"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)


Inspirational Single Mom

by Antonia
(Finland)


Antonia's inspirational story begins with her becoming a single Mom at a young age. She was happy to become a mother, but still believed her future lay in getting a good education. And, yes, juggling motherhood with getting a degree has been hard, and life is still difficult, but the journey continues to be worth it for sure.


(STORY THEME: Perseverance)

Struggles of a Young Single Mom

I got pregnant when I was in my first semester at college - far away from home.

It was a happy surprise for me, because I always loved children, but I was totally not prepared for how my life would turn out to be.

Having a baby and moving from country to country because of the international fashion design program I was doing, really was difficult.

I love my son, and was (and still am) prepared to do anything for him, but I was also determined to finish my studies, because I knew it would be important for our future if I did.

Taking care of my son and staying up all night working on school projects was not easy. Not to mention how we had it financially.

I had to rent out rooms in every apartment that we ever lived in, just to be able to pay the rent. It was many times not fun to live with so many other people and have so little space and private life, but I had to do what I had to do.

I also did long hours of babysitting together with my son (I had to have a job where I could take him with me) just to be able to put food on the table.

Even though I was working really hard, the money I earned and got from renting out rooms were never enough. There were many days where I would not know in the morning if we would have enough food in the evening.

Now many years have passed, my son is now 9 years old, I am done with my studies and have my degree.

And even though I now work, my salary is unfortunately not that high, so I still struggle sometimes and have a difficult time giving my son all he would need.

I never buy myself anything. If I ever buy anything it is for my son.

I continue to believe that life will continue to get better.

And so it was, one day, whilst I was searching for info on how to make your own website online, that I found a really good web host that is also a small business solution. So now, apart from my regular job, I have been building my own websites in the evenings for about a year and a half, and have started to earn money from them. Not so much yet, but the money is starting to come in - slowly but surely. This has really given me a lot of hope.

Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all? I really want to hope so!

All the best,

Antonia



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Comments for Inspirational Single Mom

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Aug 18, 2016
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TO YOU AND ALL SINGLE MOMS OUT THERE
by: Anonymous

I salute you! May God bless you more you will make it! Always remember a thousand miles starts with one step!

Aug 18, 2014
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About 'Suffering'
by: Steve M Nash

This is not a specific comment about this 'single Mom' story, nor is it about parenting. Rather it's a general comment about 'suffering', about how things *should* be and how hard it is to make things just so.

Basically, nothing *should* be - nothing!

You want something to be X, and it is Y, but you deep down believe it must, should, has to be X - you're going to be suffering!

Now it's possible that your suffering proves how wonderful you are as a human being (single Mom, single Dad, student, carer, brother, husband, wife, lover, etc...), but all it proves to me (sorry) is that you either like suffering, or you don't know any better.

Here are a few quotes that sum up what I'm talking about:

"Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable."
-- Theodore N. Vail

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
-- Anais Nin

"I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."
-- Maya Angelou

And now I'll leave you with Paula Renaye's excellent, serving website (http://paularenaye.com/)that also knows that [suffering is a sign that we're on the wrong path!]

(Note: Paula and I are online friends. I love her work. And she's done her fair share of suffering as both Mom, wife, daughter, and solo entrepreneur. So her site is more useful, here, than my own.)

Aug 17, 2014
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WHAT?!?!
by: Anonymous

There was a person who seemed to not believe this story and then go on to say that these things would be impossible in the US without government assistance or help from parents.

Thats a load!

I am a single Mom, I get no governement assistance, no child support, and no financial help from my parents unless there is an emergency - and that is a VERY infrequent occurance. It is possible. I work full time, I go to school taking as many credits each term as humanly possible, I tell my daughter "I am sorry I can't play with you right now, but I have to do my homework. You understand that the harder I work on this homework the sooner I will be done with school - and that will make life easier...right?"

And even at the young age of 6 she fully understands.

The bills don't always add up, life isn't easy, there are a lot of tears (never shed in front of my daughter), and each new problem seems insurmountable.

But I FULLY resent the comment that being a single Mom who works and goes to school full time without child support, parental financial assistance, or government assistance is impossible.

It is possible - you just have to analyze how hard you are willing to work to reach your goals and remember every moment of every day why you are doing what you are doing and what the pay off in the long run will be.

May 24, 2012
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Its all true.
by: Antonia

Hi Anonymous. I don't really see why you think there are big parts missing in my story, but I will try my best to to clarify some of the things you asked about.

