Single Moms Journey
From The Single Mothers Journey To Wholeness
Back in 2005 I was a single mom. I had 4 children, so many different schedules and thought I would go insane. Did I have the strength to make it through? Well I decided to write a book to help single moms who were just like me. I got real with what I was dealing with. Finances, work, dinner, childcare, anxiety, worry, faith, planning, and being both the mom and the dad in so many ways. Things have changed for me. I am now married to a great man who helps me Squidoo. Chuck is awesome! Jasmine my youngest is 15. My Mother Patricia, passed away and we moved out of state. So much has changed and it is still a journey but now I really can say there is HOPE!
This Lens is all about hope. Just like the subtitle...hope and help for single moms. I now am Nicole Orozco but back when I was Nicole Biggs I did graduate from college, I did have a written plan and I will just share this for free here because all single moms need a little help sometimes, in fact all moms and dads single or not need a little help sometimes. ENJOY!
Some Nuggets About Starting Over
"I had so many stuffed feelings when I first got divorced that I felt
like a Thanksgiving turkey."
At the time of my separation I had no idea what it would take to raise four
children on my own. So much had happened. I was still mourning the loss of my
grandmother, who was a major support to me in raising my children while I was
still married. After my grandma's funeral, Don (my ex) left for good. I was angry,
depressed, desperate, and tired-so very tired and scared. At that time I had a 13-
year-old, a ten-year-old, an eight-year-old, and a two-year old. I was working as
an outside sales rep, and I thought I was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown.
Actually-and certainly not to my credit-this was my second divorce
from my second husband. Little did I know that by the time everything was over,
my ex would steal my car, my son and I would steal it back, and my mother
would break her hip and give me one more person to take care of, along with my
already challenging brood of four children but I'm getting ahead of myself.
The children and I had moved into my mother's side of a duplex we owned
so that we could rent out the other side for extra income. Jasmine, my youngest,
was in preschool; the two middle children, Shelbi eight, and Ryan ten, were in
elementary school on a year-round schedule. My oldest son, Cheyne, was about
to enter high school. The hot July desert only seemed to accentuate my situation.
In the midst of all this-as my life was plummeting around me-I met a woman
who was the mother of a girl that Cheyne had met at a church concert up in
Northern California. Her name was Dawn and she was to become my good
friend and a rescuing angel who would help me out of many distressing situations
during that time in my life.
After a divorce or separation, or any time there is a sense of loss, various
stages of grief will take place. According to Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, (who
wrote extensively on near-death experiences) denial, anger, bargaining, depression,
and finally, acceptance, are the stages you will go through. Guilt is another
often-overwhelming emotion you will have to wrestle with, especially concerning
your children. You may not be the cause of the separation or divorce, but feelings
of guilt and shame can still overtake you. Right after my breakup with my twoyear-
old daughter's dad, she cried every night that her heart was broken. After my
first divorce from the other three children's dad, my oldest son shut down and
was angry, and my other two got lost in the shuffle of the divorce. I felt like a rubber
band that was about to snap or break. At different intervals I experienced the
various stages of grief. Divorce is never fun!
Excerpt from My Book "The Single Mothers Journey To Wholeness" Copyrighted by Nicole Elizabeth Biggs 2005 "Now Orozco"
You Are Changing The World - One Heartbeat at a Time! - Remember You Are The Only You!
Transition - The Journey Back
Some Tips To Help You Cope!
In our journey, there is a phase that I call transition. Transition is the time
between the initial weeks or months of becoming a single mom, and the part of
the journey where we begin to feel more whole and complete. It is like a bridge in
our life where we need and receive healing and learn to love ourselves by accepting
the premise that we have always been whole and complete. Support or other
groups, books, and self-care are vital lifelines on the bridge that help us to reach
Every day single moms have more than their share of challenges. We have
to get our children to school and still make it to work on time, do activities, and
handle childcare. If we need help of any kind, we have to fill out mounds of
paperwork before we can get any government assistance. We pummel through
our challenges, finding out that we can come out fairly unscathed, albeit weary.
On top of all this, we still have menu planning and cooking, cleaning, homework,
paying bills, and providing shelter and transportation. The list goes on and
on, frequently increasing and changing. Now you know why I put so much
emphasis on taking care of yourself and nurturing yourself. If you want to succeed
as a single mom, Nurturing 101 is a prerequisite to passing the course.
