I had fought relentlessly for this day to arrive. I had worked hard to see it through. With duct-tape, band-aids, a bulletproof vest and little one in tow, I made my way through college. And I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way of graduating in the next month until I hit what seemed like a steel wall.
How was I going to wrap up this last quarter of college when I couldn’t type my papers and do the research from home. Cause who wants to take their 5-year-old to the library? How was I going to pay rent with no money? How was I going to maintain a clear mind to do all that is required to participate in life AND provide love and care to a 5-year-old little girl who just needed her momma? Too many things were falling apart and I wasn’t able to fix them all.
I wasn’t enough.
It may have been a 30 or 40 feet walk to that church altar that early Sunday morning. In time, it would become my shortest walk making one of the biggest decisions of my life. I was somewhere around five years old. My mother wasn’t as convinced. Presenting me with questions hoping they might sink in and I would wait till I was a little older to make such a big decision.
Surprisingly and so unfitting to my character ;), I resisted her advice.
Thinking I knew full well what I was getting myself into, I marched down the aisle layered in a faded burgundy carpet to announce my decision to give my life to Jesus. Oh, the brave and innocent faith of a little child.
That faith and innocence didn’t last long…
“Get your backpack little one and fill it with your favorites,” I called from the small open spaced kitchen as I reached into our old green faded fridge to grab fruit snacks consisting of red dye 40, a sugar induced Caprisun and a granola bar — her favorite snacks. Cause I was an awesome single mom, living before Pinterest came along offering thousands of “quick and healthy snacks for kids” ideas.
With her hands full and her little footsteps toddling down the hallway and into the living room, I looked at her adorable, barely three-year-old, face with those two messy-twisted buns on the side of her head, and I knew I had to work hard to stuff every bit of it into her little bag. It’s not an option to leave anything behind when you’re heading out on an adventure.
That was the beginning….
The family unit is everything. It is the heartbeat of our nation. The beauty of our communities and the backbone of our American culture. It is this very vital and precious piece of our country that remains broken at its core. Seeking to heal from an oozing wound that is in desperate need of attention.
According to the 2012 United States Census, approximately forty percent of the children in our nation are being raised by a single parent. That is so very close to 1 in 2 children that are not living with both a mother and a father.
This statistic breaks my heart, perhaps because I know the reality of it. I know the pain that is so very real and alive in the homes and hearts of these “statistics.” Pain that is masked by the busy burden of keeping up and maintaining the daily routine.
Pain that is covered up because there just isn’t enough time to deal with it.
During my ten years of being a single mom, besides earning a Bachelors in Communication Science, I think I also earned a doctorate in Frugal. I believe I may have acquired a double major in Thrifty & Just Don’t Spend.
It’s been over five years since my family screamed that debt free scream in our living room and I still fight the urge to recycle EVERY plastic baggy I come across in our home.
I remember the days I would buy a four pack of toilet paper for my family of two and it would last us TWO weeks! I think we must have been really busy and drinking little to no fluids because I am not sure how that happened.
Paper towels? Same thing. Only I would make one roll last us an entire a month. What?!
Although I have yet to delve into my debt free story, I hope to do that soon, I wanted to give you three powerful and awesome little jewels to help you right now. I want to keep you motivated in this debt free run you are on. So here are three FREE things you can do RIGHT now to get ready for a debt free life.
Sometimes we just need to take a break from the grind and hear something encouraging, sweet and deserving.
Because who is able to accomplish something great without being encouraged?
Few, my friend. Very few.
There was a time in my life I was very good at quitting. During high-school, I quit track and soccer. In that exact order.
Truth be told, if I’m digging a little deeper here, there were lots of things I quit in life.
- I quit believing in myself
- I quit trying
- I quit imagining the possibilities
- I quit loving myself
Thinking back to when I was a little girl…
My imagination ran to the wildest of places. One of my favorite childhood memories is that of me riding my pony, which was merely a saddle on a stand in a small 3 ft x 3 ft shed. But oh the miles I traveled while sitting on that pony, near the side of our little yellow house tucked deep in the woods. The Indians I chased and the cowboys I ran with were enough to solidify any cowgirls wildest dreams.
But somewhere along the way, somewhere between little girl land and those tumultuous teenage years…
In last week’s blog post, I talked about why it is few women support one another in managing their finances.
I would much rather talk about the heart of the family. The organization of putting a home in order so things can run smooth for you. In doing so I can’t leave out your finances. I just can’t do it. All week I had so many other ideas to chat about but I knew the foundation of this series on debt had to be laid. The topic addressed because the stress of my finances was the one thing that I never mastered as a single mom. I don’t want you to do the same. That is why I can’t ignore this grueling topic.
This week, I want to address the top five reasons why it’s hard for us to let someone into this private and very sacred financial place and yet, why it’s so crucial to the vitality of single parent living.
So let’s go!
I ask this question because it came up often when I was a single mom. My daughter and I, being the extroverts we both are, loved to be on the go. Always. Looking back, I wish I would have done things differently, but those thoughts are for another post.
Back to our plans for the weekend. Lot’s of fun options to choose from here, ladies!
For thousands of years, generations of people have tempted to alter the definition of truth. Live outside of it, challenge it or simply, go against it. Growing up I recall forming my own opinion and believing “truth is relative”. My truth, of course, being most important here.
What I discovered along the way?
DISCLAIMER: If you are one of those sweet mom’s that bakes warm chocolate chip cookies for after school snacks, or the mom of a child under the age of two, this blog post may not be for you. Although, please feel free to go ahead and continue reading, but promise me this: you will stick around to teach me a few things.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks since school started. If I’m honest, it’s been a rough couple of years raising a teen, and I only have one at this age.
Oh! You say you have more than one teen in your home?? Dear God who created the universe can you strike my friend with lot’s of happy pills, unlimited vacations without children and joy.
Yes, lot’s of joy to laugh hysterically when she thinks she’s lost her mind. Because there will be a time, my friend, when you feel you have lost your mind, if you haven’t already.
My last few blogs have been how-to tips about time management, putting the kids to work and blah blah blah…
Today, I’m going to share what has not produced positive results in my house, currently and over the years. Let’s start with my #1 Go-To parenting tool when life becomes too emotionally intense to think logically. #Don’tJudge #JudgeFreeZone