S1E19 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) w/ Aisha

Episode 19 May 31, 2023 00:37:47
S1E19 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) w/ Aisha
Start to Finish Motherhood with Aisha
S1E19 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) w/ Aisha

May 31 2023 | 00:37:47

/

Hosted By

Aisha Jenkins

Show Notes

In this episode, Aisha dives into some questions frequently asked of Single Mothers by Choice (SMCs) along with some questions sent in by you!  She covers questions like the typical day of a Single Mother by Choice, the experience of an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram), surprises of solo parenting, advice for raising multiracial children, going from one child to two, and more. Keep those questions coming and stay tuned for answers in season 2.  Oh, and don't forget to check out the YouTube video of this episode!

 

Check out the video episode here!

 

Aisha mentioned her PopSugar artice during this episode, you can read it here.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Each season I want to answer some of the questions from the listening audience. And so these can be people from the mailing list, people who follow my social media accounts. These could be questions that people have sent in through email. these are common questions so I'd like to do what I can. To answer the questions, provide some insights, and then go from there. But we don't have to wait until the end of the season to send in your questions. You can send them in whenever the mood strikes, and then I will just compile them and pull out a list of [00:01:00] 10 to 12 to discuss on the podcast. if you. Enjoy this episode, and you would like to have more questions asked and answered, just keep sending in your questions and I would be happy to answer them. Okay, so let's get to it. (Question 1) First question, what does a typical day look like for you as a Single Mother by Choice? Oh, . All right, well, well, thank you all who took the time to send in questions. Let's see if I can do a good job of answering those questions. Okay. A typical day for me, I get up at about 5 45, 6 o'clock, or my alarm goes off. I hit the snooze a few times. Over the past couple of weeks I've really been trying to get workouts in, and so I hit the snooze a couple of times. That means by the time I get dressed and I get downstairs to to work out, it's about six 30. And so I do about a half hour workout, whatever I can fit in at the time. And so right now that looks like getting on the treadmill doing a little bit of weight work, hand [00:02:00] weights, dumbbells, then planks. I need whatever I do to serve multiple purposes. And when you're working out with, the planks and you're doing core, you're doing abs, you're doing upper and lower abdominals, so it's just a multitask. I recently taught my daughter how to jump rope. And this morning in particular, I went out and I did some jump ropes and it's a really good cardiovascular activity and a weightbearing activity, which is important once you become a person of a certain age. then at seven o'clock I get the kids up and we go through all of the emotions of what are we wearing, what are we eating for? Breakfast, washing, face brushing teeth, brushing hair, getting dressed. Thank goodness I'm now at the stage of parenting we're both kids are getting themselves dressed. with variable results because the little one will just throw on colors, and my oldest likes to wear mix match socks. As long as it's clean and they're out the house, you know, it's fine. Then the little one has to [00:03:00] have a home breakfast, so we do breakfast, and then I try to get them out the house by 8, 8 0 5 at the latest. Try is the operative word here. It rarely happens that way, but I have two drop offs. So depending on whatever time we get out the house, that is who I drop off first. So if we get out the house around eight 15, I'm able to drop the baby off. I like to get her to school in time to eat the breakfast that they serve. if we leave around 8 28 25, then I have to drop the big girl off because her late. Is eight 50, and I don't want her to be late for school. So that is me getting out the house. Then I come back home if I'm home or if I'm in the office. Either way, it's a commute, then I have my coffee, and then I roll into my day. So my actual day starts about nine. It ends about five for my nine to five job. Now, whatever I can't get done, that is absolutely necessary for me to get done that day. I know that I have the rest of the evening to kind of get some things done because we're a bicoastal [00:04:00] company and so there are still half the team that's working in California by the time I end my workday East Coast. And so that does give me a little bit of flexibility and so I'm done with my workday. I pick up the kids. We either go to the park or we come home. They play for a half hour while I cook dinner and while I tie up my workday then we come together as a family like around 7, 7 15, cuz that's where we start, are going to bed routine. So the kids have to get their showers, they put on their pajamas, and then I spend about 10 to 15 minutes with each kid at night. Now, thankfully the three year old is close to four, so I can reason with her. So when I tell her to go lay in your bed patiently while I read with your big sister, she