Where do I begin? Well, I am 34 years old, and in the course of my young life, I have been in two long-term relationships. I have three wonderful children: Tymar, who is 20 years old, Phenon, who is 13; and Felicity, who is 10.  My last two children have the same father. I expected to stay in a relationship with my children’s father, but that was my fairy tale wish. Then God stepped in. 

My first kid’s father was older than me by 13 years, and I never questioned his age because he seemed like a nice guy. I thought my life was good until I finally took off my shades and decided to stop settling for less. Remembering that day so clearly, I woke up and said, “This can’t be life!”. I gave my children’s father an ultimatum. I wanted him to change, but y’all know that song ‘Can’t Change no Man”…

Tamera Stafford Personal EssayBefore God Stepped In 

My youngest children’s father and I were together for 10 years and lived together for about 8 years. There was no engagement. We never really talked about it, either. I wasn’t pressed about marriage, mostly due to seeing my mom as a single parent. Marriage just wasn’t something I dreamed about. Being with someone who made me happy was all that I wanted. 

However, I was unhappy at home with my kids’ father. I hated to have to consistently tell a grown man to go get a real job instead of making his way in the streets. I constantly helped him with his job search, but it was only temporary if he got a job. And he did it mostly not to hear my mouth. It got to the point where I had to ask myself over and over again if I wanted to separate my kids from their father. 

Then God Stepped In

Finally, God stepped in (he has always been the head of my life) and gave me the courage to move and move fast. I opened my mouth and told my kids’ father I was moving out of the home we purchased together because we were growing apart. I was scared for sure and unsure of my next move, but I prayed and asked for guidance from the Man Above on the best move to make.

After I left, I moved in with my mother for about three months. I was pressed to make sure life was still normal for my kids and me. As an only child, I was raised in a single-parent household, so it was a norm for me. Still, it was different raising kids who were used to having two parents around in a single-parent home.

Back then, I made the best of every situation then and still do today. I was able to move out of my mother’s house and purchase my own home within the first three months I was there. It was so emotional because I had never been truly on my own. I didn’t know how I would financially support three kids and maintain a household. Of course, I  expected my kids’ father to step in to help with them, but that didn’t happen. I expected us to co-parent, and that still hasn’t happened. I expected my kids’ father to be a man and admit his lifestyle was getting old, but that didn’t happen. But with faith, I knew God would keep us. 

Tamera's daughter says "My mom is Inspiring."My Current Walk With God

I struggled, which, at times, made me think about going back to my ex. However, it wasn’t for love. It was to ensure my kids had a relationship with their father. I tried to convince myself to do it for them. I was caught up in the stereotype that a woman couldn’t raise a man. Once again, God stepped in, and I eventually realized this thought was false. I had high expectations for my children and would be a role model for them no matter what.

With support from my family, I worked two jobs to pay all my bills. I still expected to get help from my ex, but my expectations were too high. My kids never asked what happened between me and their father. They never asked why they had been uprooted from the only home they had known. They just knew they were safe and loved no matter what. 

Currently, I’m single. I’m getting in touch with myself, mind, body, and soul. I have no regrets. My kids are scholars and athletes. What more can I ask for? I’m happy I stepped out on faith and let God step in. God continues to be my driver!