7 Billion Drops

Feeding the world one backyard at a time

7 Billion Drops

How many drops of rain does it take to make a rain shower?

In describing backyard farming in the documentary Food Patriots, a traditional farmer exclaimed “it’s only one drop in the ocean”! He was  being interviewed by filmmakers Jeff Spitz and his wife, Jennifer Admur Spitz.  Their family’s premise is that if you only grow 10% of what you eat, it’s a start that makes a huge difference.

The filmmakers have joined with thousands across the United States to take charge of what their family eat by growing food (fruits, vegetables, and chickens) in their backyards.  

So whether we are voting for the next President or feeding the world. Each drop is necessary to accomplish that rain shower.

That is, each vote counts.  

Each backyard matter.

Now, when it comes to feeding the world what is your one drop?

Mine start with growing wheatgrass and sunflower sprouts in my tiny New York apartment.

Where will you start?

“If you think you are too small to make a difference try sleeping with a mosquito”.  Gandhi

Window box gardening. Thyme, parsley and basil.

Thanks to FMTV.com for providing this film to subscribers.

It’s Too Late When Death Rides In

don't wait for death

Sometime in July I got a call from my cousin. We’ll call him B. B is always the life of the party. “Come Mek we go Jamaica nuh?” He said in his ever vibrant tone. Oh how I love the Jamaican accent!

I asked him, what for? He said he had retired and wanted to get away for a couple of weeks. Would I go with him? I have been away from Jamaica for almost 40 years. I couldn’t readily say yes to a trip there. At least not on the spur of the moment.

I lovingly scoffed and told him I would think about it.

On the early morning of September 20, I got a call from B’s sister. He had passed away the previous night. I lost my breath in that moment. My last conversation with him replayed through my memory. I had to finish the conversation at another time. I couldn’t contain myself.

During the month of August I called my beloved Uncle Tony. I got his voicemail. I left a message telling him I was thinking about him. For about a week and a half after that we played phone tag. I never got to speak with him again.

On sept 29 my youngest sister announced to our family Whatsapp group that our beloved Uncle Tony had passed away. It broke my heart and for the second time in less than a month I had lost two of the most wonderful men in my life.


The Virtuous Mom: Having the Courage to Believe

faith, courage

Faith means different things to different people I think.

But faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 Because if you already see it then what’s the point of hoping for it? (paraphrase).

When you have no one to depend on, your only recourse is to have faith that things will work out.

However it is true that “…faith without works is dead,” James 2:17

Meaning if you need a job but you never look for one it is highly unlikely you will get one no matter how much you believe you will. Click To Tweet

When you are mothering solo it may seem like you are all alone. Yet, I find that having faith in God brings me peace. And usually that faith is “rewarded” by an answer I didn’t quite expect.

For example, when my youngest became a teenager, he was quite lippy. I was tired, overworked and overwhelmed. I realize I couldn’t handle him and I wasn’t interested in getting into a shouting match with him every day. I tried that once and I almost had a stroke — literally.


7 Ways to Stay Busy When The Kids Leave You Hanging

Keeping occupied when your kids are busy

Do your children have busy lives?  How does that make you feel?

When the kids leave you hanging, you may feel bored or lonely.  Or maybe you just feel downright useless.

Worst, without meaning to, you may find yourself meddling in their lives.

I fully understand how you feel.  Gone are the days of dirty diapers, sleepless nights and sleepovers.  

Now that the kids are involved in after-school activities and/or working on weekends? Instead of you driving car pool, your son or daughter now has their own car.

Since you are raising your kids solo, what now?

Below are 7 things I’m working on to keep busy, that may be of interest to you:

  1. Start a blog or write a book
  2. Join a meetup group or book club
  3. Volunteer with a local organization
  4. Schedule regular “me” time or hang out with friends
  5. Take a course or go back to school
  6. Start a part time business
  7. Join a gym

While we are up to our eyeballs in the chaos of child rearing, we dream of ways to escape and do something by, and for ourselves.  Now that the kids are busy with their own activities, it is a perfect time to work on our dreams and aspirations.

