Finally a breathe!
As I write this, I’m in Orlando poolside, chillin real hard with my feet kicked up. If you follow me on IG you probably already know and are already annoyed with my post and pictures. But its cool. DEAL!
I planned for this moment. I planned for this piece that I’m writing. I could’ve written it before now but I wanted to wait. I know it’s nothing like being caught in the essence of a moment and believe me, the feeling is so epic right now. I planned this trip the first week in February. At that time I didn’t think much of it. It was a family trip. I prayed for the strength to be able to handle two kids alone. (Still praying!) Then I thought of Disney world. Disney world. As majestical as it is made to seem, it actually has a super special meaning to me. It has nothing to do with Mickey or any Disney characters. It has everything to do with a big part of my struggle.
The year was 2008. This is the year I became a woman.
I’ve always put the kids first. God in his special, always on time way has always looked out for me in the most unheard of manner.
For instance, when I was pregnant with each child , I said I didn’t want to work for the first year of each child’s life. It was a little silent prayer I said to him but I found myself in the situation where I didn’t have to with each child. Don’t ask me how. I don’t even know how it worked. But I paid my car note and I paid my rent. I say all of this so you will catch my drift. I wasn’t used to relying on anyone but myself and my God.
In August 2007, I quite my job. Just in case you didn’t know, the workforce is really no place for a single parent with no solid support system. So there I was with a one year old and a five year old that was getting ready to start Kindergarten. The job I had was all the way in Springfield, VA and had me working until 8 o clock on Wednesdays. I knew that would not work as no after care would be able to accommodate until 8 pm. So humbly, I asked if they could give me a month to figure out what I needed to do in regards to childcare for that one day. I asked if it was okay that I still leave at 5:30 on this days as well. The answer was no.
So, I did what any parent who loves their child would do. I quit. I don’t know if they expected me to pick that job over my daughters schooling but I rationalized it as it was just a job. I could always get another one but my child only has one shot at having a functional, heathy childhood. The way I saw it, God would look out for me because I did the right thing.
However, my God had other plans. It was not going to be as easy as finding another job. This was the start of an evolution within myself. For 15 months I went without work. Fifteen months with two small children and a daddy that was nowhere to be found and that certainly didn’t care. Up until this point, I was a completely trusting person as far as handing a clean slate to people. I always start everybody out with trust and leave it on them to hang themselves versus the untrusting person that allows you to earn their trust. Let me tell you, I feel the shit out of those people now.
All of the sudden, it was all type of people coming at me sideways. When I say sideways, I’m talking men and just a heap of sexual innuendo. When I was doing well, I had a bevy of platonic male “friends”. But given my jobless status, some saw this as an opportunity to offer me up for sexual favors in exchange for money. I had one guy ”friend” tell me , ” I couldn’t be no woman. If all I had to do was open my legs and know that I can get what I need thats all I’d need.” This of course was in an effort for him to get me to have sex with him. I had another associate that spoke to from time to time try to offer up a relationship with me. That wasn’t gonna work though. I knew his true occupation. He was a pimp. Like straight up. I even went to an older female and told her of my troubles and was told ” Looks like you need to start selling some ass.” WTF! All of the sudden. I’m being made to feel like all my problems would be solved if I used my sex to entrap people. Every bit of my morale and ethic was being tested at enormous proportions. And that’s when I learned that some people really do fucked up shit to get where they are in life. It rolled off of peoples tongues too effortlessly to be anything but. Sex and money, money and sex. I never fell victim to it though. I refused everyone. I cut off everybody. I spoke to no one. But, I did pray. This is where faith is put to the test. This is what women were made of. When you have nothing and still take a stand. When you refuse to be anything else but the queen God intended for you to be. Sure my kids would’ve been fed, but I wouldn’t have been able to look at myself. I lost all self respect for myself because for a time because I couldn’t do what I needed to do for the kids without restriction.But I would’ve lost my self respect forever if I did something that went against my morale in order to do so. We’re talking about a chic that was able to do whatever she pleased. The devil tested me so viciously but I prevailed.
We struggled for a long time. I’m talking about the kids being so young but having enough compassion for mommy to ask if I had money before they would ask for something, even something as simple as a bag of candy. It made me feel horrible but grateful at the same time. These tiny little souls, so connected to me that they would put my needs ahead of theirs but still me feeling horrible because they were kids and shouldn’t have to worry about my problems. I’m talking about living in one bedroom for a brief stint. I’m talking food stamps. I’m talking at Christmas time I only had 300 dollars to spend and then a week before Christmas my car got towed for 150. But I made it work. I’m talking working a temp job in the daytime and being a server at Outback at night. Things I said I’d never do, I did. I was making progress but at the time still felt so bad inside.
In the summer of 2008, the kids and I were blessed with the opportunity to go to Disney world for the first time, all expenses paid. Even though they were so young, they still had a good time. You could see the excitement on their faces as they were completely enamored at what they saw. They even got return trinkets in the form of autograph books that Madison swore she would get signed if we ever returned. I remember feeling like shit because I felt that she would never get to return. I’m a single ,black mom that didn’t graduate college and was barely getting by and was destined to fail the workforce by design. When would I be able to afford this especially living my life of strong morale?
Well, five years later we are back!!!! Today is my big girls’ birthday and I have that book. I saved it even though I never thought we would use it and she’s gonna get every autograph she can dream of! I never, ever thought we’d have enough again to do anything like this. I thought I was condemned to a life of mediocracy because I refused to be something else less than what God intended for me to be. I’ve always thought my true riches would await me in heaven but now I know that I can have some of what I want here on earth too and just to expect bigger and better and an abundance of once I take my last breathe.
Me and my babies, we made it! And we did it on our own terms, not the way somebody told me I should be. This outcome is not only specific to us but to anybody that stands for whatever it is they believe in. I stood for morality so I didn’t fall when the devil came knocking at my door.
Young mothers, don’t fall. Know that you are the most prime example that your child will have in life. Know that when you’re down, your children are down. It is a struggle. These are the prices we pay for falling into sin the first go round by having children outside of wedlock but you dont have to perpetuate that lifestyle any further. It may not be easy all the time. But I promise once you learn the lesson and actually see Gods lesson and let it manifest, it gets easier. SOMETIMES I FEEL SO CRAZY FOR TELLING SO MUCH OF MY PAST. But I’d rather tell you how I struggled to get to where I am versus how many times I laid on my back to get it. You have a choice. You might think” hoes be winning” but they really don’t. Don’t fall victim to the fad. Don’t let labels move you. Don’t let media influence you . Raise your kids, and raise them so that they become productive citizens, not recipients.
Well, I have to go now. Me and the babies are off to Magic Kingdom. The Disney portion of the trip is still a secret and I am super anxious to see happy faces this morning!
Until next time…..