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.


  • Josina Miles

Illness can come on suddenly, and that means we rush to the doctor, unless it's an emergency. I'm sure you can recall rushing to the all night pharmacy in the middle of the night over-the-counter medicine that may or may not be effective. Often the next best thing is right around the corner in our kitchen or pantry.

With illnesses, I prefer to try the natural route first. I believe in modern medicine, but in a lot of cases it doesn't eliminate the root cause of the problem, and only treats the symptoms. Since drugs are a foreign substance in the body, it can cause other unwanted side effects that may lead to dependency on the drug or other unexpected consequences.

I was lucky to have one child you hardly ever get sick for 15 years now. Maybe, once every 5 years. I wasn't lucky with my 2nd child, and in the beginning she was sick at least once a week. What did I do differently? Not much that I can identify as the root cause.

Thankfully, her bouts of illnesses have decreased significantly as she's growing up, but I always have stuff on-hand, just in case.

There are 3 natural products that I cannot live without for addressing illnesses fast or easing the symptoms until you can make an appointment with the doctor. In most cases, I need not follow up with a doctor's appointment.

Vapor Rub

The worse part of a cold cycle is the beginning when you feel weak, feverish and congested. It's difficult to sleep when you have the sensation that you can't breathe through your nose.

I learned a few tricks along which have been helpful in relaxing the body and allowing it to rest:

  • Elevating the head slightly, with pillows, to allow air to pass through the nostrils

  • Applying mild pressure to the bridge of the nose and lift push upwards, opening up the nostrils, has a relaxing effect and sleeps comes quickly

  • Coating the bottom of the feet with Vapor Rub, Vicks or any other brand, then covering with socks to protect the sheets as cooling and soothing effect, bring relaxation and relief from congestion

It's not recommended rubbing Vapor Rubs to the back or chest area of children under the age of 2. According to Web Md, it can cause a rash when applied to the skin or constrict breathing.

For this reason, I only applied the salve on the bottom of my little one's feet and it worked wonders

Note: The main ingredients commercial Vapor Rubs are Eucalyptus Oil, and Menthol. Natural vapor rubs contains other essentials oils beneficial in relieving symptoms of cold and flu.

Apple Cider Vinegar 'With the Mother'

The number one staple on my kitchen shelf is Apple Cider Vinegar. It's my go-to for almost anything. If one of my kids feels a tickling in their throat, the first thing I give them is a tablespoon of ACV. It burns and tastes god awful, but it knocks out the symptoms of whatever is encroaching in the body. It's not a cure, but it seems to stop the virus in its tracks. Some ailments I've found ACV to be useful for are:

  • Upset Stomach

  • Heartburn

  • Nasal and Chest Congestion

  • Cough Suppressant

  • Releasing Pressure in the Ear

Note: The ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) found in grocery stores do not contain 'the mother', unless it has it written on the label. They remove the bacteria 'the mother' responsible for the conversion of apple to vinegar. Pasteurized ACV won't be as effective as the one containing 'the mother' which produces Acetic Acid. It's the Acetic Acid that has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

3. Nutmeg

If I'm looking for a natural pain reliever, stress reducer or general relaxant, I reach for the nutmeg. It is anti-inflammatory and analgesic which makes it natural alternative for swellings and relieving joint pains. After consumption, the feeling you get is that of a sense of well-being. A few other benefits of Nutmeg are:

  • Indigestion

  • Antioxidant(guards against free radicals)

  • Anti-bacterial

  • Mood Enhancer

  • Controls Blood Sugar

We can also use nutmeg a spice in recipes in coffee, tea or warm milk.

Note: According to Web MD there may be side-effects of nutmeg with excessive use or dosage.

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  • Josina Miles

This is supposed to be a humorous article narrating the dating life of a single mother, but if I'm being honest, my memories are mostly horror stories. It has been a jaunt in a repetitious cycle of emptiness and unrelenting disappointments with a sprinkle of desperation.

