Kaywanda Lamb is known online as the Winning Single Mom. She’s also the founder of The Single Moms Success Academy where she teaches single moms to create a side hustle to help them create revenue and income to sustain them and their families. She is a brilliant and incredibly encouraging author, speaker and blogger and I’m so amped up to have her on the show! Let’s dive in to our conversation!
In This Episode Allie and Kaywanda Discuss:
Thriving as a Single Mom
Dealing with Shame & Guilt
The Single Mom Stigma
Why You Don’t Need to Fill the Gap in Your Kids’ Lives
Mentioned in this Episode:
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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.
Hello friends! I am so honored to be bringing you today’s guest! Her name is Kaywanda Lamb. She is a brilliant and incredibly encouraging author, speaker and blogger.
She is known online as the Winning Single Mom. She’s also the founder of the Single Moms Success Academy, which launched in 2019. That is where she teaches single moms to create a side hustle, a business, something to create revenue and income to sustain them and their families.
What I love about Kaywanda is that she is an empowerer, a hope-giver, encourager, and an inspiration for single moms. She doesn’t have a message that is negative like, “Oh, poor you! Let me help you.” It’s very much a, “Be empowered!” message.
She makes you want to open your arms and flex your muscles—“I am woman! Hear me roar!” She’s so encouraging!
I loved, loved, loved talking with her. She’s contagious too. Listening to this episode, even if you’re not a single mom, is so encouraging and empowering.
My team and I were searching for a woman who was in this energy for single moms. I wanted to bring somebody onto my platform, into my community, and I wanted them to be a certain way.
I wanted them to be encouraging and really helpful. I wanted them to have an energy that was contagious.
I wanted them to be empowering. I didn’t want anything negative. I wanted somebody who was an expert for single moms because that’s just not my story and I want to help everyone, but I can’t help with that.
I wanted to bring somebody into the community that was an expert in single motherhood and had that energy about them that would lift everyone up and help you. And that is Kaywanda.
When I saw her, dove into her website and everything that she has to offer, I was so, so excited! Talking with her was even more exciting, fulfilling, and encouraging than I ever imagined it could be!
She has raised two boys on her own—well, not on her own; she created a tribe. But she did do it as a single mom. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
I’m so excited to introduce you to her, so please enjoy this conversation. When you’re done, get your butt over to show notes, click the link and go and get her book. It’s so good.
We’re going to talk a lot about that. She is going to give you so much valuable encouragement in this episode. This is such a great listen.
Also, be sure that you share it with all your mom friends, especially your single mom friends. Let’s encourage and equip each other!
Let’s welcome Kaywanda to The Purpose Show!
ALLIE: Hello friends! I am here with this beautiful, amazing new friend of mine. I would love for you to introduce yourself and what you do.
You’re doing so many amazing things. You are an amazing single mom. I would love for you to talk about yourself for a second.
KAYWANDA: Thanks, Allie, for having me. Hey y’all! This is so exciting!
I’m Kaywanda, The Winning Single Mom. Who wants to be a winning single mom? Who wants to be a single mom?
Well, guess what? We don’t get to choose it most of the time. But here we are.
And I say, “Girl, if we’re going to be single moms, we need to be winning.” So, how do you get to that place of thriving and loving your life as a single mom?
That’s what I do. I help single mothers build businesses if that’s what they want. We talk about dating confidence, showing up at home, and being rockstars.
I’m so excited to be here with you! I’m an author, speaker, and a coach. I help us manage motherhood. I’m excited to talk about new single momdom and how we can handle it.
ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. Can you tell me a little bit more about your book?
KAYWANDA: I have written two books and the first one is a bestseller for me. It’s on Amazon with all these amazing five-star reviews. It’s called Do It Anyway: The Single Mom’s Guide To Living Life And Achieving Her Goals.
That book is the 12 steps I took when I thought back to how I made it through the disappointment, the rejection, the hurt, the three years of being a zombie in the early days.
