Independent Mother Series: Introducing Carolyn
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.
Carolyn is a Mother, business owner and the founder of Cherish Me. Cherish Me is a Mum and daughter business created to inspire self-love and empower black girls. Together Carolyn and her daughters create self-care boxes, self-love boxes, ‘Afro mation card,’ journals and notebooks.
What are your thoughts on Independent Motherhood?
Hi, I am Carolyn and I’m a single mum of two girls. I would describe myself as an Independent Mum, but I have always had support from their father.
What are your thoughts on co-parenting?
I feel it is so important for my girls to have that beautiful connection. I also feel that girls need to have that relationship with their father, regardless of how the parents situation is.
From your perspective, what are the joys and lows of being an Independent Mum?
I enjoy motherhood, it is forever evolving and I have learned so much from my daughters, each having very different personalities.
What has Independent Motherhood taught you?
I have learned to ‘juggle,’ in the true sense-school runs, work, church, business, activities, listening, advising, making decisions alone and finding that time for myself. I feel it is so important for any mother to have self-care moments. Whether it’s spending time reading a book, watching TV or going out with family and friends, it’s crucial to surviving Independent Motherhood.
Who have been your biggest supporters?
My children! They are my ‘why’.
Do you feel that there is enough support for Independent Mothers?
I feel Independent Mothers are breaking stereotypes. For me my independence motivates me more to keep my family together and do the best for them.
What advice would you give to other Independent Mothers?
You’re doing well, even on the days when you feel it’s a struggle take time for self-care. Find a mum tribe - we all need support and never be afraid to ask for help, it takes a village to raise a child.
Please tell us more about Cherish Me
I have worked for years in the NHS, but throughout the years I also had a passion for the rights for women and girls. For a few years I volunteered for a community-organisation, which aimed to improve the quality and equality of life for women and girls. I became more aware of the issues girls faced. Also, raising two daughters myself, I witnessed how societal standards of beauty for black girls are subjected to an even more intense level of scrutiny. I wanted to change this and we (myself and 2 daughters) developed our business called Cherish Me.
I wanted to involve my children as they needed to have a voice in the business. We recognised the lack of representation of black girls in books, particularly journals. I have used journals throughout my parenting journey as I found writing very therapeutic. I also wanted to create journals for girls as a tool to help them to express and work through their feelings. Having two black girls, I wanted to develop a journal which included imagery that reflected who they are and how they look.
We published our first Cherish Me journal in 2016. A key aspect of Cherish Me is creativity. Our brand is recognisable through our illustrations, which are done by my eldest daughter. Since then we have developed affirmation cards, a journal for black boys which was created following lots of requests from parents. We also have t shirts, greeting cards and Self-love boxes for girls.
I have received 3 awards since, all of which have kept me motivated to empower our young girls.
Please tell us about NYKS
My youngest daughter has a drive and passion for business. She has also volunteered for a local community organisations and has become involved in public speaking. At one of the events, she read the Girls Declaration (that was a proud mummy moment). At 11 years old she wrote her first journal for young girls. She has since developed her business called NYKS which aims to give all girls self-belief and motivation. She has also created affirmation cards.
What advice would you give to Mothers who have a child/children who would like to start their own business?
I would say to any mother, whose child wants to go into business, is first nurture their talents. Our children all have gifts to offer to the world. Be the example - I used to take my youngest daughter with me to business events and this is where she could see other inspiring women around her. Get them to research what they want to do and look at any local resources that can help. Let them know that they can do it especially when they become disheartened if their business idea isn't going as fast as they expect it to. Let them take the lead in the ideas and creativity, but as parents let them know the budget too.
What do you enjoy doing as a family?
I love being a mother; it has taught me each day to look for the extraordinary in ordinary things and to cherish those moments. We enjoy short breaks away, baking cupcakes, eating out and retail therapy! Other times it’s soaking our feet in a bowl of water and having a pampering day at home.
Finally, please tell us where we can find you on the internet
Thank you Carolyn for sharing your thoughts and ideas with us. I admire your passion for your girls, your business and life. May your business continue to grow and flourish!
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