does it and I love it. So I get to go read with the big my, my oldest. We talk about her day. I ask the question, is there anything that happened on the playground that you want to discuss with [00:05:00] me? We read books. Sometimes we talk about r and b music. It is just a really sweet time. She gets to snuggle with me. I get to snuggle with her cuz sometimes I need a hug too. And we are working on our communication together because she's going through a stage where she has big emotions so we're working through some of those things and then I go and snuggle with the baby and she has gotten into the habit of going through her day. her daycare will send us videos and photos from their day, so I let her pick what photos and videos to watch. She tells me what was going on. I ask her questions and she just enjoys it. She's also taking. Spanish so. The Spanish teacher will send us lessons that they're working on for that period, and we will go through some of the videos and sing some of the songs. So it's a real special time that I have allocated for each kid, and that means that their bedtime then is like, Eight to eight 30 by the time they get settled and they're [00:06:00] asleep by nine and after nine o'clock, it's party time for mom. that's where I'm able to get caught up on my day. Now remember, I do. Across a five day period, I have like two to three hours in the evenings where it's just mine. So I might do some blogging. I might, record or edit some podcast episodes. I might, send out emails, schedule calls, or what have you. Now this is the time, this is my relationship. This is my loved one. And so I'm doing the thing that I'm passionate about. I will sometimes get people who are in relationships like, oh my gosh, I don't know how you do it. And I'm just like, I don't know what it's like to have to cater to another person after I've just finished dealing with the kids and putting the house to sleep then to have to cater to the needs of another person at nine o'clock. I don't want to do. So there is a sense of peace that I have. Now, what I will say is that sometimes I do miss adult conversation, so this is where I'll listen to other people's podcasts. I will watch YouTube videos [00:07:00] because it's like the voices of friends in my head and it's just chit chatter. So I'm working and I'm laughing and I'm giggling. So kind of similar to if I had friends who were. Online, or, in a Zoom call, and we were just shooting a breeze while we were working together. So for me, that's kind of what I need until it's those eight times a year that I go out. And so that's pretty much what my day looks like. I try to be in bed by 11 30, 12 o'clock, and so that I can get up by six o'clock. Weekends are just, ugh. Smorgasborg of stuff I have limited us to one activity per weekend day, and so we'll go out, we'll do whatever it is, whether it's a birthday party, a play date, or what have you. We go and do that, and then the other day is just for us to be at home and veg as a family and. That is usually playing in the backyard, in the gazebo, running around in the garden, me doing whatever thing I'm doing, baking cookies or doing laundry. So, Then we loop back around to Monday morning. So it does get to [00:08:00] be intense at times. And so I become better at taking sick days, better at taking mental health days, better at just creating breaks in my day to transition. I love to be able to walk around the garden to just go swing in the hammock for 15 minutes and then come back and, you know, refreshed. And so I tried to build those into my day. Okay. (Question 2) Ooh, these next two are good. What does an H S G feel like? So an H S G is the diagnostic exam that you get that takes a look at your uterine environment. And so pretty much. The technicians will insert a dye into your uterus and they could see the fallopian tubes based on where the dye is able to flow to. They can see if there are any abnormalities in your uterus, If there's any scar tissue in there, if your tubes are open, if there's any blockage that exists in your tubes. and this is all going to help them figure out, Where to place embryos if you're doing an embryo transfer, but just the overall general health of your [00:09:00] uterine environment. Now, some people say that it's painful. Some people say it's not painful. Most technicians who will call you will say, as a prophylactic, take like an ibuprofen, X hours before your procedure and it shouldn't hurt. I mean, it's one of those things that We don't know if it's gonna be helpful, but it can't hurt, right? So you go ahead and do it. Now, for me, when I had my H S G, it did not hurt at all, both times that I had it. And so it is also dependent on the person, but for me it wasn't painful. But for other people it's super painful. So the happy medium is to just take the ibuprofen x number of hours before your procedure. (Question 3) What does an I u I feel like? I would say the i u I is very similar to the experience. If you've ever had a pap smear and if you're a person of a certain age and you've been having regular gyn visits, you've had a pap smear before you put your feet in the stirrups, they use a device to open up your cervix and get a look at your, uterus. But [00:10:00] instead of swabbing for an i U i, a doctor will insert a catheter, and the catheter is just a quick