What one thing do you see yourself doing now that the children are busy with their own activities?

Single Mom Successful Habit #3: Forgive Yourself and Others

JRosemarie Mothering While Single

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It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
Maya Angelou

It took me decades to forgive my mother.

It took me about as long to forgive my ex-husband.

And as ridiculous as it sounds, I even resented my grandfather for dying while I was too young. Yes, I was that serious.

Also, I shared the same room with a cousin who told a lie on me. I did not speak to her for two years.

My unforgiveness and resentment caused me to blindly make decisions that brought me much regret. (more…)

7 Positive Affirmations for the Single Mom

JRosemarie Mothering While Single

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Last week I wrote a post exploring the myths surrounding being a single mom.  This week I want to make a declaration — a manifesto if you will..

…that single moms are important.  That we matter.

Below are 7 declarations that I want to share with you.

1. You are not damaged goods.

One of the feelings I struggled with as a single mom is my self-worth. I felt unwanted. I felt unloved. This feeling ran more deeply because I was constantly abandoned as a child.

I compared myself with seemingly happily married women.  Their husbands picked them up from work.  Or the kids from school.  They had dinner together. Or had date night at the movies.

I wondered what was wrong with me.  How come my life couldn’t be like that?  Why didn’t anyone want me?

Listen, it’s possible you made some mistakes. Or you might have been dumped by your ex. You may need to get some help. Maybe even therapy.

But you are not damaged.  Your children no doubt, will agree with me.

You are awesome. You are amazing. You are…

2. …Loved by God.

God loves the single mom. He said he would be a father to the fatherless; a Defender of widows…” (Psalm 68:5 NIV).

You are not alone. Despite popular culture, God does exist. He is real. He is not some abstract figure with his hand raised waiting for you to screw up so he can dump on you.

He is a forgiving and loving Father. Full of grace and mercy. He wants to take care of you. He wants to provide for you and your children. With God, the past is the past.

The truth is, God knows what your life was going to be way before you were born. (Present tense because God does not live in time. He lives in eternity).

He is not surprised by where you are right now.

God loves you.   God loves the single mom.

3. You have a great opportunity to impact the world.

You have a great opportunity to impact the world. This bears repeating.

You have a story to tell. You have a responsibility to help others who may experience what you are going through.

But more importantly, you have an opportunity to change the world through your children. How you raise your children will most likely determine their contribution to the world. Your strength and example can impact your children to do better. To go further. To care deeply.

You may think you are powerless. You are not. Even when you feel you have nothing left to give. You are still giving, teaching and showing.

If you have nothing good to say about your ex.  Please don’t say anything. Especially within earshot of your children.

Your children absorb who you are…

You owe it to your children to be mindful of your responsibility to them.

It never ceases to amaze me, that even after 18 years of constant changes and struggles, my children are working to become productive members of society. I wonder how it all happened. I still don’t think I did anything. But I tried to be present. Mentally and physically.

I didn’t check out from their lives.  I, like you didn’t turn my back on them.

4. You may not Need a New Partner…Yet.

While you are still vulnerable, you may not need another man.

But you definitely need friends. You will need the love and support of people who have your best interest at heart.  You may need to seek out mentors for your children.

Maybe Big Brother for him.  Big Sister for her.

You cannot go it alone but until you are totally healed, involving a companion in an already fragile situation may do you, and possibly your children, more harm than good.

Besides, your kids don’t necessarily need another father. At least maybe…not yet.

In this area. Tread carefully. What you do is up to you. But I think once we are mothering while single, it behoves us to weigh the pros and cons of becoming involved with another partner too quickly.

5. You Matter…a LOT.

You matter to your children. You matter to God. You occupy a space created for no one else but you. What will you do with this privilege that has been placed upon you? And yes, it is a privilege.

You may say this does not feel like a privilege.  I hear you.

It’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Life gets rough at times.  Plus we sometimes waste energy being bitter.  We oftentimes need to feel sorry for ourselves as well. Because we feel alone.  Completely alone.

But wait a minute…

You matter.

