All Articles Tagged "single mom"
A few years before I met my husband, I decided to give celibacy a try. I had just gotten out of a crazy, hyper-sexualized relationship and I felt like I needed to go on hiatus so I could start making judgments without an overload of endorphins pumping through my brain. We’ve all been there at some point, right? Looking back on it, the time off was transformative and helped me tremendously in my future relationships. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner you may be even more tempted to bail on your promise to self, but we’re hoping these tips keep you going strong. Celibacy is no easy feat, but there are valuable lessons that can be learned from such an experience. Based on my experience, here are three things you don’t want to do when you’re giving celibacy a try.
Avoid Setting a Time Frame
Try not to think of this as a “how long can I go without sex” game. It’s really not about how long you go without it, but what kind of improvements and realizations you come to while your abstaining. Initially, I said I was going to do this for three months, but when the time was up, I realized I still had some work to do, so I extended until I could really sense a change in my feelings and beliefs about intimacy. It took about a year before I finally felt good about getting back out there. Believe me, the urge to write tally marks on the wall during the first three months was very real, but surprisingly, it subsided when I got very serious about what I hoped to gain from the experience. Try to think about some areas you’d like to make changes and use those as goal marks to help you decide when you’re ready to end your hiatus. Celibacy is about the knowledge we gain about ourselves during that time period – regardless of how short or how long. Make it count.
Don’t Advertise It
When I first decided to be celibate, I really wanted to talk about it, if for nothing more than explain where I was at in my life. But I quickly learned that men can sometimes see a declaration of celibacy as a challenge and I found it was best to just keep that to myself. If I had already made the choice that I wasn’t going there, it didn’t need an announcement. I just needed to stick with it. It’s okay to disclose if you feel you need to, but try not to use it as bait to see how hard he’s willing to work to get the cookie out of the jar. The real goal is to see how well you function and how things flow without the complicated nature of sex on the table. Sure, there will be tension (which can be a good thing), but there’s really no need to brag about the journey while you’re going through it. The real emphasis should be on pacing yourself and evaluating your connection with a person. Plus, you’ll find there are much more interesting things to talk about than the love below.
Don’t Waste Your Time
If you make the decision to be celibate, make sure you use your time wisely. Don’t waste it obsessing about not getting any, or cyber-stalking exes (tempting, I know). I had to shift my focus and be intentional about what I hoped to gain, and not spend too much time worrying about what I may have been missing. This is a good time to develop a hobby and work on team you. We all have needs, but the truth is, our needs expand beyond what happens horizontally in our lives. If we fine tune things vertically, the horizontal stuff will eventually fall into place and be that much better. I found that pursuing different interests such as painting, kayaking, bikram yoga – if you get my drift – made me a more interesting person to be around. It felt good to get an endorphin rush from things that left me feeling accomplished and complete instead of empty and confused, however pleasurable the fleeting moment had been. I had time to explore the things I really liked and was more open to what life had to offer. I was developing a stronger sense of self and it felt good. When I did decide to get back out there, I wasn’t the same person I was before. I was drawn to different people, places and things and my dating life was a lot more fulfilling than when sex ruled the day.
Have you ever taken a walk on the celibate side? What did you learn from your experience?
By Terra Potts
Being a single mother was the best thing to happen for my career. No, I haven’t gone crazy, I truly believe this. I am at the director level at one of the largest film studios in the world at the age of 33 and I promise this would never have happened without my daughter. She is the single driving force in my determination to succeed in business. She is the reason that I constantly challenge myself to push past all the insecurities that have held me back.
Let’s take it back to pre-baby for a minute. I was a party girl working at an entertainment public relations agency doing all things a 20-something year old should do. I went to the hottest celebrity-filled nightclubs. I sipped on Margaritas by the pool on weekends and spent my paycheck on designer dresses at Barneys. My barometer of professional growth was based on how good the parties were that I was attending.
Then, one night a party led to an unplanned pregnancy.
Imagine breaks screeching because that’s what my life did – screeching halt. I always tell people “I got good ol’ fashioned knocked up.” I literally watched the movie “knocked Up” 100 times while I was pregnant, but unfortunately I didn’t have the happy ending. I was going at this alone and was scared, embarrassed and ashamed. My employer at the time was suffering from the recession and tried to move me to part-time, but who can support a baby in Los Angeles off that? I felt like no one in my business would want me to work for them. Why would any employer in the entertainment industry want to deal with a young single mother when there are thousands of young single adults dying for their break into film?
That sour attitude lasted a full two months and then I thought “ok, this is my shot. I’ve been doing this for years, time to call my contacts and see what I can make happen.”