People kept asking me how am I this happy single mom? And I said, “Okay, let me see what it was that I actually did.”
The first thing I had to do was heal. I sat down and I wrote my journey. I included stories from other moms and people I coached to help us have a guide book. Not just something that made us feel good, but something that gave us tips and strategy to apply in our lives.
I’m super proud of this book. My whole mantra “do it anyway” is, “Listen girl, it sucks. But I need you to get up because these babies are counting on you.”
I wrote this book five years ago and it’s been a blessing to so many women around the world ever since. It’s my honor to put it out. Thank you for asking about it.
It’s about, “Hey, let’s get our lives together.” How do we do that?
We gotta heal. We gotta find our people. Let’s find our purpose. Let’s get organized, which is so much of what you talk about. Let’s get focused. Let’s dream again. I even talk about dating in there. It’s a great resource.
ALLIE: There’s so much that you weave into your message, and really beautifully. It highlights so many important aspects.
The main thing that jumps out at me is that you’re taking care of yourself so that you can take care of your babies, and so that they see you as thriving. That is so counter mom culture and that’s what really drew me to you. I love that in your message.
KAYWANDA: Thank you, Allie!
I hate how the world sees us as these perfect women. We’re supposed to look great all the time. Our kids are supposed to be perfect. Our life is supposed to be perfect. We’re supposed to be perfect for the man in our lives.
Well, who takes care of us? When do we get all the good stuff back? Thank you for saying that. I am going against the grain with this.
I know a lot of people are saying, “You’re telling single moms that it’s okay to be single moms.” Yeah. And I’m going to keep on telling them that because you need to live in this space that you’re in and learn to love every part of your journey.
Then when you get to wholeness, you can be that wife to somebody else. But before then, I need you to love yourself and I need you to love your babies.
ALLIE: I would imagine that it’s incredibly hurtful and frustrating to be a single mom, doing all the things, owning it, doing great and then for somebody to come in and say, “So, you think this is okay?” Like there’s something innately wrong with the way you’re living?
KAYWANDA: Yeah, absolutely. Remember, it wasn’t a choice for me to be a single mom.
I have a girlfriend who calls herself a solo mom. She made a choice because she realized that the guy she was dating would not be a good fit in the long run for them. She saw some things and didn’t want to tie herself to that. And I understand it.
Then there are women who choose to adopt. I know a single woman who adopted two special needs children and she’s the most amazing mom. But her life is tough. Her dating options were very small. That was a personal choice she made.
The choices we make affect us, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My boys are older now. For years people would tell me how amazing they were and how well behaved they were. And I said, “Isn’t that what they’re supposed to be? Aren’t your kids like that?” And they said, “No, teach me.”
What I’m saying is we get to choose our life. We get to make our life as amazing as we want it to be when we get to the realization that we have the power to do that. I was walking around without the power, but I had it in me the whole time.
That’s what you’re doing. You’re showing everybody you have the tools and the resources. We just need to shift that focus. And I think that’s what I do for single moms.
I show them it’s within you. You deserve to have good love. You deserve to thrive. All of that. But first, let’s fix what’s broken here.
ALLIE: I love that. How old are your boys now?
KAYWANDA: They are grown men. My oldest is 20 and my youngest will be 18 on the 16th of this month. I know you want to talk to moms who have little bitty babies and are just starting this journey.
It’s so interesting that women come to me in all stages telling me, “I’m a single mom. I just got a divorce. The baby isn’t even here yet. What should I do? I’ve been a single mom. My kids are adults now and I’m still calling myself a single mom.”
This is what women are coming to me with. At the end of the day, we are still parents when our kids are grown-ups.
My boys live with me. I love what you do with your babies (get them to help you) because I would say, “Uh huh, now sweep my house.”
We need that. I love that you do this because I looked at those people, those little bitty people of mine, I looked at my house and I said, “How do you get it all done?” I had to develop my own system, you know? And so, thank you for doing this for women. Thank you.
