5 Single Moms Share Their Amazing and Inspiring Stories

Motherhood is hard, but single motherhood can be even harder. When you don’t have a partner to share the workload and the finances, it can be easy to spiral into a pool of sadness and self-pity. That’s how I felt when I was younger – and it’s wonderful to now know that I was not alone. We interviewed 5 amazing single moms who are holding their own so beautifully right now, you are sure to be inspired by their stories.

5 Single Moms Share Their Amazing and Inspiring Stories

Janice Javier, @chefjaedecastroJanice Javier

When Janice Javier was a teenager, she fell in love with a boy and ran away to New York City with him to escape the pressure and expectations of her parents. “I didn’t really give myself the opportunity to truly grow up and figure out who I was,” she admits. Eventually, Jae found herself in a 20+ year abusive relationship with two daughters. The abuse left her depressed and unable to function and caused her to lose her job, her money, her apartment, her car, and all of her belongings. She had no choice but to move back in with her parents – and this was her turning point. Being surrounded by people who truly cared about her, she was freed from everything that was holding her back.

“I have had an unconventional journey to success and am still building,” Jae says. She admits that juggling single motherhood and being an entrepreneur has been a challenge. However, it has given her the ability to be present for her children throughout their lives so a lot of time is devoted to helping foster their personal growth. “I am hoping that one day when my children look back on their lives, see the life lessons that they have learned seeing me grow our business from scratch to success – that they, too, cherish the quality time we have spent together and bring those values onto their families.”

Lecia Fe Cantal, 37, @liscantal

Lecia Fe Cantal

A month before finding out she was expecting, Lecia Fe Cantal got laid off from her IT job of 14 years. “I was more excited rather than fearful of what will happen next because I’ve always believed that things happen for a perfect reason,” she shares. However, motherhood wasn’t something she was prepared for. Questions started popping in her mind on whether she could raise her child alone without any mother skills. So, Liz decided to leave the city she had called home for 14 years and go back to her now-unfamiliar hometown with hopes of getting a parenthood crash course from her mom and eventually go back to the corporate world.

Liz’s little girl is now 19 months old and they are still in Iligan as Liz wants to value their time together instead of spending it in an office. “In parenting, you can never be prepared,” she states. “Instead, it’s about making responsible and authentic choices given the circumstances.” Despite being a single mom, Liz admits that she is not raising her little girl alone. Her family, friends, and acquaintances are all willing to help when she asks for it. “It does take a village to raise a child,” she points out. Liz also admits that single moms are not superwomen. “If you don’t feel well, if you need some errands done, if you can’t finish the laundry… it’s okay to ask for help.”

Rochelle Rara, 28, @crzyraar

Rochelle Rara

Rochelle Rara became a single mom after giving birth to her daughter at the age of 21. “I remember how depressed I was, asking God why I had to be in that situation,” she shares. “I prayed hard and gave up all of my worries to him for his plans.” Rochelle was an undergraduate at the time and the only career she had was in the BPO industry. As her children grew, she feared the potential worst-case scenarios as she worked late notes and took care of them during the daytime. Eventually, God gave them the right opportunity when they migrated to Canada four years ago.

“It was life-changing and scary at the same time,” Rochelle shares. “All my expectations were very different from my reality.” Rochelle did not have an office job and had to work door-to-door sales, as well as clean ladies’ washrooms. Still, as a single mom, she had to push through and think of the best future for her kids. After a few months, she then decided to go back to school and complete a program. She went to class at 8AM, worked until 10PM, and studied until 2AM. “It was tough but it was worth it,” she exclaims. “When you’re a mother, nothing matters but your children’s future. All of those scrubbing and studying paid off as I have completed my program and landed an office job here. To all single mothers out there, you are amazing! Remember that everything that we are working for will all be worth it!”

Kaycee Enerva, 34, @themachomom

“The day my husband left me was also the day I lost my job,” Kaycee Enerva shares. Although she was working as a software engineer in Singapore at the time, she was forced to go back to the Philippines. During a long period of depression, Kaycee was diagnosed with Bipolar-1 Disorder, and she admits that she wanted to give up on life… “Except I couldn’t because I have a son that is waiting for me.” Everything turned out for the best in the end, though. She sought professional help from a psychiatrist to get better, decided to work from home, and was able to take care of her son full-time.

Of course, it still isn’t all sunshine and daisies. Kaycee admits that there are days when she doesn’t cook or clean. She even gets bouts of rage when triggered or when she misses her medication. “I am flawed, but I try to improve myself for my son each day,” she states. One random evening, Geof (her son) told her, “Mom, you may not be the perfect mom, but you’re the best mom for me.” Kaycee is very proud that Geof is growing up to be kind, loving, and respectful to others. “He doesn’t see people in color or gender but as human beings that should be treated equally,” she raves.

Niña Defensor, 32, @ninadefensor

Nina Defensor e1620564068739

Niña Defensor is a single mom (with no nanny) to a 4-year-old girl but is also a mindfulness practitioner (@badassmamaph), intuitive artist/painter (@ceresadoracion), cosmetic tattoo artist (@cosmetictattoosph), and podcast host (@grownupglownup). She also works full-time as a Partnerships and PR Manager for a New York-based company. Wow! “I have always been a multi-passionate go-getter,” Niña shares. “I just want to show other single moms that you can have an amazing and fun mother-daughter journey, earn well, enjoy life, and handle life’s challenges with grace.”

In her Spotify podcast ‘Grown Up & Glown Up’, Niña and her friend Sheena share their stories of how they’ve risen from rock bottom and transformed their lives, and how they continue to manifest their best lives despite the world’s circumstances. She recently started The Niña Podcast (also available on Spotify), as well, to cater to what she stands for in life: Motherhood, Mindfulness, Manifestation, Marketing.

Know any inspiring moms you’d like us to feature? Email me at angeline.wheninmanila@gmail.com or send me a direct message at When in Manila Angeline on Facebook. Interact with the team and join the WhenInManila.com Community at WIM SquadJoin our WhenInManila.com community on Viber, as well!