It was 2006, Valentines Day. I was was expecting a phone call or a text. I didn't get either from the man I had pinned my hopes and dreams unto at the time. I received messages from a few, but they felt empty because it wasn't from the right one. I finally broke down and cried. As I laid in bed, with my eyes closed and tears streaming down my face, I felt something wet and cold on my face, starkly different from the warm tears. My 2 year old daughter got tissue from the bathroom, and wet it, then she came to my bedroom and started wiping away the tears.

Desperate Housewife?

My husband and I separated right after our second anniversary. I was 31 and our daughter was only a year old. We never celebrated either of our anniversaries and it didn't occur to me to celebrate. I'm not big on anniversaries. We stopped being intimate after I became pregnant with our daughter. In my first trimester, I was sick all day, every day. I wasn't feeling sexy at all. I mean, it's definitely not sexy to vomit daily. After the baby, it didn't improve; it got worse. I imagined that our daughter would bring us closer together; I thought. He blurted out one day that he wasn't interested in being married, only in being a father. I beg to differ. From where I stood, he wasn't interested in being a father either. He never once took her to the playground or get down on the floor and play with her. "A child's place is with the mother", he would say. We slept under the same roof, but in separate bedrooms. I would often ask myself if I wanted to be in this marriage because it wasn't what I thought it would be. I did the unthinkable. I had an affair. He was a brain cancer survivor, and I, lonely.

New Beginnings, Old Wounds

Our beginning interactions went from disinterest to hostility to adoration. Our relationship began before I left my marriage, but it wasn’t the cause of my failed marriage or the reason I left my marriage. In retrospect, I think we both entered the relationship as a way of looking for comfort, an escape from the trauma of our external lives. He was a brain cancer survivor and was recovering from a long-term relationship that ended badly. I was in a dysfunctional marriage; a new mother and I was lonely. This person introduced me to a lot of things, but most notably, I learned about emotional unavailability. I convinced myself and tried to convince him I was emotionally available even though married with a child. What I knew for certain was that we liked each other. What we couldn’t do was to bridge the gap between liking each other and building the foundations of a solid relationship. When I was finally free to be with whoever I wanted, the relationship disintegrated. One of the biggest red flags was him not wanting to meet my daughter. This made me realize that he had no intention of making me a part of his life. I went in search of evidence of the dysfunction of our relationship, and that’s when I discovered the book ‘Emotionally Unavailable.’ by Bryn C. Collins. It was a eureka moment. I finally understood why this relationship couldn’t get off the ground and it also gave me clarity on why my marriage failed.

Too Close to Home

We met through a mutual friend. The mutual friend was among our circle of friends during my marriage. By this time, everyone knew that my husband, and I were no longer together, and I was free and single. My daughter became my plus one at almost all the events they invited me to, so anyone who I met, met her too. The feelings were mutual. We went out to dinner as a group and that’s how we got to know each other. We became instant friends. I recall one of our first phone conversations lasted about 8 hours. We stayed on the phone as we went about our day: running errands, grocery shopping, driving, etc. It felt so comfortable and easy because we were already so familiar with each other because of our similar social circles. There was none of the awkward getting to know each other stuff. Conversations were easy and there was no confusion about where each one of us stood. We didn’t live that close to each other, but he still came to visit us every weekend. I didn’t have any doubts about how he felt about me because he always showed up despite not having a car. We spoke several times a day and hardly had any arguments. I must admit that I took this relationship for granted. My own issues with commitment and superficiality came into play. He didn’t exactly fit the profile of an attractive and successful man. My family and friends disapproved of the relationship, thinking I wasn’t giving myself enough time to find someone better than my ex-husband. He had been in prison for a year due driving under the influence. Despite that, he was a great companion, but he had a lot of personal problems to work out. Deep down, I knew that there wasn't much he would've been able to do for us. I had to let him go.