way to get donor sperm up into your uterine cavity, and then you're done. So if you've ever had a pap smear, an IUI is very similar to a pap smear, and then they'll have you lay down for about seven minutes and then you can go. So that's been my experience with an iui. (Question 4) Was there one thing that surprised you about solo parenting? I think I am still surprised by a few things, but I'd say the number one thing that surprised me was the amount of time it takes to do things. Because while I could say I'm going home to make myself a pot of coffee, What that means is first I go home, I try to pick up the shoes and pick up the parts of the house that I see while I'm working. I have to get the coffee make the coffee and the coffee maker and then I have to log onto my machine and I could [00:11:00] have one task in mind. And the single me, it would be like one step. Now that I have kids, everything takes multiple steps and I really can't get to the things that I want to do in the time that I want to do them. I have to typically tack on 15 to 30 minutes extra because of all the things that I encounter on the way to the coffee machine. I might see toys. Somebody left the lights on. Oh, the lights are. Stairs, the bathroom lights are on. Oh, we need a new roll of tissue. Oh, we're out of, hand soaps. And then I need to go get hand soap while I'm getting hand soaped. Oh crap. I forgot to put the load in the dryer. So I put clothes in the dryer. So there's a whole. Sequence of events that happens on the way from the front door to the coffee machine, and it's not a linear process for me. (Question 5) What advice would you give to someone raising a multiracial child? So I've had nine years experience with this, Get them started in a culture. Since I am raising [00:12:00] multiracial children ground them in a racial identity in a culture. Yes, they have multiple cultures and I would go with the culture, like if you are mixed with black. Go with the black culture because everything else will reinforce whatever other culture there is. For some reason, black seems to be the worst thing that , people who are not black can envision themselves being, For some kids, it's the hardest to get their heads around that, "...oh, I'm black..." And they've seen a lot of the negative stereotypes, so it might scare them, but get them rooted in a racial identity. and so I would say, If you want your children to be able to navigate black spaces... you do your kids a disservice when you don't ground them in something. Because if you don't, and I've been in spaces where we will get multiracial people, biracial people who are just as adults, coming to terms with their racial identity. When you have benefited from a privilege, you can cause damage. And when you are not [00:13:00] aware of yourself, your privilege, or you want to deny your privilege, whichever you make supposedly safe spaces unsafe because you are not aware, because when you go into a space that has been under-resourced and underprivileged, and you go in like, I'm one of you. When you have benefited from a privilege, you can cause damage. It's a thing, and so you don't want your child to be the one going into spaces and just causing a lot of damage. So I'm a black mom. I am grounding my children in black culture. And so whatever they decide to do with their racial identities in the future is up to them. But they will find safekeeping in black spaces, they will know how to interact and behave in black spaces. They will know black culture, They're going to be aware of whatever privileges they bring to a space, their entire worldly experience has been as black girls and dealing with the struggles that come [00:14:00] with being in black girls and watching and listening as I advocate for them, as black girls. It would hurt me to know that they were going into spaces and causing harm because of something I didn't do. so I'm aware, and so now I'm getting in there and making sure that they're firmly rooted in the black culture and open to having whatever conversations they need to have. But they go around black people, they play with black people. And that is by intentionality. I would say I've seen a lot of harm come when people are insecure in their racial identity, and I don't want that life for my children. I don't want them causing that type of harm. I made a conscious decision to raise them as black girls. In my 47 years of life, I have existed. Black spaces. I have created safe spaces and there is a particular approach to these spaces. You have to be super, super, super self-aware and even given that I'm not [00:15:00] perfect and I have people that, are allowed to check me and that I check in with So I'd say my best advice is to root your children in a racial identity. And if that identity is mixed with Black. Root them in Blackness. Find somebody, find something that you can consistently do so that they're exposed to black culture so that when they make their way in the world, it's not something that they have to learn on the go. I don't want my children to be the ones who go in and cause harm. So yeah, that's just my 2 cents. (Question 6) Ooh, y'all have good questions. What was it like going from one child to two? So. This is a good question. So I would say going from one child to two is not a one-to-one relationship. It is like going from one