Single Motherhood can be one of the hardest things to do in life, but only if one allows it to be. Single mothers have to live in the title, not be the title, because ALL children are a gift straight from God.
I’ve walked in the role of being a single parent for over 15 years. There is no way I would’ve been able to do so without, God, friends, and family. In those 15 years, 12 years have been lived over 4 hours away from my immediate family. I’ve had to cultivate a loving environment in a place that I myself was unfamiliar with. Does this sound familiar to anyone? In doing so my children and I have experienced great trials, but more importantly, we’ve established a lifetime of memorable relationships and moments that nothing and no one could have ever conjured up, or replace.
The 2 mottos I live by are ‘if you look good you’ll feel good’, and ‘kids don’t stop you, only you can stop you’. Your journey and your pace is all your own. You may have to be the tortoise, but in the end, you win. The God we serve is so gracious to us that our path and destiny has already been planned, as well as for our seeds, we just have to walk in it, and in doing so, we will assist our child /children in doing the same; so never compare and contrast what another parent or their child/children are doing. Though everyone was created equal in His image and His likeness (Genesis 1:27), each person has their own way to travel, and when paths are crossed it’s a time of learning and/or encouragement.
Through this journey God has equipped me with people, talents, gifts, but most of all His favor, grace, and perseverance. Each obstacle we go through we have been equipped for (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:3), as His word clearly states He will not put more on us than we can bear. Our job is to learn what we’ve been equipped with and when to use it.
So are you ready to take this journey with me. I’ll tell you now, put your seatbelt on because it’s going to be bumpy ride. Ready? Set? Go!
My name is Ashley and I became a single mother when I was just 15 years old. How? By thinking it was okay to talk to an adult, but not have to deal with the consequences of an adult. Why? Because others were doing it? Plus, I knew him so he wouldn’t do anything to me. He was a friend of my oldest brother. But I was wrong. He took advantage of me, and it was all my fault. What was I to do? Where was I to go? What would happen to me because of this? I had so many questions and thoughts but no one I trusted to go to; including my mom because she was a minister. How could I have done this? How could I have allowed this to happen? Because I knew better. Didn’t I? The daughter of a minister, I had literally been born and raised in church all my life. Saved at an early age. Singer and drum player, gifted with the ability to speak in tongues at 10 years old. This could not be happening to me? Why would God let this be is what I asked for so long. I was so mad at God, as I had always said nothing like this would ever happen to me. I would never be taken advantage of. I would never have a baby without being married. If He loved me how could He let this be? I was mad at God. So mad to the point I said there was no God. There couldn’t have been. No I didn’t become afraid of men, or go around sleeping with men after this encounter, but I did lose all self esteem for myself, and believed that now the only worth I had to someone I liked was sex. So less than 2 years later I went out and on this occasion got me a baby on my own, thinking I knew what I was doing, though it was the last thing I ever wanted to do. I mean having one child hadn’t been too bad. I had been blessed with a supportive mother and friends who helped me tremendously. I was smart still making good grades. I had been blessed with the gift of braiding, so I was able to make money and support us. Plus I was still going to college, as there was never a doubt in mind about that. But in the same token who was I really kidding, but myself. In actuality I had been lied on, harassed, and mentally and emotionally tortured almost to the point of no return. I was on the verge of losing my mind, contemplating suicide, trying to keep this up. But God. He had birthed me from the womb of an intercessor that wouldn’t let me go.
Red light. Are you okay? Am I going to fast, or is this too much? I know. It was a lot for me to, but there’s even more.
So now here I am 17 yr old single mother of not 1 but 2 kids. But no sweat. I got this. I graduated from high school number 13 out of almost 300 students with a GPA of over 4.3. Well known cheerleader and track and field athlete, not to mention, a scholarship recipient of the University of Florida. Life is on the up and up. I’m doing good for myself. Can’t be God cause He’s clearly left me a long time ago. I come to college with family and friends. A whole entire squad of us. So I have people to help me as I bring one daughter up after my first semester, and the youngest daughter after my 2nd semester. College was of a different breed though. Another life. College life. Party and classes right? I can do it. I could, but I didn’t. After 3 years of college I decided I’d just do hair full time. I felt I was at a point in life when I needed to grow up and provide more. Not only for me, but when you bring children into the world the responsibility is magnified about providing for them. Truth be told God had equipped me with help but I had not used it wisely. I wanted to have my ice cream, cake, and eat it too; when I needed to just buckle down and get the job done. What mother of 2 out of high school do you know in college full time, and working full time? I’ll wait lol. But the only way I could manage school or work was with help. But not only that, I needed God. He began to allow things to happen which caused me to come running back to Him. God is so wonderful that in spite of my error, because it was, God blessed my hands to continue to braid hair. This talent not only established me in a profession that I became well known in, but also allowed it to open up other opportunities for me with people from all walks of life that would later benefit me (1 Peter 4:10-11).