Mixing Business with Pleasure

We worked together. I used to catch him staring at me in meetings, but I didn't think much about it. He was the supervisor in his department, and I was a project manager so I needed to interact with him frequently. Our conversations became more friendly. one day he invited out to lunch. We went to a local pizza place. I wasn't sure what to make of him, so we talked mostly about what was going on at work. After that, he would ask me to go to lunch now and then. Despite this, I still couldn't tell his level of interest in me. I assumed that he just wanted to be friends. I soon found out after a rare invitation for drinks after work. We went to a restaurant that hadn't realized was in his neighborhood. The conversation had gotten more personal, and we were talking about one of his failed relationships. It just so happens that it was with a person we both worked with in our office. After two drinks, he walked me to my car, then he made his move. He reached out and touched my breasts. I recall feeling weird about it because I had decidedly categorized him as a colleague/friend. My daughter called him the pizza man. The first time he came to our house, he showed up with a pizza box. She knew him only as the pizza man after that. As our relationship evolved, I started developing feelings for him. It would eventually become one of those non starter relationships. Started with promise, but had no chance of success. I eventually found out he was already in a serious relationship, and they had been together for a while. They had bought a house together after we started seeing each other. Once, he picked me up and took me to their house while she was out of town; we made love and watched TV. As he was driving me back home, he told me he planned to marry her and start a family. I closed my eyes and shook my head. In that moment, I realized that I was speeding towards a dead end and the only outcome was intense pain.

False Promises

I tried online dating in my twenties, but it never resulted in any lasting relationships. It never felt right to me. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer meeting someone in person first, then getting to know them. I know instantly if I'm attracted to someone, not by what they say, but their presence. It's more of a feeling, an instinct, that you just can't sense over electronic devices. I once had a man try to force me into a relationship, even started me baby, after three conversations over the phone. I admit, the conversations were great, deep, and I felt an attraction. When we did finally meet, I couldn't imagine him touching me. As a result, the conversations ended. There wasn't anything to look forward to anymore, and I felt bad about wasting his time.

What I really lost

New relationships have always been exciting at the beginning because they're filled with potential. Hope gets you hooked and expectations trigger your cravings for more interaction. Permanence is the goal and when it's achieved, it loses its power. Similar to gambling, we don't place our bets hoping to lose, but the hope of winning is powerful. This makes it impossible to give up. None of these relationships were great losses, but my most devastating loss was my daughter's respect. My clear desperation disillusioned her and it was enough to make me feel worthless. In her opinion, I couldn't see what was right in front of me, only what I perceived to be missing from my life. In my mind, I wanted to undo the past; atone for my past mistakes.

I felt guilty about breaking up our family and leaving her without a father. I isolated myself from friends and family because of the shame I felt of being a single mother. If only I could fix this, then I can hold my head up and really believe that I'm valuable. I felt judged and perceived as incapable of keeping a man. In my desperation to fix that mistake, I compounded the crisis. She witnessed me devaluing myself for a man's attention; begging, pleading and bargaining to avoid feeling lonely. She witnessed nervous break downs and periods of insanity such as leaving in the middle of the night aft

er her pleads of 'don't go, don't leave me... he's using you.' It has been an uphill battle trying to regain that respect. Today, I'm no longer afraid of what people think. I would rather have people think of me as the crazy cat woman than compromise my dignity and the love and respect of my children.

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Discipline is synonymous with training your child. Well-trained children are obedient, respectful and exhibit more confidence. Untrained children are disrespectful, uncooperative and may exhibit combative behaviors. Single Mothers are more prone to having dysfunctional children because of potential psychological issues stemming from a broken home or not being taught discipline consistently.

Don't Give Them Everything You Never Had

An approach to disciplining kids is not by what you do, but what you don't do. Some parents developed the idea that besides providing the basics: food; clothing; and shelter, they also need to give their children everything they never had growing up. This could take many forms. However, it's most expressed in expensive name brand clothing, accessories, electronics, toys, etc. Their kids get anything their heart's desire and they're never deprived of anything. Is this necessary? And is it really an expression of love? It's understandable that some parents may have felt deprived while growing up. They had to endure watching their friends or even other family members having more stuff than them. Also, depending on your age your kids may have access to things you never had access to in your childhood.

