Today’s guest post comes from Samantha Gregory, who blogs over at www.richsinglemomma.com. A mother of two, she really knows what’s talking about. She also has a series of Single Mom Success Guides that help with issues ranging from child support to finding your own happiness. She’s definitely the truth, so make sure you pay attention.
I have been a single mom for 12 years. I had both of my children outside of marriage and they are from different men.
I could be ashamed and for a long time I was. I could barely hold my head up on some days. It seemed like everyone was looking down on me and criticizing me about my life choices.
I didn’t set out to get pregnant but I didn’t empower myself to not get pregnant. After a series of heartbreaks, disappointments, and disillusionment I decided that I had to make some changes.
The first thing I did was get on a semi-permanent birth control. I got something I didn’t have to think about everyday and would last for 10 years. I’ve never regretted that decision and felt more empowered than ever. The next thing I did was move to a different city to start my life over again. I got a job and soon began going to school at night. I was determined to get my bachelor’s degree and get a better paying job.
Things went well from an academic and professional standpoint. I graduated Cum Laude and got the best paying job that I ever could have imagined. I became a Technical Writer for the National Aeronautical Space Administration or NASA for short. I was now making more than enough money to provide for my children.
I didn’t have to depend on the child support coming on time or at all. My life and financial health didn’t depend on another person. That was most liberating and I didn’t waste my time being upset and angry at other people. I was able to put them in private school, buy a house and a new car. I was even getting my credit together, which relieved a lot of pressure.
I never imagined that things could turn around so quickly – actually it took about three years. When my life was spiraling out of control through reckless behaviors, depression, and anger I could do little to help myself. At least I thought I couldn’t, but I soon learned that I have just as much control over my own life as I allowed other people to have. When I realized that I could make my life into whatever I wanted it to be I made plans to succeed.
Success is a planned process. It doesn’t just happen. A young single mom just starting out may feel helpless and hopeless but that is not the only reality. You have to decide what you want, write down your vision or plans for your life, and take the first step to complete your goals. To get to that point in your life you have to change your mindset. Negative thinking, anger toward your ex or significant others only hinder your progress.
You have to wipe away the negativity and stop wasting energy on being angry, depressed, and self-destructive. Instead find the positive in everything and focus on that. It’s hard at first and you may feel like Little Sally Sunshine, but it get’s easier the more you practice it.
The next thing you should do is take good care of yourself. This means eating right, exercising, reading inspirational books, listening to life affirming music, and getting proper rest (hard sometimes but try). When you are feeling run down, sick, and hang around negative people all of the time you cannot focus your mind or have the will power to make significant changes in your life.
Find positive people to hang around and learn from. Find a big sister or mentor to talk things out with. It is important to get advice from people who are where you want to be. A person who has never been wealthy can’t give you money advice. That philosophy applies in every aspect of life. A person who continutes to have a string of breakups cannot tell you how to have a good relationship.
Remember that you are in complete control of your life. No one can make you do anything that you don’t want to do. In the same way, you can not make anyone do anything they don’t want to do either. When you learn this simple lesson life gets easier. Letting go of controlling behavior liberates you to be exactly who you want to be.
You can only be a positive influence, mentor, or advisor to the people who want this from you. Your children have to listen to you for the first few years of their lives because they don’t know any better, but even they will only need you as an advisor when they get older. They have to learn how to control themselves just like you have to.
So what does this have to do with creating the life you want? Everything in fact. When you learn self control, take control of the person you can change (yourself), then you can achieve anything you want to achieve. Your life begins to change because you have set goals, you’ve changed how you think, and you look for positive things to happen.