ALLIE: Thank you. I love that your boys are grown and that you’re coming at this from a place of it’s never done, but the raising up has happened and now you can speak with such wisdom. And also, you look really young and amazing!
KAYWANDA: Well thank you, darling! Looking at you with four babies and everything put together, I say, “Girl, listen, tell us your secrets.”
ALLIE: We should have done this yesterday because the quarantine that we’re in right now has had me real real! It’s been pretty rough. It feels good to be dressed today.
KAYWANDA: It does. I will tell you this funny story. Everybody is having to do the Zoom meetings with their coworkers and all of this, and one of my cousins was legit in a robe and rollers and she said, “I showed up to a conference call like this today.” And I said, “I think you’re pushing it.” That was funny.
ALLIE: Oh my gosh, that’s amazing!
Can you talk about what goes into breaking the stigma that you talked about earlier? Being a single mom who isn’t pretending to thrive or “faking it till she makes it” but really doing better.
KAYWANDA: I want to tell you that you get to do it at your own pace and you get to not listen to everybody else’s stories about you. That’s the first thing I want you to do.
I want you to say, “I’m here. Maybe I messed up. Maybe I did choose the wrong guy.” Or maybe none of this is your fault and you had nothing to do with it and life has just happened to you the way I felt like it just happened to me.
My boys have the same dad. We were together and I was a good girl. I was a virgin until I was 21. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me.
I had all of those stories to reconcile that were driving me mad because I think, “Okay, I can still show up at church. I can show up in front of my family, be the person that’s pregnant that’s supposed to be graduating and focusing on school. But we’re getting married. This is going to make it better. Then some of the shame will go away, right?”
And then I find out all these things about this guy and I think, “Okay, so I can’t marry him. I can’t.” And trust me, the pressure was there for me to marry so that I wouldn’t be embarrassed, so that I wouldn’t be ashamed.
My grandmother, I love her, God rest her, she said, “Well, if he’ll marry you, marry him.” And I said, “I don’t have to marry somebody just so that I have a ring on my finger, there’s no love in the house, and this person is sleeping around.”
What was he going to teach my boys? What’s he going to teach my baby?
That worried me. I didn’t have the wisdom then, but something in me said this is not going to be the right move for me. And so, I chose to break up with him and figure it out on my own.
You said what does it take? I had already been planning to put up money so I was working. I said, “Okay, I’m just going to have to put up more money every month. I don’t know if he’s going to help me. He says he’s going to help me.”
At that time, my company was going to let me only be off six weeks and then with half of my pay, so I knew that while my full pay was there, I needed to start putting it up.
So, first thing’s first, sit in the moment, grieve the loss if that’s what you need to do, but reassure yourself that you can make it.
I’m a big woman of faith. Even though I fell so far from His grace, God was there every step of the way loving me, and that is even when people were around me saying, “You should be ashamed of yourself.”
I thought, “God still loves me. He’s telling me everyday when I’m praying, when I’m seeking His face, when I’m talking to Him, praying for wisdom and guidance, that everything is going to be alright.”
ALLIE: Did people say those things to you? Did they really?
KAYWANDA: Yeah. I love my grandmother. She’s the most amazing woman. She passed away shortly after I had my children. She actually helped me to take care of the babies and all of that.
They loved the kids when they finally came, let me tell you this. All of that went away when the babies arrived.
It comes from a place of hurt because they feel like they’ve sacrificed for you to get to where you are and they’ve given so much. And our repayment to them is to go live great lives and do better than them. And I get that.
It was also from her time period. People marry to do better. And I thought, “I don’t have to marry to do better. I can do better on my own. And when I do marry, it will be for love, for protection, for all of that stuff. For the things that I know that I deserve, even though people are telling me to settle right now.”
My mom said, “I’m going to whip you.” And I said, “You can’t whip me. I’m pregnant.”
I didn’t look pregnant so everybody thought, “You’re playing around. You’re not telling the truth.”
They quickly came around to it and they love me. But there were times where they were just afraid, you know? I think that they thought it would be better for you if you’re married.
