Monica Reid knows all too well the struggles of being a single parent. She has four children, two boys and two girls and a high school education. Monica has been challenged on every side, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and monetarily. She states that all too familiar saying “children don’t come with a handbook”. Monica was born and raised in Virginia. She has never wanted to get married but always wanted to have children. Monica contributes that to her parents. Who during the course of their marriage had many ups and down. Monica had determined then she didn’t want the hassle and believed she could make it on her on, she says she thought she was “superwoman”. Boy that didn’t turn out like she thought.
It didn’t take long for reality to kick in when Monica realized that being a single parent of four was very challenging and demanding and not even super woman could do it alone. Since she was the only bread winner Monica had to forgo many things in life to include furthering her education and spending more time with her children. She remembers times when the only thing they had to eat was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She had to quite jobs because she was the only one who could take care of her children when they got sick or needed to stay home from school. She had to take low paying jobs because she only had a high school education.
Looking back she realizes that getting an education and a career should be most important in addition to having a partner. Monica realizes the benefit of having someone to help with all aspects of having a family. It’s much easier to struggle with someone that alone! However, Monica has never given up on herself and the things she wants to accomplish. Today she is working on her Bachelor degree while simultaneously pursing a non-profit certificate program.
The lessons Monica is teaching her children is don’t put the cart before the horse! Finish school, go to college or the military or get a trade. Her two daughters are very artistic and creative and both are looking ahead to enter the military. Her two sons both want to pick up a trade and work at the shipyard. Monica says never give up on yourself or your dreams, you just have to keep pushing through and fighting you way through all the adversity because at the end, your will receive your reward.
When it’s all said and done Monica says it ain’t easy but to have love and communication for your children and with your children makes all the difference. Even then that comes with challenges because being a single parent means you are working most of their waking hours. They are in school all day and you still have to find quality time for them.
Monica says if she had the chance to do it again, she would make sure she had more than a high school education and some help. Single parents who ever you are and where ever you are don’t get discouraged. It is hard but stay focused, plan, and work through it, things will get better. Monica encourages single parents everyday by sharing her story of adversity, overcoming challenges, and hope. She leaves us with “parenting ain’t easy!!” Most single parents can identify with that.
According to: http://www.city-data.com/top2/h7.html
Norfolk, VA housing population 234,403 – 45% are single parents.