SuperMOM Mondays

SuperMOM Monday: Laurelyn J

SuperMOM Monday

Mom of the Week: Laurelyn J

 

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Laurelyn is a single mother living in Los Angeles, California with her five year old son. She works full-time and has never been married. Laurelyn originally relocated to California from Minnesota when she was in 4th grade. She came with father, who at the time was a single parent as well, due to being divorced from her mother. She is the youngest of four half-siblings and I am excited to be sharing her story.

Laurelyn has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a Juris Doctorate which she obtained prior to having her son at the age of 39. She shared two of the things that she is most passionate about are being the best mom that she can be to her son and art. Prior to having her son she enjoyed acrylic painting and pointillism as a hobby. After having her son, her focus shifted naturally and she has spent the bulk of her time being a good parent and being present for him. She pointed out that both are enjoyable for her and they both require a lot of patience and energy. In her words, “they give me life and joy!”

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As a single mother, we all faces challenges. When asked what were some of her challenges, Laurelyn replied:

1.) Accepting that she was going to be a single mother

“I didn’t envision that for myself, so it took time for me to accept that my life didn’t look the way I expected it.  I don’t regret being a single mom.  I’m certainly happy living my life, by my terms, in a way that I want to exist.  The expectation that society places upon people to be in a family with a partner is very difficult to face when your life looks different from that.  I mostly notice this when I go to the doctor’s office and they call me by my son’s last name.  I usually correct them, which irritates me.  It’s like look at my paperwork don’t assume.

It also comes up when I attend kid events or talk to other people about my child and they ask me about my husband.  I generally just say I’m not married and continue on as if it weren’t mentioned.  Even though it can be annoying, I am thankful that I live in a society that I am able to support myself and my child without being in, or forced to stay in, an unhealthy relationship for the welfare of my child.”

2.) Being solely responsible for the child on a day-to day basis

“My son’s father and I co-parent and he’s an active parent in our child’s life.  I think it’s challenging to not have someone in the home so I can leave and do things in the evening like go shopping or go to the gym.  As a single mom, I have to be really organized about how I manage my time. This was a big challenge after being single for so long.  It was a big adjustment making sure I had everything I needed for the next day because I can’t go out after my son goes to bed.  Also, not being able to exercise at the gym like I used to after work was frustrating.

Now I plan most of my activities around when my son is going to be with his dad.  I also shop and exercise on my lunch break.  Thus, it takes a lot of work to force yourself to be organized. When I’m with my child I like to give him a lot of my time and attention, so I don’t want to spend our time doing a lot of things I want to do. I want my son to also have a life he enjoys, so I try to keep everything balanced.”

3.) Cleaning

“I find cleaning to be challenging.  Between work, kid activities and time for myself, cleaning is a major drag.  Before I had my son, I cleaned my whole house every weekend.  Now I clean the kitchen every night and then the rest depends on my energy level and available time. Some weeks the only thing that gets cleaned is the laundry and the kitchen.  It really annoys me at times, because I hate a messy house. I guess I could try to squeeze out money to hire someone to clean, but I don’t really think that’s an effective use of my money at this point.  I hope to be able to add a cleaning person to my budget in the future.

 

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These are definitely challenges that we all face in some sort. So I asked Laurelyn for some advice that she would give to single mothers out there in the world. She replied:

Be patient with yourself and above all keep a good attitude and sense of humor. My son still sleeps in my bed a lot of nights and I’ve gotten a lot of grief from people about this. Bottom line for me, I need sleep and best way to get uninterrupted sleep when I’m dead tired is to let my son sleep in my bed.  It’s about self preservation. I can’t work or be a good mom if I don’t get sleep and my son just doesn’t cooperate with sleeping in his own bed. It’s not worth the fight. Thus, you have to pick your battles and make a lot of survival choices. They won’t be children forever so parenthood is about making temporary adjustments and concessions. 
Also, if you have help and support from other people you should use your resources wisely, but don’t abuse them. I envy parents I know that have grandparents that help with the kids or a sibling that helps out because I do not have that. However, I do ask my son’s dad for help. I encourage single moms to take advantage or their tribe if it’s positive and advantageous to do so. 

She also stated,

Parents aren’t perfect. I reminded myself of this the other night when I fell asleep on a Friday night watching tv with my son. At 1:30 am, I woke up and he was still up watching tv. I told the kid lights out and we went to sleep. My son is night owl and if you to don’t make him go to bed he will be up all night, so I have to make sure we both go to bed a reasonable hour.  I laughed about this the next day.”

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In closing, Laurelyn stated, “All parents experience stress when raising kids. When my son was an infant, I found taking him for a walk to get fresh air was a great way to relieve stress. Now that my son is older I have found other activities work. Taking him to a park, doing a puzzle together, or playing a board game helps to distract me from stress. Everyone has those moments, you just have to learn how to manage them without effecting your kids negatively. “

I want to thank Laurelyn for being brave enough to share her story, her challenges and advice with us. It is not easy, but her courage reigned supreme. You are truly a SuperMom!

 

Be sure to follow her and her journey,

 

 

 

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