Hey MWC Mommas,
I want to start by thanking all of the AMAZING women who have taken part in this interview series so far. It's such a bright spot in my day getting to read your stories of strength, resilience, and overall just kick-ass momming. The next mom in the series struck me with those same qualities. I would like to sign up to be one of her besties. Here is our newest MWC Momma, Chaqira.
Name/ Occupation My name is Chaqira. I am 29 years old and I am an entrepreneur. I recently opened my own business Sustainably Yours which encourages intentional self care. I also hold down a full time job & am a full time mommy so I do it all.
How old are your kids?
I’m a boy mom. My oldest is 8 years old and my youngest is 6. I also had a son in the middle but he passed away in 2012 at 3 months old due to SIDS.
Are you a single momma, do you have a partner, a co-parent, do friends or family help, a mix of all of these, or other? Please explain.
I am a single mother. The father of my kids moved out of state so I raise our kids by myself. I used to have my own village of friends that would help me when my kids were younger but after experiencing the loss of a child I find it extremely difficult to trust others with my kids. I also struggle with accepting help when it is offered bc I feel like my kids are my own responsibility & I never want to burden anyone, although I know those close to me wouldn’t think that way. It’s hard to get out if your own head sometimes.
Before you had kids, what ideas did you have about how you would be as a mother?
I always knew I wanted to be a mother from a very young age. I always pictured myself married, owning a home, having a family pet, you know, “the American dream”. I always knew I would be a present and super supportive mother. I wanted my kids to know that I love them and accept them for who ever they become & support them through anything. That will always be my main goal.
What do you think is the most difficult part about being a mom?
Whew this is a long one. I struggle with several things as a mom. I never expected to be a single mother. It’s difficult to do everything alone, make all the decisions alone, & to not have your partner to confide in or lean on when you need it most. No phone conversation compares to sharing life experiences with someone. I struggle with mental health such as depression & anxiety & some days are harder than others. My kids are honestly my saving grace. They remind me of what’s important & that together we can all make it through whatever comes our way. Dating is super difficult too & nonexistent for me because I am highly aware of the fact that anyone I bring into my life also becomes a part of my sons lives & should be an example of who and what a man should be. Since their father lives out of state and isn’t physically here to teach them things or show them things, any man that comes into my life has to be an amazing role model for my sons. Also, I’m still surprised by how being a mom can effect my friendships. My priorities are very different since becoming a mom. Some people don’t understand that my lifestyle may not match theirs. I’m not interested in the same things they are and don’t share the same freedom. It hurts to feel left out or misunderstood. I’ve had to reevaluate my friendships bc anyone I bring around my children needs to be a positive example. If a friendship ends, my kids notice so I try to only have people around that I feel will always be here for us. And lastly, it’s easy to get caught up in the duties of motherhood, especially when you are the sole parent in the household but I’ve found that it’s super important to take care of YOU. Tend to your own needs. Practice self care. Nurture the woman you are inside. Continue to chase your dreams. It’s really important to me that my kids see me being a great mom but it’s also important for them to see me taking care of ME.
What is the best part about being a mom?
There are so many amazing things about being a mother. I think my favorite part is the relationship I’ve built with my sons. I honestly think that being a single mother has really shaped my relationship with my sons in such an amazing way. We have the strongest bond. We have such an open and honest relationship that I really enjoy. I have taught them to express their thoughts and feelings. Let me tell you, my sons have STRONG communication skills. I think too many people have taught their sons that talking about their feelings or crying is somehow a sign of weakness. Too many boys and men think that they need to keep things bottled up. My sons know that they can always talk to me about anything. They are confident in knowing that they always have someone on their team and that they can be their authentic selves with no matter what. I really enjoy watching them grow into themselves more and more each year and can’t wait to see the type of people they grow up to be. On second thought, I can wait lol Just stop growing and stay my babies forever and ever! Lol
What are some hacks and tips that you use to make daily mom life easier?
My biggest tip is to get your kids involved from day one! If you’re cooking, have your little ones in the kitchen helping and watching. Doing chores? Have them clean too. Going shopping? Teach them how to pick out ripe fruits and veggies. Answer any questions your kids may have and explain things as clearly as possible. Kids are SPONGES. They take in waaaay more than we think they do. Make sure you feed them positive information and experiences as much as possible. What ever I do, my kids do. It not only helps me but it also teaches them how to be self sufficient and independent and confident in their skills and abilities. One day my little boys will be grown men in charge of leading a household. It’s important for them to be able to take care of not only themselves but also their future families.
What are the most annoying daily tasks that you just wish you could make easier? How do you currently handle them?
The most annoying thing is cleaning. We clean ALLLLL the time as moms. I’m also very particular about how I clean and maintain my house so I’m lowkey a neat freak. The thing I’ve found helpful is making sure everything has a home. It makes it so much easier for my kids to straighten up when they know exactly where everything is supposed to be. I let the boys clean their room on their own day to day and every couple of weeks I go in and the three of us will do a really deep clean together. That helps reiterate how to properly and thoroughly clean and it makes it less overwhelming for all of us. Oh! And cooking. Trust me, my growing boys would eat me out of house and home if I let them lol Let me tell you something. Meal prepping is LIFE. It saves money and time and takes so much stress off my plate. Also the boys know how to make basic meals for themselves and they love to make their own lunch which again, helps me but also makes them feel really accomplished and independent. Sometimes they even make a sandwich for me which always makes me feel so loved and taken care of.
What things do you wish you knew before becoming a mom?
The saying expect the unexpected just HAD to be about motherhood. You don’t know it all. Won’t know it all. And don’t have to. There’s something really beautiful about learning as you go through life just as our kids do.
How have the moms in your life shaped you and how you are as a mother?
I was a foster child by the age of three and adopted later on. For me, the moms in my life growing up taught me what NOT to do and how I DIDN'T want to be. To be completely I didn’t have many positive examples of a mother growing up. But now as an adult with fellow mommy friends, I am so inspired by the moms around me. Most of my mom friends are single mothers. I feel a real sense of community among us. It’s nice to have people you can talk to that see things from your perspective & understand some of the battles you face. It’s so amazing to me how strong us women and mothers are. We are literally super heroes that are capable of ANYTHING. My mom friends encourage me. They uplift me. Support me. They give the best pep talks. They celebrate with me. Cry with me. They feed my soul. My spirit. The way they love on me is the way I love on my kids. Everyone deserves to feel completely loved, accepted, & understood. I’m thankful for both the mothers of my past and present. They’ve shaped me into the mom I am in all the best ways.
If there is a mom out there reading this that is struggling, what would you like to tell her?
Trust yourself. You can do this. Don’t ever doubt your abilities. YOU CAN break generational curses. You don’t have to repeat the things that effected you negatively as a child. You are powerful. Stronger than you could ever imagine. Things WILL get better. It will all be worth it. It IS all worth it. If you are a single mother like me, please know that you are enough. Sometimes I feel like my kids are missing out by just having one parent. But when I look at how happy, healthy, intelligent, & loved my kids are, it becomes very clear to me that I am more than enough. Also know that you will get some things wrong. And it’s ok. Learn and grow through it. Don’t be afraid to show your kids your errors. But also show them how you work through it. It’s ok to admit and apologize when you are wrong. Sometimes it feels like all that matters is our kids and our needs don’t matter. But you do matter. Your needs matter too. Don’t lose sight of that. Also, please remember, that even when your little ones don’t express it, you are loved and appreciated always. You are the most important person in the whole entire world to them.
Together we can become @momswhochilll