Single mom’s advice: No matter what, keep moving

Published 12:40 am Saturday, May 11, 2019

For Nicole Pettie, Mother’s Day is just like every other day.

“I might get coffee or breakfast in bed from my girls along with some sweet gifts or cards,” the mother of two girls said. “But normally we go about our daily routine.”

Pettie became a single mother 13 years ago when the perfect fairytale marriage and family didn’t go as planned.

“It’s been just my girls and myself ever since,” Pettie said. “But for one day out the year I can be proud of myself for being the mother that I am. Becoming a mother was the best thing that ever happened to me. Many friends and family have said it was my calling and changed me into an amazing person and woman. I juggle work and college and all their actives and rarely ever miss a thing. I was 24 years old with two little girls under the age of 2 and set out on a journey to raise them all on my own. There was no room for failure. I had to give them the life they deserved even without a father figure always in the picture.”

She remembers her first Mother’s Day as one of the proudest moments of her life.

“My first Mother’s Day I had a 6-month-old baby girl at 23 years old,” Pettie said. “I had a diaper bag packed with half her nursery set off to church and to visit family. It was probably one of the proudest moments of my life to that point.”

The best part of being a mother is always seeing her children learn new things.

“Even from a toddler learning to walk to a teenager making cheerleader or accomplish their goals,” Pettie said. “Just seeing them succeed and be happy with real joy, that’s what makes a mother happy is when her children are happy.” 

Pettie said that the most challenging is supporting them financially and always being available to them when they need her.

“Just always getting them picked up and to where they need to be,” Pettie said. “Being home to help them with homework and again just being available to them and working to provide for them at the same time. There is only one of me, unfortunately.”

She wanted to go to the beach for the weekend, but is having to settle for the pool. That won’t take the joy out of her weekend though.

“I wanted to go just us girls to get away and rest after we have been on the go every weekend for the past few months,” Pettie said. “But they wanted to just stay home. So Andalusia Mother’s Day it will be. I’m sure we will hang out at my mom’s house by the pool and go to church. I’ll do some housework and laundry like always.

Pettie wouldn’t wish the single mom life on anyone, but her advice to those who find themselves in that situation, is never stop moving.

“It is far from easy but if it happens just never stop moving,” Pettie said. “Never quit and always put your kids’ needs before your own. Being selfish is not an option. Work hard and do whatever it takes to be the best mother you can be. Another bit of advice for any single mothers. Don’t quit college. Raising two kids on one income with no college degree is not easy. I am a pharmacy technician for Walgreens and slowly but surely working to complete my degree in computer science. Working a lot of hours and running kids all over for cheer and softball doesn’t make much time for my own schoolwork, but I am determined to finish one day. Sooner rather than later, I hope.”

Her daughters, Catherine and Caroline, are 14 and 12.

“I thank the Lord I had girls. It sure makes it a little easier just having girls that are involved in the same sports,” Pettie said. “I really don’t know how I’d made it if I had boy sports to fit in too.”

Pettie is a lifelong resident of Andalusia and a 2000 AHS grad.