"Today I will remember that every moment brings change and I am safe in this present
Excerpt from Chapter Two in My Book "The Single Mothers Journey To Wholeness" Copyrighted by Nicole Elizabeth Biggs 2005 "Now Orozco"
Single Moms Items
Here are resources for you to help you on your unique Journey to Wholeness!
Facing challenges isn't always easy. There were some days I would call my
friend, Ami, (my soul sister since high school) ten times a day just so she could
remind me how strong I really was. I needed to hear her words of encouragement.
Ami had seen me through two divorces and knew all of my idiosyncrasies
and weaknesses, as well as my strengths. Some days I would pick up the kids and
drive to her and Chris's (Ami's husband) house at the beach and kick back like
we used to when we were 19. We all need relationships and friendships like this.
Let me go back to challenges. One day, while running an errand in downtown
How many times have you heard someone say-or maybe you've said it
yourself-"I'm not smart enough. I'm not good enough. I'm not pretty enough."
Do we fill our minds with I can't or I don't have, or I feel sick and tired. Tony
Robbins says in his book, Unlimited Power, instead of asking yourself why, ask
yourself how. Why is such an open-ended question. It can lead our brain around
in circles and we may never find an answer to a question such as "Why can't I
ever get ahead?" Our thoughts will then justify why we can't ever get ahead. Tony
Robbins states a better question would be "How can I get ahead?" This allows our
brain to find the solution. As you can see, how we talk to ourselves can definitely
impact our well-being.
Nurturing our spirit, soul, or inner-self, keeps us in check while making
choices that affect our family's future. When we have to rise to the many challenges
of single parenthood, decisions aren't always easy and confusion can be the
result. By nurturing our spirit through prayer and/or meditation, we gain
strength and guidance to live up to our highest and best potential. It can bring us
an awareness of calm and peace. Knowing we can have help from our Higher
Power helps to eliminate fear and provide us with trust in the process of life as it
unfolds. Don't give up. It takes time to heal the spirit and soul, just as it does the
Early on, opportunities and happiness may seem elusive, but as we accept
each moment for what it is, "a flash in your life," and as you begin to take notice
of everything around you, your perception of circumstances will change. Challenges
can become opportunities for growth and self-actualization. No one usually
accomplishes anything of great moment while in a comfort zone (not that
there's anything wrong with intermittent comfort zones). Challenges can allow
change and miracles to take place. Life can be an adventure when we concentrate
on what is good and right in our life. When we do this and focus on our own
path and let go of feeling sorry for ourselves, we can stop the blame game and our
spirit can soar. At the same time, we are being renewed and strengthened. As our
spirit lifts up and positive energy flows forth, it gives us courage, love, and hope
to overcome our challenges.
Indio with all four children (including my then three-year-old), we hit a
pothole in my little Ford Escort and broke down in the middle of the street. We
were Â¡ hour from home by driving and who knows how long by walking. The
temperature was over 100o. We started walking and ended up at Wendy's Hamburgers
on Highway 111, the major highway that runs through the Coachella
Valley desert cities. By some miracle of synchronicity, it turned out I knew the
manager there. I used to work with him in retail sales. I told him our dilemma
and he gave me $6.00. Thankfully, this was enough to rescue us. We were able to
get home and the tow truck driver took a check for our car. If faith and determination
didn't pull me out of that mess, then I don't know what did. This experience
only reinforced my desire to find resources that would allow me to have an
easier time or, at the very least, to have cash in my pocket for future challenges
Excerpt from My Book "The Single Mothers Journey To Wholeness" Copyrighted by Nicole Elizabeth Biggs 2005 "Now Orozco"
Fun Stuff For Single Moms
"We are able to break generational cycles, one layer at a time."
Why? Why? Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?
What is wrong with me? These are questions I think every person on this planet
ask themselves at some point in their life. Deep down, if we have felt failure at
any time in our life, we may still feel inadequate years later. After two divorces, I
had to start looking within myself to find the answers to the WHYs of my broken
life. I decided to listen to Tony Robbin's advice and change my questions to
HOW. By asking how this happened to me, my inward search led me to look at
my denial and to think about the old programmed tapes I had running in my
mind. What this showed me was that by not loving my core being, I had masked
my true self, and caused myself much heartache.
Asking how showed me that I was not living my true identity. No, to quote
an old joke, denial is not a river in Egypt. Actually it runs deeper than any river
ever could. We go through life experiencing repetitive cycles or patterns, having
the same old fights and the same old reactions to many of the triggers in our life.