But you know what? Now look at me now, right?
By the way, I happened to have gone to college about five times. I have multiple degrees. A masters and a Principal Certification. I did four degrees with children. I was pregnant when I graduated with the first one.
I tell that story not to brag. I tell this story because I didn’t let the fact that I was a single mom stop me from going after what I felt I wanted to do in my life. And I didn’t let the fact that I had kids make me say, “Well, I have to wait until they’re 18 to go get this extra knowledge, make more money, improve our way of life.”
For any mom who’s out there, I simply want you to sit in it, grieve it if you need to. And then I want you to make a plan.
I want you to every day build your faith and I want you to talk to God.
I want you to talk to your friends who are good friends, that love you and support you.
And I will tell you, Allie, God gave me people who were not related to me that loved me and that supported me and these boys. They have been with us for the last 13 years.
I got my two boys and moved to Texas from Louisiana when they were 4 and 6. That’s 14 years ago.
Everybody said, “You’re going to move to a town you don’t even know, a place you’ve never been, for a job, with your little bitty babies, just you?” And I said, “Aha.”
You know why I did that Allie? I did that because I had done everything I needed to do in Louisiana. I saw the support that I had, but I saw that where I was was as far as I was going to go.
But I knew there was more. There was greater. And I had to have the courage.
I had already been taking care of the boys myself. This great opportunity came up and I moved. And I can tell you it’s been a blessing ever since.
I met new people, new families, married couples who loved on me and my boys. Their husbands became mentors to my boys. I was best friends with the women.
People say, “If you’re married, you can’t have single friends.” That’s not true. I have been one of the best friends to these ladies and they have been the same thing to me. Our children grew up like brothers and sisters.
That’s why a chapter in my book is Build Your Tribe. Find your tribe. And my tribe doesn’t always look like me. And that’s what you need.
ALLIE: What you’re saying is so empowering for women that are in a relationship that’s not healthy, that they want to leave, but they’re afraid. This is not just for single women by accident or by choice, but possibly soon.
Even for me, I’m married and I have four kids. We’re settled. We’re going to be together and this is how I’m doing life. I’m getting so inspired just hearing you.
There’s so many times that I’ve received comments about my ambition, about me growing my business. I’m the breadwinner in our family. My husband actually quit his job.
He had a terrible, crappy job. We were grateful for the money, but it was such a joy suck in our life. So just hearing you say this is so empowering for me.
What I need to know right now is where are my soon-to-be-moms, or my moms who have a new baby, whether it’s your first baby, your second baby, or your third baby, I want to know where you are at. Because I am super, super excited right now!
I thought that this episode with Kaywanda would be the perfect opportunity for me to announce something new that I have been working on. It is a brand new online program that is focused on new moms.
I feel like new moms and moms that are having a baby are bombarded with the message that they need X, Y and Z, all these things, in order to do a good job and to properly take care of their baby.
The thing is the message comes from companies that sell physical items, books that sell philosophies and ideas, and also from well-meaning but maybe a little controlling friends and family.
It comes from everywhere. It comes from all sides, from the moment that you find out you’re pregnant.
What I want to do is breathe life, simplicity, and joy over you in this really sweet time of your life. I want to help you take a minimalist approach to welcoming your new baby.
From the nursery to gear, to caring for your baby, to your emotional needs during this time, I want to help you know everything that you actually do need. I want this to be easy and light for you. I know that I can help you do that.
I am bringing in experts. We’re having incredible conversations. We are talking about everything. Your baby shower and simplicity in that. What to say to people when you just don’t want things that you don’t need – literally a script.
Simplicity for preparing for your new baby. Where is the baby is going to be? In your room? In their own room?
Baby gear. What is essential. We get detailed. I’m talking about several ideas for the perfect minimalist diaper bag for you that’s worth you buying.
We’re talking visuals for your space. We’re talking about sleep training that feels good, not just the baby screaming without you going to get it. We talk about breastfeeding and bottle feeding.