child to 2.5 children, and I say that because there is. Each individual child. And then there is the dynamic between the two children. So when they play together, do they argue? Do they bicker? Do they play nicely together? Do they make big messes? Do they make small messes? So in every situation, even as I [00:16:00] parent, I parent each child to their needs, and then I have to parent the two of them together. So in the mornings when I'm upstairs getting ready, And I hear she's looking at me, she's singing my song. Oh, why is she so close to me? I can't see the tablet, and I hear the bickering. I have to parent them as a unit. And get them to work together as a unit to make this whole peaceful thing existence work. So if you're out at the beach and they're arguing and they're fussing, then you have to intervene and manage that entire situation. That is predicated on the dynamic between the two children. So it is not just a simple, like I parent you and then I parent you. You have to parent them together. This also shows up when it's time to clean up the house, because it's not just one kid made a mess, the other kid made a mess, the kids made a mess, and then doing laundry for some reason. Each kid has their own separate laundry, but then you have laundry for the household. If they, play [00:17:00] forts, then you've got a bunch of blankets that now need to be put away or cleaned. I would tell people who are considering adding a second that it is not going from one child to two, it's going from one child to 2.5. Because even the money, even the math for the money is not mathing, right? It's just like each kid. They need clothes like each season. And because I have children who are the same gender, it is not as easy to say, oh, Camille can wear all of Noelle's old clothes because you do want your kid to have some clothes that have not been worn, or they have special occasions, or they have different. Shoe sizing, like I still haven't figured out how to purchase clothes and what size is to purchase clothes. I have tons of shoes that are just too big because the shoe sizing is confusing. So I've been at this almost nine years and I still can't get it done. Okay, so the honest thing that I can say in terms of preparing you for the reality of going from one child to two is think about everything as being multiplied by [00:18:00] 2.5, and then you won't be surprised. It'll feel like, wow, I went from one child to three, but not every day. So really one to 2.5 is more realistic. What are three things you have had to become okay with? So this could be either in your work life, in your home life, in your family life, how you parent who you've become once you became a mom, Oh, good questions. Let's see, so the three things that I've had to become okay with is not knowing where things are. So before the kids arrived, I was single. And even when I wasn't single, when I was married, I knew where things were, I knew where my things were, and if I put my things down when I came back, they would be exactly where they, where I left them with kids. You don't know where your stuff is, and so if I can't find my glasses, I get nervous because that means that somebody has my glasses. They're, they're in a chair, they're on a floor, they're on some little [00:19:00] person's face. They have fingerprints all, all on them. I get nervous, so I've had to become okay with not knowing where things are or getting into the habit of putting my stuff. Out of hand reach for the kids or don't touch my desk or things like that. The other thing I've had to get used to is mess. So I have to step over kid toys, kid messes all the time. And I, what I refer to as kid messes are, you know, the pile of shoes that are by the door. The towels that get left in the bathroom after shower time, the, the toys that end up in the living room in the kitchen, I have to step over that stuff. I would drive myself crazy if I tried to clean up every mess that the kids made. So I am comfortable stepping over kid mess. I am also comfortable. Leaving dishes where they are I will clean off the surfaces. I will soak things overnight. I run the dishwasher maybe two, three times a week and I'm not having guests at my house. And if you're coming to my house and you're judging me, [00:20:00] then you are no longer welcomed in my house. The other thing I've had to just become okay with is not being at the top of my game with just about everything, whether it's work, friendships how I leave the house in the morning, like I've got a bare minimum standard, and most days I meet the minimum, and some days I exceed the minimum. But even at work, like I, I, I downgrade it from a more taxing position to one that is less visible, less taxing it allows me to be the parent that I need to be for the kids where they are. I try to respond to friends, text messages and phone calls, you know, when I can. I take a lot of calls from friends in the car and I do a lot more texting than I ever thought that I would do, and then leaving the house, not all put together. I try to make sure I have on clean clothes, neat clothes, and that's about it. So my hair is in a natural hairstyle, so it makes it easy to just kind of like fluff it up. And then run out the house. Not all days will I put on makeup, but I will [00:21:00] try to walk out the house with lip gloss on cuz I am