Is it possible to balance a demanding full-time career, a busy side business, and being a single mom? While balance may not be the “right” word, it is possible to do all these things as long as you’re taking care of one thing: you.
Below is an overview of my interview with Keyona about balancing single motherhood. For the complete conversation listen to episode 16 of Grace for Single Parents wherever you listen to podcasts.
Balancing Single Motherhood with a Full-Time Career
- Keyona talks about her demanding 24 hours shifts at work and how she had to reduce her hours: I didn’t want to be missing overnight from a newborn baby and I didn’t want to have to trust someone else to keep my child overnight.
- So I gave that up and that was a lucrative part of my job. So I took a pay cut in order to have a more stable schedule, even though my schedule is still kinda sporadic.
- She talks about daycare issues as a single mom that don’t match her work schedule: I would’ve picked something that had a little more options for her and opportunities for growth. But I feel so limited because I had to go with what’s going to be open for her. And I also take calls still.
- In the healthcare field, she works 24 hours shifts which are difficult for her daughter: I try to have it where my mom or dad will come up and visit us that weekend
Misconceptions in the Workplace About Single Moms
- And people to be like, Oh, you’re the single mom and get that label at work and you’ll get resentment from the other people who aren’t mothers and who think that like, Oh, so she, she had a child by choice, you know, like, why should I get punished or have to do these things? And she doesn’t have to do them because she has a baby. Like, you know, whose fault is that?
- But it’s a give and take. I may not be able to do some things so I make up for it in other ways by staying late when I can or picking up an extra shift if my daughter’s dad is in town.
- I still contribute to what’s going on with the team. And what I’ve seen happen is that people who may not be familiar with what it is to be a working mom.
- Once other people find themselves in that position, they kind of like change a little bit, even if they’re not a single mom, they kind of understand the demands of being a mom.
- And breastfeeding was another one of those challenges that I had to face because my daughter had a dairy allergy and I was just not going to put her on formula. So I adjusted my own, but I ate to compensate for her allergy, but she’s depending on me to eat and I need to pump regularly so that I can feed my daughter appropriately.
Balancing Self-Care as a Single Mom
- I struggled with [taking my child to daycare on my days off] more when she was younger. Now I don’t struggle with it at all. And one of the reasons is one time I caught myself going to daycare early to pick her up because I was done with work early and I didn’t go in, I could sneak in, they have like a glass door to the classroom and I was looking at her and she was playing and having a great time.
- She was having so much fun and that made me feel so much better knowing that she is actually enjoying her time at daycare. And that gave me the freedom to enjoy my time too.
- And I also had to reconcile that I am a much better mother and a much more present mother when I have taken care of my own needs. Because when I’m exhausted and just burned out because I’ve been going nonstop at this thing, I’m not good for her or for myself.
- Self-care for you as a working mom and especially as a single mom and you don’t get that much time by yourself. Take advantage of it and don’t look at it as you’re stealing away time from your kids. You’re actually going to be giving them more focus on cause you’re not distracted.
Society’s Pressures on Single Moms
- I never in a million years imagine that I would be a single mom.
- I was okay being a single woman but you know, society puts these different pressures on you and has these different images out there of what motherhood looks like in what parenting and families look like. that’s the theory that I also followed. And so I never thought I would be here.
- And in the beginning, you know a lot of people become single moms from divorce or the death of a spouse or you know, something like that. But that’s not my situation at all. I was dating my daughter’s father and I thought that it was going to be a relationship that went the distance, but it didn’t and that’s how I became a single mom.
- And at first, I couldn’t really enjoy my pregnancy or anything because I felt like I had done something wrong because here I was a single woman that was now having this baby and I did not do it the right way at all, according to society. And I just want to say to the single moms out there that there is nothing wrong with you because you’re a single mom.
- Motherhood by itself is extremely taxing and yes, there are married women out there who feel like they’re functioning as a single mom, but they still do have some help that we as single mothers do not get.
- So don’t ever underestimate yourself. Don’t down yourself like you aren’t amazing. You are a strong person and you are doing something that many couldn’t do. So now I wear it as a badge of honor. That isn’t a feeling to be embarrassed by it.
Find Out More About Keyona
Check out the free dream discovery roadmap Keona created on her blog over at professionalmomma.com/dream-discovery. She helps you rediscover your dreams and get back to you.