We usually bring the same-or same types of-people into our lives to help us
replay these scenarios; then we wonder why our life is not working the way it
Why it has to take so much honesty and feelings of pain to break through
to the truth, I don't know. It's almost like doing the 12-step process used in Alcoholics
Anonymous. The first step you have to take is to admit what is wrong
before it can be fixed. It's similar to a spiritual principle to rid you of the denial
(transgression) before you can go on. There are many books and many different
theories on this subject alone. In the beginning, even after making some progress,
I found that I would then revert back into my comfortable denial zone, only to
try again later. I would start by saying nuts to all of this and then I would work as
if there were no tomorrow. It would be OK for a little while. Our family would
exist, mesmerized, almost as if we were on some type of auto pilot mode. Eventually
some pain would creep in and let me know that I was not yet done with my
healing. Once again, I would start by peeling off another layer of repressed emotions,
hoping against hope that this was almost over and with each layer that
came off, my spirit and soul would lighten.
Excerpt from My Book "The Single Mothers Journey To Wholeness" Copyrighted by Nicole Elizabeth Biggs 2005 "Now Orozco"
Single Mom Goodies
Some Goodies For Single Moms or Any Mom
There is a tower so high above the town.
The clouds blend into it, almost giving it the surreal image of smoke coming out.
There are many steps in this tower—and each step represents the beauty and heartache
of what once was
—and what is yet to come.
As I approach, I feel a sense of awe; looking up so high, I almost stumble.
I have seen many towers before, but none like this one.
I approach the first floor determined to see inside this mysterious place.
But the doors are locked and sturdy.
Yet I hear music inside—calling me—inviting me in.
I ask, “May I please come in? I know I am supposed to be here.”
Slowly, the door opens for me to go in.
I take one step, then another—still determined—but also afraid of what I might find.
There it is! The staircase I saw in my dream.
It has purple—no, royal blue—carpet with gold rails winding up to the top.
I take a deep breath and continue.
The first step has a code on it.
It says, “To reach the top and be free, you must understand.”
What does that mean, I wonder?
I must understand what?
As I take my next step, I realize something.
I hit a wave of feeling.
There is a power in these stairs and the first step that represents something, is truth.
I have hidden myself behind a mask for so long.
Truth means I must take the mask off in order to be free.
I feel light and relieved, knowing that the mask was a survival mask so that I could
not be hurt.
But the complete irony is—it hurt me to wear it because no light could enter in.
I see rays of light come through the windows—shining into my very being.
I never had to wear the mask at all.
by Nicole Elizabeth Biggs
Victim No More
Reject The Victim Mentality!
"Mentors are lifelines in the bridge over the deep waters of victim to
Living independently from others' viewpoints requires that we take
responsibility for our own lives and actions. In order to do this, we must stop
blaming others and stop playing the role of a victim. We may have been hurt,
betrayed, or abandoned in our life, but if we stay stuck in this groove of being
wounded, it will be difficult to progress to the steps that can lead to a happy and
fulfilling life. To make matters worse, being a victim is a role our children can
take on. There are three phases to the removal and healing of the victim pattern;
acceptance, forgiveness and accountability.
ACCEPTANCE requires that we take a good hard look at where we are in
life. What are our responsibilities and, more important, how do we move out of
denial into reality? Mary Lou, the mother of an 11-year-old boy, could not accept
the fact that her 14-year marriage was over. She blamed John for everything and
made him the bad guy in this scenario. In her eyes she was the wounded party.
Until she accepted that this was her life too, and that she had played a part in the
breakup, she was stuck in her own resentment and pain. Anger and sadness are
part of the healing process, but when we stay stuck there, it is difficult to regain
our own personal power. When Mary Lou finally accepted her life as it was, she
was able to take the next step, which was ownership of her life. She then made a
conscious decision to forgive. Until she had gone through the acceptance stage,
she could not go to the forgiveness stage.
FORGIVENESS is difficult. When life bringsus as single mothers to the
reality of what separation really is, how can we forgive when we have been left
alone to bear so much responsibility and agony? We are so very tired. Perhaps our
ex is either totally out of the family picture or maybe he gets weekend or semimonthly
visitations. Either way, we still have to clean, take the kids to the doctors,
nurture, love, help with homework, get them ready for school and life, and
handle virtually everything that goes along with this. Sometimes we are even criticized
for the job we are doing.
Over time, resentment can build up and it sure does seem like it is justifiable.
Why should we want to forgive when the undesirable behavior of the other person
has not changed? I'm sure you have heard this before; forgiveness is not for the benefit
of the forgiven person but rather, it is for the benefit of the forgiver. It does not
excuse the behavior of an absent or controlling parent, but forgiveness does allow us
to heal and take care of our own life. We cannot change another person or their
behavior no matter how much we want to. Harboring a grudge can be detrimental
to your physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Resentment can eat away at you.
