We love meeting new people and hearing about the amazing things you guys are doing from the mundane everyday tasks to the the individual ways each of you is gifted-we love to hear it! We’re so impressed with this single mom we just thought you should meet her too. Meet Meredith Watkins.
In her own words:
“I wear a lot of hats in my day-to-day life: mommy, self-employed writer, editor and marriage and family therapist are the ones that take up most of my waking hours. Going a little deeper, I love to create – anything home-related or crafty gets me excited. In my passion to remain a full-time, stay-at-home single mom, I’ve also become something of a business woman – about the last thing I thought I’d ever be – creating opportunities to provide for myself and daughter while working from home. Through this experience, I’ve become very passionate about other women, like me, who run their own businesses to help support their families, so I created Socially Woven to actively support them by sharing what they do with others.”
Meredith’s interview on her life, what she loves and single motherhood
CP: How would you describe motherhood?
MW: A fulfilment of a lifelong dream. Really, really challenging – who am I kidding? Straight-up hard a lot of the time. AND really, really beautiful and joyful. A mirror in which I see myself more clearly and through which I am daily challenged to grow and become the model I want my daughter to look up to when she’s trying to figure out what it means to be a strong and loving, compassionate woman who understands her heart’s passion and lives it out every day.
CP: You’re a single mom. What’s the biggest challenge you face and what’s your greatest joy so far in parenting?
MW: The biggest challenge I face is being simultaneously provider and caretaker, something I never expected would be required of me while raising my child. The reality of this feels as though I’m never doing the best job I could be doing in either area – work or parenting – and on my more difficult days, this can feel both overwhelming and defeating. Also, feeling like a bit of an outsider with other families with small children because I don’t have a husband; sometimes the dynamics there are a little uncomfortable, which ends up feeling isolating.
However, my greatest joy so far is the incredible bond I have with my daughter, which absolutely makes it all worthwhile. She is sweet and loving, smart and hilarious, strong-willed and thoughtful – yeah, I’m totally biased. Seeing her become this phenomenal person is humbling, awe-inspiring and brings me joy every single day. I pray we’ll be able to maintain this connection as she grows up.
CP: Tell us what you’re currently reading and how it’s inspiring you?
MW: Oh, books! My ultimate happy place! I’m currently reading Myquillyn Smith’s The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful. I mean, the title alone gets me at my core. I am total nester – ever since I was a child, I was moving around stuff in my room (and my little brother’s room, true story) and decorating because I just love creating a cozy and beautiful space for myself and others. Currently I live in a room with my daughter in my parents’ house. So. This book is helping me get out of my own way in terms of preconceived notions about what home “should” be and how I can still create my own little nooks of beauty where I am. I’m not gonna lie, though, I’m really looking forward to having my own place again…but it’s not making me crazy in the waiting – more joyful in the anticipation.
I’ve also just started Shauna Niequist’s Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes. Already I’m in love with her writing, which, as a writer, I completely appreciate and savor … literally, I’ll reread a great sentence slowly and appreciate the art of how it was constructed. Word nerd, I know. I love how she reveals the thread that food weaves to connect people in so many ways in all cultures. It’s inspiring to recognize the divine in the mundane. And to appreciate that we can use the simplest things as a means to connect with and serve others.
Finally, I checked out of the library (man, I love the library) Peter Mayle’s Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France. Firstly, please read anything by Peter Mayle – talk about amazing writing! Witty, smart, observant and gorgeously descriptive. Secondly, I am enamored of all things French, and his accounts as a British expat living in a Provencal village are just pure Francophile gold. This book is actually a sequel to A Year in Provence, which chronicles his and his wife’s immersion into this new culture, which I serendipitously happened upon at a church garage sale. It’s inspiring me to make actual plans to travel to Europe – something my heart always pulls me to. It’s just a wonderful book to get lost in after a hard day.
CP: What’s the last act of kindness someone has shown to you?
MW: Yesterday my daughter occupied herself in the morning for a little while so I could sleep a little longer – sleep is probably one of my love languages. Also, my daughter and I started going to a new church recently and were immediately invited to a family’s weekly Taco Tuesday dinners. Mexican food is my other love language, so that’s major kindness in my book.
CP: What is something you like about yourself that hope to pass onto your daughter?
MW: My desire to help those who can’t help themselves – those who are enslaved or simply disadvantaged in some way; I hope to adopt a child in the next year and my heart just aches for children without families around the globe. I want to make a bigger impact, and I hope that my daughter will find a cause that speaks to her heart that can be her driving purpose in life.
Also, showing kindness and respect to everyone, regardless of their circumstances or differences. And a love for reading and cooking.
CP: What are some of your favorite products?
MW: Now that it is summertime and we are a fair-complected people, I love Alba Botanica sunscreen, which is non-toxic, smells lovely and works really well.
I’ve recently gotten into essential oils and have been using the DoTerra starter kit for just about everything. I literally used every one – lavender, peppermint and lemon – on my daughter last night for varying afflictions (slight fever, tummy ache and a bad scrape that was healing). She’s hooked too – if I forget to rub the lavender on her palms of her hands and soles of her feet before bed, she’ll say, “We forgot the oils!” I want to get the physician’s kit next so we have a natural remedy for everything. You’re probably sensing a theme … I’m also a certified holistic health counselor, so scouting out affordable non-toxic personal and home products is a bit of a mission for me.
I’m having a ball exploring all the wonderful items women are making within my Instagram network. See? This is why I created Socially Woven, so I could just send you there for a complete list and you can happily explore their stores.
CP: Favorite go-to recipe?
MW: I’m kinda famous for my homemade salsa (a friend recently offered to pay me to make batches for her family, so I have that going for me). It’s wonderfully garlicky and you can adjust the heat depending on how many jalapeños you use and whether or not you use the seeds. Plus, one recipe makes enough to feed a crowd or keep our little family in salsa for a couple of weeks.
CP: You’re a freelance writer and editor; what is one of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
MW: Probably the project I’ve just started in collaboration with a fellow mama whom I may or may not have stalked on Instagram. It all worked out though, because I’m editing her book about “embracing God’s call for taking joy and expanding your boundaries”. It’s the story of her family, their journey to adopting four children from Africa (in addition to their two biological sons) and what’s she’s learned in her relationship with God about answering a higher calling to make a real impact on the world that outlives her.
In short, it’s right up my alley – personally and professionally – and I hope to find more projects like hers.
CP: What is your best advice for all the single parents out there?
MW: Find your village, as in, “it takes a village to raise a child”. Truer words were never spoken, and never is it more applicable than when you’re a single parent. There is no way you can do it all, so don’t try (believe me, I’ve tried and failed despite being a pretty darned capable gal). Make friends with phenomenal people with diverse attributes and build up your village around you and your child(ren).You need the support, and you can never have too many people in your life who love and support your kid, right? Lately I’m working on being very intentional about who comprises my village – it’s all about diversity and balance and connecting with those who share my values.
CP: What is something only your close friends know about you?
MW: I’m pretty much an open book, but I do find that people – even my friends – are surprised when I tell them I’m an introvert. I have social graces and can be engaging as the situation dictates, but I always need alone time afterward to regroup. This might involve staring off into space, reading or disengaging my mind with a good Hallmark movie (the latter on which I could happily subsist – another little personal tidbit).
Check out more of Meredith’s writing, projects, and reviews on her website Socially Woven.
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