It’s never easy to be apart from your children, but for the last two years that has been my reality. For a long time, my days were filled with the suffocating depression of solitude and feelings of inadequacy. Once I took charge of my life, that all changed and in less than a week, my son will return to me for the rest of his life!
A tiny back story: my son’s father and I separated in early 2010 – no amount of couples therapy could have helped us. I moved to El Paso, Texas – he stayed in Clovis, NM. Life was good in El Paso for my son & I – until all I could land were temp jobs. The temp jobs weren’t paying the bills, despite how minimal my bills were. Daycare was expensive & a growing boy needed a lot of food and clothes for his developing body and mind.
My wages were so low that I couldn’t afford my vehicle anymore, so it was repossessed. No problem – we took the bus and walked to places. It was kind of nice actually.
The kicker came in 2012 when my temp contract wasn’t extended – not because of anything I did, but because I just wasn’t needed anymore.
At that moment, I found myself without a job, vehicle and unable to care for my son. Did I mention that I also have no living relatives that could help me out?I was alone at the bottom of a pit and I couldn’t have my son go through that with me.
Despite our differences as a couple, my son’s father is an excellent parent and I’ve never felt any different about that. I told him about my financial predicament and he agreed to take care of our son for the next year while I found a stable source of income and got a better life established.
- It forced me to think outside the box: I don’t have a degree and I didn’t know anyone that would would personally help me get a job. I do, however, possess many talents and I just had to find a way to get the people that mattered in the city to notice me.
- It forced me to be competitive and confident about my skills. In a city of over 700,000 people, I had to prove that I am the best in my field – even without a degree.
- Saying that I am the best isn’t the same as actually proving that I’m the best. I did a lot of work for free to build my resume and to build a following and name recognition.
The most important lesson I’ve learned about being a single parent is that you need to make yourself a priority.
You no longer have two sources of income or another set of hands to help with the day-to-day things. You have to be able to confidently take the reigns on your personal life so that the rest will fall into place.
Despite my son’s young age, he understood the situation well and handled it all very maturely. If there is ever a time in the future when he wonders why he spent so much time away from me – I can confidently say that this time apart has allowed me to build a better life for the both of us.
The BEST project you’ll ever work on is you.