Am I a single mom?

I am. Although to be honest, I never saw myself as one until very recently.

Ive always thought of my life as a single mother as normal. Ive never known anything different.

I don’t know what having a helping partner would’ve been like but its only recently that i imagine it would have been nice lol.

The first two years of Layla’s life I was juggling being a working mom, breastfeeding and pumping (mothers out there know what a sacrifice this can be), a few hours of sleep every night, service, meetings, Family study, home projects and get-to-gethers on the daily.

Layla spent so much time with my mom that she started calling her “mom” first instead of me. I missed so many of her first moments. It wasn’t how I had pictured Layla’s first year. In my mind I was going to be there for all her first moments and I was going to enjoy them fully. Life doesn’t always go how you plan.

I took thousands of pictures and hundreds of videos of her which she enjoys looking at now. But most of them were taken in a hurry. Otherwise she would’ve had very few pictures or videos.

Even though my schedule was hectic I made it a point to dedicate at least an hour or two every single day to Layla.  Just me, her, some cuddles, kisses and play time. I didn’t give up even after I saw that she was closer to my mom. I loved that she was close to my mom but it did break my heart that my own child didn’t act like I was her mom. So I made quality time for her every day and within months she started calling me mom and becoming more attached to me. That was a victory for me.

My family in general pulled my arms in different directions and I tried pleasing them all, especially since we worked together and my life depended on my job. I jumped through hoops as if I was in the ringling brothers’ circus. Anything they asked me I usually fulfilled it and gave more than asked.

At the time I never thought much about it. Years later though I reflect back on it and I realize I would’ve never jumped through all those hoops if I wasn’t a single mom.

I became the only person in my family who could work for my dad. Everyone else in our family would quit or talk about quitting. Quitting wasn’t an option for me. If i quit I knew me and Layla wouldn’t have a place at home because he’d see my quitting as betrayal. Hed always been quick to show us the door. So I endured what no one else could. And over the years he kept promoting me. I went from being accounts payable, to office manager to part owner.

When layla was 3 years old my mom and dad divorced. When the divorce was finalized my dad officially left my mom the house and business making her 50% owner and my brother and I 25% owners.

I feel like all I’ve ever wanted is to just have a roof over our heads, food to eat and clothes on our back. As a single mother those feelings intensify because you feel solely responsible for another human being. But I feel I received a lot more without asking for it. I simply did the things no one else wanted to do. And i didn’t think too much of it. If someone thought a job was beneath them or too uncomfortable to take on, Id be the one to jump in and do it. I just saw my goal ahead which was to have a safe place for me and Layla. That was the driving force behind it all.

Over the time I’ve secured important accounts and gotten rid of ones that were not beneficial to the company. I’ve refused offers that I knew would hurt us. I’ve stood up for good decisions and put my foot down to stop bad decisions from being made. Usually if there’s a problem in the company of any sort I’ve been the one to fix it. I’ve encountered a lot of opposition and a lot of problems but it’s never stopped me.

I’ve never seen myself as “oh poor me.” I simply get things done.

And I realize that if I hadn’t persisted and stuck with it, I wouldn’t be able to help my parents, spiritual brothers and sisters and the world wide work the way I do.

so now when I’m asked if I’m a single mom? I know the answer is yes. I’ve struggled and I’ve definitely  pushed myself above my limits. All for a little girl with big brown eyes, and pigtails.

 

Xoxo,

Denise

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