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What it's like to be a single mother

December 19, 2014, 8:38 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 2561

By leahgarcia
It's been said that being a mother is a full-time job, it requires you to be available for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, in order for you to attend to every need of your family. It's a great sacrifice indeed, (am actually thinking of my own mother right now!) but what more if you are a single mother? I've got an opportunity to have a very sensitive yet very inspirational talk with my best friend Jenny-Lyn Nicart, a 25-year old single mother of a 2-year old son. She has been avoiding these questions for years and I never had a single idea when she'd be ready to talk about her experience, until  I decided to ask her again and she showed an openness to answer my long-kept questions for her.
Our actual conversation just came out like "Jen, How'd you do it?" and she's like "What do you mean"? There was a pause for a minute and she broke the silence and suddenly spoke up, "I love my son more than anyone in this world, he's actually, literally my world now". That became my queue in storming her a few more questions.
What are the challenges you've encountered as a young mother?
"Well on my part, it's not that hard, because I already have a job, I can provide for my son. What's challenging is how I can be a mother and a sister at the same time. I cannot easily let go of my responsibilities to my family yet I  have my "own family" to think also. 
Jenny is not married to her boyfriend who got her pregnant, despite the fact that promises and plans for them to build a family of  their own were there, apparently their relationship didn't turn out great. They decided to go on separate ways and as the way she puts it, " It's a mutual decision, he decided to be irresponsible and I, on the other hand, decided to be wise and strong enough for my son and chose not to stay with him". She also shared the struggles that she had upon trying to start her life all over again, after recovering from childbirth she looked for different jobs. She worked as a secretary  in a small local office and then became a teacher. She eventually quit that job and searched for a more sustaining source of income and she got a position as a pre-school teacher in a Korean Language Center, she also works as a staff for a  group of wedding coordinators on the side. Talking about being hardworking. 
How do you overcome the challenges of being a single mother?
"Well, at first it's really hard to adjust, it's like entering into an entirely new world, the fear is there of course, the fear of rejection, the fear of how I'll be able to support my son and just as simple as the fear of not having a normal  life again. But I was raised with caring, loving and supportive parents, and that greatly has helped me to easily adjust to the stage of motherhood. Although it's unplanned, my son is never unwanted. It's all a matter of acceptance".
What are the painful things that you've heard from people (maybe close to you or not) about your situation?
"People call me stupid, that I hold a degree from college and yet I got easily fooled by love. Although for me, I really don't care, but I know my parents do and that's the hardest part. Because more than myself, I know, it's them who really hurt when people are inappropriately talking about me."
How do you handle these people and what they say about you?
"I just don't mind them, for me, as long as I don't owe them anything what they would say is just irrelevant. It's very  easy for us people to judge and highlight the flaws of others, so I guess there's nothing new in that, I can no longer change the situation so I just better change my attitude towards it. If I hear something I just breathe in deeply and ignore them. At the end of the day you're the one who knows yourself better than they do, they just know what happened, but they don't know the real story behind it".
What is the best advice that you can give to single parent like you? 
"First, acceptance, accept your situation. Don't pity yourself too much, you cannot undo the mistakes of the past. Next,  love everything, your son, yourself, and the people that really care for and still loves you despite it all. And last, never stop fighting, don't let anybody bring you down, insult you, belittle you, because no matter  what you are up to, God accepts you wholeheartedly (no second thought!). Always remember, that sometimes, God gives us challenges in life, not to harm us or makes us suffer, but to help us mold ourselves into a better person that's worthy of His blessings. Don't cry over the spilled milk, instead make another one, meaning, never lose hope, there are a lot of  possibilities out there, don't box yourself in your past, it won't help, instead think of what you can do to have a  better future".
How did being a single mom has changed your whole life?
"It changes me in every single way. I became a more responsible, selfless and loving person. My son is my life now and there's nothing that I cannot do or endure for him. He's my lighthouse; when I feel lost for some reason, and thoughts about my failed relationship with his father are flooding in, my broken dreams, his insincere promises that brought false hopes, my son makes me realized that I still have a lot more in life. There certainly is a lot more to look forward to". 
I personally saw the transformation of Jenny from a stubborn, naive and adventurous girl to having now become a tough and  brave woman, who is fighting the everyday struggles of being a single mother. I also look up to her, for she did not dwell with her failures and chose to let go and move forward with her life. As of now, she's not on the look for a life partner or companion, she wants to focus more on raising her son as a good individual, providing for his needs and preparing his future. She's not closing her doors,  though, she told me about her "crazy" vow to herself, to stay single until his son  turns 10. However, who knows it maybe sooner than that. But one thing is for sure, that God has great things in store for her life. [Others might simply choose to call this good Karma]. As of now, hopefully her story will become an inspiration to others, that a person should not be defined for a single mistake committed and that life doesn't end there, it is defined on how you were able to pick yourself up and continue to live an awesome life, embraced with more confidence and strength.

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