Hi! I'm Josina,

Are you a struggling single mother?

Does it feel like the world is resting on your shoulders?

If you want to overcome the feeling of hopelessness and reclaim your optimism and joy, read on...

I'm a fourteen-year veteran and I can give you some tips and tricks that will help you on this journey. It's not a secret that single motherhood is not easy. Let me help you stay sane. I will share with you, my wins, failures, and strategies to keep going. The parenting mistakes I've made like in Coping with a Problem Child as a Single Mother, as well as wins like in A Story About a Battle for Custody. This site also features recipes for busy mothers and how-to videos. My journey is far from over, but I've learned so much that I want to share with you. Our lives may be unconventional, but we're living it on our own terms! Join the community and sign up for a weekly newsletter to receive updates and stay informed.



I'm proud to say I am a single mother. We're a minority group, but that's ok. I have been on this journey for the past 13 years, on and off. Since my marriage dissolved 13 years ago, the road has been both arduous and smooth, more so the arduous part. I don't consider my children or myself victims, but a genuine example of determination and endurance.

What is it like being a single mother?

It ain't easy. Some days I feel like Atlas, carrying the celestial vault on my shoulders. On other days, I believe if I can get through this, I can achieve anything. I'm the mother of two girls, five years apart. Initially, my goal was to just keep them alive until they can survive on their own, but I've realized that it's not my only job. My job is not only to supply a food, clothing, and shelter - the basics, but to make sure they grow up to lead fulfilling lives on their own and become productive members of society.

Single Motherhood is like a daily spin of the wheel of fortune. There are days when things go as planned, but you don't really have time to plan, only to react to the unexpected, which occurs frequently. You expect the unexpected to happen, but you secretly hope it doesn't and you know you're not that lucky. Occasionally the wheel of fortune is in your favor and things are going your way. Your daily routine starts off without a hitch and you drop them off to daycare or school at 8:00 am on the dot. You know that if you arrive at the daycare at exactly 8:00 am and not a minute later, you're guaranteed to arrive at work at least 20 minutes early. However, you have more than a few days in succession when the wheel of fortune spins in the other direction. Because of circumstances beyond your control, you end up dropping them off 8:05 am which guarantees that you'll be at least 10-15 minutes late for work. To make matters worse, you opted not to stop for gas on the previous day when you noticed the gas needle was showing only a 1/4 tank left. You convinced yourself it can wait until tomorrow because you vowed to leave at least 10 minutes earlier. You can't afford to stop as you're already running late for pick-ups from the daycare and they charge by the minute for late pick-ups.

You know the wheel of fortune has not spun in your favor when your child walks into the room before you've acknowledged a new day has begun, to say they have a stomachache. Your heart sinks because now you have to decide which is more important-'my job' or 'my child'. Countless times, I've had to make this choice. Whenever I get sick, my choice has always been work. My fear of being obsolete has always superseded my sickness. I've gone to work feeling weak and dizzy and even drove in this condition. However, my child is a different story. How could I send her to school while she wasn't feeling well? I had to make a choice, fast: (A)stay at home with her and risk being viewed as unreliable; (B) send her to school and let the school nurse call me to pick her up and still being viewed as unreliable; (C) call her dad and let him plan with his mother. "C" was my preferred choice. I didn't want to risk staying home or have to leave work early for an emergency which in my case occurred at least twice a month.

According to the United States Census Bureau, single parent (mother) households have been on the rise since the beginning of the 1950s. As of 2018, the percentage of children living with their mother alone averages to around 30 percent across the main demographics of whites, Hispanics and blacks. Minority households are disproportionately high in comparison to white households.

It's widely known that children raised in single-parent households are more at risk compared to children raised in two-parent households because of socioeconomic disadvantages. Depending on their age, they're well aware of the limited opportunities available to them. The benchmark of a solid foundation in life begins with: living in a good school district; Taking part in extra-curricular activities and even the ability to afford hobbies that would contribute to their cognitive development. Sadly, they may not have access to nutritious foods. These experiences can have lasting psychological effects that extends into adulthood. Their future may go one of two ways. It may either trigger in them an insatiable drive to succeed or stagnate their ambitions due to low self-esteem.