WHAT did you study: As I wrote above, I studied Fashion Design. And if you are interested, I can also tell you that before I had my son I studied graphic design.

Which degree did you get? I got a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.

What is your job now? When I originally wrote the post above last year, I was a teachers assistant in an elementary school, but I stopped working there last summer. Now I build websites for others as a freelance designer and I also maintain my own websites.

Are you a Finn? Yes.

Is the father from Africa? Yes.

Does he pay child support? No

Did you get help from the Finnish government as a single Mom? Not when I was in the US. I had student loans though - but I had to use that money as the rental deposit of our apartment! :(

I got some student support from Finland, about $300 a month. I babysat for $800 a month. And rented out rooms in our apartment, as I said before.

How about your parents, did they help, or were they angry when the father was African? I don't understand why someone would be angry about their child's partner's nationality.

To answer your question about my parents. Well, we are five siblings and my dad did not always have money during that time, so I really could not rely on his help. But here and there they did help out when they could and I am thankful for that.

Did you really pay all those bills while going to college AND staying with your child? I find it hard to believe! Yes.

Regarding health care, I got a student health insurance card through my college (FIT). I had to pay a monthly fee for it. That insurance company paid the prenatal care appointments at the St. Vincent's hospital. The doctor that I visited there also worked in the school's nurses office once a week. So when she was there I could also go and see her for free.

Pretty impossible in USA without parents' help, father's child support, single mom welfare cash, free health care and so on and so forth. Well, I did it :) Maybe I was lucky or something, but I also worked really hard and was exhausted at times. But its all good now :)

Jul 29, 2011
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Is that the whole story? Big parts missing!
by: Anonymous

I think there are some interesting missing pieces to this story. For example, WHAT did you study, which degree did you get, what is your job now?

Are you a Finn? Is the father from Africa? Does he pay child support and did you get help from the Finnish government as a single Mom?

I think those are critical parts of your story, and why you would omit them, I cannot understand.

How about your parents, did they help, or were they angry when the father was African? Did you really pay all those bills while going to college AND staying with your child? I find it hard to believe!

Pretty impossible in USA without parents' help, father's child support, single mom welfare cash, free health care and so on and so forth. For American readers, these things would be included in the true story.

Apr 12, 2011
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Wow!
by: Andy

I admire single mothers - and I admire your perseverance and determination (can I have some, please?).

Keep up the good work and you will be rewarded!

Mar 28, 2011
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What a story
by: Sandra

At one time I worked with single moms in the social service field. And you are special. You know why? Because many are full of excuses and became dependent on others determining their destiny. You are giving your son one of the most priceless values of his life: A mom, who despite adversity, continued to push on, get an education in life and in school as well. And now to add topping to the cake: he gets to see you work a business: An online business.

Priceless.

I visited your website and just can't believe what I saw. I saw the work and the determination and a mother with a happy son. And there are many who wish they only had just 1/800th of that joy.

I wish you success with your sites (four of them). You are one determined person.

What's interesting is that we are living in a small world thanks to the internet. I really think the websites will one day provide the income you need and I also think you will be using your education in a powerful way if you aren't already.

There are so many opportunities to design products, find people to implement your designs. Never before in the field of design over the last 20 years has their been such opportunity.

I just happen to see a book by a young woman on DIY design (Ellen Lupton) Do it Yourself. And she has been on major tv shows. So you see you have chosen a field which has wide world interest. And adding web design skills to that portfolio positions you toward ultimate success.

I know at times it's hard. Raising children is difficult and challenging to say the least. But do what you can each day and don't stress on being supermom. Sometimes you have to leave the house unkept or eat out to save your sanity. But there is always tomorrow.

I leave you with this resource: Have you seen "Fly Lady" online? she gives you some ways to keep order in the home without losing yourself. You deserve to be a fly lady.
(http://www.flylady.net/)

I'll keep my eye on you. I think you are really going to achieve all of your dreams.

Mar 28, 2011
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Thanks, Antonia
by: Steve

Thanks for sharing your story, Antonia - ongoing as it is.

It just goes to show that it's possible to achieve no matter how diffficult a situation we find ourselves in, and no matter how long it might take.

Your perseverance really shines through, Antonia, it really does.

And I'm sure you'll do really well with the websites you've developed so far

Steve

Ps You and your son look like really cool people! :-)

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