We talk about teamwork, if you’re married, and what that looks like. We talk about single and empowered moms.
This is everything! Everything that you need!
There’s a bonus on how to keep your house clean with a new baby. This is New Mom University and that’s what I called it because it’s exactly what it is.
We’re dealing with heart stuff. We’re dealing with depression, or if your labor doesn’t go as you planned.
Everything that you could need, it’s in here! It’s all woven with simplicity, essentialism, and what really matters in this time.
This program is for the mom who is preparing to have a new baby or she just did. Whether it’s her 1st or her 5th, this will serve her so well.
If that’s you, I want you to go to alliecasazza.com/newmom and check it out! You can preorder this course before it comes out. I am so excited about this! It’s going to be incredible!
Preorder New Mom University right now.
ALLIE: You mentioned earlier that there’s this stigma around being a single mom. Can you talk about that? I want to know about this because that is not my story.
KAYWANDA: I spent 13 years in the classroom. I have a Spanish degree. I have two. I’m a Master of Spanish Lit, so I spent 13 years teaching high school Spanish.
And so, of course I’m interfacing with parents, lots of married couples. I’ve taught in affluent areas, middle-of-the-road areas, rural areas, the inner city.
When I taught in more affluent areas, I would meet women and I would think, “Oh my gosh, new tribe members, we’re gonna have so much fun. It’s gonna be so cool connecting with people in our community.”
And unfortunately, I think the way that we separate ourselves a lot of times is by social class: I’m married; my husband’s well-to-do; I’m a stay-at-home mom; I’m this and that; we have this because we have that; oh, you poor thing, my sister was a single mom.
People talk to you from their frame of reference, from somebody in their life who they saw struggle. And my desire was to change that.
I would look and I would say, “Sometimes, I’m doing a lot better than my married friends.” I don’t want to separate us like that. But I do want them to know, “Don’t do that. We love you.”
Find some other things to say. You know what they used to tell us when we were little, “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all.”
We get it. You want to empathize, sympathize, right? But that doesn’t make us feel better. It makes us feel bad. I learned to stop letting that make me feel bad, but I know for some women it hurts.
Because I was an educator, sometimes I would come across some kids in my classroom, I would meet their moms, and when I would find out that their parents were single moms, I would give them my book.
There’s this one mom, we would meet at wrestling matches. My boys wrestled. I was talking to her one day and I said, “Let me go out to my car.” I always keep books on me. I said, “I just want you to read this. I want you to have this. I know this was unexpected for you, but you can make it.” And she would say, “Oh, I want you to come to my girls group and everybody’s gotta meet you. This has blessed me so much.”
What I’m saying to you is I want us to be better humans. I know it’s not easy because we talk like that because of who we’re used to being around in our normal spaces, but give grace to people because this is a new experience.
Let me paint a picture for your listeners who are not single moms. This is the most heart wrenching thing, right? Because you feel like a failure.
One, somebody who you thought you loved has left, whether they pass away, it’s a divorce, a breakup, or like in my instance with infidelity. Lots of cheating, hurting, lots of women, but we weren’t married, right?
You’re grieving that and then you’re thinking, “Oh my God, I failed my kids. I failed my child. My child is not going to have a dad.” With the first child we were together a little bit. By the time I got pregnant with the second son, I realized all of this, and that’s why we ended up breaking up. Before my second baby was born, I had broken up with their dad.
The first time I had my first baby, there were literally 30 people in the delivery room. My doctor said, “Are we having a party or are we delivering a baby? Get out.” But all my family was so excited. Everybody was there. His family was there, his parents.
Then when the second baby came, there was no one. It was the same doctor and the same nursing staff. He said, “Where’s everybody?” He remembered from two years prior. And I cried. I can cry right now. I’m so glad I’m not with my kids’ dad. I’m so glad I’ve made it through. But I have tears for me. I cry just taking myself back to that moment.
So, you say to yourself, “Can I give my babies everything that they need?” What I want you to know is that you can, you absolutely can.
