Independent Mother Series: Introducing Deborah
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.
"My name is Deborah Johnson. I am 31 years old and I am the mother to two beautiful daughters. I love to travel, try new foods and create moments with my daughters. I love to help those in need and I am on a mission to help those abused women and children. Before I became a mother, I was heading off to college, but plans changed once I found out I was pregnant. I currently live in the state of Virginia, but I am originally from Newport, Rhode Island. I am very active in my church and strive each and every day to live for Christ."
1. How did you become an Independent Mum?
“I found out that I was expecting one month before my 19th Birthday. I never imagined, in a million years, that I would be an independent mother. I became an independent mother due to me having to leave a domestic violence situation. ”
2. I am so sorry to hear that. I am glad that you were able to leave that situation behind and have a fresh start with your daughters. How did you settle into your new role as an Independent Mum?
"In the beginning I struggled a lot with being an independent mother. It took a lot of motivation, to want to be the best mother that I can be to my daughters. I was able to adjust to being an independent mom about a year after I left my violent situation."
3. That is understandable considering what you had endured, it is natural that it would have taken some time for you to adjust. From your perspective, what are the joys and lows of being an Independent Mum?
“The joys of being an independent mom is that I am able to have a really close bond and relationship with my daughters because we have been through so much together. They get to grow up knowing how strong their mother is and that no matter what we go through, we will always stick by each other’s side and I will always be there for them. The lows are basically just having to do everything alone. The finances, the staying awake late at night when they are sick, having to make it to different school/sports functions. It can become a bit much for just one person.”
4. Do you feel that there is enough support for Independent Mothers?
“I truly feel as if there can be more support for independent mothers. More support in the sense of helping any and all independent mothers finish their schooling, more food assistance, more financial assistance and more programs to help those mothers find a craft and be successful career driven women.”
5. Who have been your biggest supporters?
“My biggest supporters have been my mother, father and my church family.”
6. What stereotypes have you faced as an Independent Mother?
“Often times people will take a look at me and see how young I am. Once they realize that I have two children they automatically assume that I am some uneducated African American woman. Then once a conversation gets going they realise I am nothing like they imagined.”
7. What advice would you give to other women who have just become Independent Mothers?
“I would advise them to stay strong and use your children as the motivating factor to want to keep pushing. Strive for the great and work towards leaving a legacy for your child(ren).”
8. What has being an Independent Mother taught you about yourself?
“It has taught me to be strong. It has taught me to never give up. It has taught me to work towards my dreams, be a vessel that the Lord can use and to leave a legacy for my daughters. It has taught me that those weapons that was formed against me to destroy me, God turned it around and made it my biggest blessing!”
9. How do you juggle your radio show, studying, working and raising your two daughters all at the same time?
“Currently my radio show is on hold due to me going out now and speaking. I am now going out telling my story of how God has brought me through some of the toughest moments of my live. I am able to juggle all of this because I have a great support system. I have people who are willing to watch my daughters for me and help me out with them. Also, often times my daughters actually come with me, so that they can be a part of my journey and see the hard work that I put in.
I am currently employed as a Loan Officer at a credit union. I am also currently taking online courses at Liberty University. I have great time management skills, so I ensure to lay out a schedule as to when I read my assignments, what days to turn in my assignments, allot time for when I have to take my quizzes or write papers.”
10. Please tell us more about your radio show
"My radio show was basically me addressing all types of different topics, using my life experiences as motivation for each segment. We have discussed domestic violence, mental illness, public assistance, lesbianism…just to name a few. I started the radio show 1 year ago and I felt it was time for me to get my voice out there and fulfil the assignment the Lord has placed on my life."
11. What motivates you in difficult times?
"My daughters and my eagerness to please God. I know that through everything I go through, God has got my back so I try not to worry and just pray about it."
12. What scripture(s) bring you the most peace?
“Galatians 6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
13. Have you always been religious or was there a turning point in your life when you found God?
"I always knew there was a God and about Heaven and Hell. I knew that if you called on God he would hear you. I didn’t grow up in a religious household. As a child, we went to church every now and again, but it was never anything consistent. As I grew older, I knew that I should be in church, and I wanted my daughters to grow up in church, but I could never find a church “that I liked” so I never made it a mission to do so. I finally came to a point where I realized that my life was spiralling out of control and that there was so much more to life. I wanted better. I wanted more. I wanted help. So, I moved from the New England, USA area to the state of Virginia and from there I found my new life in church and the rest is history."
14. Please tell us more about your event, “Beauty Behind The Ashes?”
"Beauty Behind The Ashes was an event designed to raise awareness about domestic violence. It was a time to celebrate survivors and encourage anyone that is currently in a domestic violence situation. I told my story and shared a panel of resources, that we have in the southwest area of Virginia. I targeted any and everyone in the community to come out and join us. The event was amazing, other people shared their stories and everyone walked about more educated about domestic violence."
15. That sounds fantastic, well done to you for organising and putting on such a phenomenal event! What does a typical day in your shoes look like?
“A typical day is getting my daughters off to school, going to work (while at work I would read and do some homework assignments for my online college courses I take). Then, when I get off of work, I typically have ministry work to do so we find ourselves spending a lot of time at the church or traveling for church. Then my daughters and I would head home, have dinner and repeat the cycle.”
16. What is your favourite thing to do after a long day to unwind?
“My favourite thing to do after a long day is to have a nice dinner and watch my reality TV shows.”
17. How do you ensure that your daughters feel empowered?
"I make sure to constantly, daily, every minute plant positive seeds into their minds. I am always encouraging them and reminding them that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, in the image of God. I remind them how beautiful and smart they are and to always strive for the best. I tell them to be confident in who they are, do not allow anyone to change your mind about how great you are and to always walk with your head held high."
18. What do you enjoy doing with your girls as a family?
"We love traveling, especially to new places. My daughters love to see new things and experience different places and I love when we experience those things together."
19. Finally, please tell us where we can find you on the internet?
Thank you Deborah for sharing your story with us. You are a very courageous woman, I admire your strength and the way you talk so passionately about the Lord. Always be encouraged, you are going to do great things!
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