Becoming a single mom has single handedly been the best thing to ever happen to me. Don’t let me fool you though. It has also been the hardest and most stressful thing I’ve ever done. I have experienced the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. I’ve traveled more than I ever did before. I’ve gotten through things I never thought I could. And I even started on a journey of self publishing my first children’s book. Let me tell you how.
Before my daughter I didn’t matter
Before I had my daughter, I was in a toxic relationship with a guy 10 years my senior. I’ve always had insecurities, and having an older guy pay attention to me made me feel special, and seen. I stayed despite so many things telling me to go, but we can get into that another day.
You see I actually grew up never knowing my father. It was something I came to just accept, but it ignited in me a feeling of unworthiness. My mom having remarried when I was 5 or 6, even though I had a stepfather, I never saw a healthy relationship. My parents divorced after 15 years and I was started down a path of royal hurt.
When I got pregnant, it was like a switch was flipped. And after 9 months of fighting and crying and sinking even lower into a dark hole of “I don’t matter,” I was finally able to leave. The night I had my daughter I prayed for the first time in forever and a week later, I was don’t with him and that relationship forever.
The beginning woes
I’d love to sit here and tell you that once I kicked Mr. Toxicity to the curb, my troubles were over. But that’s actually far from how everything went. The first 2 or 3 years of my daughter’s life consisted of court dates, an emergency surgery, lots of crying in my car and the like. I was a mess.
When my daughter and I first got our own place when she was around 2, I thought things would finally be better. I had a great paying job, I was in a good spiritual place, and I finally felt like a responsible adult. But all the responsibilities that came along with being a single mom were a lot. Living on my own, taking care of a child by myself, and trying to continue to feed myself spiritually was a big load to carry. I ended up getting majorly overwhelmed, and anxiety and depression began to consume me.
There were days when I couldn’t get out of bed. My daughter would want a snack, or just want to play, and I would actually get mad that I had to take care of her. I was exhausted. I was lonely. And I was lost.
A tiny “I love you”
Then one day completely on her own when she’s about 3 or 4 years old, my daughter says “I love you” to me. And it was like a flicker of light that started illuminating the darkness I was in. How did she know to say it? Why did she say it when she did? It was just so clear to me that I couldn’t ignore what a gift she was.
All my life before her I was only ever made to feel unlovable. And then this tiny little girl comes into my life and literally says, “I love you.” A toddler had the ability to bring me hope when I needed it most, and so I finally picked myself up.
One of my bright ideas?
I’m notorious for coming up with side hustle after side hustle. I’ve started a cupcake business, I’ve dabbled in photography, and of course I’ve joined one or two MLM’s. But as I started slowly feeling better, the idea of writing a children’s book entered into my mind.
I’ve loved writing since I was little girl. I think 4th and 5th grade were the years I wrote my first short stories, and they were pretty good! Once while reading a snippet of one to the class, I was begged to keep going after I’d stopped. I mean talk about a confidence boost!
So when I decided to give writing another go, I actually had multiple stories in my head. A novel, and a children’s book about a monster who bakes. But then the idea sparked in me to write about how becoming a single mom saved me. I wanted to write a story about how a child’s love for a parent can be such a beautiful thing. How one simple “I love you” can change so much. So that’s what I did. I wrote my first manuscript in a few days and was over the moon about it! I decided to send it in for a review, and the response I got was good, but not great.
They liked the story and said it had potential, but needed more character development. And why was I rhyming? Not many rhyming picture books sell so I might want to rethink that. Well, all the feedback kind of threw me for a loop and I didn’t know where to go from there. So I put the dream away and kind of forgot about it.
A single mom in a pandemic
At the beginning of this year I stumbled across the new marketing app, Clubhouse. I’ve met some really great people there and one day after a seemingly random conversation, I was encouraged to pick my book back up! So in March I found my manuscript, and really went in on it. I had it rewritten in no time and started joining all the author groups.
It’s now December, and I’m more than happy to say my book is slowly coming to life! After a long time of searching I found an awesome illustrator who has been putting a visual to my words. We’ve been working closely together along with my designer and the finish line is getting closer.
Throughout the process I’ve been reminded numerous times how special my daughter and I’s bond is. Things aren’t easy, and I still struggle, but having her as a little ray of happy in my life helps. So I try to hold onto that.
I’m excited to share more with you as I go! I’ll be giving you a more indepth look at the story, sharing other stories with you that have touched my heart, and more. I’ll be writing at least one blog a week so sign up for my newsletter below to stay in the loop! To see regular updates on my children’s book and what’s going on behind the scenes, follow me on Instagram! I’m doing a live each Monday where you’ll have the chance to ask questions and hang out!
I see you
Please know that if you’re a single mom and are struggling, you’re not alone. I know how hard it can be. I’d encourage you to find the light in your own life, wherever it’s coming from, and hold onto it. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be loved. And you are most definitely worthy of the life you’ve been given. Don’t forget that.