Once you release someone and let them go, the process of forgiveness starts and
healing can begin. Now we are able to focus on the changes we need to make and
take inventory of our own shortcomings, while at the same time, having the willingness
to change them. As we begin to change patterns we will start to have compassion
for the weaknesses of others. When we stop blaming and judging others, we
will know that forgiveness is starting to take place.
A Dreamer In Action
Time To Go Get M Girl!
"I recalled John Maxwell saying in Failing Forward, 80% of success
is just showing up."
Do you have any dreams or aspirations? Most likely you do. Do you know
where your passion lies inside of yourself? It could be possible that you don't.
Many of us don't. We fall into jobs, get married without thinking things
through, and generally accept the circumstances in our life. Think about it now
while you are reading this. What makes your heart thump? What gifts were you
born with? Do you dare to even hope when you already have enough to do-and
all hope seems to do is lead to despair?
Yes! Hope! Hope, because you can make your dreams a reality. Of course it
will require a great deal of faith and persistence on your part, and you will need a
vision or plan. If you integrate all of these factors, you can mold your dream into
a reality and your dreams will crystallize before your very eyes. It will, however,
take time. Even if you are too pooped to pop right now, the exhaustion will pass,
organization will come, and you will be ready to dream once again.
Faith is where dreams are born. The bible says if you have faith as small as
a mustard seed, you can move mountains. This is certainly good news for single
mothers as you will find you frequently need to move a mountain or two. Faith is
a belief deep in your soul and in your consciousness that something is possible.
Faith is an I can, and it can, and it will attitude. Faith is the seed that, when
planted and nurtured, grows into reality.
98% of the population quits when things seem difficult or impossible. In
sales I have experienced so much rejection that on some occasions I would feel
like crying. Persistence is what kept me going and that, in turn, led to bigger and
better opportunities and more income. I remember so many times feeling the
urge to run away or quit, and I had to will myself to stay where I was. I recalled
John Maxwell saying in Failing Forward, "80% of success is just showing up." I
would get through just one more day by reminding myself to just show up and
do my best one moment at a time. Excuses don't work when you are being persistent.
If you're tired, get some rest and then keep moving on. This may seem paradoxical
but you can be persistent and still rest when you need to. You will think
more clearly when you are rested, and sometimes a little catnap is all you need to
do the trick. For every perceived failure, there is a learning experience and a seed
of success is planted. Being persistent to the stage of completion helps to overcome
perfectionism. Sometimes you can be involved in doing something and
become part of the Let's Make It Better syndrome. This will probably guarantee
that you will not complete what you are doing because it will never be good
enough and you'll keep changing things. Just do it. Then improve it later if you
Balancing Your Life
Get The Balance Back!
"Eventually, though, I had to listen to my body and go with my life's
There are 24 hours in a day for everyone, but most single mothers definitely
needs more. Perhaps 40 hours in a day would be more like it. Whatever the
circumstances, it seems like there is never enough time to do everything. Just for
starters, balancing life takes ingenuity, patience, and discipline.
What do you spend more time focusing on, your spirituality, your time, or
your money? This seems to be a trade-off for most of us. The times in my life I
had the most money, I had the least time. The times in my life I had the most
time, I had the least money. To balance our lives, we need to first write down our
priorities (I am great on writing things down) as mentioned in the previous chapter.
We should list them in order of importance; spiritual life, children, work,
rest and relaxation, social life, doctor and dentist appointments, shopping, cleaning,
and menu planning, etc. These should all be included and rated accordingly.
As you accomplish these things on your priority list, cross out what you have
done, even if it's just one thing; (been there, done that).
Buy or make yourself a planner and block in where you are currently
spending your time. Then go back to your priority list and rework it as needed.
This will take a great deal of ingenuity because you will most likely have to
change your mindset to what is important and those things you are currently
holding onto that you can throw away or put on the back burner. Stephen Covey
in First Things First, states that if you had a jar with sand and rocks in it, most
people filling up the jar would fill it with sand and then attempt to stuff the rocks
in. The students doing this experiment could never fit in the allotted number of
However, by putting the rocks in first and letting the sand flow over and
into the crevices, the jar could be effectively filled. Rocks are our priorities and
sand is the other stuff. We just need to determine what our priorities are and
spend time on them. Doctor appointments are down the priority list until you
become sick and have to move it up to the top. If the kids all need their teeth
checked at about the same time, schedule in one block of time for all of the
appointments. Perhaps you could shop by phone or computer. It might be worth
it. You could also teach the children how to menu plan thereby cutting down on
your things-to-do list and teaching them a lesson in the mechanisms of meal
planning at the same time.
