stay focused and encouraged to reclaim our victory.
For single moms in similar situations, the good news is: as long as there’s breath in your body, there’s still hope for discovering a successful career path or accomplishing your dreams as a challenged single-mom. Here is the bad news: the pursuit has been and will continue to be a long and bumpy ride. I have good days as well as awful days. Most of my days are in the gray area; it’s called Life.
I conduct vocational workshops for a living to help people with finding jobs. Today, I told my workshop group that in the days approaching – and it’s common – you will feel like giving up. My goal is to encourage anyone who is presently feeling this way. On those days, prayer and having “real friends” will be your safe-haven. Although some of the messages expressed in today’s music and media rejects the idea that loyalty still exists, it does. Don’t buy into the hype. Discover or re-discover good friends: mentor like figures, loyal friends, or a trustworthy authority figure. A real friend sticks closer than a sister. If your friends can’t help support or motivate you in desperate times, then you need new friends.
Lastly, if you thought that you’d be making it solely on your own strength, think again. God puts people in our lives to teach us, to mold us, and to help us get to the next level in life. It helps to realize that struggles are a part of the journey. Truthfully, the most successful and powerful people experienced detours and failures before they became successful. One of my favorite famous single mom role-models or my WCE (Women Crush Everyday as social media would describe a woman you admire) is J.K Rowling. She is the brains behind the Harry Potter fantasy series, which made one of the top book and film franchises in history. Knowing her story is an absolute must for motivated mom-preneurs and career-moms.
Before the Scotland native reached fame, becoming an “international literary sensation” in 1999, she was a struggling, single mom on government assistance who experienced consistent rejection, a lawsuit and divorce. She still arose victoriously. Somehow, after reading several come-up stories of famous figures, it seems that they all just get it one day. I don’t mean know it, but they all seem to just get it. They put themselves out there and know that rejection is necessary. Think of rejection as a wise teacher.
“Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential.”
What’s better than taking advice from someone successful who is in the position that you want to be in? These aren’t my words; this quote was straight from the horse’s mouth. People who overcome victory are not afraid to try. Most importantly, they never give up!
“I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized and I still had a daughter that I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”