Beyond Just 'Mama': Finding Strength and Hope as a Single Mother Navigating Life and Parenthood

Beyond Just 'Mama': Finding Strength and Hope as a Single Mother Navigating Life and Parenthood

Beyond Just 'Mama': Finding Strength and Hope as a Single Mother Navigating Life and Parenthood


In college, I didn’t think I would have children. Looking back, the doctors diagnosed me with the wrong thing. They placed a name on something that simply should have been a weight loss program. I had irregular cycles and to prevent myself from suffering from anemia in my 20s, I was on birth control. Looking back, I really wish they would have pushed me to see a health coach.

Two years into my career at my first job at Health Net and living on my own, I started to feel really odd. I had mood swings and was sleeping a lot. I was the girl who could stay out until 2/3 AM in my mid-20s and still get myself together and to work on time by 8 AM. But during this time, something wasn’t right.

I remember it was MLK day and I went to Target to get some cleaning supplies. Some lady said something to me in line, and I just went off on her. I felt so bad once I got to the car because I don’t believe that lady said anything really wrong. Then a lightbulb went off, and I went back into Target (making sure not to go to the same cashier who just looked at me crazy) and purchased a pregnancy test.

I got back to my apartment, read the directions, and the test said “pregnant”. I was alone and dating my first husband at the time, so he wasn’t there. It was an OMG moment. I immediately called my Mom and her first words were, “Stop lying.” My comeback was, “Wrong child, Mom.” I wasn’t trying to be 25 and pregnant; I was trying to get promoted at work. But a flood of emotions and thoughts came to my mind: “I’m too young,” “Well most of your friends had kids 5 years ago so you’re not that young Geneva,” “I can’t afford this,” “Well I mean maybe I can make it work.” It was the craziest conversation one could have in their head. I’ll skip the details and go directly to the meaning of this blog.

Early Motherhood Challenges

After having my first child, Faith, when she was 1 year old, I found myself about to be a single mother. I was somehow afraid of it. Looking back, the headache from the drama of the divorce and breakup was worse than actually raising her at the time. My divorce from my first husband was not the easiest on me emotionally, but I got through it. I resented him a lot, for many things. I remember telling him over and over again during our relationship, “It’s okay to be who you are, just not at the expense of someone else.” Of course, that was too real of a statement for him at the time. But that is his walk, not mine.

As soon as I filed for divorce, I didn’t direct my pain at him or my child. I did something different. I got myself a gym membership, joined a women’s group, purchased my first gun, moved into a brand new and bigger place, and started to heal. I wrote a lot of poetry during that time. Now during that year of transition, I’m not saying I didn’t date. There were situationships, but I wasn’t fully healed. Once I got back to “myself”, meaning I dropped some serious weight emotionally and physically, I started to live my DAMN life.

My daughter’s dad had his regular visits and trust me, I couldn’t wait for him to show up. I got off work at 5 PM on Friday, picked her up from daycare, and by the time he got to the house at 7 PM, I opened my door dressed remarkably, kissed my daughter goodbye, and said, “See you Sunday.” I was headed out with my girls, on a date, or just out. My “live my life game” was so tight he finally got the courage to say to me one day, “Every time I pick up Faith, you be dressed up.” My response, “Mind your business.”

Embracing Change

It’s been 16 years since then. I have come across, met, heard about, and even read about so many women who are upset about the breakup that they withhold their children from seeing their dad. Why? Girl, who wants that misery and pain? Why does he get to live his life doing what he wants all free while you’re in mom mode 100% of the time? Don’t you deserve some “me time”? I was afforded the beauty of having my mom live with me for a short time. I find myself sometimes standing in my kitchen remembering her words, “You are more than Geneva the Mom, Geneva the ex-wife, you’re a woman baby…go live your life.” My mom was always the biggest motivational speaker to me when I really started getting into womanhood.

She’d remind me to look myself in the mirror and tell myself I’m beautiful. Even when I cried about my divorce her words were nothing but the truth. I can go back to that very conversation and her words were, “It may hurt every day right now baby, but next year it may only hurt once a week, then once a month, and then every now and again. The pain will always be there but you will get past it.” Me, as a young know-it-all at 26/27, didn’t see that. However, I knew I wasn’t going to allow single motherhood and the issues I had with my first husband stop me from moving forward.

If I could give you the answer as to “how” or “why”, I may not have the full truthful answer, but I can say I really did feel like “Why should I be tied down and never heal and not date when he is living his life just fine doing what he wants to do?” Now I’m not saying I wanted my daughter to live with him so I can run free every day – not at all. However, I did depend on them every other week, the spring breaks, and Christmas vacations. I was on a plane headed to the East Coast for 2 weeks without a care in the world.