Networking - Finding Your Niche
To build your own network, you will require a willingness to learn new
things, to change, and to meet new people. With a willingness to learn, opportunities
will come that will present themselves in different and unexpected ways.
Also, receiving help allows us to give support to others who may need it. It is contagious.
Networking is all about creating a circle of people who can influence others
and situations in ways that we never thought possible.
Again quoting The One Minute Millionaire, Hansen and Allen state that
any one person in the world is only six-people deep. If you need help or support
in parenting, then network. If you need some help in business, then network. If
you need financial backing or clothes for a new career-or help in training for
your dream job-then network! The only requirement is that you step out in
faith and not worry about what others think of you.
Force yourself to go out if you must
I know that I make this sound simple, but it has not always been that way
for me. I remember going to meetings alone; sometimes seminars, sometimes
church, and frequently Chamber of Commerce meetings or study groups. At
first, there were many times I didn't really feel like going anywhere, but I did anyway.
So should you. Inside I am shy, but I force myself to become an extrovert so
as to not isolate myself and to let myself feel more alive. I have met many interesting
people and the more I step out to network, the less scary it is. Somehow it
provides me with more of life's tools on learning how to live and how to heal. By
reaching out into the community-even in small doses-you can become part of
the whole. You'll find that you will believe in yourself more and more and your
opportunities will soar!
Be selective about who you let into your circle. This is not meant to be a
snobbish statement but rather for you to be aware that not everyone is trustworthy,
and some people can drain you of your valuable time and energy. The old
saying Birds of a feather, flock together is truer than you think. There are plenty of
networking groups you can join. The Chamber of Commerce in your area probably
holds monthly mixers, and there are book clubs, churches, and seminars held
on all types of subjects. If you like sales, find a product and try network marketing.
Just step out and start somewhere.
Breaking The Chains - Get Free Now!
Unlock your mind and be free
Self-love puts us at peace. It can break the chains of abuse, addiction, self-condemnation,
illness, guilt, mental confusion, and despair. An affirmation from
Louise Hay's book is I love and accept myself. She says to write it 500 times (she
likes to write, too) and say it over and over until it sinks in. This is one way to help
the chains of your past fall off, whether you are a millionaire or are in prison.
Trusting in the process of life also helps us break free for good. At the
beginning of this book, we went over the beginning steps of letting go in the healing
process. Then we went into all of the actions we could take for change to happen
in our life. In this chapter, trusting in life's process might seem redundant,
but the trust process is at a different level every time we encounter change or
growth in our life. Every time we think we have it all worked out, life may throw
us a challenge or two, bringing us to the next level of trust.
Life is a continuing cycle and each achievement or milestone in life brings
us to a higher level of confidence. It's at a level that allows us to do our parenting,
or to accomplish whatever it is that needs to be done at the time. During the
tougher times we were forced to only be and trust so that we could just make it
through. The more we trust, the less a crisis can take hold of us, and the more we
are able to break free from the shackles of fear.
By now, we probably have fewer control issues and probably are more at
peace with ourselves and with our children. We look at our kids with joy. We
trust God to provide for us and for our needs. Now, if we get laid off or lose our
jobs, we know we can find another one. We also know that if we lose our house,
we can find another home, because we have done it before. If our children chip a
tooth, we can get it fixed, and if our children are sad, then we allow them to
express these emotions, knowing they will soon come out of the sad feelings. We
trust that the love we have for them will make up for any inadequacies and they
will grow up OK.
We know that whether we are sad, excited, or feeling chaotic, there is now
an underlying feeling of peace and contentment. At the beginning, when we were
first separated, we felt so scared and alone. If you are still at this fearful place in
your life, relax and know that it is not forever and you can arrive at a place of
trust and peace. Knowing this fact is instrumental in allowing you to break the
If you are still on the bridge and are balancing all of the aspects of your life,
you probably have sporadic moments of peace. The further you go on in your
journey, the less sporadic these peaceful times will be and you will start to trust
that the bridge will hold you and bring you to the other side.
Stand By Me! - Great Motivation and Goosebump Producing!
Do you think single moms have more potential than they are given credit for?
- Tips For Everyone
Work at home advice, motivation and resources.
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