Independent Mother Series: Introducing Allison
Following the success of my last series, I decided that I wanted to share the stories of other inspirational Independent Mothers. I know that there are so many strong Independent Mothers in the world with an incredible story to tell and that many people could benefit from hearing their stories.
I am hoping that this series will help you to realise that you are not alone, you are much stronger than you think and that you will be able to navigate through this chapter in your life. It takes strength, perseverance and courage to get through, but I believe that you possess these qualities and much more!
I love to connect with Independent Mothers and to read everyone comments and stories about their own experiences with Motherhood.
If you would like to be involved in my Independent Mother series, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like you all to meet Allison who is an inspirational mother and such a beautiful woman - inside and out.
“I am a 43-year-old mother of 3 beautiful girls that include a set of identical twins. The twins will be 21 years old this year and my youngest daughter is 10. I was originally born in Hillingdon, England, where my family was stationed as my father was in the Air Force. We lived there for 2 years and then moved back to the United States. Before I became a mom, I was a typical college student enjoying my youth and building friendships. I enjoy anything craft related…I sew (I actually make and sell pillows in my free time), I draw, and I love paint nights. Before I became a mother, I was in college. I gave birth to my twins in December 1997 and graduated college in May 1998. It was a proud moment for me as a single mother who lost both parents before the age of 16. I know they would have been proud. My mother passed away from Lupus when I was 6 years old and my father passed away when I was 15. I currently reside in Upper Marlboro, MD and have lived in the Maryland area for the past 18 years.”
I am really sorry to hear that you lost both of your parents at such a young age. I am sure that they would have been very proud of the woman and mother that you have become today.
1. How did you become an Independent Mum?
“I found out that I was pregnant in my second semester of my junior in college and immediately knew that I would be a single mother as I did not see a future with their father. I actually did not find out that I was having twins until almost my 6th month of pregnancy, to my surprise.”
2. How did you settle into your new role as an Independent Mum?
"Since I was a college student, when I returned to school to finish my last semester, I had so much support from friends. Settling in to my new role was not easy, but they made it easier in so many ways. My daughters and I were blessed to have their support. I was also able to enrol them in day care which helped out as well. Since my parents were deceased, my grandmother, (my mother’s mom) was there to help financially when it came to maintenance on my car and ensuring that I had dependable transportation for me and the girls and any other needs. The children’s grandmother on their father’s side was also there in any way needed and was a huge support system and remains one to this day. She has been a blessing!"
3. From your perspective, what are the joys and lows of being an Independent Mum?
“For me the joys of being a mother is being able to see my daughters grow and being a part of the many areas of growth that my mother did not get to see with me since she died when I was 6. I am so thankful that I have been offered the opportunity to be a mother to these awesome young ladies and that we have a great relationship where they can come to me about anything and we can get through it together. I think that communication is very important, and I want and hope that they feel open to talk to me. The lows would be not having my own mother to talk to when various issues arise. As a single mother financially, there have been times where it was harder than others, but I thank God for seeing me through those times.”
4. Do you feel that there is enough support for Independent Mothers?
“I feel like depending on where you live there may be more support in some areas. Some areas should provide more support.”
5. Who have been your biggest supporters?
“My biggest supports are my grandmother and my children’s grandmother.”
6. What stereotypes have you faced as an Independent Mother?
“I think that people see single moms as poor, struggling women, when often, we are blessed. Times are not always easy, but not all single moms are lazy. We do what’s best for our children, often catering to their needs and neglecting our own. We sacrifice on a regular basis to ensure that our children are taken care of.”
7. What advice would you give to other women who have just become Independent Mothers?
“I would tell them to never give up. Not every day will be a bed of roses, there will be difficult days, not so difficult days and days where you will want to give up, DON’T! Our children are looking at us even when we do not think that they are. They are learning how we handle situations. It’s not always what we say, but often times what we do. The reward is seeing how our children develop, grow and mature into adulthood. Hang in there!”
8. What has being an Independent Mother taught you about yourself?
“It has taught me that I am so much stronger than I thought I was.”
9. How did you juggle studying, working and raising your three daughters all at the same time?
“First being a single mom to the twins while in college, the help of my friends is what helped me stay organized and on track. In 2016, I went back to school for my master’s degree and at that time I was a now divorced single mother of three. It was a little bit easier because the girls were more independent, the twins were about 18 and my youngest was 8. I just had to be organised and use my time management skills. It was not easy, but it was manageable.”
10. What motivated you in difficult times as you were studying, working and being a mother?
“My motivation was my daughters. As I stated in another question, our children not only listen to what we do, they also pay attention to what we do. I wanted them to see that they can do anything that they put their minds to. I could have given up in college after I had them and complained that it was going to be hard, but I persevered and went back and completed my degree. It took a while for me to pursue my Master’s degree, but I went back and took my time and got that one as well.”
11. How has working and studying benefited you and your daughters?
“Working and studying has benefited me and my daughters with hard work and dedication, I have been able to instil in them values as it pertains to hard work. One of the twins is currently serving in the Army and the other is a senior at a local university and has worked as a summer intern which has transitioned to permanent employment. My youngest daughter is an artist that has been recognized in various local art shows and maintains good grades and participates in Taekwondo as an extra-curricular activity.”
12. What made you decide to specialise in Human Service Counselling; Marriage and family?
“I have always had a love for children and family, especially after losing my parents early in my life. My Bachelor’s degree was in Family and Consumer Sciences. After I graduated, I was unable to get a job that would keep me financially stable, so I ended up finding employment in the area of Accounting. I have worked in the Accounting field for the past 18 years. When I decided to go back to school to get my Master’s degree in Human Service Counselling, Marriage and Family back in 2014, I went with hopes of one day having a career change. My heart is Human Service Counselling, but my history is accounting. I still have hopes of one day transitioning in the field and am currently looking for volunteer opportunities to build my experience in this field.”
13. What does a typical day in your shoes look like?
“I wake up about 5:30 every day and get ready for work, I wake my daughter up and then I fix her breakfast and drop her off to school and head to work. I work 8-4:30 every day. After work, I pick my daughter up from her aftercare and we go home and have dinner together. Certain days of the week I have to take her to her Taekwondo class, on those days, we eat dinner late and we get home late. After dinner, I check her homework and if there are any corrections we go over them together and she makes the corrections. She gets ready for bed. Her bedtime is 9pm and I usually am in bed by 10:30pm.”
14. What is your favourite thing to do after a long day to unwind?
“After a long day, I love to just lay on the couch for about an hour and just kick my feet up and watch Judge Judy and Family Feud before checking homework or preparing for the next day.”
15. What do you enjoy doing with your girls as a family?
“I love to go out to eat, go to the movies, and go shopping with the girls and visiting family. Me and my youngest daughter have days where we draw or paint together.”
16. Finally, please tell us where we can find you on the internet?
Facebook: Allison Fokes Chung
Facebook business page: Pillows by Allison
Thank you Allison for sharing your story with us. You are a phenomenal woman and mother!
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