Finding Purpose in the Mess ✒️

The scariest thing about becoming a single mother was losing myself in the midst of all the madness. Managing the brunt of the responsibility for my children made it difficult for me to know who I was outside of motherhood. I had two children depending on me for all that I could possibly give, whilst I diminished by the day. My wardrobe was out of style, my body out of shape, my face etched with marks and a non-existent social life. I was way too burnt out to care about my appearance, and far too tired for exercise or to find time for my friends. My soul was weak.

Prior to my situation, I was living my dream as an actress. I wanted to be an actress ever since I could remember and when it was just my daughter and I, I had time to pursue those ambitions. Trying to juggle my acting career after my son was born became virtually impossible for me. My daughter was about to start secondary school and I had my son with me pretty much all the time. I was working as a main actress on a drama series when I made the decision to quit acting. It literally killed me to know I was giving up on something that I wanted so much, that I had worked so hard for, but the reality was I had no fight left in me to keep the aspiration alive. In all honesty I had nothing; I barely had the confidence to step out onto the street, much less on set. I decided I would go back to my day job as a Housing Officer, once my maternity leave had ended, and get some financial security for my children instead. Times were hard and a stable job seemed like the best option.

When my ex-partner abandoned his responsibilities as a father, he also abandoned his financial commitment to the home we once shared and I was faced with an array of debt. Then my workplace dropped the bombshell that my part-time position had been terminated and I would have to reapply for a full-time post. It seemed like no matter how hard I tried to better my situation the odds were stacked against me. I was at a really low point in my life; I was constantly beating myself up about the mess I was in and I didn’t know where I was heading.

Although things were difficult, I was enjoying being a mother and experiencing the many joys and blessings that come with it. I was torn between the decisions to either provide a steady upbringing or financial security for my children. Finding a balance between home life and work commitments as a single parent is one of the hardest things to juggle and unless you are in that situation you will never really understand it. It’s easy to pass judgement as an outsider and say that single mothers need to get jobs, but then what happens to the children who are left to be raised by child-minders or after school clubs? I know there are millions of single mothers out there who have chosen the path of working a full-time job, and many are doing a brilliant job of juggling the two. However, I wanted to be there for my children and give them the right input for the milestones they would reach in their lives.

I felt anxious when I turned down the offer at my workplace to take on the full-time role. I was financially challenged and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I kept questioning whether or not I had made the right decision. To make matters worse, if I had asked my ex-partner for financial support he would have told me to get off my arse and get a job, knowing full well that he wouldn’t take care of his child if I did. Being 31 and a single mother to two children with no plan for our future made me feel stuck. For the first time in my life I felt lost, lost in the repetition of school runs, changing nappies, making dinner, washing clothes, homework, bath times and reading bedtime stories – with zero time for me.

It wasn’t until my sister gave me a film called ‘The Shift’ by Dr Wayne Dyers that things started to turn around for me. I watched the film in awe; it was as if it were speaking to my soul. It taught me about purpose and pursuing your dreams outside of being a mother. It brought me back to a time before I had children and the love I once had for writing. I remembered how it made me feel when I used to write, how happy and at peace I was.

From that point on my journey to success began.

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do at first, but I knew that despite my situation, I wanted to make something of my life. I eagerly enrolled on a BA (Hons) Housing Management course, not knowing how or when I would find the time to study within my rigid routine that already left me worn out by the end of each day. But in the same breath it was a chance for me to start living again, a chance for me to step into the next chapter of my life. It was time for me to dream again.

The day I walked into the Housing Management course, I knew straight away that I had made the wrong decision. My heart sunk, and Dr Wayne Dyers’ voice popped into my head, ‘Don’t die with your music still in you,’ he said. ‘Housing is not my purpose so what am I doing here’, I thought, and I got up and left. Although I was afraid of messing up my opportunity, it was the first time in a long time that I felt in control of my life. I took courage from that and went back to my first love – writing.

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Now, almost four years on, I sit here writing this blog sharing my single-parent experiences with you, in the hope that my story will inspire other single mothers to go after their dreams and live their purpose outside of motherhood. I won’t sit here and say that my journey so far has been a walk in the park, because believe me, it has been far from easy. I’ve had many sleepless nights, been overwhelmed with stress and worry, and there are days when I lose all motivation and want to quit my quest for success. Having two children dependant on me and meeting their needs before anything else often makes my progress a little slower, but I appreciate that every step takes me a little closer to my dream. My dream to inspire and empower others through written context and visual performance.

