HipM0M: Honorée, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. I recently discovered your book, The Successful Single Mom and I thought, I’m a successful single mom. The book appealed to me and I want all single moms to feel successful, too. Can you tell me how you came up with the idea for putting this book together?
SSM: Being a single mom is the toughest job. I don’t know if you’re a single mom…
HipM0M: I am!
SSM: Ok, so you know! It’s the hardest job times 500,000! ... I was watching the Oprah show last May and she had some people on, and they were kind of emulating the show, “ Ten Years Younger,” and they were talking about how these women had kind of let themselves go and what was the impetus for letting themselves go. And the woman that they introduced - it was the third woman, I believe - she came out and she was introduced by Oprah’s staff as being a single mom. And Oprah says, “She focuses on bringing home the money and taking care of the children. Of course she is last on her list.” And I thought,well I’m a single mom and I’ve been a single mom for six years…I never let myself go and I then I said, wait a second. Yes I did. I went through a tough time.
And I wondered if there was a book about making it through being a single mom that could’ve helped me get through that tough time and helped me feel successful and so I Googled and Amazoned and I couldn’t really find anything that really fit that criteria for me that would’ve been a book that helpedmethrough the process, so I decided to write the book...from a coaching standpoint, but also, I had the experience of being a single mom.
HipM0M: What seems to be the number one challenge for the single moms that you’ve worked with?
SSM: Trying to do it all themselves, not asking for help, not creating a support system.
HipM0M: I definitely agree. I see that quite often. Now, why do you think that is? Why do you think single moms feel intimidated, or whatever it may be, to ask for help.?What is it about our personalities or just being a Mom that makes us feel we have to do it all? I mean, have you found the answer to that?
SSM: I think so! I think that we already have a list (of things to do that is) really long and if someone came and asked us for something we would be fine with it. We are so used to saying, “Yes.” As women we’re going to say yes, right? Because we’re taught to say yes to everything. But we also know that asking for help from someone else would mean that they would be adding to their To-Do list so we’re hesitant to ask for something from others but we would be fine with others asking us. In my work with moms, I encourage them to ask for what they need, which is something I wrote about in my latest blog post, Help a Sister Out.
SSM: I actually started with the 100-Day Program. At 19, I created a 100-Day Program for myself. It was basically 100 Days, 3 Goals, a vision for each of those 100 days and things that I wanted to work on.
I then started using it about 5 years ago, I figured out that… single moms don’t want a big 350-page book. 100 pages is plenty… a quick book with a lot of meat.
I decided to see if this program would work for other single moms so I actually picked other single moms and coached them all for a quarter and it worked. 100 days worked because it was long enough that they could build momentum, see the results … not so long that they felt like it was going on forever.
And we were able to actually see the results. On the last day we celebrated 100 Days and you could see the change in these women. The women actually looked different and were more positive and you could tell that their energy levels had increased.
HipM0M: How do you define success?
SSM: If the bills are paid, I have $5 leftover for a pizza, my child is happy, she sees a happy mom, if my husband is happy… It’s not about the things. I can have all the pretty shoes I want, but if I’m arguing with my husband or my daughter is not happy, I don’t feel successful.
HipM0M: You were a single mom for several years but recently remarried. Congratulations!
SSM: Thank you! I was single and celibate for three years! During that time, I focused on myself. My number one relationship was with myself and I was really protective of my time. But when I was finally ready to date, I knew that as I became more attractive to myself, I became more attractive to other people.
HipM0M: Single moms are often concerned about the right time and exactly how to introduce their significant other into their children’s lives. Can you share what worked for you, or what didn’t work for you?
SSM: I work with a lot of clients and have several friends so my daughter is used to meeting new people. On the second date I had with my current husband, we went back to my house to leso that my babysitter go home. Our first date was about 8 hours. This second date was about six so we had gotten to know each other pretty well by this time.
I introduced him to my daughter and they got to spend time together for about 15 minutes, very briefly but as I was tucking her in that night she said, "I hope he stays your friend.” Kids have that instinctive part of them that really allows them to tune into people, so I really wanted to see her first impression was of him and how he'd be around her.
The bottom line is, don’t introduce someone until you know they’re going to stick. And when you know – you just know!
HipM0M: Are you working on any projects right now?
SSM: Yes, in fact, you’re the first one to know – this is Breaking News: I’m working with a co-author on a cookbook – The Successful Single Mom Cooks! It’s going to be a recipe book filled with great menu ideas that from start to finish will be on your table in 20 minutes.
HipM0M: This is great news, since I know I never want to eat the same things, or at the same time as my son. It’s challenging!
SSM: Right! No more franks and beans or the same old thing each night.
HipM0M: I look forward to that and to letting my readers know about your book, The Successful Single Mom. Is there anything else you want to share?
SSM: I have a group page on Facebook so that single moms can connect with one another. I also just want to acknowledge single moms. If this book appeals to you, it’s because you’re already an amazing mom and you want to be able to continue to be successful. You should give yourself a pat on the back!
If you take care of yourself, you will be successful. I know that the happier I am, the happier my daughter is. If we can model this for our kids then they will be inspired and feel successful.
If you're a single mom, you are are success so raise your glass to you, and the other single moms who continue to inspire us all to be our best, take care of ourselves and support others on similar journeys.