still representing my kids too. And so those are just some of the things I've had to become okay with. The, a bonus is that I've had to become okay with not being a perfect parent and. Making a lot of apologies and saying, I'm sorry. And it's just been a humbling experience because you're teaching your kids how to be in the world. And so being able to, to say, I'm sorry I made a mistake, I think is a big part of what's missing in the world today. And what's wrong... So. Those are the three things I had to become okay with. With kid mess. I step over kid mess. I just do with not feeling all the way put together and then just not having things be where I left them. (Question 8) What are, what is one life lesson learned since becoming a Single mother by Choice. I learned that it doesn't take a lot to give a child what they need in the moment. In this [00:22:00] hurry pace that we sometimes lead as Single Mother. by Choice. Your kids, for the most part, are gonna go with you, but there are going to be times where they're going to dig their heels in and be like little mules in the sand. Like they're just not going, they just can't do it. They can't go any further. And in those moments, sometimes they need something and they can't articulate. So I find myself just really slowing down and going at their pace, I drop down to their level and I'm like, what do you need? For the big girl, she can usually tell me what she needs. A lot of times the three-year-old can tell me what she needs, but sometimes I have to offer, do you need a hug? Do you wanna kiss from mommy? Right? What is it that you need? Are you sleepy? You sound sleepy. You look sleepy. And then I'll get a little nod and it'll be like, okay, mom, this makes me feel safe, like my nine year old does. And so I parent them in the moment for what they need. It takes nothing from me. Nothing is as important as making sure that my, my kids are just emotionally, you know, together. And so I take those [00:23:00] moments to just do what I need to do, do the thing. And so I just slow down is one life lesson that I learned. Slow down, enjoy the moment for what it is in all its messiness and glory and happiness, and just be in that moment. And that's part of my mindfulness practice as a parent. Right now, in this stage in my life, they are my priority and I I love being able to, to do for them. Do you ever wish you had a partner? I would say, and I put this in the pop sugar article that I wrote, the times that I really, really wished I had a partner were the times where I hit the lowest moments when I was trying to conceive for my second, or when I had C O V I D. And it's like those catastrophic events that come around like once in a lifetime where it's just like it would be nice to have had inside help. But also in those catastrophic moments you would be reaching out to your village anyway. And I will say, yeah, I kind of wished I had a [00:24:00] partner, but I'm also kind of glad I didn't have to manage the emotions. Of another grown adult as I was grieving on miscarriage or as I was trying to recover from Covid, and the kids kept coming in the room, you know, I wore a mask. They, you know, so that they didn't have to. But it's just like in those events, like it's nice to have, but also, The grass is not always greener because you have somebody who is like, you still need to do these things, or let's not do these things when you know it's the right thing to do. So I don't have to barter, I don't have to negotiate what I feel is the right thing to do in the moment, and I don't have to manage another person's feelings, or they can't take another day off of work because they're, you know, I just, I don't have to manage any of that. So the times that I wish I had a partner are the times. Catastrophic, unexpected things that are happening and you would want somebody by your side. But I'm glad and I'm blessed and lucky to have a village that I could call on my friends really came through in a lot of ways for both of those [00:25:00] situations. And so ultimately, while I had weak moments where I was just like, oh, it would've been. The reality is, is that it would've been a lot of work and would've made things more stressful for me. So now we're, we're trying to hook Aisha up. What does dating look like for you? Dating. You know, I tried when my oldest was about six months to date. I keep trying to get out there and date. And it's funny because the dating scene has not changed. It has gotten worse. And so every time I look out and I'm just like, Ooh, dating just requires. That's a lot of work. Like, it's a lot of work to, you know, the small talk in the beginning is tedious and you know, why is this person not communicating? We're adults, you know, so that's tedious. And if you're out of the online dating scene or dating scene for a long time, then your photos are out of date. And then they've made like privacy changes. So you have to go in and relearn the different sites and things like. [00:26:00] Also as a mom with two kids, like all of my money goes to the kids. Like, kids need shoes, they need clothes. Like I'm the last, you know, to, to, to get, or, to purchase for and to be honest, over the pandemic, either you outgrew or you shrank from the clothes that you have in your closet. And a lot of things are out of date. And so it's just like, If this