MOMENTS WITH ME3 {Confessions of a Single Mom}

Motherhood is a journey like no other.

For me, the journey started earlier than most at the age of 16. Yes, 16! Statistics are not favorable for teen moms, but I was blessed to NOT become one of them. Coming from a middle-class family with college-educated parents, I was fortunate to have a solid foundation and upbringing in a loving home. In 1994, the world was introduced to Terrance, the heart outside of my body. Once I had my son, I was determined to make sure he had the same opportunities as every other child. I knew once I became his mom that I would be the first woman this man loves and that our relationship would set the tone for his life in a very poignant way.


So, from my tender age 16 to now, Terrance and I have navigated this journey of life - together. Here are some reflections (REAL confessions) from my son and I; highlighting lessons of our journey from infant to the college graduate he is today!

Build Your Village!  

I was blessed to have two parents that served as my #1 support in the raising of my son (and still do). They are a core part of my village. But my parents alone weren't enough. I involved my son in extra-curricular activities which allowed me to meet other moms and my son to connect with their children. A couple of those families served as extended parts of my village and introduced us to a couple of male mentors that really helped guide his life. Building a village of support is critical for a single mom, and it’s not about the quantity but the quality of these individuals. Some moms seek formal programs, but don't limit yourself! Good folks who have a heart for children can be found everywhere: in the local church, at your community sporting events, or even amongst your very own friendship circle.

Keep in Mind You are Raising a Future Father and Husband! 

bbj mom son 2.gif

As a boy mom, we have a unique responsibility to ensure we set the right foundation for our sons to become leaders. Not just professionally but for their communities and households. As a single mom, it was (and still is) especially important for my son to develop a strong work ethic and understand the importance of earning a living as a young man. I didn’t want him to get the message that a woman should 'provide for him' while he lays on the couch playing video games all day! Chores around the house, opening doors for women, and other acts of chivalry are not gained through osmosis, but by action. Modeling the level of respect that a woman should demand from a man in dating and courtship is paramount because it helps to show your son firsthand how he should treat women as he becomes an adult. During his pre-teen years, I curated the men he was exposed to and didn’t introduce him to boyfriends until things were serious and exclusive. This has more impact than many mothers might think.

Give Yourself Grace

Single mothers tend to feel an extra dose of 'mom guilt'. This results from societal perceptions or personal stigmas from the circumstances of your family unit. It’s important for us mothers to give ourselves much grace in this area. Motherhood is a sacrifice, and yes, our kids deserve the best no matter what circumstances they are born into. But, if you are doing your best, things tend to turn out ok. Make sure you remind yourself to take moments of time away for self-care whenever and wherever you can, even if that is just when the kiddos get tucked in bed and you are curling up with your favorite book or magazine. Good moms can’t pour from an empty cup!

When I wrote this blog, I shared it with my son and asked him what were a couple of lessons he learned growing up:


2) HAVE SHORT AND LONG-TERM GOALS (collectively and individually!) and


bbj mom son.gif

While I wasn’t always a "perfect" mom (my truest confession!), God and my great village produced a young black man who turned out pretty ok if I say so myself! Raising my #BLACKBOYJOY is the greatest accomplishment I will ever have because parenting never stops, it evolves.


• What are some of the unique challenges you think single mothers face when raising their children?

• How can we better support single-family households? Who are some community leaders you recognize doing work to provide assistance?



Dr. Monique Perry is a single mom, daughter, friend, volunteer, leadership coach and a community college administrator living in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Yes, all those things!) She loves her family, friends, travel, career, books, and Jesus! Terrence recently graduated from North Carolina A&T and is seeking a full-time career in creative design while working an apprenticeship in his field.

Charlitta Hatch