I am always amazed by the single moms doing awesome things in the world. They are holding it down despite having to do everything. Shana “The Control Freak” Naylor is a phenemenoal and influential woman who happens to be a single mom too.

I had the opportunity to interview her about her life as a single mom, success, and her unusual nickname. