The single black mother is the backbone of so many communities, and the catalyst to many success stories and mine is no different. My mother was a single mother of 4, three being girls, and her sole mission was to teach us to be responsible, strong, self-aware women. She couldn’t give us a lot of material things, but she gave us the tools and knowledge to become that type of woman, and for that, I am forever grateful.
I’ve been a “hustler” for literally as long as I can remember, but I got my first job at 15 years old, and I never looked back. I remember going off to college and feeling my first ping of resentment towards her. All of my peers were free to “focus on their school work,” and “enjoy the college experience,” but I needed to work. I didn’t have a reliable car to commute back and forth, I had a cell phone bill, car insurance to pay, and of course, basic necessities like gas, food, and clothes all had to come out of my pocket. I never had the luxury to call on mom and dad when I got in a bunch, I just had to figure it out… A.K.A. hustle. I only spent a semester away from home, because quite frankly, I hated being broke. I moved back home and went from job to job until I could live comfortably while putting myself through college. At one time I had THREE jobs and I was a full-time student. It quickly went down to two jobs.. but I’ve always been bout’ that life! I bought my first car at 20 years old and had my own apartment shortly after. I mastered the art of networking and sales because I knew the next best opportunity could be just around the corner, and I was always ready to go to the next level.
I only spent a semester away from home, because quite frankly, I hated being broke. I moved back home and went from job to job until I could live comfortably while putting myself through college. At one time I had THREE jobs and I was a full-time student. It quickly went down to two jobs, but I’ve always been bout’ that life! I bought my first car at 20 years-old and had my own apartment shortly after. I mastered the art of networking and sales because I knew the next best opportunity could be just around the corner, and I was always ready to go to the next level.
Today, I am a college graduate working as an Account Executive at a TeleTherapy company, and also a business owner, managing clients in my spare time.
I LOVE my life.
I live comfortably in the beautiful city of Atlanta, with amazing friends, and most importantly; I have peace of mind. And I owe it all to my mom. These traits that she exhibited seamlessly taught me how to #Hustle.
She Taught Me Resilience
This is probably one of my favorite characteristics about myself. I could lose it all tomorrow, everything, and get it right back. Now, I’ve learned the importance of self-care in the past few years, so I might give myself a day to cry and grieve, but then I’m back like I never left! I watched my mother go from struggle to struggle with NO fear. Poverty, unemployment, toxic relationships. If she ever folded, I would have never known.
This trait has helped me IMMENSELY in my journey. I knew early on that obstacles would present themselves, but she taught me that worrying, crying, and complaining does NOTHING. The key is to KEEP MOVING, and you can’t do that if you’re letting temporary emotions weigh you down. There is a reason the bible tells us to “Guard our hearts.” Keep those emotions at bay, and remember WHO is in control.
Hint: It’s not you.
Whenever I was in a panic, and I’d go to my mom, her reply would always be, “Everything is going to be alright.” And I’m just like…”Mom.. I need $6,000 to go to school next semester that I DON’T have, what do you mean it will be alright???”.
But.. It was. And it always is.
She Taught Me Accountability
Accountability is “the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.” I’ll bet on myself every time. Every time. How many people can honestly say that?
I knew at a young age, if I expected something to be done, and done correctly, it was MY responsibility. From chores and finances to health and relationships. Oh, your life isn’t where you want it to be? You can change that. You’re in control of that.
This year alone I’ve lost 20 lbs, went vegan, opened a Roth IRA, started a business, and grown SO MUCH. If I listened to those around me, that are waiting for “the right time/opportunity,” half of this would have never happened. I’d honestly probably still live in my home town, in a bad relationship, working a job that I hate.
My mother taught me that if I didn’t like something, only I had the power to change it.
She had every excuse not to succeed. To give up. To blame others. To procrastinate. She taught me that I’m the captain of MY ship, and she’s always supported and encouraged whichever direction I wanted to go.
She Taught Me How To Have A Strong Work Ethic
All work ethics are not created equal.
My mother taught me that; how you do ONE thing, is how you do EVERYTHING. She would drive us around all day to various appointments, and obligations, go work longggg hours doing various jobs; from a restaurant server to an office assistant, or making house call hair appointments, and come home make dinner. How sway? Most people work a non-strenuous job all day, come home, and plop on the couch and watch Netflix all night. And to each its own, but my mom taught me to WERK.
I literally cannot work mundane jobs to this day. I get restless and anxious. I CRAVE responsibility and a challenge. And that doesn’t include just getting up and going to “work” It includes:
- Going above and beyond of what I’m asked.
- Being a dependable friend, sister, colleague, and partner.
- Going to the gym whether I’m tired or not.
- Going to the grocery store and meal prepping my meals when I’d rather be lazy and eat out.
- Keeping a clean home.
- Making sure my errands and to-do list is completed daily.
It sounds small, but I learned early on that when we “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people,” the Lord will REWARD us. I’ve seen SO much favor from putting in the extra mile! Thank you, mama!
She Taught Me How to Have Unwavering Faith
Being raised by a single mother taught me nothing is impossible. Often people are confused by my fearlessness or my nonchalant attitude about what some may consider major life decisions. Often times, she didn’t have the luxury of “weighing the options,” or the time to sit and think of every possible bad outcome.
We moved on blind FAITH.
My mother raised four smart, hard working, children on FAITH. Whom shall I fear? Why can’t I have it all? Why can’t I accomplish any dream I put my mind to? My mom taught me that I can do ALL things through Christ. (Philippians 4:13) ALL. And I plan to do so.
Thank you, mama. <3
Photo Credit: Pinterest