By Awilda Lyse Gonzalez

Feature photo by Melissa Goodman

So this has been a topic that has been on my mind for some time. Now before you continue to read let me warn you I am going to be super honest about how I feel and where I am with this. You might agree and you might not and that’s okay; we all have our own thoughts and our feelings.

I am a 42-year-old college graduate with a professional job; things haven’t always been that way, and it’s been through much sacrifice and much hard work as well as many ups and downs that I have achieved some of those goals. You might think there really isn’t anything big or different than many other 42-year-old women who have accomplished those same goals. There is a major difference though; I have been a single mom since I was 18. Yes, 18. By the time I was 25, I had all four of my seeds, and let’s make this clear: I made the choice to bring them into this world. Yes, I was married at one time, but I have to be honest; even when I was married, which seems very foreign to me and so not the person I am today, I always felt like I was single. Just because there is a body that is there doesn’t mean you are actually living the life of a married person. Anyway, needless to say that I have raised my children on my own, with very little support from anyone, not even from their father. The only thing that I have received from him is a monthly check that goes directly into my account, and the only reason I even get that is because it’s ordered by the court because it sure would not be because of his own will. I have struggled and I have made things work the best I have been able to. I have struggled with all of them individually and as a family; I have put aside many times what I have wanted because they have come first. You know the normal expected sacrifices a mother makes. I have tried my best to be an example to them, especially to my daughters, and I have tried my best to raise two young men. I have tried to always pick myself up even under the most worst of moments of my life, and yes I have been through my share of those… I say all this to come to this point……

I have known nothing else other than being a mom, and I have struggled to find who I am as a WOMAN. People tend to forget that I never stopped being a woman; it’s like I had to stop my innermost desires and wants because I was a mother. Most people forgot that I am first and foremost a woman. I choose to be a mother and even in my imperfections and my ups and downs I have managed to do my job well. So now my seeds are young adults and adults, and it’s time for them to see that, yes, I am their mother, but I am also a woman and I’ve sacrificed a lot for them, and it’s time for me to say my job is done. I will never stop being their mother, but it’s time for them to pull their own slack and figure things out because just as I had to grow up and I had to figure things out, they have the same intelligence and they come from a firm foundation. Yes I will be here to guide them, but I can’t be here to solve their problems nor can I be the savior for them.

Being a single mother is no joke. You will go through many emotions and you will go through many a moment where you feel alone because you are doing the job of two people. You feel left out because everyone at family events has their husband there while you walk in with your four kids. You’re looked at as a failure because something obviously must be wrong with you because you’re divorced or you have decided to stay alone because trying to have a relationship is never easy when you have to pay attention to four kids growing up, going through adolescence, dealing with attitudes, arguments, doctor’s appointments, parent teacher conferences, and school meetings all while trying to keep food on the table, having a full-time job and still in some way having a life of your own.

Now this brings me to my next point: being a single mom is tough but being a single mom that looks as young as I do is even tougher; it’s a blessing and a curse. A blessing because, well, I look young but a curse because all the men I attract are younger than me. I don’t have a problem with that; I just don’t want to be with a man who I have to wait for to grow up. Nor do I want to be with a man who does not appreciate who I am, where I’ve been, and doesn’t see me for who I am. I’m not a number, nor do I want to be with a man who is boring, and his idea of life is having a few beers in front of the TV for the rest of his remaining life. I’m a woman with feelings, needs, wants, and desires just like any other. I tossed my age out the window a long time ago because I did and still do not fit in that mold. My views are far and wide and who I am is so different. Yes I still have my values when it comes to relationships. I might be a modern day woman but I will not conform to modern day views on relationships and love; those are timeless even if society has it all messed up.

So this is where I am as a single mother. I’m ready to go to the next chapter of my life and I hope my knight in shining armor is preparing himself too where ever he is at. Who knows, he might even be there already; I just don’t know it, or maybe he just doesn’t know it.

Be encouraged my single moms. Be who you are and never second guess your accomplishments. Always give yourself credit for the job you do, and remember, never lose yourself in the process. You are first and foremost a WOMAN.

Peace, joy and above all Love!

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