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Man, I sit here and think about my life and am struck by how absolutely I know that money is NOT everything. Back in the day, I had a “fiance” who paid the bills. He didn’t make much but at least we had a roof over our head and our basic needs met. And we even had extra money for fun stuff. That’s what we are supposed to want, right? A man to take care of us. Financially, he provided for us, but emotionally and physically he treated me like shit. He cheated on me continuously. He physically abused me. And worst of all, he made me feel like I somehow brought it on myself. Almost as though I deserved it. But I could never quite swallow that pill. If I had been able to believe that it was my fault, I would probably still be in that relationship — fighting to change myself in the hopes of changing him.

Anyways, not many people know this, but I actually found out he was cheating after we got engaged but BEFORE I found out I was pregnant. I broke up with him and was set on that being that. But then I found out I was pregnant. And I went back. Part of it was because I believed my unborn child needed two parents (and with the stigma against single moms, why would anyone willingly go that route). But largely because I was afraid. How was I supposed to raise a child by myself? I was afraid I was not enough to provide for him/her. So I stepped way out of character for me and stayed with someone who had done the unforgivable (because, once you lose my trust, it’s gone forever). Because of money. I found out about another “incident” when I was 5 months pregnant, and paid the price for confronting him when he attacked me and sent me to the hospital, fearing for my child’s life. And I went back (eventually) because of that nagging, smothering fear of not being able to provide for my unborn son. I was MISERABLE but felt like it would be worth it as long as my son was taken care of. After I became a single mom, I worked at more than one job that I HATED and that literally made me sick. Why? Because I needed the money. I was ripped away from my son for 8 to 10 hours a day. I spent the majority of my waking hours either doing something I hated or working with people that were just a HUGE drain on my energy and happiness. Because the bills had to get paid and I was the one who had to do it.

Right now, I am a single mom who works (primarily) from home. Business is tough right now as one business has hit the summertime clump and I continue to try to get the other business up and running. I pay the bills, but some months are a lot harder to get through than others.

Just two days ago I was faced with the fact that I was $200 short of being able to pay my bills. Facing losing my car a mere month before it was fully paid off. Yet I do not wish that I had a man to pay my bills. I do not regret quitting those jobs. I do not regret the choices I have made. Because I finally realized a little over a year ago, that money is not the answer. God is. When I broke down and stopped worrying and just gave my troubles over to God, he took them and he blew them away like dust. And he continues to do so. I just continue to do what I can and have faith in Him to do everything else that I can’t and things always come together.

I don’t have a bank account brimming with cash, but I have a house, my utilities are all paid for, and my car will be paid off. I have a beautiful, loving, healthy, HAPPY son who is the light of my life and who shows me every day that money (whether it is abundant or lacking) is not what makes you a good mom. Or a successful person. This past year has been a true learning experience for me and I am blessed to have gone through the trials that I went through because they have forced me to shift my focus in life. I don’t need to be rich in the worldly sense. All of my riches come from another source. I may not be able to afford a big house in the Hamptons. But trust me when I say, I’m rich beeyotch!

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