BELGIUM – As mothers, it is difficult when you must tell your children you can’t afford even the smallest of comforts. I remember when I was 24, my son was just young and I had a hard time just affording the basics such as pampers, wipes and formula. As a single mother working in banking none of my colleagues knew my shame… Me the person everyone in the office looked up to, was not prepared to be a mom and more so a single mom; at such a young age!
Poem: Edwina Delamore : Title _ I cried
Mama, he said…
Why are you so BROKE?
In Shame, I cried.
As bitter a question my tears were not for myself from now but for myself back when
So, I cried until I could cry no more!
I lifted my head and said,
I DON’T KNOW!
The poem above, I wrote for my old self, for the young me that went into a 3-year postpartum depression. It eventually took a financial toll on my family. Worst of all I believed I had failed and accepting this was not so easy, which took way too long!
Understand, when I became a mom, it was as if I lost my worth and the confidence to stand up for me. I heard about and then read Serena William’s piece, where she likened herself to a bad mother at times… Can you imagine one of the highest paid athletes in the world feels this way? Now imagine the mother who has a good job, but still no money, no prospects of getting out of financial turmoil and has very few people to lean on. In 2001, this was me!
Single Mother Resolve
Many people, who know me, say I should share my personal story, especially my struggle as a single mom. For years, I never saw the need to and there was always this lingering thought of how could I educate other women and young people? When I was the person who failed to prepare for the inevitable when I was younger. I’m the one who went into depression and finally the person who could not keep her finances together; therefore, how could I possibly help someone with my story?
Now fast forward to 2018, my son is 17 and we have a conversation about what he has learnt from me. He says a lot, but then he said, I was so busy working that the one thing he was unable to learn from me was the worth of money! Then it struck me: as a single mom I was too busy surviving that even the most important of thing, I did not give my child. Even though he agrees, it’s something I could have given him… but just didn’t spend enough time instilling. How sad!
As parents, we want to give our children the world, but get caught up in the daily “Grind” that we fail to realize that our actions speak louder than words!
Giving children a foundation to build from
The silver lining of our conversation was the fact he acknowledged that I did give him a foundation upon which he can build upon, as well as the fact he comes to me for advice. But what if, what if I had let go of my shame and opened-up about my struggles that he could already have been further with his knowledge?
In the Caribbean, it is the belief that the next generation should always do better than the previous and we preach to our children the need for education, yet many are still struggling financially to succeed.
Then in a wave of sadness I realize… we are the original Instagram society and I say that because we have another saying that goes something like this, “ when you walk out of your door, no one has to know your struggles”! I sense if societies allowed for honesty, more people would be less ashamed about talking about their struggles of finance without shame. They could say life is not going well and could get the necessary help. Therefore, it is obvious why Serena’s openness touched a nerve, she dared to be honest!
To the woman who has a good job, but find it difficult financially, to the young woman who just had the baby, but doesn’t have the money, to the mother who can’t spend sufficient time with your children because you work 2 jobs… no matter where you are, you are not alone!
Do you believe it is never too late to learn something new? If your answer is yes, then I hope sharing a bit of my story will help you.
If you have any further questions about how to make your money work for you and children, feel free to contact me; Edwina Delamore -CLICK HERE