Now let’s get to the third interview (I really apologize for this late update!). Meet Rica Marie Lañojan, Cebu-based Lifestyle & Fashion Blogger behind Sassy Cebuana, mom of 2-year old cutie, Kendra.
17 Questions on Single Motherhood, Parenting, Life, and Family Matters
ON SINGLE MOTHERHOOD
1. Tell us about the time you became a single parent. What were the first few months like? The first year?
- From the moment I knew I was pregnant, I know that I’m going to raise her without a dad. I was the happiest when I found out I was pregnant though I’m a little scared at the same time on what would be my parents’ reaction. It was hard telling them at first but they accepted it and they were there during my pregnancy. I have to say that the first few months, after giving birth was really hard especially during night time. I have to do everything by myself. I can’t sleep because every now and then I have to check her diaper; breastfeed her, carry her when she cries and a lot more. I didn’t even know how I survived; the only thing that keeps me going is my love for her. I think I was like a walking zombie during my first few months. I think I have no time to go to the salon, or watch a movie or even go to the mall to check for new clothes. Pretty tough right? But all of those things are worth it. Having such a beautiful and bubbly baby who always makes me smile and laugh is more than a blessing.
2) How do people usually react when they learn you’re a single mom? How do you feel about their reaction?
- It’s actually divided into two, some say Oh! But why? You’re beautiful! What happened to her Dad? and even said “sayang..” And I was like “Things didn’t work and besides I’m happy J and I didn’t regret any of those”. Some say that they admired me a lot for being a strong woman, which made me feel really flattered.
3) Have you ever felt judged being a single mother? How/when? What do you wish to change about it?
- Yes! I remember it was coming from a very close friend of mine. I did even argue with her. She told me that she pity me because she knew that I’m a smart woman, and I deserve to be happy and to have a family and why all of a sudden I made a wrong decision of having a baby with someone who can’t stand by me. I was a little annoyed and pissed with her being so hypocrite, to the point of telling her that just because the guy stood by her when she got pregnant and staying up to now, that doesn’t mean she has the right to judge me for my decision. My baby isn’t a wrong decision, and I didn’t regret that I got pregnant by the wrong guy. I only told her that I can raise my baby without a dad, I have my family at my back who can fulfill all the love that even her own father can’t give. I even told her that I am a responsible mom and people can see it, I don’t need to brag but you yourself is just relying upon your partner, then you call yourself a mom? I don’t do anything to change any judgment I received, I take it as a challenge to show them that they’re all wrong. Besides, we’re not born to please anybody. 🙂
4) Tell us about your experience living on your own/with your parents/ family? What do you like and not like about your current living arrangement?
- I’m living with my parents and siblings. What I like about it is that I can go to work without having to worry too much about my baby because I know that She’ll be well taken care of. I can see that they love my baby so much and I’m really thankful that God gave me such wonderful family.
5) Are you open to dating and relationship as a single mom?
- Yes, just recently I did open my heart to a new relationship. It wasn’t difficult to love him because we’re in the same shoe. He’s also a dad as well, but his son isn’t living with him, but with his mom. Sad to say, we ended up what we have. Still, that doesn’t stop me from hoping and praying that I’ll be able to meet the right one for me. In God’s time. 🙂
6) What’s the most challenging thing about solo parenting? What’s the best and most rewarding?
- I think the most challenging thing about solo parenting is to be able to juggle your time between work, mommy duties and how are you going to deal with negative feedback about being a single mom.The best rewarding is going home after a busy day at work, feeling so stressed about your job and then your little one smiles and laugh when she sees you and hugged you tight like she’s telling you that she misses you while you’re not around. The feeling of being tired and exhausted just disappears in a matter of second.
7) How has becoming a parent changed you?
- It changed me big time! It made me more mature, more optimistic about life and it made me become a better version of me. Before it’s always about my needs, now it’s always her needs before mine.
