We’ve all heard it before. That single moms have “baggage”. How does that make you feel? Un-dateable? Un-lovable? Does it make you feel like something is wrong with you and that you’ll never get a good guy because none of them are going to want to take on your baggage? That’s how I used to feel and it held me back quite a bit when it came to dating. Time after time I would start dating a guy and when it came to time for things to get more serious, I would become anxious because I was afraid to reveal that I was a single mom and that my life was far from perfect. My friends would tell me I needed to date a guy who was also divorced with kids because they could “handle” my situation. Well I don’t like placing limits on myself. I have one life and I want it to be nothing less than amazing.
So I started thinking, why do I have to be labeled a woman with “baggage”? I took a chance on living and although I went down the wrong road and married the wrong man, I fought for love and for happiness. I fought hard and to me, I came out a winner. What I found along my journey down the wrong road made me a better woman and I will keep these treasures (that people call baggage) with me forever. I decided that I could not go on thinking these treasures that could only be found along the wrong road are something inappreciable. I think that’s the point I realized that people see you how you see you. So you have to change how you see yourself. If you see yourself as having baggage, so will everyone else. But if you see yourself as having an interesting and exciting life, people will be drawn to you. If you value your life, so will everyone else. There’s nothing more powerful than the love you have for yourself. How you feel about you matters the most. So let’s go over some of my “treasures” that I used to feel were “baggage”.
This is the most obvious. It’s a common stereotype that single moms have sacrificed their whole life to give to their children leaving them with little time for an intimate relationship or any fun.
Ignorance leads people to think that single moms have been drug into an abyss of endless responsibilities, stress and struggles and a desperate search for a new daddy. Well, I do have a lot more responsibility but I’ve let go of the stress and what used to be struggles to me are now opportunities to learn more about my limitless strength. I can’t imagine my life without my children. Not just “children” but the only little girl and boy who could fill the shoes of Cailyn and Ronnie, the only children I’ve ever known. Because of them, I’ve pushed myself far beyond what I ever thought I was capable of, because of them I’ve gone on some amazing journeys, because of them I’ve learned to have fun again and because of them I’ve learned that happiness is the key to everything. EVERYTHING. The sacrifices I make for them are no longer a burden. My sacrifices show my ability to love genuinely and unconditionally. If a man can’t appreciate that, then honestly, I don’t want to be with him anyway. Now when I tell men about my children, I do so with an uncontrollable smile on my face and the joy they give me shines through.
Who wouldn’t be heartbroken after ending things with their child’s father? One major problem in America these days is that people don’t realize just how serious marriage is. People are so quick to get married and have kids in hopes of living the “American dream” and in the back of their minds they think that this is okay because hey, if things don’t work out, there’s always divorce. But no matter your situation, when you end things with your child’s father, it will hit you emotionally and unless you’re a robot, your heart will break. But heart break does not have to leave you jaded like everyone expects. When you go on jaded and hating men and thinking “I’ll never let anyone hurt me again”, you’re weighing yourself down with the “baggage”. No man wants to be with a woman who might turn into a raging bitch or an ice queen if he does or says the wrong thing. And you are too worthy to limit yourself in love. Remember that you deserve to have your perfect man fall madly in love with you. Learn from your past but don’t let it color your future.
For me, my heart break felt like the loneliest and most hopeless place but it was in the time I spent in that place that I learned to love myself. I had hit rock bottom and the only one left who could love me enough to pick me up and put me back on my feet was me. I will never wish for a different experience because I found the rarest love. Many people seek love from someone else before they seek it from themselves but if you can let go of the anger and doubt your heart break causes you, what’s left is the love you have for yourself. Imagine every day how you want to feel, believe you deserve it and seek it. The heart break in your past serves to show you how you don’t want to feel. When it comes to love, there are no limits. I promise.
Blah! I have a love hate relationship with money. I love having it but I hate (with a passion) worrying about it. Money and bills used to stress me out so much sometimes that I didn’t want to get out of bed some mornings. I mean, I dare anyone to look me in the face and honestly tell me that supporting the life of even one child financially is an easy task. Not only is it expensive but it’s a whole other responsibility in itself. Every day you have to make decisions on how to spend it in favor of their well-being. And there are the never ending bills required to maintain a decent environment for them. I remember when I was in my early twenties and living on my own and how I always complained that I didn’t have enough money to go out because I had to keep up with living in my tiny apartment with my two roommates. Now I support my two kids, two cats and myself but for me it’s not enough to “just get by” like most people think single moms do. I want to have fun with my money! Go on vacations, get fancy haircuts, pay for my children to be in extracurricular activities and make the most of our weekly “family nights”. To me, these things are way more important than my monthly bills and although I’m responsible and pay my own bills, I’ve learned how to be creative so that I have money to spend on the things that bring my children and I fun and the adventures we seek. Where I used to give most of my energy to the negative and stressful part of being financially responsible, I now give to the fun part of being financially responsible. It may seem impossible but you deserve to have fun with your money and no matter what your situation, you can! Just start putting your energy into believing that you can. I have no problem saving my money so that I can spoil myself with a solo vacation to a private beach in the Bahamas. And men appreciate this! Just because you are now the sole financial provider in your life doesn’t mean you have to fall into the stereotype that single moms struggle with money. But first you have to believe.
So…this is what I have to say. The only “baggage” you have is what you allow. It’s all in how you look at it and if you feel like you’re being weighed down by something that will keep you from finding love than take these next words to heart from someone who has been there, weighed down by a life I once regretted and felt love was impossible for me… the things that weigh you down are the things that you need to show you how to love yourself. Believe in your happiness; remind yourself every day that you are worth being loved and that the most powerful love you will ever find is the love you have for yourself. Once you find it, the only baggage you will have are the beautiful dresses fit for a princess that you’re whisking away with you to some exotic island with the man of your dreams. Take that so called stereotypical “baggage” and show ignorance its real beauty.