I'm no longer a girlfriend, but now I'm a fiancee and soon will be a wife.
I'm no longer a single mom, except by technical definition; now I'm a co-parent.
I'm no longer the girl that holds firm to never settling and looking up to other strong women who have been hurt and survived only to find the man of their dreams.
I'm now the woman that others are coming to saying, "You've inspired me", "You give me hope", "You're an example to others"...
I've been told that so many times recently, and while I love it, I feel like it's been unearned.
All I did was continue to be stubborn.
It came quite naturally to me, actually.
I knew what I wanted and I knew what I needed and I knew while I would reluctantly compromise on the first, I would never compromise on the latter.
Because I was okay with being single, too.
There was nothing wrong with being single.
Especially compared to being in a relationship that would never be completely fulfilling, which often happens when you settle on the important things.
So that's what I tell these women, especially the single mothers, who praise me with such compliments.
#1 - Don't settle.
Even when it's one of those nights that you couldn't possibly feel any more overwhelmed or alone.
You don't want to give up your dreams of Happily Ever After for Happily Ever Now because "now" is such a fleeting period of time. If you're going to invest your whole heart, you really want to make it last.
Don't beat yourself up for doing something that you know isn't necessarily the best idea ever (within reason).
So what if you spent $30 bucks on a pair of shoes, how often do you actually do something for yourself anyway?
Who cares if you don't use your free-time as wisely as you really think you should. It's your free time and you know better than anyone how preciously limited it is, sometimes it does you more good to waste it than it does to spend it running.
#3 - For those of you single women with children, give them 95% of your attention.
You'll only be able to give them so much undivided attention for so long.
Sooner or later they'll either outgrow dear ol' mom or they'll have another wonderful person to share their time and attention with.
So give them your whole heart while you can, you.will.not.regret.it.
But save that other 5% for yourself. You have to take care of you if you expect to be able to continue to take care of them.
#4 - Trust in God.
If you don't believe in God, now is a great time to find Him because he's about to do some crazy and wonderful things in your life.
Even as recently as yesterday He did this for me. With the expenses of moving looming over our head and 3 households worth of bills stacked on the night-stand, I was horrified to find that one of them had gotten hidden that was due the day before.
And we're all monied out until our next checks.
So I called to see what could be done and guess what God did?
I didn't owe it.
Someway, somehow a credit appeared on my account that cleared that bill and took a few dollars off of the next month's bill, too.
Another time, a few months after Ty and I had moved out on our own and Christmas had just passed and money was VERY TIGHT when I got a very unexpected check in the mail for almost a thousand dollars.
I called the bank that it came from and asked them about it because surely it was in error.
And it was.
And the guy made all sorts of calls and even called all the way up to the Vice President of the Bank.
And he called back and said that they'd paid me around $800 too much but that it was going to cost them about the same amount to reverse it because they'd already closed their books out for the year, so they gave it to me.
No strings attached. No "cash it and send us a check for the difference". Just $800 to use as I needed.
Tell me God wasn't in THAT! A bank GIVING away money? Who ever heard of such a thing!
#5 - Spend time with your friends (or family)!
And you don't always have to worry about sacrificing time with your child to do it! If they love being with you, they'll love being with you and your child, too! It's the best of both worlds! And you would be amazed by how many adults are okay with spending a day acting like they're 5 again! You'll learn this when the right man comes along, too, because instead of him being jealous that your child gets more attention than he does, you'll find you're occasionally the one jealous that your child is getting more attention than you are, but it's such a great thing, too!
The list can go on and on, and they're not rules that I've necessarily created by myself. I've done what these other women are doing, learning from the examples of others.
Surround yourself with only the best. Especially during such a time when you really learn who you are and mold and create who you will be. Surround yourself with strong, wonderful people. Get rid of the negative and the drama and as much stress as you possibly can.
One day you'll find yourself in their shoes.