Over the years trying to be mom and dad, it took me a while to realize I just have to be mom. I just have to be the best doggone mom I can be. That’s it.
And then I needed to put men in their lives who were good men, godly men, men who I vetted, who would speak into them, encourage them and be those good places for them to lean on.
And my boys have mentors to this day. I know that’s not easy, but just be on the lookout.
I talk about all this in the book and this is why I’m telling you. A lot of people say, “Oh, my book is the best!” But this is why I say that. Yes, it’s great that I make money off of things, but I say, “If people can only afford a book, I want them to read a book that’s going to change their life.” You know what I mean? It’s going to really help them.
And so, anyway, what was it like? You take the baby home. The first time I took the baby home, it was a big parade and lots of excitement. Everything was there.
The second time, now I have a two-year-old and I have a newborn and I have to figure out this process. Yes, we’re going to make it. Yes, I’m going to handle this. But I’m also still crying because I just had a baby by myself in the delivery room and the nurse had to hold my hand.
No family, no friends. Nobody was there because they thought, “Oh, you’ve done this before. You know how to do it.” And the truth is I needed somebody there to hold my hand.
If you have to have your baby without someone being there, push through. Bring that life into the world because it’s going to get better. Those are just memories coming back to me.
Because I was an educator, on ‘Bring Your Dad to School Day/ Have Donuts with Grandma Day,’ all those little things that happen in school life, one of my coworkers would say, “Would you like me to also sit with Cameron when I go over to sit with John for ‘Bring Your Grammie to School Day?’ We live in Texas and my mom lives in Louisiana so I would say, “Thank you so much!”
Then when it was time for “Take Your Dad to School Day,” those men who we had put into our lives, they would also sit with my boys.
I guess what I’m saying is we get to make our life beautiful with what we have left. Does that make sense?
ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely.
For the women that are single moms right now, that realize they need to be more intentional about building that tribe but they don’t have one right now for “Donuts with Dad Days,” is there a pull to keep your child from experiencing any lack, hurt, or realization of, “Oh, I don’t have something that everyone else has.” And having to fill that gap yourself. What does that look like?
KAYWANDA: Absolutely. This is the main reason why when Christmastime comes, I say, “You do not have to buy every single thing your kid wants. You do not have to go into debt. You need to make a plan. You need to understand you do not have to try to fill what you think is a void for them.”
Let me tell you something, what I thought was a void for my boys was not a void for my boys at all. Kids are so resilient. My youngest one was such a little happy, squiggly, squirmy baby. They just loved their new friends that they made. They were about life and living.
Every now and again they’d say, “Can we go see our dad?” For years this man promised to get them for the summer and he never made good on his word. I was still trying to co-parent. Even though we live in two different states, I was still trying to make sure that he had access to them like he did when we were in Louisiana. After three years of him promising and never coming to get them, he said one last time that he wanted me to come home to Louisiana, bring the boys and he was going to keep them for the summer.
I packed them up. I took everything. I thought, by the way, that I was going to have a break because doing it all, you do get tired. I was looking forward to that. And you know what? He didn’t answer. He didn’t call. We drove four and a half hours for nothing. Well, we enjoyed our family. We made it a vacation and we went to visit other people.
But I didn’t tell them that that’s what we were doing on that trip because he had canceled for three years prior. I’m so glad I didn’t because he would’ve broken their hearts that time too.
Their dad didn’t see them from the ages of 4 and 6 until the oldest was 13. He came for the oldest’s 13th birthday and the oldest’s 18th graduation. He didn’t come for the second’s 13th birthday. I guess now that we’re quarantined there probably won’t be an 18th graduation for my youngest.
I don’t think he understands what he did to sever the relationship with his boys because they loved him, love him still, and they remembered all those memories from 4 and 6 and those younger years for so long. They would be 9 and they would still be talking about stuff that happened when they hadn’t seen these people in years. That would put a little knife in me, but I had to learn to let it be.
