Moms Make it Work: Gia | Full Time Working, Single Mom

Today we have Gia posting as our first single mom of the series (not our last!), and she works full time and is a mom to sweet Logan. Gia emailed me when I was considering stopping the series for awhile, but I knew I couldn't let her story pass us by. I said I'd love to have her post her perspective, which is obviously very different than most of the other posts where moms rave about their husbands being the biggest reason they make it work. Even when Nate is just gone for a long weekend, or a works a few extra hours during the week, I often think, 'How in the world do single moms do this?' I really enjoyed peeking into Gia's life and am so glad she emailed me! Enjoy!

Hello readers!  I am Gia and am so excited to be contributing to Julia’s awesome series!  I (randomly) blog at A Life in Progress and Instagram much more regularly at giadelvec.  I am a single mommy to Logan, my 3 and a half year old fabulous little boy, and work full time as a high school English teacher.  

What is your background story? What was your career/schooling before you became a mom? And where are you now?

The only thing I have ever wanted to do was become an English teacher.  I had some amazing teachers in high school that truly influenced my life and I wanted to do everything in my power to do the same for young adults.  I went to Bowling Green State University for my first two years, realized I really wasn’t cut out for being two hours away from home, so transferred to Baldwin-Wallace College after my sophomore year.  Through hard work, I was out in four years and hired immediately upon graduation into the same district that I graduated from and also did my student teaching (our district is huge and has three high schools).  I was also hired halfway through my first year teaching as the drama director for our building; essentially, everything I ever wanted to do with my career was coming to fruition.  Shortly after, I began working towards my master’s degree in Educational Leadership.  I stepped down as director but not after directing twelve truly awesome plays and musicals.

My ex-husband and I met on in December, 2005.  I moved in six months later and in the summer of 2007, we became engaged and began planning our wedding for February of 2008.  We got married, bought a house, gained custody of his two girls from his previous marriage and after a year of trying and struggling with PCOS, I got pregnant.  Logan was born on December 7, 2010 and completed our little family.


Last summer, very unexpectedly, my marriage ended.  My ex-husband approached me asking for a divorce, stating that he was no longer in love with me and no amount of counseling was going to help us.  To be honest, I am not entirely sure what happened.  We agree that we may have been doomed from the start and attempted to shoehorn ourselves into one another’s lives.  We are very different people and in this case, being so opposite did not help us; it hindered us and we just...fell apart.  

Logan and I moved in with my parents at the end of June.  I filed for a dissolution and my ex and I had a very amicable split.  We sold our house and he moved into an apartment near his oldest daughter’s high school.  Our dissolution was final in the middle of August (yes, it was SUPER QUICK) and I was able to begin the school year using my maiden name, which was very important to me.  I needed to have my own identity and going back to my maiden name signified that.  

What are the best parts of your situations? What are the challenges?

As a teacher, I truly have the best of both worlds.  I have weekends and vacations off, and Logan and I are home no later than 4:30 on a normal day.  Although it TOTALLY SUCKS sometimes to say, “Hi, I am a 33 year old divorced single mom and I live with MY PARENTS,” my mom and dad have been nothing but amazing.  Logan is at a fantastic day care (I chose to not move his day care after we moved in with my mom and dad so as to not disrupt his life any further) and it is so beneficial to be living with my parents who are always willing to help out if they are able.  And selfishly, since I am starting life over again, it allows me to have a bit of a life; I can put him to bed and then I am able to go out sometimes.  It is because of this that I get a bit of alone time, am able to go to the store by myself in the evenings or I can spend some evening hours at the gym; a big investment I am making this spring is in a personal trainer.  My brother is getting married in the fall and I need to look smokin’ hot in my dress, lol.   I am playing softball again in the summer and I am really looking forward to getting back in the game.    As a single mom, if I wasn’t living with Mom and Dad, I wouldn’t have these options.


The challenges?  Being a 33-year old single mom living with her parents :)  

Really, a major challenge is the sometimes overwhelming amount of essays to grade since I teach Advanced Placement Language and Composition.  It is hard to complete that in the afternoons or evenings when Logan is still awake.  Especially these days, since he seems to be a total Stage 5 Clinger.  I have to really manage my time, hence my color-coded and ridiculously detailed and huge planner.  

Is this how you expected it to be pre-kids?

Did I expect to be a single mom?  ABSOLUTELY NOT.    But it was NEVER my intention to stay at home.  I love my job and what I do and my students too much.  It is fulfilling and I am proud of what I have accomplished.


Is this your ideal situation? If not, what is?

Of course it isn’t!  But, nothing comes at a finger-snap and I am working hard to start life new with my best guy.  I just bought a new car and have paid off all of my credit card debt, so I can now start saving for a house for us.

Do you see yourself making a career change (whatever that means) in the next 5-10 years? Or is this current set up staying put for the long haul?

Nope. I love my job.  I firmly believe that being a working mom makes me a better mom.  I cherish the time i spend with my boy, but I am not built to be a SAHM.

Tips on how you make your situation work for you:

I am no longer afraid to ask for help.  Like I mentioned, my mom and dad are so awesome and are more than willing to help when they can.

Also...I have to take time for me.  Logan is with his dad every-other weekend, and I use every second of those weekends to recoup.  It gets tough because Logan is in such a clingy phase.  I do 99% of the baths and bedtimes; my mom will put him to bed if I have something a bit earlier to go to and sometimes offers to give a bath because I admittedly hate bathtime, lol.  I do every drop-off and pick up to day care; it is always Mommy.  So I need to take time for me, which in turn saves my sanity, which in turn helps me be a better mom.

Plus, my ex and I have a very good relationship.  We communicate very well when it comes to Logan and he follows my lead for things like discipline and when we were potty training.  There is no drama between us, which is so nice.


How do you handle mommy guilt?

I will be honest.  I very rarely have mommy guilt.  There are mornings when the little dude is so snuggly and tells me he wants to stay in bed, and at 6 AM, it is so hard to not want to crawl in and snuggle with him.  But I just keep pushing through, waiting for our next day off together.

Advice for new moms struggling with returning to work outside of the home? Or struggling to decide if staying at home is the right choice?

Follow your heart.  Talk to your spouse.  You will find the answer.  And IGNORE THE MOMMY WARS.


How do meals work in your family? Meal planning? How often do you grocery shop? Who is in charge of this task in your family??

I do most of the cooking during the week.  Mom and I sit down every Saturday or Sunday and go through our freezer and fridge and discuss what we have and what we want.  I primarily plan the weekday meals since I am the first one home.  

As for shopping, I have a membership to a local CSA (more on that here) so most of my meals are planned around what is in our bag.  I purchase all of Logan’s snacks and breakfast/lunch items for the week and weekends, as well as whatever I need for lunch.  My mom usually purchases everything else on the list we generate.  

I will say that my parents never used to menu plan until I moved in. I kind of forced them into it and now we work as a team.

{Thank you so much, Gia! Find all of the posts for the MMIW series here}


  1. Thanks for sharing, Gia!! I really enjoyed your perspective. And I always love seeing pictures of your little guy on IG. :)

  2. I enjoy following you on IG, too! Your little guy is adorable. How has he done with the change, not seeing his dad as much?

    Best of luck to you, thanks for sharing!


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