Motherhood, or to be more precise, single motherhood, is the greatest job in the world, the biggest challenge, and the most incredible growth opportunity, especially when you have to push through your fears and personal limitations because you have no choice.

Very often my writings to you revolve around fear, and for many mothers and especially single mothers, they are often fears of the most fundamental kind. Plain survival. Will we make it? Will we be able to pay for it? Will we be up for the challenge? Will our children turn out ok? How do we know if we did a good job? Often the question about ourselves, am I ok, is not even asked until many years later. We are in the job, doing the job, not thinking but doing.

I created The Women’s Code to offer hands-on tools and help for all women facing challenges in their life, be they personal or professional. I was determined to turn the lessons of my hardships into something useful for others, by showing how the code’s three pillars–Awareness, Support, and Collaboration—are our essential pillars to lean on when we need to get back to our core, regroup, and ready ourselves for the next challenge.

Busy much?

A perfect example just happened to me. In the last week alone, I launched a new photography Bootcamp, finished two other photography marketing products that will soon debut. In addition, I’m involved in a Swiss-American partnership, now in its beta phase, that has been formed to deliver new web media content. Also, I just signed off on an Art eBook publishing company, that I founded with two other partners, created several new YouTube videos, and The Women’s Code book finally arrived in its final draft. We are launching the book on September 24th.

I barely finished everything in time, and was driving to the airport to attend my daughter’s graduation in Chicago, when all of a sudden, I got very emotional. Finally it hit me. Time to push the pause button. I need to sit with what I feel not what I do. I never consider my day-to-day business as work because I love what I do. Transforming the lives of others, through The Women’s Code and career coaching, takes over and I simply forget to feel things. I forget to stop, I forget to reflect, I forget to be present. And that, right there, is why awareness is so important.

I had planned to work during the four-hour flight, but my friend Ali, who drove to the airport with me said, stop, listen, and write about what you feel.

The result? I was an emotional mommy mess. We had arrived, my daughter and I. A very difficult journey as a single parent with no support system had been successfully completed. We did it! Against all odds, our micro family of two didn’t just make it, Gina and I had arrived.

As I have been writing The Women’s Code book in the last few months, there have been many memories I had to recount, many events I wanted to forget, mistakes that I am embarrassed I made, and monumental and expensive failures to admit.

Then there are the other memories of the milestones of my life, some are painful, some exhilarating. There is the memory of Gina’s water birth where, without any hesitation, on push number three, she shot into this world like a rocket (which is very much like her as we now know). There is the night an asthma attack took her breath away and I almost lost her, the first time she saw a star when we finally figured out it was her eyes, not her motor skills, that made it hard to catch the ball. And the time when she sang her first solo in church at eight years old, and the entire congregation turned around to see whose glorious voice it was. Another time when she was almost expelled from Catholic school for being unruly (wonder not where that trait comes from!), when she graduated from middle school without her father being present and to not see him again ever since, to her being bullied in high school, then choosing to go to college as far away as possible from her terrible mother.

And look at us now.

Painstakingly, I had saved $100 a month in the hope I could send her to college one day, worrying the whole time that it wasn’t going to be enough. Then, after years of struggle and hard work, an extraordinary day came when I sold my company to Bill Gates for millions of dollars. I remember the moment when I opened my bank account and looked at the balance. A number that is incomprehensible. Emotions that can’t be described. My God, it was all worth it, this worked out.

From broke, discouraged, and very angry at life for what it had thrown at me — to this. From the kid without a father in her life, with an overworked mom, a dire financial situation that didn’t allow her to have what others did — to this. She got to pick the college and whatever major she wanted. It took Gina five days to thank me after she went to college, one year to realize she may have overreacted by putting so much distance between us, and another two to finish with a B.A. And best of all, she figured it all out by herself. We are good friends now, and deeply appreciate each other. Simple and beautiful.

The first call I made after the sale of my company was to my daughter. As a typical 14 year-old teenager, she was somewhere unknown, doing something unknown, with a bunch of friends. I told her that on that day I was going to make her a promise. “You can go anywhere in the world, study anything you want, and I will throw in a year to around if you want. Your college education will be fully paid.” My daughter’s answer: “whatever mom.”

But when it came time to fill out college applications, Gina realized very quickly that she was one of the lucky few that could pick “whatever.” Her level of appreciation couldn’t have been greater.

But back to you. Other than a nice little story about a woman who made it, what I want you to take away from this is hope. You now know one woman—me– who was where you might be, facing difficult circumstances. Still, no matter how tough it seems right now – keep up hope. You will make it through as I did. And who knows, you may be the one writing this in a few years and making a call like the one I got to make–the best call you will ever make.

Author's Bio: 

Beate Chelette is a respected career coach, consummate entrepreneur and founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private and digital world. Determined to build a community of women helping each other, after selling one of her companies, BeateWorks, to Bill Gates in 2006 for millions of dollars, Beate launched The Women’s Code to reach women everywhere.