Like many women, I imagined that I would meet a man, we’d get married, and then decide to start our family together as husband and wife. But that’s not what happened. Because of the decisions I’ve made, my life has turned out to be everything other than what I originally envisioned.
Statistics show that 25% of U.S. households are headed by a single parent, and of those, 80% are headed by a mother. I truly feel that becoming a mom is the best thing that ever happened to me.
So you see, although my life turned out differently than the way I pictured it, I would not change any of my decisions since they have all influenced who I am today. Everything that has happened to me has resulted in me receiving two of my biggest blessings to date: my sons Jaden, eleven, and Jayce, six, but like anything else, this journey too has had its challenges.
From my conditioning, I always felt that I needed someone to save me, whether that be a man or the government. I felt that it was someone else’s responsibility to make sure that we were okay. Don’t get me wrong, sure, I didn’t mind working a job, sometimes even two and three jobs to support my family, but unlike Kevin Gates, I do get tired. And in 2017, I was so tired of “trying” that I began just settling.
I met the man that I thought was my Clark Kent.
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Becoming a single mom actually helped me learn just how strong I am, which I have always considered myself to be after giving birth, but this man broke me down over time. He was controlling, jealous, paranoid, and worst of all, abusive. While he never abused my children, he violently abused me on more than one occasion.
Despite that, I stayed with him. Despite that, I was still ready to settle with him. I grew up feeling that a woman with children by multiple men wouldn’t be able to find a decent guy. I am not blaming this on my upbringing, but growing up, my mother had four children by three different men and could never seem to find a decent man. Without even realizing it, I was playing out the same story as my mother. I was settling for this life because I didn’t realize that I am worth more than that.
It wasn’t until I found myself in the middle of the street, begging for help from anyone willing to help me, beaten, half-naked, my hair cut completely from my head with a pair of scissors while having a kitchen knife held to my neck. I realised that if I didn’t get out now, I might not make it out alive. I barely escaped his attack, brought on by a fit of jealousy; and that near-death experience changed everything for me. I realised that if something happened to me, my children would be motherless.
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Who would raise my children if not me?
What would their lives be like without me?
Thinking these thoughts was terrifying. But more terrifying was imagining staying in that abusive relationship.
After the police got involved, I felt that the safest thing to do was leave everything behind. I relocated with my two sons and started to rebuild our lives. It was during this time that I aligned with a mentor who was able to help me understand the importance of valuing myself and my time, and the significance of setting higher standards for my family than what I had come to settle for.
"Through online training programs, I’ve learned how to take back control of my life by pursuing financial freedom and teaching my children along the way."
What if something were to happen to you today?
What would your children’s lives look like without you? Who would raise them? Would they instil in them the importance of understanding how to manage their money? Would your children find themselves struggling all their lives, working for their next paycheck? Or would they learn how to have their money work for them? What lessons have you already imparted on them?
Sadly, some people aspire to only do the following: raise a family, earn a living, and then die. They focus on placing the blame for their situation on someone else.
Being victimised is inevitable, but being a victim is a choice. Suffering is a choice. You do not have to allow yourself to be a victim even if you’ve been victimised.
I want to encourage moms to stop allowing themselves to be a victim, whether that’s being a victim of their circumstances, a victim of their situation from their upbringing, a victim of domestic violence—physical or emotional—including the stigmas of being a single mom set in place by society. Take back control of your life by becoming the victor over it all.
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"So you see, although my life turned out differently than the way I pictured it, I would not change any of my decisions since they have all influenced who I am today."
After the last time that he abused me, I made the conscious decision to take charge of my life, knowing that my sons and I deserve more. Through online training programs, I’ve learned how to take back control of my life by pursuing financial freedom and teaching my children along the way.
***M.E.O stands for Mommy Executive Officer. No matter one’s family structure the mom is usually the centre of that family. I just decided to give that position an official title sort of like the President of the United States.
I hope in sharing my story that you are inspired to take back control of your life and go after what you and your family truly deserve as well. Let’s dazzle together as we take back control of our lives.
Asha Gilliam is a mompreneur, author, educator, and oatmeal raisin cookie lover dedicated to helping mothers become the mom they once dreamed they’d be to their children. After a near-death experience, she was forced to relocate and rebuild her family’s life. It was during that time that she was aligned with a mentor that helped her understand the importance of valuing herself, her time and the significance of setting higher standards for her family than what she had come to settle for.
Asha’s goal is to inspire moms to become the victor of their life's story instead of continuing to be the victim of their circumstances. She created a unique concept of M.E.O (Mommy Executive Officer). In addition to being the MEO of her family, Asha is also the CEO of the Expanding with Asha, LLC. Expanding with Asha, LLC was built to serve Moms by showing them what’s possible by taking back control of their lives.
To learn more about Asha Gilliam’s works and interests, visit www.ashagilliam.com.