Letting Go of Resentment

Had I not dropped the resentment from my first marriage and moved forward, I would've never been healed enough to find love again with my now husband, Jonathan Solomon. This healing allowed me to grow into the woman you see today, leading Redstone Firearms, Redstone Creative, and achieving other phenomenal accomplishments. Resentment in something that is "over" can hold you back from your blessings. Letting go opened the door to a future filled with love, success, and personal fulfillment.

"My Mama Was Right" Coffee Mug

During those tough times, I often reflected on the wisdom my mother shared with me. One particular phrase stood out: "My mama was right, I just didn't like her tone." This phrase inspired a coffee cup design that I now sell on Etsy. This mug serves as a reminder of the truth and wisdom that often comes from our mothers,even if it's hard to accept in the moment.


Check out the mug and other inspiring items in my Etsy shop: My Mama Was Right Coffee Mug.

The Healing Process

Emotional healing is a crucial part of overcoming the pain of a breakup and embracing single motherhood. For me, the healing process involved a variety of activities that helped me regain my sense of self and rebuild my confidence. I found solace in the gym, where I not only worked on my physical health but also cleared my mind. Writing poetry became an emotional outlet, allowing me to express my feelings and process my experiences.

Balancing motherhood and personal life was challenging but necessary. It’s important to carve out time for yourself amidst the demands of being a single parent. This might mean scheduling regular "me time" where you can relax, pursue hobbies, or simply take a break. Friends and family played a significant role in my healing journey, offering support and encouragement when I needed it most.

Emotional Healing Through Activities

  • Gym: Physical exercise to improve both body and mind
  • Poetry: Expressing and processing emotions through writing
  • Hobbies: Engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation

Balancing Motherhood and Personal Life

  • Scheduling "me time"
  • Seeking support from friends and family
  • Maintaining a healthy work-life balance

The Role of Friends and Family

  • Providing emotional support
  • Helping with childcare
  • Offering encouragement and advice

Co-Parenting Dynamics

One of the most significant aspects of single motherhood is navigating the dynamics of co-parenting. It’s crucial to maintain a relationship with your child’s other parent, focusing on the child’s well-being. Overcoming resentment and bitterness can be challenging, but it’s necessary for the sake of your child. I found that co-parenting required a lot of patience and communication, but it was worth it to see my daughter happy and well-adjusted.

In my personal experience, allowing my daughter’s father to be involved in her life was beneficial for everyone. Despite the pain and resentment from the divorce, I recognized the importance of my daughter having a relationship with her dad. It wasn't always easy, but focusing on her needs helped me move past my feelings and work towards a healthy co-parenting arrangement.

Importance of Maintaining a Relationship with the Child’s Other Parent

  • Focusing on the child’s well-being
  • Overcoming personal resentment
  • Encouraging a healthy parent-child relationship

Personal Growth and Empowerment

As a single mother, it’s essential to find time for yourself and enjoy life. The importance of “me time” cannot be overstated. It allows you to recharge, reflect, and regain your sense of identity outside of being a parent. For me, personal growth involved dropping emotional and physical weight, rediscovering my passions, and living my life to the fullest.

Balancing work, parenting, and social life was a constant juggling act, but it was necessary for my well-being. I learned to set boundaries, prioritize self-care, and not feel guilty for taking time for myself. These personal anecdotes of balancing different aspects of life can serve as inspiration for other single mothers navigating similar challenges.

Finding Time for Yourself and Enjoying Life

  • Scheduling regular “me time”
  • Rediscovering personal passions

    Finding Time for Yourself and Enjoying Life

    • Scheduling regular “me time”
    • Rediscovering personal passions
    • Engaging in activities that bring joy

    The Importance of “Me Time” for Single Mothers

    Recharging and reflecting Maintaining a sense of identity - you're more than just someone's "mama" Reducing stress and preventing burnout


    Navigating the journey of single motherhood is undeniably challenging, but it's also an opportunity for immense personal growth and empowerment. By focusing on emotional healing, balancing personal and parental responsibilities, and maintaining a healthy co-parenting dynamic, you can find strength and hope in the most difficult times. Remember, it’s essential to carve out time for yourself, embrace your identity beyond motherhood, and surround yourself with supportive friends and family. You are not alone, and your journey, filled with resilience and determination, is an inspiration to many.

    To all the young single mothers out there, know that you have the strength within you to overcome any challenge. Embrace every moment, both the highs and the lows, and remember to celebrate your journey. Surround yourself with love, seek support when needed, and never lose sight of your dreams. Your story is one of resilience and hope, and it will continue to inspire others who walk a similar path. Here’s to living your best life and finding joy in every step of your journey.

    Thank you for reading and sharing this journey with me. If you need a daily reminder of the wisdom and strength we gain from our mothers, don’t forget to check out our "My Mama Was Right" coffee mug and other inspiring items in my Etsy shop. Stay strong, stay hopeful, and always believe in yourself.

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      1 comment

      awesome advice i only wish i had had someone tell me these things when i was a single mom


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