is gonna lead to a date, then I'll splurge and I, you know, will get an updated outfit. But now for the longest, like my jeans are now like all frayed, I'm like, I need some new dungarees. Like I need dungarees and not just jeans. Like I need dungarees. That can withstand the test of time. They don't make those anymore. But dating looks A lot of thought. A lot of texting, a lot of 9:00 PM after hour conversations. Just a lot of flexibility. And so for me it's just like I don't take it too seriously. On my dating profile, I have casual because that's the amount of time that I have. I don't have time for anything that's going to be long term until it gets to be [00:27:00] long term, and then I make adjustments. But in the meantime, like. I just wanna get out, I just want to do a happy hour. I just wanna wear a pretty dress and throw into makeup. And so I get slack from the, the guys on the sites that are just like, the casual means something. Get your mind out of the gutter cuz casual as you think is not gonna happen here. Dating also looks like a lot of happy hour dates, a lot of coffee dates because I am just not sure if I want to commit the amount of time. When you put down that you're looking for a relationship, people expect a certain level of commitment that I can't really commit to at this point in time. I do wanna go out on dates, I do wanna enjoy myself, have fun, and that is what I offer to anybody I go out on a date with. I'm a fun date. But in terms of, I'm not really sure what this looks like. So I do date, I do have lots of conversations. I am in spaces with, you know, men and people and I just like to enjoy myself and have fun. This is my first time out and I'm learning as I go. So dating is just [00:28:00] fun and it's whatever myself and the person I'm going out with decides it's going to be. And y'all are gonna stop trying to get me on. A date (Question 10) Ooh, what's your love language? Yeah. Oh. Love language. You know what? That one I have to come back to I took the assessment probably a year and a half, two years ago, and at the time, my love languages were Acts of service and words of affirmation. And I, I think words of affirmation still ring true. I'm one of those people, I don't say a lot, contrary to me having a podcast when I'm in public, I lean more introvert and I don't say a lot, but when I do say something, it's meaningful, it's sincere. And then acts of service. I'm realizing that on paper it's nice to have somebody do things for you, but the reality, I think as a single mom by choice, it's just like just put money in the bank account and I can find somebody to help me do something exactly the way I want without putting that [00:29:00] pressure on you to do the thing that exactly the way I want. So I, I think it's important to take these assessments like every year or two just to see if you're still tracking where you were when you took it the first time. I have changed over time, like I never used to be a texter. I used to be more of a talk on the phone person, and because of my life right now, I'm a texter, but I also reach a point where I'm done with texting and I'll call you. So it's kind of a hodgepodge, but that's where I am now. But I do have a, Episode on dating that's scheduled for season two that I'm going to redo the assessment and see where I am. What's the one thing a future partner can do? To demonstrate that they should be a part of your, your life in the future. The things that tell me that this person is a keeper is a person who is patient. A person who has demonstrated an understanding of my Single, Mother by Choice lifestyle, and you demonstrate that through. Asking if the schedule [00:30:00] is okay, asking if I need help with a sitter asking or stating that I'll confirm by this date. You know, just being really considerate of my time tells me that you might be a candidate if you're an adult and you handle yourself. As an adult, you don't cause drama. I really worked very hard to have a sense of peace in my life and in my home, and I don't want to be teary-eyed and emotional and crying around my kids because you did something dastardly. And so being adult It's not a lot of fun when you have to schedule things and deal with a lot of logistics of dating a single mom, but it's worth it, And so think about different ways that you can add to a person's life and make their life a bit easier and not make it hard. Because if you bring a lot of emotional baggage and you bring a bag of needs, like, I need time, I need hugs, I need all of this stuff. You need, need, need. That's just pulling from me and what is there to replace it because I still need to be whole for my [00:31:00] kids. So if you're taken from me and not replacing, then it makes less of me available emotionally, physically, to my kids. And I don't wanna do that. They're my priority right now. So y'all are on this track to hook a sister up. (Question 12) How do you do it? All solo parenting, working full-time, podcasting, and blogging. That's a good question. And I say the way I work is I work with a lot of compartmentalization and a lot of boundaries. Very few things in my life that need to be done at a specific time, and I have designed my life that way. give me some tasks and give me a bucket of time in which those tasks need to be done and they'll be completed. And so, The