I am writing you this letter because I wish someone had wrote it to me. Before I married this wonderful man, I now call my better half, I was a single mother of three. Life was good, because I had decided it would be good. I had made a few promises to myself concerning my children and I was willing to put in the work to keep them. Now, please believe me, it was not easy. I missed some milestones in my children’s lives, had many sleepless nights and wondered time and time again if it was worth it. Today I stand here and say yes, it was all worth it. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Now, if you don’t mind, I would like to share a few things that allowed me to be where I am today.

#1. Get yourself some education. Education is power. Education will allow you to get another job if your current place of employment lets you go. What I have learned is people can take a lot of things from you, but they cannot take your education. Please don’t say it’s too expensive because community colleges make payment plans. Think of it as your future on lay-a-way! Plus, it makes your kids want to do better in life (trust me). Oh….and don’t say you don’t have time. There are online classes.

#2. Don’t be your child’s friend. They have enough friends. Your child needs rules, discipline, and nosy adult supervision. Yep, I’m that nosy momma. I still stalk C1’s Facebook page and C3 does not have one yet. Get in their world, but as an adult. It shows you care.

#3. Find a great support team. I was blessed to have an amazing friend name Natasha who was like my kid’s second mother. Kids get sick and you can’t always leave work. Not only was she helpful with my kids but her family adopted us and invited us to all their family gatherings.

#4. Take time for yourself. You are no good for your children if you are not well physically, mentally and spiritually well. They need to see that their mom is okay.

#5. If you have boys, it is very important to surround them with positive male role models. For C2, it was his football coaches. These men were amazing. They pushed all the boys to excel in education as well as sports. Natasha’s husband was an amazing role model also. That man was and still is the community father.

#6. Tell your children, especially your daughters, you love them every single day and shower them with hugs and kisses. I grew up in a family where this was not the norm. However, I soon realized we all need affection and positive affirmations. If we don’t get it from home, we will look for it elsewhere.

#7. Apologize when you are wrong. Teach your kids it is human to make mistakes. It also teaches accountability.

#8. DO NOT, I repeat Do NOT, speak ill of the other parent in the presence of your children. Children are very smart. If the other parent does not do their part in parenting, the children will pick up on this sooner than you think. Remember when your child comes to you with questions about the other parent slacking do not speak ill of them. Just remind them they are loved and will always have you to count on.

#9. Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. Leave bitterness and resentment with the past relationship. Don’t make someone pay for someone else hurting you. You may mess around and miss your true love.

#10. Life will not always be this way. I know it may not seem like it now but in a few years the kids will be older, more independent and then leaving your house. So, enjoy them and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Love & 21 kisses,

Angel J.

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