How Being a Single Mom Taught Blogger Brianne Patrice to Be Confident & Self-Aware
In a raw and transparent interview, Brianne Patrice of BriannePatrice.com walks us through how she became the woman she is so proud of today.
As a single mom, blogger, sister, daughter and fiancé, each aspect of her life has taught her many things that define the person she has become. Learn more about how she overcame her biggest insecurity as a child, how she dealt with the woes that often come with motherhood and how she learned to finally embrace Brianne Patrice.
What are your best childhood memories?
Summers with my grandmother, God rest her soul. My grandmother (as I'm sure it is with most families), literally was the glue that held us together.
She could make friends with anyone, and I mean anyone. She just had this captivating spirit and had such a kindred soul. She didn't drive though. She took the bus everywhere. She worked at this hair salon in North Dallas, but she had Mondays off. So, during the summer on a Monday, my sister and I would get up with her and take the bus to downtown Dallas to catch a movie, play some games and eat at what is known as the West End.
Then as we got older Saturdays became girls’ day; we'd ride with mom to pick my grandmother up from work, do some shopping and have some Mexican food at one of our favorite spots.
What was your biggest insecurity growing up? How did you overcome it or how are you dealing with it today?
I was always the "biggest" out of my sisters. I am the middle child of my mom's children. My older sister always had this flat stomach and hips; my baby sister is just skinny all around and well I am the "heaviest" of the three.
I am the plus-sized sister. And we're all fine, that was never the issue – just saying. I just always compared my body type to their bodies. And as much as my mom loves me and I love her, it made it no better to constantly hear how “I'm too short to carry this much weight.” I don't even feel like I'm that heavy.
In all honesty, I am 28 and I will be 29 at the time this interview releases and I am just now getting to the "I don't care" stage. I released myself of limitations. I freed myself of boundaries. I look at myself in the mirror naked sometimes and say "damn girl you fine." I wear shorts (didn't use to), I got in front of a camera and I own it because I am FINE. I wear bathing suits. I have cellulite and stretch marks and I don't care because I am human. I am a woman. I am a mother and these scars tell stories.
You recently rebranded your blog and released it under briannepatrice.com. What motivated you to switch gears and how did revamping your brand impact your business and life?
Rebranding my blog was the best decision I could have made both professionally and personally. I started I Am Woman in 2014 because well, I was just tired of taking other people's nonsense and wanted to speak out and live in my own truth.
However, who I was then and who I am now are two different people and I recognized that, thus I made the decision to capitalize on it. I healed myself through writing; through blogging, if you will.
At the time, I was a single mom, angry, hurt and betrayed because here I was working trying to take care of my sick daughter, doing things that I feel are in the best interest of her and people I considered family looked at me and so "no, we don't think you should have her." One thing led to another and I was in a custody battle and then I was homeless and then I was in this relationship that was draining the little life I had in me out of me. But I never gave up, I never stopped pushing myself.
And now I'm happily engaged to the most amazing man, my daughter and I will be reunited soon and my business is thriving.
As entrepreneurs, it’s important for us to understand that our personal growth and the growth of our business are synonymous to each other. Embrace your growth, your evolution and then make any necessary changes. I believe I stopped blogging around March or April and I didn't release briannepatrice.com until August 8th. This was not a decision I took lightly.
As a young single mom, what advice do you have for other single moms?
You're doing it right, plain and simple. It's going to be hard, you'll feel alone and overwhelmed at times. You'll feel badass at one moment and feel like you're letting them down the next, but you're doing it right.
Your children love you and already see you as the world's greatest mom. Don't get so consume with the type of mother others think you should or should not be and do what is best for you and your little ones. When you're happy, they are happy and vice versa. Trust yourself, no one and I mean no one can tell you what's best for your child. That's your child. You make those decisions.
You seem to be very confident and self-aware. At one point, did you decide to completely embrace Brianne Patrice?
It didn't always use to be this way. To be totally honest, these last two years are the exact reason I am the woman I am today. My daughter is now 5 and her father's step mom does not like me, I mean cannot stand me and I could never figure out why. So it became my obsession to get her to like me; to accept me – I mean I am the mother to her grandchild.
But that ship sailed when they decided to fight me for my parental rights, at that point enough had become enough. So I spent many nights crying, praying, soul searching and anything else you can think of to earn the right to be the person I am today. And I'm proud of her. I love her.
She is happy. She is a risk taker. She kicks ass and slays all the day long while doing so. And nobody can take that away from me, I have earned this right to live free and to just be happy.
What is one goal you hope to accomplish next year?
Personally, I want to buy myself a new car, specifically a black jeep wrangler, fully loaded. I also want to repay my parents for their help during my struggles. Professionally, I want to be featured in at least one national publication highlighting my successes and I want to travel more; hopefully speaking while doing so. Public speaking is at the top of my list.
Want more of Brianne Patrice? Follow her on Instagram @briannepatrice or visit her website, BriannePatrice.com.