way that I've organized Start to Finish Motherhood is that there's nothing that has to be done on a scheduled basis. My workday is my workday. I do have my, lunch breaks that I can use however I want. And I do have the evening hours after the kids go to bed. Like I said, it's roughly three [00:32:00] hours a night. That is my time, and I get to do with it what I want. So if I fell behind at work, Then I know that I need to get in there and I need to do some work tonight, right? I need to approve some time sheets and, you know, projects and things like that. If I batch record podcast episodes, blog posts and things like that, like, luckily when I was going through all of my trying phases, I kept journals like a mother. And so I'm like looking back through those journals and I'm like, oh, this is golden. This is key. This is, you know, Let me, let me create a blog post based off of this. Let me make a podcast episode based off of this. And so, so that part, because I did a lot of work upfront makes for an easier time of doing it all solo. Then I have weekend hours and so. Really trying to get myself on a schedule where I do something for three hours on a weekend day, whether it's doing a content calendar or something like that. So I'm really good at compartmentalizing my time with my kids or my time with my kids, especially during the week Now, on the weekends, I [00:33:00] do do family time. But it's a combination of me getting some of what I need, them getting some of what they need and then them playing together. And so that's how, that's how I do it all. I've managed to work my life in a way that works for me being a Single Mother by Choice. And I'm happy for it and I've managed to find time to work out now. I'm not perfect at it all, but there are times when, you have to lean in and there are times where you know, that you can kind of somewhat lean out and just kind of let it go and be automated. Y'all have some good questions. Good questions. (Question 13) What is the one thing you appreciate about your children? Well. Noelle is a knowledge sponge. She's into science and she just picks up and she connects dots like it's nobody else's business. I love talking to her. She has such interesting insights and takes on things that I would've never thought of, and so we talk about current events. Sometimes she listens to my podcast, you know, we talk about books, we talk about what's happening [00:34:00] on the playground. I just love talking to her. I'm. Lucky to have a child who likes to talk and I like to listen and I like to ask questions and she's just a joy. And Camille, Camille is a little personality. She's the life of the party. She takes up space. She is very clear on what her needs are and because she has a sister that is also a really good communicator at three, she's able to communicate what her needs are. And I love it. It takes a lot of the mystery out of things for me. What do you want for breakfast? I want pancakes with scrambled eggs and cheese and Turkey sausage. And she will be like, mommy, can we have tacos for dinner? And she is just so. Articulate. She is so, so much fun. Like she's that kid who will dance like nobody's watching, like she will dance and she will sing. She just takes up space and when she needs a hug, she climbs in my lap and she comes in, she just takes a hug and it's just like, mommy. I'm cool right here next to you. It's [00:35:00] just what I need right now. And then she'll go when she's done. So both kids have been such a joy. I love parenting them. I love watching them grow, and I am so blessed and honored to have made this choice both children, they are amazing additions to the joy factor in my life. and that they're, they're mine, mine, little people that I helped to nurture and, yeah. I think that's it. Well, thank you all for these wonderful questions. As I said at the top of the episode, if you have more questions that you would like to have me answer, please send them to Aisha at start to finish motherhood.com. You could also jump into my dms on Instagram and you could also send me a Facebook message if you have questions. Whenever you send in questions, I really get an opportunity to sit down and reflect on my life. Reflect on What I'm doing as a parent because there's no guides and [00:36:00] where some of us are just like, really by the seat of our pants. But if I think about how I want to approach things, I'm usually better in the moments that count. And so when you send your questions, it forces me to refine my messaging. So I thank you for those who took the time to send over questions. My goal and my, my whole mission with all of this is, To bring the mountain to you. Sometimes being a Single, Mother by Choice, sometimes being a solo parent and intentional single parent going through fertility treatments, having to purchase sperm and then deal with all of the human dynamics of it, it can seem overwhelming. So my goal in my mission is to make this more approachable and to put a face to it and to say it is not easy. It is worth it. Some days we look put together. Some days we are just a hot mess, but the time is short for you to parent. The days go by slow, but the time just flies by. I can't [00:37:00] believe I will soon have a nine year old. So on that note, until next time bye.

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