People often say that having children changed their lives.
And yes my son changed my life when he arrived.
But it was more than just a change of lifestyle.
My son altered the entire landscape of my life.
His arrival caused a shift inside of me that sent waves crashing upon the shores of my future.
I have always been a “smart” woman.
Graduated top 10 in my high school class.
Received a full academic scholarship to study pharmacy in college.
However I never felt motivated to do or be more.
I just went with the flow.
And my flow was to leave school and work full-time.
And to be honest I was doing ok.
Ok job, ok pay, some clout and seniority within the company.
But when I found myself pregnant at the age of 26, ok ceased to be enough.
I decided I wanted (and needed) to do and be more.
So at 6 months pregnant I purchased my first home, alone.
Even in the face of so many telling me I couldn’t do it.
Including my own mother.
I believed in my heart that my son deserved a home.
And I was determined to provide that for him, regardless of my relationship status.
When my son was a few months old I started taking classes working towards completing my undergraduate degree.
I determined that raising him and working full-time would allow me to finish before he turned 5 years old.
May 2007 I walked across the stage and received my B.S. from Biola University.
Further motivated by my little genius I decided to pursue a graduate degree.
May 2009 I walked across the stage and received my M.A. from USC.
All of this while working my way up through the ranks of systems analysts (a primarily male dominated field) in corporate America.
People are always surprised at what I’ve been able to accomplish while raising a child by myself.
But I have to give credit where credit is due.
My son is the reason why I was able to accomplish all of these personal, academic and professional goals.
He was like my own little personal life coach.
He helped me find the internal drive that was missing most of my younger years.
Not only did I want him to see that he could do it when the time came for him to attend college.
I wanted him appreciate the opportunity to do it with no kids or job to worry about.
But most importantly I wanted to give him a mother who he could be proud of.
I take pride in being a role model to my son.
A woman who cares for her home and family.
Is educated and works hard to forge a career.
Someone who doesn’t give up on her dreams no matter the work or hurdles she faces.
Not just a mother.
But his mama.