Next inside the series of single mom stories of hope and encouragement is Kim McDowall. Kim talks about having to work up to 3 jobs when her kids were young just to make ends meet. But she still says it was all worth it. Check it out!
Interview with Kim McDowall
Q: What age were you and your children when you became a single mom?
A: I was 23.
Q: What was/is the hardest part for you being a single parent?
A: Finances, I didn’t receive the court ordered child support for years. This was 25 years ago and there wasn’t much help to enforce parents to pay child support back then. We struggled but those were also some of the best times because we found ways to have fun without spending money.
Q: How did you overcome your biggest hurdles of being a newly single parent?
A: I sometimes worked two or three jobs to pay all the bills plus childcare. I was exhausted but it was worth it. My kids were worth it.
Q: What is the best thing about being a single parent?
A: Not having to worry about their father being abusive. We could be ourselves and laugh. We had so much fun together.
Q: Who was/is your support system?
A: I didn’t really have one for a long time. I moved closer to my mom after a few years and she would babysit sometimes but she and I never had a good relationship. I had friends in our small town that would look out for my kids but we all had our own lives to manage.
Q: What advice would you give to a brand new single mom?
A: Enjoy this time with your kids. It’s a very special time. Make special days or times to do something fun each week or month.
Don’t rush into another relationship. If you do start seeing someone, listen to your kids. This person will affect their lives much more than you know.
Take care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup and you DO need to put on your oxygen mask first. You can’t be there for your kids if you don’t take care of yourself. Make sure to go out with friends and pursue a hobby or just spend some time in the bath with a good book.
Q: What is the most surprising thing you have learned about yourself as a result of being a single parent?
A: I had the strength I never knew I had. I had more weaknesses too. In the end, I found out I was only human.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with newly single parents?
A: Nobody else knows what they’re doing either so breathe. This is an opportunity that brings you so much closer to your kids. Also, your kids will always be a part of your life. Others may not. Don’t put your personal life on the back burner but don’t let someone in your life who doesn’t love and respect you and your kids. Don’t blink, it really is over faster than you think.
More About Kim McDowall
Kim is a freelance blogger, writer, and VA. You can find out more about Kim where she empowers those with a chronic illness at Chronic Chimera.