Other women who have recently become single mothers have reached out asking how I got to where I am today. My advice would be to accept your situation and be honest with yourself about it. It is okay to still be madly in love with the man you created a life with, even though he rejects you and his child. It is fine to feel burdened, tired, unworthy and angry at the world. It is totally understandable for you to hate him and to be jealous of his new girlfriend… But it is not acceptable for you to remain lost within the mess. It is not okay to give up on a life for yourself outside of motherhood.

You did not set out to be a single parent. You were brought on this Earth to be the best that you can be… and that has not changed.

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Written by Aysha Scott

Edited by Shayanne Campbell

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Week 4 – The Fear of Falling in Love Again 💔

The day I discovered that my ex-partner had moved on with someone new, my heart shattered into a million pieces. It was as if my world had fallen apart. Not only because beneath all the madness I still loved him; but he was now giving some chick all of our son’s time. It broke my heart knowing how much our son needed the love of his father, but he had chosen to give it to her instead. He quickly moved her in and began a carefree life of extravagant dates, holidays – you name it. Whilst I struggled not knowing how I would get the next pack of nappies or baby milk, they sat in the Shard sipping on champagne. As I battled through the cold days, not being able to afford a proper winter coat because every penny went to the demands of a newborn child, they were tanning in Monaco. I felt numb.

It took me a long time to accept that my dream of being a family unit no longer existed and that I would become a single mother again. That the man I once called my soulmate, who I gave five years of my life to, just disregarded it all and treated me like I was nothing. It took time to rebuild my self worth, to embrace my situation and even to laugh again. However, when it comes to meeting someone new, I’ve given up on the idea. ‘I’m done with men’ is what I tell myself. Not that I am turning the other way or anything, I have just decided to focus on ME, my children and my career instead.

Had he been there for our son, maybe it would have been much easier to move on. But being bogged down with a child 24/7, I had no time for anything else except to ensure that I kept my head on straight. After all someone had to be the sane one! What would have happened if we had both given up? What cracks me up about absent fathers is that they walk around downgrading their children’s mothers but regardless of what you may think of that woman she is holding the fort for YOU, so show some respect. “My baby mum’s crazy” is a common phrase used by men who are bitter and scorned. Well guess what? That same crazy woman you laid down with and created a life and that same crazy woman is raising your child and doing the best she can… alone. It is the shit my children’s fathers have said about me, but I don’t even respond. Because any man that has 1 million excuses as to why he has not laid his eyes on his child, but can still blissfully move on with some new chick, is beyond crazy to me. No woman should come before your child. Period.

I know some people will question that I must have known he was going to be a deadbeat or play a minimal role in our son’s life, but there are situations where you have no idea that it will end that way. I never really thought about more children after becoming a single mother with my daughter, but after being with my ex-partner for five years it got to the point where we began talking about babies. Although it did not end well, we shared a fun loving relationship throughout the years. He had a daughter from a previous relationship and seemed to be a good father. He took great care of his daughter, and my own, playing a proper role in their lives. He seemed committed to our family unit. It felt right.

I did not meet my father until I was 11 and watched my mum raise seven of us alone, which gave me a longing desire to raise my children in a complete family unit. My father is a drug addict and chose his habit over his children. He has been in and out of my life ever since I met him. It was only after I separated from my ex-partner that I realised the negative effect that my father’s absence had on me. I have a fear of rejection and my bad choice in men tend to reflect the father figure that I never had. My father taught me nothing about the qualities of a good man, and he sure as hell isn’t a role model to look up too.

Recently, though, things have been great. My children are thriving and I have achieved a great amount. I have written and produced two short films, showcased a theatre play and have set up my own company, A Scott Productions. I will be creating more films and running filmmaking workshops in schools in the near future, which all keeps me busy. But as we all know it can be an extremely lonely experience, as a single mother. When the kids are tucked up in bed, I am usually off to bed behind them at 8-9 pm or up until late working. I often feel unsexy and my passion and charisma has gone out of the window. The thought of having a man around my children and coming into my bubble scares me. The thought of them being abandoned by someone they may get attached to, scares me even more. Will they like him? How will he fit into my time? Do I want someone with children of his own? So many things run through my mind.

