Jackie Pilossoph interviews a successful Solo Mom blogger, speaker, and writer
“There is an unprecedented number of women parenting alone. We’re not going away,” says Emma Johnson, of the 10 million single moms in the United States providing for their children. This is the essence of why Johnson, a Solo Mom of two, started the blog Wealthy Single Mommy almost four years ago. A former Associated Press financial wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Johnson has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes, among other publications, and she also hosts her own podcast, Like a Mother.
The New York City–based financial journalist’s philosophy? “For the first time in history, it is very possible for unmarried women to raise amazing, healthy children while also building wildly successful businesses and careers—and enjoying dating and the pursuit of romantic love.”
Johnson also understands that Solo Moms don’t always feel like they fit in and need a place to go for information, answers, and a connection with other Solo Moms. That is the driving force of her wildly successful blog that has led to her brand, which, in addition to her podcast, includes a multitude of advertisers on her site, speaking engagements, and her latest venture, a video course called Get Back Into Dating Again for Single Moms. The course touches on topics such as how single moms can abolish negative dating mindsets, get their sexy bodies back, and get ready for their first date, to name a few.
I caught up with Johnson to talk about her past, what she’s trying to accomplish, and to learn more about her Wealthy Single Mommy blog.
Q: How did Wealthy Single Mommy come about?
A: I was nursing my first postdivorce breakup and suddenly found myself with weekends free. I realized there was a huge gap in the market: There was no one speaking to professional single mothers about the things that my friends and I spent our days thinking about and discussing—relationships, money, career, parenting, dating, sex, feminism—all from the point of view of professional, educated women who had successful careers.
I set out to combine my background as a financial journalist with my newfound status as a single mom, but I had a creative burst and found myself writing very intimately about dating, sex, and motherhood—in addition to career and money. The audience and media response was enormous and immediate, and I knew something special was going on. That was four years ago.
Q: How did you become a Solo Mom?
A: I had a good but difficult marriage to a great guy. In 2009, when our daughter was 14 months, he suffered a horrible brain injury, which set us on a path toward divorce. Our son was born in 2010.
Q: How did being a Solo Mom affect your career?
It drove my ass into overdrive—launching me into my true calling and, by far, the most success I’ve ever had. I did receive child support for a year but knew that was not sustainable considering my family’s circumstances. Being financially independent of my ex is critical to my success.
Q: What are you most proud of as a Solo Mom?
A: Happy, brilliant, kind children.
Q: What are the names and ages of your children? Who are they, essentially?
A: Helena, eight, is a precocious, creative, and observant kid; a wonderful storyteller; and a deep thinker. Lucas, six, is an unusually thoughtful, hyperarticulate, and often silly guy. They are both hilarious and brilliant.
Q: How do you find time for self-care, and what do you do for yourself?
A: I exercise almost every day, make my social and romantic lives a priority, and carve out time for intellectual fulfillment—whether watching great movies and TV, or attending exhibits or lectures.
Q: Where do you find support?
A: I have a handful of very close friends and family members whom I can count on. I also get a lot of inspiration from my followers, who include so many amazing, strong moms.
Q: What would you tell the world about empowering and supporting Solo Moms?
A: You live in a time of unprecedented wealth and abundance. You have a choice as to whether you buy into the prevalent notion that single mothers are limited in their ability to earn, thrive, and prosper. This is a new age of family. You make your own rules, set your own goals, and define your own success. You got this!
Check out Sister Chat to join a confidential community of Solo Moms who are there to answer any questions and cheer you on!
Jackie Pilossoph, ESME’s Divorce Resource Guide, is the creator of Divorced Girl Smiling, a website that helps men and women facing divorce. She is also a weekly Huffington Post divorce blogger; the writer of a weekly column, “Love Essentially,” for the Chicago Tribune’s Pioneer Press; and a freelance corporate and business content writer. Pilossoph holds a master’s degree in journalism. She lives in Chicago with her two children. Oh, and she’s divorced.