I had to learn to let that be their experience. I had to learn to listen. I had to learn to talk to them. I had to learn to say, “Do you have questions?” And they would ask, “Why doesn’t he come?” I’d say, “I don’t know baby, but we have a good life here, right? Are you having fun? You’re enjoying this?” They would say, “Yeah.” Then they would go on and off somewhere. If I felt like they needed counseling or something, I would take them to get that.
But you said, “What is it like?” I guess we do try to be mom and dad. We do try to fill all the voids. We do try to be everything.
But if I could just say one thing to you ladies out there it’s this—Don’t. Do not. Because material things do not replace the person. But you being there, trust me, is enough. You having good people in their lives, good experiences, good opportunities, is enough.
One of the things I teach us to do, instead of buying all the presents they want, all the gifts, let’s buy them some stock. Let’s put up and start extra savings accounts, honey. Every time you feel guilty and you want to splurge, let’s put it over here where it’s making us some money.
And that’s something I had to learn. I had the $300 birthday parties, inviting everybody, then spending all the money on the gifts. That was a lot on a teacher’s salary, right? I was trying to fill those voids that I realized really were not there. They missed them, they wanted that, and when those specific things would happen at school, they would think about it, but for the most part they were enjoying their childhood.
You can combat that imposter syndrome where you feel like you have to be perfect with the truth. And the truth is that you love your babies. The truth is that you all are going to win. The truth is that they’re going to be amazing boys and girls, young men and women because of what you put into them. And to this day, people are so impressed with these boys.
Now if they decide to go left and do something crazy, I’m not going to feel like I failed as a mom because I know I was there every step of the way. Every time they were sick, every time they were hungry, every time they needed this, for every homework assignment, for every play, for every football game, I was there. I bent over backward.
ALLIE: That’s true for every mom. I was just talking to my mom about this recently, the whole idea that when a child goes wayward or whatever, that it is blamed on the mom. We have such a say in how our kids end up for sure, but remove that burden off of you that it’s all on you. Freeing yourself of that is empowering and so important for all mothers.
KAYWANDA: Yeah, absolutely. I love it.
ALLIE: This is great. I would love it if we could maybe end on this, and talk as long as you want about this, but I keep coming back to your book. I haven’t read it because I’m not a single mom.
KAYWANDA: I’m going to send you a copy. I’m going to send you five, so you can give them to people in your community. You can do a giveaway or whatever you want.
ALLIE: Yes, I will. And you will see those tags on Instagram and it will inspire you to get back to your Instagram account!
In your book, what are the sections? Or are there pillars? Could you summarize that part of it?
KAYWANDA: Absolutely. So I decided to be sneaky when I wrote this book and I said I’m not going to write something that I want to write like, “Oh I’ve always wanted to write a book, so now I’m writing a book.” I wrote the 12-step process to you getting to thriving.
The first step is “Heal.”
The second one is “Find Your Why” (which is your purpose) because I thought, “Okay God, am I going to work at this mortgage company forever? What am I going to do? How am I supposed to show up in the world?” And that’s what led me to Spanish.
I was working for the mortgage company and they wanted people to speak to their Spanish-speaking customers. I had a business degree and I wanted to move my way up, work my way up in this company. But I fell in love with Spanish. They paid for me to go get my degree and I was supposed to still work for them. But I said, “I want to teach.”
And so, these are God things. These are God moments. Because by me being able to teach, I was able to take my boys with me to school. They’ve always gone everywhere I’ve taught. I’ve been able to be with them through the day and then we go home together, or I’ve been stuck at school with all of their practices. I was able to be around them. I know some people don’t have that. I was able to make sure that they’re learning and that they’re well-behaved. I’m able to be off during the summer and off during the holidays. It took care of the childcare problem.
But that wasn’t why I did it. I did it because I had found something that fed my soul. I was excited about it. And then it just so happened that I got to take my kids with me.
The third step is to find your people. I call it “Find Your Tribe.”