Breaking up with the man you love is devastating for anyone, especially when you have a baby to raise alone in the midst of it. I did have a brief fling two years after the breakdown of my relationship, however I still had a barrage of emotions towards my ex-partner. My head was everywhere and it was short-lived. When I look back he was actually a nice guy, but the deeper issues of my situation created a fear of falling in love again. I built a wall around my emotions so high that no one can be let in.

It has been four years that I have officially been single, and I’ve come to a point in my life where I am ready to love again. I know I deserve love and should not be too hard on myself, but there is always that voice in my head saying, ‘what if you get it wrong again?’ I then make excuses about it; that it is still not the right time for me. Being so focused on my children and my career has put me in a rut when it comes to dating. I have been on a few dates, admittedly having lots of fun, but it gets a bit much when they want to see me all the time. When they begin to catch feelings I back off or end up pushing them away.

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I know it has nothing to do with my ex’s because I have allowed myself to go through the emotions and given myself time to heal from that situation. I respect myself far too much to go back to a man who treated me like nothing! No, I do not look back. It’s more the doubt and worry that I need to free myself from. As much as I am fulfilled on my journey to success, I know I must allow myself to love again. I know I must allow myself to feel passion, euphoria and all the delightful things that love brings. So that when Mr. Right comes along, I will be vulnerable enough to say ‘I am afraid of falling’ and he will whisper ‘I have wings’.

Written By Aysha Scott

Edited By Shayanne Campbell – shayannec@yahoo.co.uk

Photo Credits: Raheem Lloyd

Week 3 – Letting Go of The Anger Towards Your Child’s Absent Father 😡😡😡

The love I once had for my ex-partner quickly turned to hate when he disregarded our child. It took me a long time to overcome the anger I had towards him, as I found it difficult to comprehend how he could walk away so easily from a life we had created. I was all too familiar with the tale of the absent father who would simply vanish out of a child’s life for months or even years, but I never thought that tale would ever apply to my life.

When the relationship broke down with my daughter’s father he played a poignant role in her life and kept a consistent relationship with her from the moment we separated. We quickly accepted that the relationship would not work and were able to put her needs first and move forward. He would keep her overnight and attend all appointments concerning her wellbeing. At the early stages he would also contribute to her financial needs. Therefore my emotional experience to single parenting had more to do with my daughter not being raised under one roof with both parents. I never had that and wanted different for her.

I am not saying that things have been smooth sailing throughout the 14 years because they have not. He went from being a fully committed father until she was around five, to suddenly only having contact with her every other weekend. It was difficult to accept at first and caused a massive strain on our parental relationship. I don’t see it fit to raise a child 48 days out of 365 days a year and could not understand the abrupt change in his parental commitments. Prior to this he had a girlfriend who was very supportive of his child and helped him out with our daughter. I gather that when their relationship came to an end, he felt less competent in his role as a father, making his time limited. After I began seeing someone new the financial assistance also came to a halt. He said he was not going to give me money for my new man. Huh?! Let’s not even go there; we will save that for another post. I was not happy with the overall outcome but accepted it for what it was. Throughout the years he has maintained his weekend parental role and his and our daughter’s loving relationship has been sustained. I do go up and down with my emotions concerning his input, as I feel he is raising her from a distance and could have had more involvement over the years. However, I do not feel anger towards him, because regardless of his sparse contact he has been there throughout her life.

After the relationship broke down with my son’s father it led to an acrimonious (bitter) relationship almost immediately. I found it extremely difficult to come to terms with because along with abandoning the relationship he decided to relinquish his responsibilities to our son. On top of the heartache, I was left with a stream of crippling emotions. I felt bitter, confused, overwhelmed, worried, resentful, tearful, frustrated and above all angry. Anger was at the forefront of my emotions and I had a difficult time shaking it off. His ill treatment towards our son got me so mad. Things between us got pretty nasty and the love we once shared quickly turned to animosity.

