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Four Empowering Lessons For Single Moms

Written By: Naomi Jones



Being a single mother does not have to be a career obstacle. You can make it a springboard into the greatness you want to achieve. If you are just starting out and feeling confused, I want to share four things I wish I understood when returning to the workplace after having my first child.

People’s opinions are their own, let them keep them. With a 12-week-old, I returned to work and commenced business as usual. I worked extended hours and attended after-work events to prove I could still be leadership material. I worked so hard to keep anyone from saying my work ethic had changed since I had my child. Guess what? It didn’t work. I was passed over for promotion after promotion for less qualified candidates.


As far as the good old boys’ club was concerned, I was not a good culture fit. I knew that before I ever got pregnant, but I tried anyway. I moved to a different organization and had the position, title, and pay I deserved from day one. Don’t waste time trying to convince people who have already made up their minds that you are not what they think.


The moment you became a mother everything changes – take time to acknowledge and OWN the change. You are a different person now. You will be driven by different motivators and have shifting priorities. That is okay. I tried a little too hard to forge forward with all my pre-pregnancy career plans but one day shortly after my daughter said her first word, I had an epiphany. My daughter was a blank slate. As a mom, I was a blank slate too. That realization helped me to shift priorities and create new definitions of what it would mean for me to be successful in my career. I didn’t want to miss developmental milestones because of work. I wanted a career I would be proud to explain to my daughter. That redirected all my plans, and it was the best decision for both of us.

Allow yourself the grace to change your mind. You do not have to give up on success, just redraw the path that will get you there as needed.


A support system is not a sign of weakness. I regret how long I remained determined to “do it on my own” as a single mother. That lasted for the first six months before I crashed and burned. My career, health, and relationships suffered.


I know for many of us single moms, our support system does not look the way we imagined. Support systems can look different for everyone. They will evolve over time. There is no shame in letting your child(ren) stay at daycare a little longer so you can take a shower uninterrupted. It is okay to drop them off at the grandparents so you can nap and watch an R-rated movie. Curate your village with care and allow them to support you.


You still deserve self-care. Whatever that means to you, you are still worthy of it. You do not need to wait until the kids grow up. Take care of yourself now, it will pay off in leaps and bounds as you will be able to focus on being the successful momma you were built to be. It is true that you cannot pour from an empty cup.


While you may not have had much control over how you became a working single mother, you have the power to determine how the journey unfolds. I encourage you to lean into the support and positivity around you.


 

Meet the Author


Naomi is a single parent and a passionate advocate for empowering parents. As a mentor, Naomi shares her personal journey as a single parent, offering insights, tips, and encouragement to moms. When she’s not busy building her career or mentoring others, Naomi loves to travel with her child. She believes in the power of exploration and adventure to build confidence, spark creativity, and strengthen bonds.


Naomi is committed to helping others achieve their goals and live their best lives and is always eager to connect with others who share the vision for a more vibrant and inclusive world.




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