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Beverley Besha | Single Parenting

My name is Beverly Besha. I am a 41-year-old single parent who enjoys parenting seven amazing children. My children are ages 22, 17, 16, 18, 13, 11, and 10. I own a business in the social service industry in Milwaukee, and in West Allis, Wisconsin; I’m also pursuing my doctoral degree in Public Policy with a focus on Social Policy. I currently hold a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management & Leadership, and a BS in Human Services with a Criminal Justice Concentration.

How do you make it work with multiple children? What’s your strategy?

My ex-husband and I have always made a conscious effort to raise our children with morals and values and put systems in place that were congruent to both homes. We want consistency when it comes to child rearing. We try not to enforce a lot of rules on our children that will cause confusion because we value consistency. We give them more freedom to enjoy being children. Our methods do not always work or go so smoothly, but for the majority of the time, the children understand what is expected of them.
The problems that we’ve had in child-rearing is that I’m more proactive, a planner spontaneous, creative and strict. Their father is more relaxed and lenient. The children have to adjust to our different styles in separate homes, and it can be frustrating going back and forth.
I had a system in place for all of the children. It would always consist of them knowing where they had to be, what they had to do, and ensuring they were well-equipped. I also made sure that I put in personal time with the children. This meant that I often called them randomly or had one-on-one time with them. My children knew that I cared and that they were essential to me. They have always been my priority.

With all the time you spend managing your children, when do you find time for yourself?

I do have a few friends that live here in the Springs. I make sure one day a week, in the evenings, that I spend time away from my children, to socialize and focus on me. It helps bring balance. And if you don’t find this space, you will see yourself putting your children’s and everyone else’s needs ahead of your own. Then you are going to lose your identity and your voice. Afterward, you will find it very difficult to make decisions for yourself and figure out what’s best for your life.
You’re going to make mistakes along the way; and I let myself know that it’s okay if I made a mistake, it is absolutely okay.

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