Things became strained after the birth of our son; he had recently started a new Stockbroker job and was working ridiculous hours. I was practically a single mother, except we were living together. When he returned from work at 9 sometimes 10 pm he would appear lethargic and would show a lack of interest in our son. Whenever it was his turn to do night feeds he would wake me up and plead for me to take over, complaining that he would not be able to function at work in the morning. I slowly began to resent him and would uphold the demands of our son alone through gritted teeth.

The constant arguments got worse overtime and when it ended in a domestic he went to spend a couple of nights at his fathers. Those couple of nights led to days, which led to weeks and then months that he stayed away without making contact. At first I did not make contact either because I thought it was best to give it time to let the dust settle. After a month of no contact regarding our son I rang him, infuriated, “What the hell is going on, have you forgot that you have a child here?” He was at work and sounded happy as Larry, “I will call you as soon as I get back on my feet.” My jaw dropped. I was in total shock; I did not know this man on the phone. He was acting as if I was a complete stranger and totally disregarded our son. Initially, I was hurt that he did not see our five years together enough of a reason to salvage our relationship after the dispute. Being the strong woman that I am I thought, ‘oh well, things have not been that great if I am honest with myself,’ and was happy for us to go our separate ways.

As the months went by I heard nothing regarding our son. Whenever I called he ignored my calls and would text me saying I should email him. When he did decide to lay his eyes on our son, he would then disappear for months on end. My blood was boiling, the rage and anger inside me grew daily, the pain unexplainable. ‘Who is this man and where is the man I fell in love with?’ Is what kept running through my mind. I could deal with the fact that maybe he did not want a future with me, a great way of timing it but hey it happens. It was the way he treated our son that got under my skin.

What did this tiny life do to him why he hated him so much? I would ask myself over and over again as I stared into our son’s innocent eyes whilst tears filled mine. He missed his first smile, first tooth, first word, first time crawling, first step, every milestone he reached. And with each milestone a part of me died. I felt angry at myself that I failed my son by not making better choices. I was frustrated that my son was now carrying the name of a man who he did not know. It was a repetition of the harrowing tale of my own father and brought back dreadful memories of my past rejection from him.

The anger and hatred I had towards my son’s father was rife. I regretted ever laying eyes on him and punished myself for falling for his false commitments. I would spend days searching blogs for answers, then cry buckets of tears after reading the hundreds of stories mirroring my own. I was angry at the court system and wanted to change the law for child abandonment. I was desperate to change my son’s surname. I was angry at society for turning a blind eye to absent fathers. Wherever I went and whoever was listening I would bang on about how much of a Deadbeat, Wasteman he was. I was desperate for the world to acknowledge his evil deeds.

It got to the point where I started drinking heavy and would have angry outbursts about my situation. I would lash out and be verbally abusive to family members, as if it were their fault. During the heights of my angry rage my ex-partner got me arrested three times and had a 6 months non molestation order set against me. At the time I was suffering from postnatal depression, and combined with alcohol I was on a path to self-destruction. Eventually, the anger began to destroy my character and I was essentially destroying mine and my children’s lives.  I had no motivation for life and no idea how I would pull myself out of the black hole I was in. But I had a battle on my hands with the law to clear my name for all the false allegations set against me and needed to find the will to fight. I am not saying I was completely innocent in it all, as I am a tough cookie and do not take disrespect lying down. Even more so when it comes to my children. Using the law to escape his responsibilities was a low blow and I was not going to have my name tarnished on top of everything else he had put me through.

I took accountability for my part in the domestics and set up an action plan of how I would get my life back on track. I realised that the anger was chipping away at my soul and was destroying my dignity. My children deserved me at my best and I understood that joy and anger could not live in the same home. I was putting all of my time and energy into the negative – focusing on what he was doing wrong, as opposed to what I was doing right. It suddenly dawned on me that I was losing myself for a man who could not care less about his flesh and blood. A man who had moved on with his life and met someone new, and who continuously disrespected me although I nurtured and provided for his child every day. A man who was not capable of loving himself much less his child.