Next, you’ve got to “Connect With Your Kids.” I told you earlier that I went through a whole fog of just trying to make it through. I’ve got two babies. I’m working. I’m passing out at the end of the day and I’m just exhausted. I’m depressed. I’m upset that this is my new normal. I had to snap out of it. It took me about three years to really come back to myself and I felt really bad.
The boys didn’t notice it; they were really little. I knew that I could do more. I knew that we should have this amazing connection. So I worked on that.
Then the next thing was “Get Organized. Get Focused.” I’m leading you to get into the place of how you can really achieve your goals so you don’t have to set your goals and your dreams aside.
Next is “Crush Your Fear,” which is real, right? That’s a big part of this thing for us.
Then it’s “Get Up, Get Out and Live.” How I learned to date again as a single mom. How to go out with my friends. How to partner with my girlfriends—you watch the kids this day and I’ll watch them this day. How to pay a sitter. How to utilize our income so we could have adult time and not just be surrounded by little bitty people all the time.
Then “Chase Your Dreams While Waiting For Boaz.” We all want that good guy. We all know that story in the Bible. A lot of women sit and wait and never date again. I had a lady call me and it had been 10 years since she’d been on a date and I said, “You’re beautiful. You’re amazing. Wonderful. Why are you hiding?” And so, I put that chapter in to teach them how to get out and start dating again.
And then I put “Set Boundaries.” That’s for everything, everybody, your ex, whether you’re co-parenting or not.
“Remember The Struggle” because I struggled. Everything hasn’t always been coming up green. But I made it through those things and they made me who I am, right? What you’re going through is going to make you one tough cookie.
The last chapter is “Do It Anyway.”
Then I give a bonus which is called “Get Your Money Right.” I told you I like to talk about finances. I love that.
The 12 steps start with healing. I will tell you that the healing piece is so key because if we don’t do that, if we don’t learn to forgive ourselves and forgive that person…
I can talk about my kids’ dad now and not be angry. But for years nobody could mention him without me going left. And I realized that it was eating away at me. It wasn’t doing anything to him. He didn’t know about it. He wasn’t around.
We’ve got to go through our healing process and figure out what’s left for us to live with. So much is left. You don’t think it is right now, but so much is out there.
The last thing I want to say to this is for women who think that, “Oh, I have children that are young; nobody would want to date me.” There are good men out there who are looking for good women. There are men who want to have families.
When I first became a single mom, what shut me down and made me not date for about three years was this one guy. I loved him so much. I liked him so much. But I didn’t tell him I had kids. I would get a sitter and I would hang out with him because you want to make sure that he is not an ax murderer, you know?
I told him that I have kids and he ghosts me (back then we didn’t know what ghosting was). And that broke my heart because he said, “I don’t want to be somebody else’s dad. I don’t want a ready-made family.” I would come across these kinds of guys who had that philosophy, but I had to later on challenge myself. I said, “Listen, I’m young. I’m beautiful. I’m in my 20’s heading into my 30’s. I deserve to have good love. There has to be a man on the planet who believes in dating a woman for who she is.” I tested it and I found out that there are men who would love me and love my babies and the fact that I was a single mom didn’t matter.
So, if you’re feeling like that, I want you to know that it is possible. But first, enjoy the time with you and your babies. Build up your system. Build up what works for you. Go through your healing phase before you bring somebody else in.
And then when you do, know what you’re looking for. Know what you want. Know what you expect. Demand respect.
ALLIE: I love this!
As a podcaster who interviews people, it’s so refreshing to have you go and not just answer the question, but carry the conversation. You’re here because you are the expert in this.
I’m really grateful for you taking time out of your full, beautiful life and sharing. You have an expertise here. You have so much weight that you hold in this topic. I’m so grateful to you.
KAYWANDA: My pleasure. Thank you for doing what you do!
ALLIE: Yeah, thank you! Everyone that is a single mom needs to buy this amazing book. We will link it all up.
Thank you so much for your time and I will be tagging you in that giveaway for sure!
This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.
Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.
I am always rooting for you, friend! See ya next time!