Summer shares a lesson learned on how to be a strong and successful single parent.

As a young parent of 15 years, I wondered if I would succeed and if I would ever be a strong and successful single parent. You see, young mothers are busy caring for their children. It’s a hard job. It gets even harder if you don’t have an education which opens doors and gives you options. If like me, you can’t rely on welfare or your parents to support you, you have to get busy to support yourself. And that’s my number one tip for a young parent asking the same questions I did.

  1. Get busy

Yes, I was a teenage mother, but I wanted a good life. I wanted to own a home, a vehicle, to travel and give my son the best possible life. I wanted him to have options in his life. Because I had a dream, I got busy working to fulfill it. Two questions for you to ponder:

  • What situations might be holding you back from your dreams?
  • What can you do to eliminate excuses and challenges?

Don’t let children be an excuse.

  1. Figure it out

I was in high school, holding down two jobs and supporting my son. After my son was born, I took a 6-week maternity leave. During that time, I fell behind with my school schedule (which was to be expected). Yet I was determined to be a strong and successful single parent and get a scholarship to college. So I worked hard. I figured it out using the resources I had. You can do the same thing by connecting with people, getting on the internet and doing whatever it takes.

If you want something, do the work. Don’t wait for people to figure it out for you.

  1. Work to build your skills and self-esteem

In high school, I was working two jobs to help me take care of my son. I was also living with my grandmother. Having a job not only helped me pay the bills, it also built my self-esteem as I saw how my work contributed to the bigger picture. My two jobs taught me soft skills like teamwork, time and money management. Working showed me what was possible as my self-esteem and confidence grew. If you want to be a strong and successful single parent, constantly build your life and skills through work.

  1. Keep showing appreciation

My grandmother was an amazing support for me. I had moved in with her after I left home. She babysat for me while I went to school and worked. At that time, there were no adolescent programs available. If it wasn’t for my grandmother, I couldn’t have made it this far. I can’t thank her enough. Now at the age of 98, the resource I use to show my appreciation is my time.

Who are the people helping you? Is your appreciation for them growing even as you grow?

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