All bets were off when I started my job search. I was desperate and knew I now had a daughter to take care of. I started polishing my resume and drafting creative cover letters. I wasn’t out looking for a job, I was a saleswoman out there selling me! I had my resume ready and would tell anyone who would listen why I was the best person for his or her company. Every time I got the rejection call or email I would send back a note to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to meet with them. I also asked that they keep me in mind should something else come up. I believe this was the attitude that led me to where I am today. I went through a string of interviews at the studio for three different positions that I didn’t get. It wasn’t until the fourth position that I finally hit the jackpot. But now let me tell you, I was manager of publicity at my previous job and I took an administrative job at the studio. I did this because, first, I needed health insurance and a steady check for baby and second, sometimes you have to take a step back to move forward.
The way I’ve handled my career this time around is a 180 degree turn from where I was pre-motherhood. I started taking things real seriously real quick. With my mind always on Madeline, I started to “lean in” and push past my fears. I have a lifestyle and level of opportunity that I want to offer my daughter and no one, especially not me is going to stand in the way. In order to do this I became determined to hang onto my career and reputation for dear life. I changed from being reactive to work situations to really listening and understanding what was in front of me and how it affects the bigger picture at the office and in my life. I developed professional relationships where we help to move each other ahead instead of relationships based on party invitations. I’ve turned into a sponge soaking up as much knowledge and behaviors from those in business who I respect. I took “me” and my ego out of the picture and replaced my thoughts with “we” and my daughter’s well-being.
Before Madeline I had never been at a company for over two years or experienced true professional growth. I didn’t consider benefits and 401k, I considered social events and meeting celebrities. My boss jokes that I sit at my desk sharpening my nails saying, “I have a baby to feed,” and he isn’t lying. I am so grateful for that baby who has made me see what I am capable of. I stopped looking at her like a set back and realized that she is the key to my success.
We’re less than two weeks into this new year of 2016, and we have all seen plenty of quotes, photos and statuses bidding our recent past adieu, declaring all things ahead bigger, brighter, and better, and publicly stripping ourselves of life’s baggage we tend to pick up through a myriad number of experiences. We get dolled up under a hopeful guise that this year is our year for sure. Ten seconds from yet another new beginning we count down to the exact moment when our lives are to instantly elevate, and three, two, one…we cheer, toast, and kiss to the New Year, only to wake up several hours later feeling exactly the same, except with a hangover.
Now that the New Year is here, what have you really changed? Maybe, you ditched some friends, and cleaned out your closet, or maybe you’ve done your annual social media purge, but what good is any of that if you’re still settling. How long has it been? Three, four or nine years in your relationship. Everything started out great, as it usually does. As time goes on you start to begin to see things you hadn’t noticed before, but now you care more, your feelings are deeper, and you’ve gained a greater interest on your emotional investment. One thing that seems minor turns into two, and two becomes five, and now you’re in love. You communicate, and rationalize, but now you’re on a roller coaster you just can’t get off. No one is perfect, yet who we are, the good and bad all make us imperfectly perfect for someone.
My question is: how much imperfect is reasonable? What will you settle for?
At any level of dating, decisions are being made, both conscious and unconscious. One theme that is always constant in a relationship whether, budding, new or old is settling. How much balance can be measured in what are and are not acceptable behaviors to settle for? Whether you’ve been settling for lies, lateness, infidelity, or abuse what you accept you are ultimately agreeing to deal with for what may potentially be the rest of your life.
So how do you find balance? Where do you draw the line, as you try to establish a new relationship, and set a precedent for the standards by which you choose to live? In general I can be a picky, and hard-to-please kind of person. I know and accept this about myself, which has often lead me to extend more grace than I should to men I’ve dated in the past. I evade my better sense of judgement by assuring myself it is me and not them. I convince myself I should have more patience, and give it time because things may change, but they never do. For 2015, lets have an honest look at ourselves. Lets see our relationship for what it is rather than the potential it seemed to once have. Take all the time you’ve spent convincing yourself that things will change in time as a lesson learned, and vow to live out a new set of unwavering standards.
Cheers to another new beginning!
After two years and five months of my celibacy, almost three months dating Mr. Perfect, and the eve of my birthday approaching I can’t help but wonder with anxiety, are we going to “do it”? While part of me is screaming Heck yes, we are!, my better judgement is not so sure. After of a fun summer of thinking my uterus was made of steel, unable to be penetrated by the natural happening of baby making, I found out I was wrong. And upon deciding to go through with my pregnancy, I decided to be celibate afterwards. I went through a phase of being utterly disgusted by men, sex and anything to do with either of the two. Now here we are almost three years later, and one handsome man in, I’m starting to reconsider this journey I so gallantly embarked on.
