Jen Bayer Cover Model Contest FinalistOctober 19, 2021
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Never be afraid to sit awhile and just think.
It was a life-changing moment. After my divorce, I became a single, working mom and I wondered how to raise my son who was a toddler with chronic health conditions. He thrived with an eosinophil-associated disease that manifested as chronic food and environmental allergies, asthma, and eczema. His health care required more attention than a typical child with average health. I was clueless.
To be honest, I had no idea how I was going to manage his health, home life, working, and personal obligations. Briefly, I experienced self-doubt and insecurity wondering how I would raise my child alone. My initial approach was unclear. I panicked since I did not have family nearby. I asked myself: Who could help me? Was there a roadmap for single mom success? Where do I find connection and support?
Then I oscillated to what I knew best: time management and networking. More than 20 years earlier, I thrived academically in college and worked at the school library. Later in graduate school, I worked full-time on Capitol Hill and went to graduate school at night. After this win-win, I continued part-time community service endeavors. And in yet another life chapter, I was an elected school board trustee moonlighting and served as the director of a college outreach program.
Fast forward to mom life, I had unknowingly transferred skills from my professional career to maximize my daily routine. Triumph evolved when I create scheduling patterns and called upon my church, professional network, and mom support groups. I connected with other single moms and rare disease organizations. Rather than a self-pity party, I realized that I had existing resources to achieve single mom success.
Being a single mother has been my greatest accomplishment to date nurturing a young human and maintaining my self-care.