There were, will be, and still are people who God will strategically place in your life. Sometimes just for you, but other times for you and for your children. These people will be a looking eye, a listening ear, and a voice of reason. I am an OCD, authoritative, disciplinarian as a mother. And because I am the only parent, there has to be a balance for my way of parenting to be effective. So my children have aunts and uncles who are the total opposite of me, and who serve in roles that I do not. When these people come you don’t get jealous or take offense, but rather embrace and help nourish those types of relationships. It took a village to raise you, and at times it still takes one now that one is “grown”. Asking for help, doesn’t mean that you’re weak, it means that you have your best interest, and more importantly, when you have a child/children, their best interest at heart because no one can do everything, and be everywhere all the time and that is okay.
So not only did I need help, but I needed wisdom. When to do, how to do, and even why to do with children, especially 2 girls. They were looking up to me. What did they see me as through their eyes?
Yellow light. Never try to replace what you feel your child is lacking. What I mean by this is there are times that you may feel your child is lonely, or that we as mothers have dropped the ball in providing the hair, makeup, clothes, and shoes, but it’s what you provide more on the inside that will sustain your child and you in the long run. We must be realistic. It is not a mother’s place to be a father, or a friend, but rather a role model of everything that is good. Love, peace, support, and comfort. Motherhood whether single or not is about patience, love, but most importantly the will of God for the gift(s) we’ve been blessed with. Mother’s have to learn to live in the moment and teach our child/children that it’s okay and free to be themselves.
So now to present day. You see me, 30+, and think I have it all together now right? Mother of 3, yes 3 now. How? Why you ask? I had returned to God, rededicated my life to Him, started back singing, and becoming active in church; life should be good now. Wrong. In the process of me doing all of that, changing career paths after almost 10 years of doing hair, I still missed the mark (I Timothy 1:6). I let self get in the way, as per usual. I became selfish, and self righteous. Having good intentions means nothing if you’re not in the perfect will of God. Though I knew I had not arrived I became complacent. Thinking because He had healed and delivered me from low self esteem, lustful desires, and pride, that I myself could help others get delivered. And guess what? I did at first, until I took my eyes off Him, and put them back on me. You would think I had learned for real by now. I mean all that I had gone through. But I hadn’t. I had lost myself trying to save someone else. What I didn’t know then, but I do now, is that we’re never too far removed of going back to the things of old. I got so caught up in being the deliverer, that I in return became bound again, by the same things He had delivered me from. Can we say cycles and more? When you become delivered you have to live a life that will keep you delivered. But God. He is yet and still faithful. His compassions fail not. Through all the blood, sweat, and tears God blessed myself and my children with favor in every area of our lives. None of us have ever been severely sick or injured. I’ve never had my lights and water off, or without food to feed my children. God granted me grace to endure the ridicule and persecution of being a teen mom, but most of all He endowed me with perseverance to stand, and hold on to every dream, and every promise. I am a living witness that not only that there is a God, but I’m proud to say, “He is my God, and I would not be who I am, nor who I will become without Him, and the tools He’s equipped me with. Identify the tools He has equipped you with. Not just for parenting but your whole life’s journey. They are there, waiting to be tapped into. Every day is a new day. To learn, experience, and grow. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m also not where I once was.
Never give up. Never give in. Trust the process. There WILL be triumph in the challenge.
Ready? Set? Go!
My name is Ashley Auplant. I am a mother of 3; 1 king and 2 queens. I am also a sister, a friend, a worshipper, and an intercessor who loves to work with children, spend time with my family and friends, shop, and eat.