It was the summer of 1987, I was 27 years old and a single parent of a 2-year-old son named Sean. At the time I had just accepted a management position with a company I had previously worked with for over 7 years. There was only one glitch; my office was about 40 miles from home. I would drive 30 to 45 minutes to and from work, but I needed the money so I was willing to make the sacrifice.
My day would begin by waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning; I’d shower as quickly as possible before Sean would wake up, dry my hair, get dressed and put on make-up.
I’d have to wake Sean to get him dressed, hopefully without upsetting him because many times all he wanted to do was continue to sleep.
Single parents know when you’re under pressure and have to make it somewhere by a deadline, nothing every goes smoothly, especially with an infant or toddler.
Guilt, frustration and anger would sometimes overcome me because if he didn’t wake up right then, I would be late for work and possibly lose my job.
I wanted to make a hot breakfast for us both but usually ended up eating cereal out of the box.
For his daycare, I’d prepare his lunch, provide all of his snacks, his drinks and put extra diapers and clothes in his bag in case they got dirty.
I’d load him into his car seat; strap him in, drive to daycare where I would drop him off to be watched by a total stranger, hoping there wouldn’t be an emotional scene between Sean and I.
Either he or I would cry almost every day, sometimes both because neither one of us wanted to be doing any of this. We just wanted to be at home sleeping until we were ready to wake up, spending time with each other and enjoying life.
Many times, as I was driving to work I would dream about how to start a legitimate home based business that makes money. I wanted so desperately to be the one raising my son and in my heart that is where I believe we both belonged.
However, we continued this routine every day of the week until my turning point.
One night Sean wouldn’t eat his dinner. I tried several different things he liked to eat but he’d shake his head no. Then I noticed that he was warm, very quickly he became hot. I took his temperature, it was 101 degrees. I gave him some medicine, waited and took his temperature again, it was 103 degrees.
I immediately put him in a tub of lukewarm water to reduce his fever. His fever kept rising. Took his temperature for the third time, it was 104 degrees.
I became very concerned. I called my mother and told her what was happening. She suggested rubbing him down with rubbing alcohol or a cold water bath. I tried both and neither worked. His temperature was now 106 degrees.
I read somewhere that a fever after a certain point could cause brain damage. I started crying and then he started crying. The final time his temperature was taken, it was 107 degrees.
I was terrified. I cried out, “Oh my God, help us!”
I didn’t have any insurance because I was within my 90 day window with my new job. I did the only thing I could do for my child; I called an ambulance and had them take him to the hospital.
If you’ve ever been to an emergency room or hospital without insurance, you know how much of a nightmare can be.
As they are asking me a million questions, all I could think about was, “Is my son ok”? Please let me go to my son, he needs me.”
Finally, after what seemed like hours, I was taken to see Sean. What I saw was heart breaking. My little baby boy had tubes up his nose and all kinds of wiring and equipment attached to his little body.
At that moment, I decided I would not leave his side and nothing mattered more to me in this world but to have him well again.
The doctor was able to help reduce Sean’s fever but was not able to determine what caused it. He said, “He wanted to run some more tests and wanted to keep him for a few more days.”
I called my boss at work and explained what had happened to my son and that I needed to stay at the hospital until we knew what was wrong.
To my surprise instead of compassion about my situation, I sensed my bosses’ frustration. I thought to myself, “Maybe I’m just emotional and I’m overreacting.”
I rushed home gathered some clothes and returned to the hospital where they had set up a bed for me in Sean’s room.
The doctors had him on antibiotics and fluids and were able to keep his fever reduced but they wanted to give it a few more days and monitor him.
I thought we were in the clear.
Then on the third day he starts getting a fever again. It spikes to 101, 103,105 degrees, by this time the nurses and doctors are running around shouting medical instructions to each other.
They asked me to step out of the room while they fought to bring it down. I could tell that they were worried and so was I. After a while they came out and informed me that his fever was going back down.
I asked, “Why did his fever come back even though he had antibiotics and fluids in him?” He answered, “At first it seemed like a bacterial infection but now it may be a viral infection. He wanted to do some more tests to make sure and that he would have a better idea in 3 or 4 more days.”
I called my boss to explain the horror I was experiencing as a parent and that I would need a few more days before we would know for sure.
This is what he said, “We’re sorry to hear about your son; however we cannot continue to keep your position opened unless you can return to work by tomorrow.”
That was my turning point!
I was in shock. “Are you serious?” I asked.
He responded, “Yes, corporate has informed me that unless you are able to return to work fulltime by tomorrow, your position will be terminated.”
I said, “I’ve given 7 years of my life to this company, I’ve worked overtime and on weekends. I did whatever it took to make a profit and now when I need your support the most, I get the shaft?”
I really don’t remember what was said after that because it didn’t matter to me anymore. I knew without a doubt that I was not going to leave my son for any job.
I told him, “To stick that job where the sun doesn’t shine.”
Oh by the way, Sean’s fever did diminish and never returned. As soon as we were settled, I started my own home based business. My dream became my reality.
That is why single mothers in business are so powerful and successful. Single mothers will find a way to design their business around their families.
Here are some tips on managing motherhood and work:
Most importantly, decide that you will never work for anyone else but yourself.
Decide that you have the power to control when you want to work, where you want to work and with who you want to work with.
Choose a home based business that provides a system with a proven method of success. That will streamline your efforts and enable you to receive faster results.
Surround yourself with others that have the same desires in life. Find a community of like-minded people to encourage you, teach you, train you and help you to fulfill your destiny as a single mother in business.
Single mothers, your children are your “WHY”. You will have to remind yourself of that many times.
Never, Never, Never give up and YOU WILL SUCCEED!!!