Our son was two years old when I finally set myself free from the anger and got my life back on a more positive, fulfilling path. As much as I felt ashamed about it, I sought help for my postnatal depression and alcohol abuse. I was able to talk to professionals about some of my darkest fears. They gave me support and tools on ways to move forward from the situation. If you are suffering in silence it will not go away, there is amazing support out there for single parents so do not be ashamed to make use of it. It could change your life. We are human beings, and as much as we are probably some of the strongest people on the planet, mentally, we could all do with a bit of help from time to time.

After continuous battles with my ex-partner, studying for my degree and having a handful of nights off during that time, I needed to recoup. I booked a week away to a spa resort in Lanzarote, which turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. It was there where I found myself and came to terms with my situation. I spent hours in the mountains with the sun and the ocean reflecting on my circumstances and how I could make changes. It was where I decided I would ‘Let Go and Let God’… I forgave my ex-partner for everything he had put me through and set myself free. No longer would I respond to his behaviour. I changed the code for the buttons that he knew how to push and stopped rising to every argument he invited me to. Instead I diverted my focus on being the greatest mother to my children and reclaimed back my life. I was desperate to laugh again; it was time to be happy and find my true life purpose.

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The minute I decided to let go of the anger and placed the situation in God’s hands there was a complete shift in my life. Almost a year passed where I heard nothing from my son’s father, until I received a card from him on Christmas Day. I did not respond and 1 month later he applied to the court for contact. His order was rejected due to a conviction he received during the year he went missing. I attended a court hearing for his accusations and was found not guilty of all charges that he set against me and shortly after he was sent down for his own pitfalls. This man set out on a mission to destroy me, but karma had other plans and he ended up destroying himself instead.

We have managed to move forward since then and have put the past behind us for the sake of our son who is now four. He will be released any day now and I will support him in building a relationship with our son 100%. But I will have no expectations of the role he will play, so long as I am doing my role that is all that matters.

Letting go of the embedded anger towards your child’s father is not something that will happen overnight. It will take time and in some cases many dreadful situations before you get there. However long it takes, you must at some point set yourself free. If anger is consuming you, think of a plan to put out the burning flames.

‘No matter how justified I was in my anger it never actually changed anything. This is why I must let go… Not because I think it is okay but I love myself too much to keep holding on.’ – Lisa Prosen.

Edited by Shayanne Campbell

Week 2 – The Struggle is Real 🙏🏾

When I was a teenager and asked my mum for school money she would say ‘I don’t have a penny to my name’ and I thought she meant that she didn’t have any change. It was only until I became a single mother myself that I understood the term literally meant that you are broke. I then learned that no matter how the media try to depict the tales of single parenthood, the reality of it can never truly be portrayed. You have to be in it to understand the heavy burden, the fatigue and the rollercoaster of emotions that the life of a single mother brings. There are times when you become so burnt out from your many roles that it brings you to your knees. The amount of times I have wanted to give up and simply just quit is countless. When I say give up I do not mean jump off a bridge, I mean give in to the fight of my journey to success.

My time at university was a prime example of the struggle. My son did not begin sleeping through the night until he was around two (bare in mind that I began university when he was 9 months old). I would be up until all hours trying to complete essays, as it was impossible to get it done within my daily regime. My son would usually wake during my time of study, I would feed him and then spend hours getting him back to sleep. After catching a couple hours sleep myself I would get up, sort my daughter for school, drop my son to my mum’s and then head off to university. I was like a Zombie throughout my first year and this reflected in my grades during my first semester. I was receiving 3rd’s for my essay’s, which was putting extreme pressure on my emotional state. I felt like a failure and was too exasperated to fight any other belief. I confided in my sister about it: “I’m going to quit, I’m not getting the grades I want and it’s far too difficult with the kids,” I complained. My sister was sympathetic. She had completed a degree in the past and understood the implications of managing studies. Quitting was, however, not an option and she advised me to seek help from learning support..

During this period I was at the peak of disgruntled emotions with my sons father. He had seen our son a handful of times since our break up. Instead he went off to live and work in the Philippines for three months leaving me with a pack of nappies, a box of milk and mistakenly his bank receipt with almost three grand in his account. His actions left me in a desperate, anxious and fearful state for ours sons future. I was angry and bitter and would curse him out whenever he decided to call or if I was lucky enough to lay eyes on him once he returned. It was not so much the fact that he never offered any financial assistance although he clearly had money, it was his absence that got to me. We had planned to create a life together and he one day decided it actually was not what he wanted, and just like that he turned his back and walked away. Inevitably God designed for two people to conceive a child, so why would he then decide that the job of raising our child should fall upon my shoulders? What society and judgemntal people need to understand is that, a single mother has to maintain the role of two people. We have to love our child/children twice as hard, provide for them twice as hard, nurture them twice as hard. Everything has to be done double the dose. Which inevitably means we have to play the role of two people.

