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So What You Saying?
Tell us about yourself
Hey, I’m Carica and I’m a live outside of Philly (PA) girl! I’m a cool thirty-two year old with an awesome 10-year-old daughter. I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and have used that Temple University degree to work as a Consultant, amongst other self-employed ventures. Right now, my hobby is blogging/writing at my blog site, Properhoney. I love to write, travel (near or far), eat good food, cook good food, love on my baby girl, and create as many enjoyable moments in life as possible.
How did you become a single mom…what’s your story?
I became a single mom at seven months pregnant. My daughter’s father (aka “the deadbeat”) decided after three years and a soon to be baby, he didn’t want the responsibility. Came home one day, and his stuff was gone. No “Dear John” letter, no, “I’ll catch you later.” Nothing.
Does your child have any contact with her dad? If not, has she asked about him and if so, how do you explain his absence?
My child doesn’t have any contact with her loser bio dad, but she spends every day with her real dad…the man who has come into our lives and loves her unconditionally. She has definitely asked about him, but it is not a frequent question for her (maybe three times in her whole ten-year life). I explained his absence in the most honest way I could to a nine-year old kid. I explained that he has chosen to not be in our life (it is very important that I say our, because I don’t want her to feel like he rejected or abandoned her alone) for a reason that I can’t explain. I told her that it is nothing she has done but because he chooses to not be around, God has blessed her with some awesome men in her life: uncles, her real dad, and cousins, that walk all over loser bio dad (I don’t call him this to her, in fact, I don’t use any negative descriptors). My daughter accepted this answer, hugged me, patted my back, and said, “I’m sorry he left you like that, mom.”
I encourage my daughter that she can come to me and ask any questions about anything at anytime (even loser dad), and I won’t get upset. (Of course I will regret saying this during the approaching tween and teen years).
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 is harder to date as a single mom?
Currently, I am in a relationship of four years (almost), with an incredible man, who has supported me and loved my daughter unconditionally, since the day he fell in love with beautiful me. Being a single mom, it was always difficult for me to bring men around my daughter. There were men that I dated, that didn’t get the opportunity to meet her. It wasn’t necessary if what we had wasn’t that serious. Single moms should ONLY bring the men they date around their children, if they know they are with someone who is going to be there for the long haul. Kids should never see men, in and out of their mother’s life. My daughter didn’t meet my beau, until almost 10 months after we started dating. That may be too long for some, but she wasn’t use to me bringing anyone home, and she was only five, and I didn’t want her to grow affection or resentment.
Dating is different as a single parent, at least it should be. It’s a little harder because it’s not just you who has to be a part of the relationship, but the child and the boyfriend have to be considered. He has to treat the kids just as good as he treats the mamma. And the kid(s) has to be ready and able to accept another crew member in the band.
What is the best advice that you ever received about single parenthood?
The best advice wasn’t in words but in actions. It was the example of my mother. If she could do it, I could do it. She is my inspiration, and watching her make so many sacrifices and decisions for me to have an outstanding life, encouraged me to do the same for my girl.
How do you respond to people who say, “I don’t know how you single moms do it? It must be so hard?”
It’s not diffusing a bomb, it’s raising a child. Although, I was a single mom, I was not a single parent. I had the help of my mother and uncle, who stepped in and played the role of mommy, daddy, and/or both when needed, so I could graduate from college, on time and pursue career choices.
Do you think that people look down on single mothers?
“Look down on”, is so horrible to say or do. Being a single mom is not a plague. If anything, people should support the single mother. No one knows the reason behind their parenthood plight. Father could have died, relationship could have ended mutually, or father could have decided to leave without rhyme or reason. Being the daughter of a single mom, I can remember people looking down on and saying nasty things about my mom when I was a small child. But amazingly enough, my mom provided a better life for me, than most of the children of the naysayers with both parents in the home. I’m just saying, I believe in a two parent home, but I don’t believe that a single mother can’t produce the same, if not better, results. May not be as easy, but definitely not impossible.
Do you think that being raised by a single mom equipped you for becoming one yourself?
I wouldn’t say that being raised by a single mom equipped me for becoming a single mom, but it did equip me for being the best parent I can be. “No one ever said when I grow up, I want to be a single mom” (referenced from those anti-drug commercials. Remember those?) It was never in my plan to become a single parent, especially in my senior year of college, but because I had a strong up bringing by mom, who happened to be a single parent herself, I was equipped with the goods that I needed to succeed.
What life lessons do you think are important when raising a daughter?
When raising a child the number one life lesson, for me, is to put and keep God first in all things. For raising a daughter, a very important life lesson is to encourage your girl to always love herself from the inside out. She can’t look and be like everyone else because she is wonderfully and uniquely made. I try to encourage my daughter every chance I get. I tell her she is beautiful, I compliment her beautiful natural hair, I give her affection openly and behind closed doors. It is very important that she knows she is loved and what love is and is not.
What advice would you give a single mom who has reached the point where she is ready to introduce her child to the person she is dating? How should she go about it?
Don’t rush and make sure the timing is right on both sides. Mommy, hopefully at the point of introduction, you believe that you are with a man who loves you wholeheartedly and will be a great fit in your life and your child’s. The next step, you need to tell your child that there is someone who you wish for him/her to meet. Don’t dismiss your child’s feelings if they don’t agree, but don’t let your child control your life, because they don’t want to share you. Remember, if he’s the right one, mamma has to be happy, too!
3 words that would describe you?
Just three? Fun-loving, Spontaneous, Persistent/Determined
3 words that describe your parenting style?
Old school-traditional, daughter first/mommy second, Christ centered.
What advice would you give to a newly single mom?
Be encouraged. The most wonderful thing in the world is being a mother. You shouldn’t have to do it alone, because that is not how life was designed, but best believe you can do it. And at the right time, an incredible person will find you, and love on you and your child(ren) the way that you deserve.