Don’t Beat Yourself Up


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A Child Protective Specialist once asked me, “what do you enjoy the most about being a parent”? I replied, I like to teach my daughter new things, watch her grow and watch her create. I get to be a part of someone who is great and will do great things. He then asked me, what is your biggest challenge? I answered, “Single parenting”. The fact that I have little to no help, doing everything on my own is hard.

Parenting is a full time job, one which doesn’t guarantee you will be able to use your vacation or sick days.

Allah (God) helps me. That’s automatic.

What is understood doesn’t need to be explained. But no one is there to assist with the day to day tasks. Getting her ready for school, prepping meals, helping with homework, nursing her back to health when she’s sick.

“The cliché term “Supermom” isn’t always so empowering.”

Sometimes my cape is dirty and needs to be cleaned. Sometimes my bones are weak and I feel stagnant. I can’t fly. Nothing else seems harder than raising a child alone. Not graduating college, or the agility test that I took for the NYC Department of Corrections. I completed that obstacle course in 1 minute and 45 seconds. I was dizzy, heart racing, adrenaline pumping. I felt like I was going to DIE!! But I made it, by the will of God. I was happy that part was over, eager to move on to the next. I tried to view single parenting the same way, hoping the hardest part would be over.

Perhaps one day the other parent will step up to the plate and give me some much needed relief. Having been called a pessimist, I tried to be optimistic in that regard. However, I am always reminded that a mountain will move before the character of a man will change. Most of her life it has been me doing it alone. I don’t want any accolades because the things I do are out of love for her. It’s my responsibility.

I accept responsibility for making this choice, but I have decided I AM NO LONGER GOING TO BEAT MYSELF UP.

And you shouldn’t either.

I have to do the best I can with what God has given me. It’s a struggle but I need to maintain my own mental stability. It feels like I take 5 steps forward and 3 steps back. This is my test. Allah tests those whom he loves.

Sorry Perfect Patty, I am not a “Perfect Parent”. I have things that I do well, and things I need to work on. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone makes mistakes. In my opinion, I am a good parent. I take care of all my daughter’s needs to the best of my ability. I teach her values, morals, politics, and about our beautiful religion.

I protect her. I allow her to be herself, I teach her self love. I let her shine.

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But I need to work on my discipline methods. I need to set boundaries and let her know “Who’s in Charge”. I need to work on being more aggressive. She’s such a creative and vibrant soul. I use to have her in tap class. But my work schedule didn’t allow me to commit and my pockets didn’t permit.

I can’t beat myself up.

She attended private school for 4 years. I struggled with it. For the first time she is going to public school.

I can’t beat myself up.

I am not a mom and a dad.

I can’t beat myself up.

I am enough. She is enough…..

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My daughter and I have a project titled, “The Apple Don’t Fall Far” and the track “Just Have One” is dedicated to single parents. It’s a reflection of my own feelings, but very relatable.

Looking back on how much time has passed; how far we have come.

Forwards Forever, Backwards Never.

About Tavasha

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Creative Charismatic Courageous are three words to describe NY native Tavasha Shannon also known as Miss Undastood. Miss Undastood is a educator, public speaker, spoken word and Hip Hop artist.
She has toured London, Sweden, France, Ireland, and parts of the U.S.

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