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I recently had the pleasure of being able to interview Single Mom, Nina who is serving in the Air Force and has a 4 year-old daughter. She shares her story about being a single mom and what that looks like when you are in the military.
My name is Nina and I am 24 years old. I currently live between Germany and Atlanta, GA, where I was born and raised. I am a proud mom to a 4-year-old daughter named Destini, who loves the color purple and all things princess. I currently serve full-time in the world’s greatest Air Force and have been enlisted for over 5 years. My hobbies include cooking, spending time with my daughter, and traveling all over the world. My passion is to help people and create long-lasting relationships through networking.
How did you become a single mom, i.e. divorce (what’s your story)?
I got married at 19 years old, which is very early to some people. Long story short, I felt as if I needed more out of life. At that time, I was not comfortable settling as a wife and giving up my dreams to be solely focused on home. So after 3 years of suppressing my goals, I decided that I was happier without and moved on to be a single mom on the move.
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?
I no longer date because I am now engaged to be married. It was the best move that I could have ever made because I now have a friend and a lover that my daughter has grown to love. I think single moms should introduce the men that they date around their child as soon as they feel comfortable. There is no particular timeframe but the last thing you want is to invest a year into someone and your child does not get along with them. Dating is different and it is hard to date as a single mom because you tend to worry about how the man feels about you and your child instead of focusing on growing your relationship.
How are single moms treated in the military?
Depending on your location, single mothers can get a lot of backlash about work. The biggest problem that I encountered dealt with the work hours because I worked a job where my shift was beyond the hours of the daycare. If I had to leave work to handle my child when she was sick or to pick her up from daycare by a certain time, then I would hear about it from my supervisors.
Is your daughter in Germany with you? How do you manage child care? How do you deal with having to leave your daughter when you have to go abroad?
My child is here with me in Germany and now that she is in elementary school, she goes to a before and after school babysitter. When I deal with deployments and have to leave my child behind with family, it is very,very difficult for me emotionally and physically to be away, however my child is at the age now where she knows that I will be back soon and that I’m just a Skype call away. Plus, she enjoys checking the mail for gifts from mom.
What values do you want/are you instilling in your daughter?
I definitely want my daughter to understand the value of family and friends. With our military lifestyle and picking up our life and moving every 3 years, she has met a lot of people and left a lot of people as well. I want her to understand that just because they aren’t there physically does not mean that you cannot have a relationship with those close to you. While she is seeing the world at a young age, she also gets to fly on an airplane 3-4 times a year and learn other languages and cultures. Another value I would instill is humility because no matter how many times you have seen the world or how much money you make, you have to sacrifice and work hard for your goals. Nothing is handed to you.
What advice would you give to a newly single mom?
Take as much time as you need to better yourself as a person and a mother. Don’t miss out on the joys of dating and whatever you do, do not bring old baggage into a new relationship. Get out and test the waters!What is the best advice that you ever received about single parenthood?
The best advice I ever received was from my future husband. He showed me that you have to let go and let down your guard sometimes and allow people to make positive impressions on your life. If not, you may wake up one day and see how much time you wasted dwelling on the past.
3 words that would describe you?
Classy, Funny and Passionate
3 words that describe your parenting style?
Encouraging, Communicative, Disciplinarian
How do you respond to people who say, “I don’t know how you, single moms do it. It must be so hard?”
The reward of being a parent is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It’s the challenge that makes it worthwhile.
Do you think that people look down on single mothers?
Unfortunately, people can be rude to single mothers without knowing their story or struggle and it is becoming the status quo. A lot of teenagers are having babies and it has just become a bit of a norm.
You can find me at:
Blog — Cocoa Nina
Facebook – Cocoa Nina
Twitter – Cocoa Nina