Dear Diary,

Before I became a single mom, I cut up all my credit cards expect one. Thanks to God and the Queen–whose face is printed on the Cayman Islands dollars I earned overseas, I was debt free and lived on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. When I got a job with the Cayman Islands government hosting a television show, I bought myself a congratulatory present–a $350 pair of Chanel sunglasses. Despite the splurge, I didn’t spend money frivolously. I donated to charities, helped friends and family members and built a nice nest egg. I later took a pay cut to return to the United States and pursue a long-term relationship and what turned out to be a short-term teaching career.  Still, I made more than enough to pay my bills.

Then I became pregnant. The relationship with my baby-to-be’s father fizzled, and I moved in with my sister with a suitcase, not a paycheck. I quit my job, cashed out my pensions and stepped out on faith. Someone suggested signing up for assistance–something I never imagined I would have to do.  I also assumed I wouldn’t qualify. At first, my ego prevented me from picking up the phone and calling the Department of Human Services. Then, I put pride aside and put my family first. I didn’t want to be a financial burden to my sister and her two children, and I wanted to provide the best life possible to my daughter. I filled out an application and surprisingly was approved for WIC–a program which provides supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education, food stamps and health insurance. Although I am no longer receiving these benefits, I won’t cut up my ACCESS card. Here’s why:

1.  The Card Reminds Me To Trust in God

My father is a king, which therefore makes me a princess. A princess will always have a roof over her head, clothes on her back and food on her table. I must cast my cares onto the Lord and not stress about finances, even on days when I bounce checks. God always provides more than what I can afford! I live in a nice neighborhood with a park and several amenities.

2.  The Card Reminds Me To Practice Humility

Everyone weathers a storm. It doesn’t matter what degree you obtained, what car you drive or what house you reside in. At some point in your life, a crisis crashes down. Since tough times don’t discriminate, my father always taught me to treat the CEO and the custodian the same. I am not better than someone else, just because I am an educated, middle-class mom.

3.  The Card Reminds Me to be Thankful

Every day around the world, 24,000 people die directly from hunger or hunger related diseases. Many of these deaths involve children. I am thankful that I will never go hungry.

4.  The Card Makes Me More Compassionate

I realize that there is always someone out there who is worse off than me. I must show compassion in more than just words but with charitable acts, such as donating clothes, time and money to those less fortunate.

5.  The Card Reminds Me That I Have a Bright & Prosperous Future

I am blessed and highly favored!  Fortunately, I only received public assistance for ten months. I  now have a good job and a great blog, which I created while out-of-work.  Recently, my blog landed on the list of the top 100 home-based businesses.

Hey DFTM Family–Despite what you are going though, it is only temporary.  A rainbow appears after every storm!  How have you turned a burden into a blessing?  


About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

6 Responses

  1. Monica

    Awesome post! I did a similar post a long time ago, on my blog http://www.foruschix.blogspot.com.
    Everyone starts somewhere, and as long as we’re headed up with vision and goals there is no shame! If you qualify, take advantage. Humility is very important to your growth! Thanks for sharing this!


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