Tricia has been a single parent for a long time. “I married young and tried to work it out, but we split up when I was pregnant with my daughter. My daughter is now 18 and my son is 21. I’ve pretty much been a single parent the whole time,” she says.
She says the biggest challenge for her has been being a full-time nurse and a full-time single mom. “I love my kids very much, but it was difficult to be fully engaged 100% of the time.” She says, “I just need 5 minutes without a kid sticking their hand under the bathroom door. I felt like a bad mom. It seemed like other moms could always do it with a smile on their face, but here I was so frustrated. ‘I just need a couple hours to myself!’”
Another challenge she faced was with her health. “I was diagnosed in March of 2017 with breast cancer. After my surgery, I started chemo right away and had radiation with a year of weekly infusions. I did a year of oral chemo and just finished one month ago.”
Tricia says her biggest fear about cancer was for her children. “I was their go-to person. I wasn’t scared for myself; I was more scared for how it would impact them.”
Today, Tricia has been cancer free for 2 ½ years! “My son graduated from University of Iowa, my daughter graduated high school the week after that, and 2 days later I finished my last chemo pill. We celebrated by going to Disney World.”
Tricia says her greatest joy is seeing the successful, happy adults her children are becoming. “It’s such a blessing,” she says.
The best advice she can give other single parents is, “Ask for help when you need it. I tend to be stubborn and not ask, but I’ve missed out. Even if it’s just to have a little adult company over for dinner, or to ask someone to take the kids for an hour so you have time for yourself. Just ask.”
She adds, “Another piece of advice I’d give is to not judge your parenting on what it appears everyone else is doing. It’s not a comparison or popularity contest. You simply don’t know others situation. You just have to believe you’re doing the best you can, and you’re doing enough.”
When she thinks of Single Parent Provision, Tricia thinks of, “a non-judgmental listening ear. I think of support, kindness, and great friends. It’s meant so much to me to be part of a single moms group who learn and grow together. They are in it with you and you know they have your back.”
Thank you Tricia for sharing your story. What an encouragement!
Published July 2019