When I decided to become celibate it was for several reasons, the first being that I got pregnant. That wasn’t apart of the plan, and I never wanted it to happen again. I knew it was time to shape up, focus, and grow. I had a child on the way, I needed to be an example. I couldn’t be in these streets distracted, chasing anyone who didn’t want to be kept. Lastly, I wanted (and still do) the next man I would sleep with to be the last. These things still ring true today as I find thoughts in the back of my minds’ gutter. I continue to remind myself that nothing is a 100 percent guarantee except abstaining. I sound like a naive, and virginal Jesus-freak living in an alternate universe, right? But no, I’m just serious about what I want for myself, and the example I want to set for my daughter, my sisters, and the young women around me that I may be influencing.
Despite wanting to throw caution to the wind with my new guy, it has only been three months. I would hate for things not to work out, regret breaking my virginal streak and have to start all over. Two years and five months is a long time! In addition to my more responsible reservations, I am also reluctant for the simple fact that no one but my daughter has seen me naked since 2012! An eight pound baby came out of my body by emergency Cesarean section, and things just aren’t what they used to be. My surgery scar is hideous. I can’t stand to look at it myself, how could anyone else?
Also, with two years in the breastfeeding game, all my curves are deflated, and my boobs aren’t even boobs anymore! No shave November? TUH. After the luxury of not having to maintain certain aesthetics for so long, frankly I don’t want to. One less step in my beauty routine is a time saver, and all my ambitious mom’s know when it comes to timing and schedules, every second counts.
Knowing me, the encounter would probably be super awkward and I’d ruin the moment anyway. I’m going to try and stick this celibacy thing out for the long haul even though it gets tougher by the day, I have my mirror as a constant reminder as to why not now.
Being a celebrity can be tough, especially when you’re a parent. But these awesome celebrity single moms have great advice on what they’ve learned from parenting solo.
In case you didn’t know, Jill Scott is in fact back. After taking a break from the music scene for some time, Jill is bringing us up to speed with her new album Woman — that also happens to be her second number one album on the Billboard 200 chart.
The 43-year-old Grammy winner and actress has opened up about life as a single mom, and how she’s moving on from divorce and a broken engagement. No matter how much pain she’s faced, one thing is quite clear: Her 6-year-old son Jet remains her constant light at the end of the tunnel.
“Jet is the reason for putting me back together, absolutely. He’s teaching me about everything, from nature to honesty to being vulnerable. He’s – wow!”
Questioning whether or not she could be a good single mother, Scott tells the San Diego Union-Tribune she receives confirmation every time Jet hits her with the knowledge she tried to drop on him.
“He shines a light on me, all the time, and then I get those good hugs and kisses from him, and it’s everything.”
It’s quite evident that young Jet continues to strengthen his mother, likely in ways hell never know.
“Jet is the reason for putting me back together, absolutely. He is teaching me with his beautiful, innocent, wholehearted, childlike love.”
Check out the music video for “You Don’t Know”
It’s finally here, Mother’s Day 2015. A day dedicated to all of the beautiful, one of a kind mothers in the world. Today, they will open gifts from their children and be treated like the true queens that they are. Hugs will be shared and an abundance of love will be provided.
Today, is a day that most mothers look forward to.
However, for some, it’s a reminder that they are doing this alone. There’s no one to share the weight of raising a child with. Or even someone to help when things get a little rough financially. So, today, I’d like to dedicate the following letter to all of the single moms, in particular, my mother, Cynthia. You are not alone.
As you face the day to day struggles of being a single mother, I would like to remind you of a few things. You are a beautiful testament of what motherhood should be and you should never forget that. You are strong, beautiful, intelligent and extremely hard working. There is no one on this Earth like you.
Although, it may seem like your children, are too busy and consumed with their own lives. You are still the center of it. You taught us how to love, how to thrive and how to be exceptional. Without you, we would not exist.
I know, at times it may seem like you will never find someone to love you again. But, you should always remember, the right person will come when you stop looking. However, when that person finally comes, you should know, that you will have someone in your corner, ready to read him his rights and give him the third degree.
When things get tough financially, know that your children are here. If possible, we will provide for you and give you the world. It’s the number #1 reason why we work as hard as we do. One day, you will get your dream house and your dream car. For me, Cynthia will get a red two door Mercedes with only enough room for her purse and our dog Pebbles.
Today, I just want you to know how loved and appreciated you are. You are our rocks. We love you more than you will ever know. Thank you for the love, the inspiration, the life lessons and for being the woman who you are.
I love you Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.
When many people get to know a prospective partner, they make their standards understood and expectations clear. Others play things by ear and let the chips fall where they may. And while there’s nothing wrong with doing that, for some, letting a guy you’re interested in know what they should expect is imperative. This is especially true for single mothers.
Dating a woman who has a child or children can be an adventure like no other, both good and bad depending on how well her life is managed. It’s best for a mother to let a man know up front what to expect from her, and what she can do. But sometimes, even after divulging all that information, there are still some unexpected twists and turns. All in all, here are the three most important things for a man to be aware of and expect if they plan to date a woman with a child. Fellas, make sure you’re okay with it all before trying to take the next step. As they say, get with it or get lost.