It's important that we realize that children are dependents for the first 18 years of their lives. We're responsible for providing everything they need until they're old enough to provide for themselves. The problem today is that there are a lot of adults who've never outgrown the dependency phase. Children should learn as early as possible that they're not entitled to constant rewards only because they exist.

It's tempting to want to give our children whatever they want when you're a single parent. It's a pacifier that soothes their real desires (love and attention), while we're busy holding everything together. We believe that we're meeting their needs because we feel that they're not being deprived of anything. In reality, we're doing a lot of psychological damage. They expect things for no special reason and if you don't meet those expectations regularly, they may become agitated or hostile. It creates the proverbial monster. Have you ever heard the line? "You always say no", even if it happens rarely. To eradicate the monster, they need to get used to hearing the word 'no' equally as 'yes.' By not spoiling them, they'll learn to value what they already have and appreciate anything new they're given. Gifts will become an unexpected surprise as opposed to something they expect.

Don't Tolerate Disrespect

Just before the toddler years, we erect gates and barriers around the house; in front of kitchen doors, at the top and bottom of stairs and basements to avoid accidents. Although, preventing accidents is not always possible. Each one of my children has fallen down the stairs, several times around 1 - 2 years old. We need to set barriers or boundaries in training our kids on how to behave. Since it's easier for children to learn new languages when they're very young, it's easier to set boundaries and have them respect them as soon as possible. Most kid's first word is 'no'. They learn to say no quicker because it's the word they hear most often. Often it's being said as a deterrent rather than a punishment. If we wait until they're of school age to set boundaries, it may be too late. Teachers need to recondition them and it won't be a smooth transition.

We're busy mothers. As a result, we like to put things off until it's necessary. A child lacking discipline can lead to some embarrassing moments. For example, if a child learns that screaming at the register will get them the bag of gummy bears every time, they'll do it every time. If we give them the bag of gummy bears, they will stop screaming and whining while we’re trying the pay the cashier and stop the perception that you’re incapable of controlling your child. If we say no and let them screen, we delay gratification and train We delay discipline and encourage bad behaviors to avoid the work it takes to discipline a child. However, delayed reactions will cause them believing that they're in control and not you, resulting in many embarrassing moments.

When we do not set or enforce rules from an early stage, kids won't know that there are boundaries that they cannot cross. We may handle these little issues that come up at home with more compassion, but it becomes problematic when they're in school. Teachers may not be as compassionate as we are as parents and they get the impression that our children have not training or is being neglected at home. To avoid those disruptive and embarrassing phone calls from the school, we need to ensure that they adhere to the rules set at home so that there won't be a surprise when they start school and realize that they have rules.

Another reason it's important to set rules and stick to it is that you don't want to risk the chance of losing their respect. In their minds, they're in control, and if they feel that they can push you around or try to manipulate you, they will. It's normal for children to test the boundaries and try to circumvent the rules, so it's important not waver or be wishy-washy when they test the limits. One or the worse things you can do as a parent is spoil your child. You know that your child being needs more training when they make demands and expect you to jump at their commands. They get combative with you by arguing back and not respecting you as an authority figure.

Don't Be Too Friendly

We love our children so we naturally want our kids to like us as people. Have you ever said to them "I'm your mother not your friend!" I say that I'd rather my kids dislike me now than resent me later. Your job as a mother is not to be their friend but to make sure they're on track to being the best versions of themselves. We must strive to live a life of little regrets and making your kids your friend too soon is something you might regret down the road.

You can mislead a child into thinking your their friend by telling them too much. They need not know about all the problems you're going through at work, with friendships and relationships. This can blur the lines between parent and child creating a confusing dynamic. When you are ready to discipline and dispel punishment, you will get resistance thinking you're on the same level.

They may start with-holding information from you that may be important, such as problems with school or even their relationships with friends. They may not feel comfortable confiding in you because they may not trust that you will help them resolve their issues. Some children may even feel like they're raising themselves.

Once you've crossed the line from parent/child relationship to friendship, it may be difficult to regain control and could lead to bigger problems down the road. Children rely on consistency and well-defined boundaries to feel safe and stable. They need to know that parents are their protectors and their role models.

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