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Catch Me Elsewhere
Last year I hit my dirty thirties & year one isn’t treating me too bad. Getting older isn’t nearly as dreadful as I made it out to be in my mid-twenties. The aging process is inevitable, I say embrace it & should I be lucky enough to one day have gray hair, I plan on owning every single strand!
I’m a Valley Girl through and through however, I’ve adapted to my Southern Belle surroundings and call the South home sweet home. I’m mother to a sassy three old daughter who had a name as soon as I knew I was bringing a baby girl into the world; Elle. I’ve been a stay-at-home for two years now and prior to spending my days chauffeuring, laundering, cooking & cleaning. I worked various administrative positions. I am planning on making my triumphant return to the workforce when Elle starts school. I never pictured myself as a stay-at-home-mom; working is just what you do, right? But here I am with the opportunity to be hands on in a way that being a working mom just doesn’t allow. I potty trained her; it’s one of the things I’m most proud of. We did it!
As for hobbies I love a fun girl’s night out, college football, festivals both foodie & the libation variety, trying my hand at making something I found off of pinterest & most recently I’ve added learning to sew to my skill set. I have a passion for baking & writing. Being in the kitchen with my mixer, measuring cups and ingredients is my happy place. I love seeing my friends and family enjoy them too! It wasn’t until just a few days ago when someone told me I was a writer that I was even aware of it. I mean I’ve been writing for a few years, telling the story of life. I try to do it in a way that an audience of my peers is able to relate to. There’s comfort in knowing that what we think and feel as mothers or women even isn’t something that is unique just to us. We are a part of something much bigger.
How did you become a single mom, i.e. divorce (what’s your story).
My single mom story goes something like this: One passion filled night became a life changing moment. It wasn’t a one night stand nor was it a loving relationship. When my “monthly visitor” had yet to pay me a visit it was time to pay the pregnancy test aisle one. Three years and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I peed, waited, saw two pink lines, referred back to the key & then tears, lots of tears. A few uncomfortable conversations with the man whose world I rocked & there I found myself pregnant and rather quickly standing solo at a crossroads; the corner of motherhood and my life as I knew it. I chose to take on motherhood alone. It was the scariest and easiest choice I’ve ever made. It was a hard nine months filled with everything from anger to self-doubt. I was mad at myself for being so irresponsible and thoughts of “can you even really do this” bombarded me. Then the sharp pains started, a short car ride later and I was being wheeled into a hospital. I gave birth and have been trying to figure out this thing called motherhood every day since.
Do you have any contact with Elle’s Dad? If not, what will you tell your daughter about her father?
No, I do not have contact with him and I honestly don’t have any idea what I will tell her. There are books about this stuff, right? The way I see it, I will pick up the phone and it’ll go something like this, “It’s Vanessa, in 2009 we made a human being & this human being wants to meet you…”
Do you date? Are you in a relationship? When do you think that single moms should bring the men they date around their child? Is dating different as a single parent? Do you think it’s harder to date as a single mom?
Yes, I am active in the dating scene. I’m not in a relationship. There are men in my life that I’m fond of but I just haven’t found the right fit for me yet and I refuse to settle for just anyone because I don’t want be alone or I want my daughter to have a dad. I can tell you that the latter has never crossed my mind and that’s because I’ve got this and to allow another person into the dynamic of me and my daughter and actually give input in a way that I would find value in, hasn’t been anywhere close to happening. I’m perfectly content with that.
I think that single moms have to have the strictest of frameworks when it comes to introducing someone you’re seeing to your child(ren). For me her safety is number one. I can’t just allow anyone around her. She’s so special to me that I would have to feel that for a man before I would ever consider an introduction taking place. I’m thirty, my life isn’t over by any stretch of the imagination & finding love is something that I want but not something that I’m looking to rush into. I say take your time, trust your intuition & see what your friends and family think of this person. Oh, a background check never hurt anyone!
Dating as a single mother is different then it was when I was a single girl. My time is valuable in a way that I didn’t realize before, because I never had to. I do think dating as a single mom is a little trickier. For one, kids don’t appeal to all men. I mean we’re talking deal breaker territory. I’m not able to just drop whatever I’m doing and go on a date. Planning things is essential for my life & spontaneity just doesn’t lend itself to being a mom, at least for me it doesn’t.
What advice would you give to a recently single mom?
For me it’s all about balance. I think you should take the time to re-get to know yourself. I live, eat & breathe my daughter and sometimes she’s the only thing that I have to talk about. I can barely remember the person I was before motherhood happened. Go out & have some damn fun! However it is, that you define fun. Loving our kids comes as naturally as breathing does but taking care of ourselves doesn’t. So splurge on a haircut or go get a mani/pedi because when you feel good you’re good to people around you. On the men front, tread lightly. Keep it flirty, keep it casual and for good measure kiss a few.
How important is it to have a support system as a single mom?
It’s crucial. Breaks are necessary and having a few trustworthy people to hand your kid off are kind of nice. My family is absolutely amazing. Without them I wouldn’t be able to be the social mom that I am.
What is the best advice that you ever received about parenthood?
Oh goodness, I couldn’t tell you. What I can tell you is to do it your way. Figure out whose opinion and feedback matters and just mute the rest.
3 words that would describe you?
Vivacious. Witty. Zealous.
3 words that describe your parenting style?
Communication. Nurturing. Expectations.
What are the three most important values/lessons that you will teach your daughter?
Don’t let fear stand in the way of living the life you want
Do you think that people look down on single mothers?
Yes, at least for those of us out there that skipped the whole “till death do you part” thing. I can say looking back it’s something I felt in a way that I don’t now. For one you could call me a “good girl” and good girls don’t go having unprotected sex and getting themselves pregnant, right? Well this good girl did just that.
How do you respond to people who say, “I don’t know how you single moms do it. It must be so hard?”
You mean the eye roll is a given, right? We have to come to a point where we understand there is more than one way to end up a single mom. Not all of us are out there getting knocked up from a one night stand. But back to the question, it goes something like this: I have fantastic support. I don’t even think about it. Things have to get done. So they get done. I think being a mom is a universal experience so the fact that I don’t have a shiny diamond on my ring finger at the end of the day doesn’t make what I go through any different from what you do.
Where can my readers reach you?
They can find me on:
Blog: Too Cute for Mom Jeans
Facebook: Too Cute for Mom Jeans
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BEING A FEATURED SINGLE MOMMY, PLEASE EMAIL US AT firstname.lastname@example.org.