The Ultimate Challenge

Although being a single mother is difficult, it's not an excuse for neglect. One of my biggest challenges as a working mother, is being present. Not only physically present, but mentally present. The stress of being the only parent or even adult in the home is overwhelming. Children continue to need nurturing and consistent attention to satisfy their emotional needs. This part of parenting is not exclusive to single mother homes, but is potentially more pervasive if the mother needs to work outside of the home. It leaves children to look out for themselves after school. I relied heavily on my oldest daughter, at 12 years of age, to assume the role of caretaker and surrogate parent while I was at work. The cellphone was our mode of communication during the journey from school to home. I used to drop them off in the mornings, then it became necessary for them to go to school on their own, both ways. I instructed my oldest to call me immediately after being dismissed from school, right before they were ready to walk home. I stayed on the phone with them until they were safely inside. It wasn't always smooth sailing.

There were days when the phone is dying, they lingered behind to chat with friends or didn't call me at 3:00 pm exactly. On one occasion, they nearly burned the house down from misuse of the microwave and black smoke was pouring out of the house. My anxiety level would rise at the same time everyday around 3:00 pm, then come back down a little once I received their phone call. On returning home from work, I often found them either fast asleep in the living room or in my oldest daughter's bedroom. If I had been lucky, my job would've been close enough to allow for me to drop them off and pick them up each day. Job flexibility is a privilege, not a right. My anxiety was in full effect for the hours after school until arrived I home from work. Also, my stress level and patience were incessantly high.

As much discipline as you try to instill in your children, you can't catch everything. When the cats away, the mice will always play. Reportedly, they brought friends in the house, made mischief, forgot to do their homework and ate junk for dinner or didn't eat at all, etc. Since I was often too tired to follow-up on anything, if it wasn't serious, I usually let it slide. This came back haunting me later, see Mental Health Issues and Single Parenting. More often than not, they were asleep by the time I returned home from work. I didn't have the time or energy to make them a nutritious meal. Usually, I would grab a quick bite from the kitchen, then head off to bed. I Wake up the next day and repeat.

Perseverance Is Key

We need to keep in mind that the casualties of a broken home are the children. They need constant care and are probably the most fragile in the situation. As we're nursing our wounds and feverishly trying to keep the raft afloat, occasionally, we need to take a pause. We should spend time just talking to them, even about mundane things. Talk to them about their interests, friends or even heavier topics that're possibly on their mind. This role is rough and sometimes it feels like we can't see beyond the clouds, but we must remain optimistic. Even in times of stress, failures, and setbacks, we've had plenty of moments of happiness too. Every challenged faced, passes and the by-product is resilience. As a single mother of 13 years now, I can say with confidence that it's not a life sentence, and it gets easier, with time. You find that as they get older; They have more independence, but it doesn't mean they no longer need you. It only means their needs have changed and you may need to make a few minor adjustments.

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Many entrepreneurs are discovering the benefits of a home-based business. It can decrease stress, reduce expenses, and create a more balanced life, especially if you’re a single parent. However, you need an appropriate space set up for efficiency and comfort — working from the dining room table is likely to come with frequent interruptions and challenges. For optimal success, your home workspace needs to be free of distractions and designed to maximize your personal working style. Single Mother Solutions shares some tips about setting up your home-based business!

First, Take Care of the Basics

When you’re first kicking around the idea of a home-based business, you need to have a solid, well-thought-out plan. Without one, you could find yourself floundering as you begin the process of getting your idea off the ground. Secondly, do plenty of research about what’s required of you, the business owner, to actually get the ball rolling. If you intend to launch your business as an LLC, then you need to make sure you have a thorough understanding of what you need to do to register. LLCs have specific guidelines and requirements that may vary from other states, so spend some time getting familiar with these regulations before making a decision. A formation service can help you register your LLC, and may offer other services to help run your business for an LLC yearly fee.

Determine Your Budget

It is essential to know how much you can realistically afford to spend on your new place. Begin by listing all of your income sources and total the amounts. Then, identify your expenses by looking at the past three months of your checking and credit card statements. Divide these expenses into two categories, fixed and discretionary.