8) Have you dealt with any prejudices or issues about your child? How about on parenting your child?
- So far I haven’t met any issues for now since my baby is still one year old.
9) What are the top 5 values you try your best to instill in your child?
- I would love her to be God Fearing, Respectful, Honest, Understanding and Obedient.
ON LIFE & FAMILY MATTERS
10) What’s your biggest struggle and frustration right now as a single mom? What do you consider your greatest joys and accomplishments?
- I think right now my biggest struggle and frustration as a single mom is if I can give her needs as time arises. I am working double time yet I feel that it isn’t enough. My greatest joy is seeing how things work out so well by providing all her needs and seeing her growing up as a happy baby.
11) How do you balance your time for your family, work, and taking care of yourself? Do you mostly plan your days and stick to a smooth routine or do have a free-flowing schedule?
- Hmm, I really don’t plan my days, it’s more of a smooth routine but I think it’s going to change now since my work will require me to be twice busier this month of October but my Sunday’s will always be family and God. Weekdays is always about work and I don’t know if I still have a ME time. I’m hoping that I can squeeze a little time for myself.
12). What’s your most favorite thing to do together as a family? What’s your most memorable moment with your child?
- I think going to church every Sunday, movie marathon at home or a simple family dinner. Most memorable? Hmm.. I think every day is memorable for me, having to wake up early in the morning with a sweet little angel smiling at you, it always made my day!
13) Where do you get inspiration on life, parenting, and single motherhood? Do you have any book, website, blog, forum, online community, or magazine recommendations?
- Well, I’m always inspired by my family. I read some of the online parenting blogs too. Oh! I think the person behind this interview will also inspire every single mom out there, so I recommend reading her blog more often. 🙂
14) What are your biggest dreams and goals for your family? How are you keeping up on accomplishing those?
- My biggest dream is to see my baby growing up with so much love and contentment even if know for the fact that something’s missing. I want to see her happy every day. I’m going to give my best in order to accomplish those dreams and goals.
A SINGLE MOM’S MESSAGE
15) What’s your message to your kid if he/she gets to read this 5 or 10 years from now?
- “Hi, my pretty baby doll! I want you to know that I’m always proud having you around. Always remember that mommy loves you so much and I will do everything to give you the best in life. Be a good girl always. I know sooner you’ll have so many questions and I’ll try my best to answer everything. And if you feel like you wanted to know and to meet your dad, I’m not going to stop you from seeing him and I won’t take away your right to know him better as well. I love you, my baby. :)”
16) What advice can you give to other women who are (or about to be) single parents?
- Always be strong and brave to face every challenge you’re going to encounter. Pray harder, God will always guide you in every step you make. Find an inspiration if you feel like you’re about to give up. Yes, it’s hard to be a single parent but when you’re going to deliver your baby, seeing her will change your negative outlook. Everything will be easier as days passed by. And remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE. WE ARE ALL HERE. J KAPIT BISIG LANG. EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.
17) What’s one thing you’d like ALL non-single moms to know about single motherhood?
- For all non-single Moms, especially to my married friends, Don’t JUDGE us. Just because you have a happy ever after, doesn’t mean ours is not. We wish to be respected and understood as well. Like all parents, single moms work hard to ensure the safety and well-being of our children. We also wanted to provide a happy home. Please understand your friends who are single moms that it’s really hard to balance our time between work, moms dutie, and leisure. Don’t be upset if they won’t be able to make it on special occasions because they certainly have valid reasons why. We don’t want you to feel SORRY for us, everything happens for a reason and a purpose. We are strong, we’re capable and we’re also a loving mother and a father as well. And if you happen to know a first-class single mom, praise her, hug her, and let her know she’s doing a phenomenal job. And if you happen to be one, smile… you’re doing an awesome job!
Hi Rica, thank you so much for your time and for trusting Mommy Wanders in sharing your story! Continue to inspire others! 🙂
Cheers to a positive single parenting journey! 😉