There are many different reasons why we become single mothers, making it unjust to tarnish everyone with the same brush. However, whatever reason brought you to the situation, we face similar battles no matter what class, race or creed you come from. When it comes to the ultimate struggle, we all know ‘IT IS REAL’.  I am sure you can relate or have experienced ‘Robbing Peter to pay Paul’, skipping meals to ensure your child/children do not go hungry, going without gas or electricity, watching bills stack up and having no idea how they will be paid. The list could go on forever. The sacrifices we make on a daily basis can not be praised enough and no award can compensate. Any single mother reading this please take a moment to tell yourself, ‘despite my situation I am doing a great job’.

Things eventually got better with university, my grades improved drastically I went from thirds to first within a short period. Looking back now I have no idea how because things got worse between me and my sons father, he was still not playing a role in our son’s life and would go missing for months at a time – playing mind games in between. Saying he is coming only to do a no show, that type of stuff. His new blonde bombshell and Cityboy lifestyle was far more important than his flesh and blood. I was heartbroken and after a long day studying and sorting out the children, I would callasp in exhaustion and breakdown. The worst times were when my son was sick or unsettled, I would gaze around the dim lit room desperate for some rest and think, God give me strength… And he did…

Because during what I recall some of the most testing times of my life, I was excelirating. I was learning, growing and rebuilding my soul daily. Physically, mentality and spiritually I was getting stronger. No matter how hard it got, deep down in my core I had Hope. I had hope that ‘this shall pass’ and things will get better, which they did. As the child/children get older things will get easier and you will have more time for yourself. The time will come again when you begin to remember who you are… The broken smile will eventually turn into laughter. I know this because I have been through it.

Things had calmed down with my sons father, he began showing an interest in our son and we were in the process of working out contact. Unfortunately for him, his past and malicious ways caught up with him and he was given a 30 months custodial sentence. He had not laid eyes on our son in a year and would now not see him for a further year and a half. It was devastating for me as I was looking forward to having breaks and time to myself, but the idea of freedom was quickly robbed from my mind.

Once I graduated things kicked off with my writing career, I Co-wrote and Produced my first short film and had my theatre production showcased for two weeks. Then things slowed down and I began frivolously looking for work. I must have sent off over 100 applications and nothing. I was forced to go on benefits. See I have nothing against benefits as without it millions of mothers and children would be homeless because we all know that Deadbeats do not pay for their children, but I also believe the system is a deadly trap to get stunk in. In the past from when I was a single parent at 21 I have always worked or ran my own business and found it extremely difficult to survive on benefits. My mum set a good example for us, because although she raised seven of us alone she always worked. During this time I can honestly say I felt the strain financially and the struggle got even more real.

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I have never been one to be down for long and no matter the obstacles that come my way, I will find a solution to get around it. I used the difficult times to reflect on my life and mine and children’s future. I decided I would follow my dreams and use my talents to set up a business A Scott Productions. I am also currently in the process of producing my feature film ABSENT, that I wrote inspired from my absent parent experiences and a short film IT STILL HURTS. Recently, I have been accepted onto a business programme where they will help fund and support my business venture. My only advice is, yes we all know about how real the single parent struggle is, but when your backs against the wall… Keep pushing.

I am putting my struggles and strife out there in hope to inspire others. I want single mothers to know how special they are. I want you to know that no matter how incompetent you may feel at times, you are doing a great job. At the end of the day it is all about what you are willing to struggle for and for me I will struggle to the bitter end for my children and to ensure that I am pursuing my dreams and living my life’s purpose. No matter how hard it gets always remember that ‘struggles are required in order to survive in life, because in order to stand up, you got to know what falling down feels like’.