Factor in whether the home you are purchasing needs repair or renovation to accommodate your new business. Also, factor in your business budget. As Bench explains, with a new business, you have to do some projecting in order to develop a budget. Estimate how much your new venture will bring in, how much it will cost to run it, which costs will fluctuate, oddball purchases (like furniture for your new home office), and cash flow. You can use formulas for these figures, although many people find it helpful to touch base with a financial advisor.

The last thing you want is to overextend yourself right off the bat, so you’ll need to balance your priorities. Make sure your new space is sufficient for both your initial startup and for growth, but don’t get in so deep that you can’t afford to get your business off the ground.

Get Loan Pre-Approval

Several steps go into purchasing a home. Lenders require a good credit score and will examine your financial situation carefully, so take steps to clear up any money issues from your past. The Penny Hoarder explains this can include things like paying down debts and closing old accounts. You’ll need to get pre-approved for your loan, and if you have taken proper steps preparing your budget and addressing any financial issues, you can move forward with searching for the right place.

Find a Real Estate Agent

A skilled real estate professional can help business owners find better deals on properties that suit their needs. Consider these factors when choosing a realty professional to work with:

  1. Experience: Look for experienced agents who specialize in your situation and understand your needs.

  2. Certifications: Realtors are members of the largest trade group in the country. They must maintain higher ethical standards than agents without this certification.

  3. Local expertise: Agents who know the area are the best advisers on sale prices and recent trends. They can also help determine which locations may be best for your needs.

  4. Availability: When you speak with agents, find out how much time and effort they are willing to dedicate to your needs.

  5. Expertise: A knowledgeable real estate agent can help you not only with searching for a new house, but if you elect to do renovations to your current home to accommodate your new venture, or if you decide to redesign your existing home office, they can help you with those projects, as well.

Make a Plan

Will a new home be in the future for your business, or are you revisiting the one you have now? Redesigning the space or adding to your home can be ideal solutions in many circumstances. It’s smart to think in terms of how the change will benefit your business and how it will affect your home’s property value.

A well-designed home office is in high demand these days, as reported by Keeping Current Matters. Ideally, your work area will be somewhat separate from the rest of your household so you can conduct business, meet clients, and focus on tasks at hand. Natural light can help keep your energy levels up, and depending on what you’ll be doing, you might elect to install options like soundproofing and an extra powder room for your clientele.

There are many advantages to running a company out of your home if you have an organized and dedicated space to conduct business. Once your new workspace is established, you will be further down the road to success.

by Tina Martin

Tina is a Life Coach, Fitness Instructor, blogger.

Check out her content on https://www.ideaspired.com/

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  • Josina Miles

Money is always tight when you're a single working mother. We still make financial decisions that put us in an even more vulnerable position and doesn't set us up for rising above our current situation.

1. Buying Fast Food for Lunch

The operative word for a single mother each morning is, 'rush'. We don't have time to prepare lunch, so we rush out the door and worry about it later. Lunch can be very expensive, especially if we opt to buy it every day. We justify our choices by resting on the fact that we need to eat. Since we have to eat, we have to buy food, and for that moment in time, our only goal is to satisfy our hunger. We decide that we'll worry about it tomorrow. The problem is that we don't plan for tomorrow, we delay our worry until tomorrow.

Prepared lunches can be very expensive; a slice of pizza, even if it's just one slice can break the bank. It can cost between $4 or $5 dollars for one slice and of course you need something to wash it down. Salads are even more expensive and can easily cost somewhere between $9 and $11 dollar for mostly iceberg lettuce is in-fact supper cheap to buy at the grocery store. It all add ups. If you're spending between $7 and $15 daily for lunch, plus the coffee you purchased on the way to work; and depending on where made your purchase, you could spend $18 dollars a day.

That's a whopping $90 a week or $360 for the month! That's more than all my utility bills combined. This is costing you an arm and a leg. Taking the time to plan your lunch menu on the weekend before shopping for the week, and prepare your lunch either in the evenings or waking up a little earlier to do it, will not only save your waistline, but your pockets.

2. Buying Ready-Made Food for Dinner

I can't lie, I used to do this all the time, especially on the weekends. Who has time to cook dinner every day when you're arriving home close to 7 pm daily and having sat in traffic for 45 minutes prior to arriving home? I didn't have the energy to cook, and there was even a time when I stopped cooking altogether. I went semi-raw vegan (I didn't subject my kids to this dietary experiment) for a year and decided that cooking wasn't necessary.

