Lifestyle, Mom Interviews

Mom Interview #5 ~ Shedding light on Single Moms

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Mom Monday’s

Welcome back to Mom Interviews!!!

Each interview will look pretty similar with the exception of a question here or there. I figured we might all want to know generally the same information about each other. The different questions will touch on their own personal mom situation. You’ll hear from stay at home moms, homeschooling moms, working moms, stepmoms… the list goes on and on. You’ll be given a chance to follow them on social media and see a few pictures to put a face with the interviewee. These are real mom’s with real struggles and I’m inspired by each one of them.

This weeks interview is with Mary Barbee the brains behind The Single Mompreneur. As you can tell, Mary is a single mom and has 2 grown daughters. Single moms are rockstars. My mom was one, and I have friends who are as well and I am just floored by all of them. They’re the real MVPs.

Mary Barbee and her 2 daughters Laura & Katie

1. Tell the blog about yourself, we’ll get to the mom part later, we want to know YOU!! {Name, where you’re from, what you did before becoming a mom, hobbies, passions, what books/podcasts/music you enjoy, etc} 

My name is Mary Barbee, and I am a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur. Although I have experience in the corporate world, I have been self-employed for most of my adult life, and entrepreneurism is basically just in my blood now, I think. A few years ago, I started a virtual assistant service, through which my awesome team and I help creative entrepreneurs take their business to the next level. The work is challenging, but the rewards are incredible.  

I live in Portland, Oregon, and I’m a single mom with 2 amazing daughters. I became a mom at an early age – I was one of those young women that left my parents’ house to move into my husband’s house. 

My favorite hobby is gardening…there is something about caring for beautiful flowers and delicious veggies that feeds my soul.  

My passion is helping other single moms on their entrepreneurial journey. I started a community on Facebook as The Single Mompreneur about 6 years ago, and it has been my immense pleasure to work with awesome single moms to master a healthy balance between running a business and running a family. 

My favorite books right now are anything written by Jen Sincero – she’s amazing!   

I love all types of music, from pop to country, and from opera to classical – I’m not a huge fan of gangsta rap, though…haha!

2. When did you become a mom? How many kids do you have? You don’t need to share names but ages would be cool! 

I became a mom over 24 years ago.  I have 2 daughters, Katie is 17 years old and Laura is almost 25.  

I’m incredibly lucky to be able to work with Laura everyday in my business. She is my executive assistant and is an amazing help.  My youngest, Katie, and I have a lot in common as far as work ethic, need for independence, and a healthy touch of perfectionism.  My heart just overflows with pride and love for those two.

3. Tell us a little bit about your personal struggles being a single mom. What are some things that surprise you?

My personal struggles as a single mom all revolve around taking “me time” and putting myself first every once in a while, although that gets easier as your kids grow older.

I am always (sadly) surprised whenever the term “single mom” is perceived as a stigma with the generalization that all single moms live in poverty. I work with single moms of all walks of life and we, too, come in all shapes and sizes with our own different stories.

4. What motivates you to keep going on the days you really would rather not? 

I’ve always said that my girls are the reason my feet hit the floor every morning.  Raising daughters comes with a huge responsibility to be a strong female role model, so they have always been my biggest motivators.

5. I’ve recently discovered podcasts and am OBSESSED, have you ever listened to them? If yes, what are some of the ones you’re most into right now. 

Podcasts that I love include Online Marketing Made Easy, Smart Passive Income, So Money with Farnoosh Torabi, and NPR’s Story Corps.

6. So when I was inspired to start Grace in the Wait I was in a season of waiting (and still am). What did your waiting season look like where you were just believing for something but knew it just wasn’t the right time, like something needed to be learned in this season to propel you into the next. 

This is a tough question!  Really sitting with this, I think I would have to say it was during the end of my second marriage. There was so much heartache and fear surrounding the divorce, but the lessons learned were incredibly valuable and my personal growth through the whole thing was immense.

Mary and her 2 furbabies

7. List a few things you wish people would understand or not judge about your momming situation or lifestyle? Explain. 

First and foremost, my choice of parenting tactics when it comes to discipline. It’s hard enough to be the only parent, but my girls and I are also survivors of domestic violence, so I have never been one to use a firm hand or instate very strong consequences. I prefer communication and teaching over restrictions. Both of my girls are incredibly intelligent, strong and respectful – so I guess I’m doing something right.  🙂  

Second, I wish more people would understand how my time is limited for things like volunteering at school.  I am the sole breadwinner in my family, and I run a business. Although I do control my schedule, make time for what I can, and never miss a performance, I don’t have as much time that some other moms may have to dedicate to volunteering.. and sometimes it feels as if I am being judged for that.  

Third, being a single mom is one of the hardest things in the world, but there are a lot of us out there making things happen for ourselves and setting up our children for success. The struggle is real when it comes to being the only parent, toeing the fine line between friend and mom, running the household while also paying all the bills, finding time for some self-care, and a million other things, all at the same time. The strength of a single mom is seriously not to be taken lightly. We just basically do what we have to do…and most of us are really good at it, too!

8. What challenges are you currently facing with parenting?

The biggest challenge right now as a parent is experiencing the “last” of everything with my youngest daughter:  the last child to learn how to drive, the last summer with my child before she’s an adult, the upcoming last start of the (high school) school year, etc, etc.  It’s a strange feeling to watch your kids grow up, one that fills your heart with pride, happiness, and sadness all at the same time. 

9. Did/do you suffer from Postpartum Depression or Anxiety? Share your story or any advice you might have that has helped you. 

I did not suffer from Postpartum Depression with either of my daughters, but as a single mom, I’ve had my share of anxiety over the years. Meditation, yoga, gratitude – and lots of therapy and self-help books – are all excellent coping mechanisms.  

10. What do you think makes your parenting style different from other parents? 

I have always encouraged my daughters to make their own decisions and experience the rewards and consequences that come their way as a result. Although I always catch them when they fall, I would say that I parent at an arm’s length.

11. If there was one thing you could tell your younger self what would it be and why? 

Slow down. Don’t get married so young.  Establish your career first and then settle down.  And of course, most importantly, listen to your heart AND your head – pay attention to those domestic abuse red flags!” alt=”” width=”600″ height=”503″ /> [/caption]

12. Tell us how we can keep up with you. Website, FB, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube.

13. This last thing is an idea I got from a podcast I love. Share with us your 3 favorite things right now. This could be anything, a book, a favorite restaurant, your favorite coffee flavor, your favorite song, your PJ’s, TV show, laundry detergent lol… anything at all. 

My 3 favorite vices are chocolate, chai tea, and chihuahuas.  My world would not be the same without all three of those things!

I sure hope y’all enjoyed this interview. I love her love for the single mom and I have to say it’s so true, that most (if not ALL single moms) are just doing what they can to provide for their family. And yes, they ROCK at it. Well thank you Mary for keeping it very real here and for being open to sharing a little of your story.

As always don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.

Have an amazing day y’all, see ya next time!!

Ruth 1:16 ~ But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.
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