What you do is important. You hold the future of your children in your hands. Yes, it is possible that how they eventually turn out may have nothing to do with how you raised them.

But to live with no regret, requires your unyielding dedication to the welfare of your children.

6. Your children need you.

There were times when I wondered if my children were better off without me.  There were many times I asked why I didn’t just kill myself and allow someone else to raise them.  Someone good. Someone they deserved.

Who did I think I was anyway?  In those times, I was sure someone else could do a better job.

This was such wrong thinking on every level. Your children need to know you are there for them. They don’t need anyone else in that regard.  They need their mom.

You are who and what they have. And they are what you have been blessed with.

And yes, children are an enormous blessing. It might not seem like it right now.

Trust me.  This will ring true in the end.

7. Take care of yourself.

At the beginning of each airplane ride, the captain or someone designated, announces the procedure for passengers to follow during an emergency. One of the most memorable part of these instructions is to put on your oxygen mask first.  THEN assist others to put their mask on.

As a single mom, you will need to take care of yourself first and foremost.  I talk about taking care of your health in a post found here.  You need your mask on first.  Otherwise, you may not last to attend to your children’s needs.

Staying healthy means:

  • eating right and exercising regularly
  • getting regular health check-ups
  • getting enough sleep/rest
  • Taking time to recharge

Last but certainly not least, staying healthy means forgiving yourself.  And forgiving others who have wronged you.

This manifesto is about you.  Your love.

Your passion…that’s still there, right?

Of course it is. You are a single mom.

Who is a Single Mother?

The Many Faces of Mothering While Single

Single Mom

When I first determined that I was going to try to share my experience and acquired knowledge/wisdom with other single moms, I did some research. I Googled. I YouTubed. And I was horrified at what I found.

There were so many generalizations and unfair criticisms of single mothers on the internet, it caused me to pause. There were comments about them being irresponsible and should be avoided by men seeking a wife. I wondered if I was doing the right thing by putting myself out there. The comments by men are especially mean and nasty.

I really do suspect some of these comments came from men who were raised by an irresponsible, if not a really bad single mom.

Thefreedictionary.com states that a single mother is “a person who has a dependent child or dependent children and who is widowed, divorced, or unmarried”. (more…)

Single Mother Statistics from Single Mother Guide blog

Single Mother Guide
June 1, 2015

single mother whith childe over gray color background

I wanted to share a picture of what a single mother is.  I could prepare my own post showing statistics related to this often misunderstood demographic.

Why invent the wheel?  Dawn from Single Mother Guide blog has done an awesome job of pulling together some important numbers that paint a clearer picture of life as a single mother.

Visit her blog page. She has provided some very useful information, including links to states assistance websites.

A Letter To My Son

Gone From My Arms Into Uncle Sam's

You left even though it was so hard to let you go.  It seems unreal that you are a man. Not my chubby 2-year-old yelling for more “milkie”– but a man.  A 22-year-old man.  You were always here.  Answering my every call. When I come home from work, I can always count on your company. Your constant presence.

Yet there was a time I wondered. If you would be 40. Still living in my basement.  I worried that you would not find your way.  I felt anguished that you may follow in that stranger’s footsteps. Coming to nought.

The missed opportunities. The failed attempts. All led to this moment.

The moment you found what you were looking for. Your calling.  To serve your country. To serve your fellow human.  The moment you came alive.

But let’s get back to me.

I miss you.

It’s been five days, maybe the longest we have ever been apart.  You disappeared into the arms of Uncle Sam.  And he is reluctant to let you go. Even to call mom.

But I will write. Every day I’ll write. Because you deserve to hear how much I love you.  You need to know I care.  Moreover, you need to know you can do it.

You are strong.  You are determined.  You are a soldier.

Serving your country is no joke.   So you ceased to be a clown. When you decided.  The National Guard would be your path.

I hope they know that you are precious.  That you are loved. That you are missed.

Still. I’m proud to know that you answered yes.  That you see others as needing you.

You are my son. I’m proud of you. Always was. Always will.

Private, I love you.