Not cooking gave me a lot of freedom because I only ate a handful of things as a vegan. I often grazed on little things here and there, ate leftovers which meant eating the same thing all week long. The beginning and middle of the week was easy because they got the bulk of their nutrition from whatever they ate at school. Whenever they weren't in school, I opted to buy fast foods such as pizza, burgers, and other grab and run foods. They didn't mind bec

ause they didn't want to eat the copious amounts of tasteless greens, rice and beans I ingested.

I don't have to say that this wasn't the best idea. Buying fast food became a major expense. If you're ever wondering where your money is going, look at his category. I only did it once or twice a week, but even if I'm buying 'real' chicken at Chick Fila, it still cost me upwards of $16 dollars for 2 meals. I could've made chicken dinners for the entire week for that price, and with fries! It was saving a lot of energy from not cooking every day, but I was paying dearly for the convenience of not having to cook, and not just financially.

My kids were getting used to eating processed, sugar laden, nutritionally deficient meals and I couldn't reverse the damage. I created little sugar monsters, and they soon had no interest in eating anything else but pre-packaged fast foods.

3. Regularly buying stuff to reward yourself

As single mothers, we do A LOT, and sometimes we get no love for it. We may even feel like our kids take us for granted. We do so much for them, put them first and we get nothing in return. Is it wrong to reward ourselves for all the hard work we're doing daily?

There's nothing wrong with treating yourself to something you want and not need from time to time. It becomes a problem if the rewards are happening too frequently. We don't need a new impressive blouse every week so we can look fresh at work.

Sure that new blouse made you feel great that day, but how did you feel the next day? How did you feel when the electricity bill arrived in the mail you had to choose between eating that week and paying the bill?

These little decisions will not permanently harm your financial future, but a series of small setbacks can lead to a major financial disaster.

4. Wasting Time and Energy

'Time is Money', ' You Reap What You Sow', you've all heard these clichés. So, how are you spending your time? Why? Because time is a commodity. Your most likely selling your time for money and you're reaping the rewards for only those times when you're actively selling your time. The rest of the time, you may breathe a sigh of relief that you did the time and now it's time to rest, but the problem is that you may not be quality using that time. It doesn't have to mean that you're making money every minute of the day, but that you're using your energy wisely and paying it forward.

Examples using your energy wisely are: cooking a nutritious meal for dinner; helping child/children with homework; working on a project that will reap financial rewards, reading to increase knowledge and competencies, cleaning up to avoid compounding chores. Examples of wasting time are: going shopping after work, watching tv for hours after arriving home until bedtime.

Not Tracking Your Spending

I firmly believe that we should run a home like you're running your own business. In my twenties and early thirties, I was very lackadaisical with my money. I never kept track of my spending and would often get caught at the register with insufficient funds. I got a little wiser and started calling the bank prior to making any transactions, but this only helped a little. I endured monthly overdraft fees other fees to where I started viewing them as an expense. This strategy and attitude kept me poor and hopeless until a nice man from the bank gave me a little advice.

While I was arguing with him, saying that I cannot keep $100 in my account at all times, he suggested that I separate my monthly expenses from my personal expense. I go into more details in '10 Financial Tips for Single Mothers'. This small change made a huge impact, but I took it a little further than that. In the old days, I used to jot down the amount of money I had in my bank account and what bills I need to pay in a notebook or piece of paper. I never thought of doing anything as sophisticated as using a spreadsheet, even though I used it occasionally at work.

I setup a budget in a spreadsheet at first because I wanted to figure out how I could pay off my credit cards. Once I really started looking into my spending, it was an eye opener and I realized why I couldn't hold on to money and always came up short when I needed to pay my bills. First, my daily coffee habit which included the weekends was a major concern. I could've made coffee at home and take it to work with me, but a part of my habit was not just drinking the coffee, but stopping for the coffee. It was a part of my routine and it was hard to shake. Second, my inability to plan how I would allocate my paycheck had me in panic mode by week two when I realized that I had another week and a half to go until my next paycheck, and I barely had enough money to fill up my gas tank.

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