When out on a date with a single mom, a man should expect her to call the babysitter and check in on her child/children as a responsible parent should. This is one of the basic expectations a man should have because it shows that she is a loving and caring mother. Cancelations and rescheduling dates are a common thing for everyone, but it can happen more often when you’re a parent. So many unpredictable things can happen with kids, but as a responsible caregiver, it’s a mother’s job to rearrange her schedule if she needs to for the child’s well-being. And if you’re a man who’s serious about moving forward with her you’ll be patient, understand her situation as much as you can, and anticipate the next date. But if she has to reschedule or cancel plans with you because of the little ones more often than not, she may not be that interested in you.
If a woman is single and has a child (or several children), then somewhere in the picture there’s a father that she may or may not be involved with. He comes with the package, and he could come with some drama. In some cases, he could even come with the intention of getting her back. It’s best to be aware that the two parents may reunite for the sake of their child, or have feelings for each other that may not have subsided. And if the relationship with the dad isn’t so pleasant or didn’t end on good terms, then one should expect some skepticism from her, because she may be in her healing process and may not be 100 percent ready to move on. So anticipate some standoffish behavior because you don’t know where she stands mentally and emotionally just yet.
And finally, one of the greatest expectations among the many out there when dating a mom is always to expect her to put her child’s needs before her own, and definitely before the needs of the man she’s dating. A mother’s primary job is to ensure that her child’s needs are met at all times. And for many, this means no spur of the moment dates, no frequent pop-ups, lengthy phone calls, or nonstop text messages. It’s not that she isn’t interested in those things, but she’s merely taking care of her responsibilities.
As an unmarried mother of one, I make all of my expectations clear when dating someone because I owe it to them to be truthful about how active I am in my child’s life and to let them know that he is and will always be my priority. No matter what the standards and expectations are when dating someone, they should be made crystal clear so no one will be left in the dark, and the relationship can move forward without any unnecessary drama. After all, it’s not too much to ask to let someone know what you expect of them and let them know what they should expect from you.
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For?, a speaker and an advocate for single women. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
Being a single mom is hard, but you don’t have to tell these celebrity mothers. Read on to hear them dish on the things every single mother knows.
There Are Some Benefits To Being A Single Parent
For Kelis, those perks are all about deciding that mommy knows best now that Nas is no longer in the picture. Kelis says that now, “I’m raising Knight how I think he should be raised. “He’s a great baby.”
Since we last spoke of my online dating quest, I decided to re-open my OK Cupid account. My inbox was full of messages–from candidates unworthy of a response, or my time in general for one reason or another. Granted, some of these men were handsome, but from their profile or initial message I got the feeling they–to put it lightly–were clowns. During the past week I also had a moment of clarity, I realized to a degree I had been in a state of denial. For the past few months I had been “chatting” with an old friend. What brought on the reconnection, I would say, was sheer boredom. I liked to believe we were just friends who talked on the phone, and occasionally hung out together, but in actuality, we were indeed dating.
Why was I in denial about this?
I’m glad you asked. I didn’t like him. I knew the instant we laid eyes on each other he was interested, and I wasn’t AT ALL. I’m not a jerk so despite my feelings I held a polite conversation with him. We discussed our interests, and my desire to delve deeper into investing. Surprisingly, he knew what seemed to be a lot about investment, and stocks which left me under the impression my initial judgment may have been off.
I quickly realized I wasn’t wrong, but he already had my number and I felt there was no way out. We talked for a while and I kept him at arms length by running down my packed schedule, or claiming not to have a babysitter whenever he invited me out. I even completely ignored his calls and texts for two months straight. One weekend, I had been bored and burnt out and frankly wanted to go out on someone else,s dime, so I called him. That phone call lead to several months of torturous conversation about nothing. Mentally we just weren’t on the same level, but I just let it ride.
I didn’t know a nice way to break things off again, sue me!
Nevertheless, the whole situation made me realize how it easy it is for me, and other women to simply settle for what we know we are not happy with, just to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Sometimes we stay out of comfort, knowing the relationship sucks and that it isn’t going anywhere, but staying is just easier. The familiarity, and predictability of the mediocre suffices because we cling to the hope that things will get better over time. We convince ourselves that with enough time and patience they will change, but in reality they never do.
In reality, we are all desperate for love, this notion of the perfect love, a timeless romance like we are fed through media. In an effort to obtain what we think love is we often ignore signs forewarning us a relationship is due to expire. We give chance after chance under the guise of patience, when really we’re trying to force something to be what it simply is not. Rather than put so much pressure on ourselves we should take people and every situation, whether it’s a relationship or general life happenings for what they are.
Although yet another one has bitten the dust, check back in for my dating diary as the quest continues!