Written by Aysha Scott Edited by Badria Ahmed

Contact: aysha.scott@btinternet.com

Week 1 – My Story 🎬

I set up this Blog to document my journey to success and to inspire other single mothers along the way. Each week I will upload a post on different aspects of life as a single mother, designed to encourage and empower you. Being a single mother is not easy, especially when you are driven and have ambitions. There are days when my tiredness cannot be explained and I feel mentally and physically burnt out. Miraculously, from a source unknown, I still manage to find the strength to keep on going and move closer to my dreams.

My children mean everything to me and I love them to bits, but I still have a purpose in life that I must fulfil. “Don’t die with your music still in you,” Dr Wayne Dyers said. And I’m not intending on dying with my music still in me.

I am a single mother to two children a 14 years old daughter and a 4 years old son. I never intended on becoming a single mother. I had my daughter at 21 and my son at 31, leaving a ten-year gap. Hoping to get it right the second time. Unfortunately, my choice of men were not great, and the outcome left me in the situation I am in today. However, I still manage to strive for my children and am determined to make something of my life. I believe that your children learn from what they see, which makes it important for me to be the best role model that I can possibly be for them.

Last year I graduated from London South Bank University with a 2.1 in Creative Writing, and was awarded Course Directors Prize for outstanding achievement in Creative Writing. In the midst of my journey at university I was going through an extremely difficult time with my son’s father. A man whom I had spent five years of my life with, and who suddenly relinquished his responsibilities to our son. My daughter’s father, on the other hand, is an every other weekend dad – and I mean that literally. Neither has helped me financially, which makes raising my children alone a lot harder. I prioritise my finances to ensure they have the best lifestyle possible. I don’t go out much, and I have a minimal social life as I prefer to invest in my children and my dreams. This is my testament that anything you set your mind to do is possible, and if you are determined enough you will succeed.

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Before having my son I was an actress and was fortunate to do some amazing work in Film, TV and Theatre. In the heights of my acting career I was the face of Actimel and worked on programmes like Eastenders, Hotel Babylon, The Bill and played a lead role in Breach drama series. When I became a single mother with two children things got difficult. With the lack of support and the stress of everyday life, my passion for it died. After years of set backs and soul searching I am currently in the pre-production stages of my feature film ABSENT, inspired by the experiences that I went through with my son’s father who is currently in prison. I am also in the process of setting up my production company A Scott Productions, where I aim to produce a slate of community based, hard hitting relatable films under.

Yes, it is hard raising a child/children alone, but please do not give up on your dream. Outside of being a mother you are still a human being and have the ability to make something of your life. Trust me when I say I know all about the sleepless nights, the constant financial struggle, and being one hundred different people all at once. Holding in the bucket loads of tears and scheduling days to cry because you simply do not have the time. There are some dreadful days that we consistently have to overcome, but children are such a joy and blessing. Use the joy and blessing of your children to become something great. You already have the most challenging job in the world, so use your motherhood skills to challenge yourself. Whatever it is that you want to do I encourage you to go and do it. Make a start today.

Whenever I meet people they always tell me how impressed they are that I continue to be ambitious despite my situation. I actually find it an insult because why shouldn’t I be? The media has painted such a bad image of single mothers that we constantly get stigmatised. It does not bother me though, as I know my story and how well I have raised my children alone. I am also aware of the amazing, well grounded adults and young children that single mothers have raised. Some of the most successful people in the world come from single parent homes, including President Obama. Keep hopeful for your child/children’s future, no matter how hard it gets.

You may wonder how I find the time to pursue my dreams. Well, all I can say is I make time. I keep mine and the children’s lives scheduled in a diary and make sure that our lives are super organised. It is easy to fall into the trap of making your whole life about them. If this is the case it will only lead to you being unmotivated and constantly tired. Try to include some you time in each day, whether to take a walk in the park, mediate or simply to relax in the bath. Find time for you.

If you have recently become a single mother the future may look bleak, but trust me when I say it will get easier. Find a routine that works for you and your family and stick to it.

My blog will give you an honest insight into single parenthood and hopefully inspire you in the process.    I hope you enjoyed reading, and don’t forget to leave a comment, subscribe and share with others.

Written By Aysha Scott and edited by Badria Ahmed
Photo Credit: Raheem Lloyd – rlphotography@btinternet.com