Happy St. Patrick’s Day Eve!
It was recently brought to my attention by a friend that I’d lost my glow and carefree attitude. While trying to process her assessment, I had to dial it back a bit and consider if what she said had some sort of truth or relevancy. In doing so, I realized that she wasn’t lying or hating. She was correct. If you're like me, self-care is something that I often forget to do. Like most mothers, I tend to neglect my own needs and wants while placing my child’s well-being at the forefront. I’d become so engulfed in being a mother that I forgot that I matter too.
The words neglect and self-care grabbed ahold of my heart like a vice grip. Isn’t it funny how we think we have everything under control and God sends someone to remind us that we have nothing under control? In this instance, God used my long-time friend to remind me that I should care for myself more than I realized. So, in the spirit of reflection and change, I prayed for guidance and decided to start doing more for myself. Once I came to that conclusion, I began to think about my budget and how to navigate this newfound self-care without breaking the bank. As a single mother, budgeting is not only important but sometimes impossible. So, I decided to start my new self-care routine using things that I already had at home and wouldn’t need to purchase. Since starting to take better care of myself, I’ve begun to regain that glow I once had and I’m loving it. I encourage every mom, single or not, to take a little time for themselves and find that glow. If you need a little help with ideas, here are a few that I think you may enjoy. Let’s glow up, moms!
- Written by Ashley Williams
It’s Hump Day, Moms!!
Spring is near, Moms. As we near the end of the winter season, I’ve begun to clean and organize my closet in preparation for the upcoming spring season. As I was swapping out boots for sandals, I found myself wondering if I was moving prematurely in doing so. Let’s be honest, here in Memphis, we frequently experience all four seasons in one day. If the winter weather isn’t quite over, am doing myself a disservice by getting rid of what I may still need despite the seasons changing? Am I doing the same in my personal life and possibly causing more harm than good?
As moms, we all know the importance of cleaning and organizing. My son’s playroom has 1,000 toys strewn across the floor at any given time, so cleaning up is routine in our home. However, there’s something about having to reorganize an entire closet and wardrobe that doesn’t sit well with me. Having to decide what to keep and what to get rid of is a difficult decision for me. Those boots I haven’t worn in years seem to stare me down as I throw them in a bag to be given away. That faux fur jacket I never wear starts to look like an expensive mink coat that I should keep just in case. Honestly, I don't know what my “just in case” is, but it seems as if these irrelevant things have a stronghold on me.
However, I won't act like this doesn’t also apply to more than just material items. I often find myself struggling to get rid of people and things that I know bring nothing of value to my life. Why can't I part with things that look nice but serve no purpose in my life? That's the exact question I found myself asking God in prayer. I needed answers because it wasn’t adding up. The elders say that when we pray, we should look and listen for the answers we need. So, as I prayed and sought God, I began to wait for God’s response. What I got was more than I expected. It was as though a lightbulb went off and I realized that once again the answers were already in my heart. Remember, God always internally equips us with what we need to navigate this thing called life. What I found was that I’d been allowing fear to control me. The fear of the unknown, the fear of rejection, and most importantly, the fear of trusting my own decisions. How am I a mother raising a child, yet I doubt myself?
At any rate, I know I’m not alone in this self-sabotaging behavior. How often do we know deep within that a job no longer serves us, but we stay because we’re scared to trust God’s plan? What about staying in a relationship, whether platonic or romantic, because we don’t believe we deserve better? It’s funny how God will use an everyday situation, such as spring cleaning, to open our eyes to the raw reality that we’ve been emotionally hoarding. Just like the material things we refuse to part ways with, holding on to things that don’t serve us clutters our spiritual closets. What a revelation! Moving forward, I vow to begin my spiritual cleaning and start by removing anything or anyone that doesn’t serve me or my child. Will you join me, sister?
-Written by Ashley Williams
Happy March 2nd, Moms!
Can you believe that we’re already in March? It seems like we were just ringing in the New Year. Time flies when you’re a mother but when you’re a single mother with little to no help, time is almost a fantasy. It seems as if there aren’t enough hours in the day and we’re often stretched thin. Between making sure our kids are loved, well-fed, educated, clothed, and happy, there is little time for mom. I mean, throw in our careers and personal aspirations for a little razzle-dazzle, and what is time?
Time is defined as the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole. Indefinite continued progress of existence sums up my life as a mother. There are days that I put my son to bed and just lay staring at the ceiling wondering how I even made it through the day. Other days, I’m lucky to have even been able to account for the moments of the day because the entire day was a long, exhausting blur. At times, it seems as if I’m just existing day to day and only living to take care of my son and “be a mom”.
Honestly, I’m often running on fumes alone. My spiritual gas is low and I’m barely making it to my next stop. However, it is in those moments that I realize that God has been carrying me the entire way. That day that I had 1.5 million things to do, I did them all. That day that I had to rush out of the door to be on time, despite my son having a fit over what shoes he wanted to wear, I did it. That day that I was so overwhelmed with life and wanted to run away, I still showed up as Mom. That day I experienced heartbreak, I wiped my tears and persevered. What I wouldn't give to have someone step in as the parent so that I can escape life even for a short moment. However, that's not the reality for many single moms.
While I’d like to think it was my superhuman strength that got me through some of my most trying moments, it wasn’t. In fact, despite what my son thinks, I'm not Supermom. There's no cape and there aren’t any superpowers. God has equipped me with exactly what I need to make it during times of exhaustion, adversity, and pain. Even when I feel alone and weak, he gives me the fuel I need to push through. Without God’s help, I don’t know where I’d be. He is the real superhero in my life. If we're being honest, he's the superhero in all our lives.
I encourage every mom that reads this to remember that even when we’re running on fumes, God is riding right beside us on a full tank. He’s our 24 hr roadside assistance and tow service. He’s our mechanic and our technician. So, the next time you find yourself on “E” and stranded on the hard and often lonely road of single motherhood, remember where your help comes from. Let’s also remember that we’ve all been stretched thin so when you see a mom that could use a hand, be kind and offer one. It takes a village, and we must show up for one another. Let’s continue striving for balance and peace. Be blessed, sisters.
- Ashley Williams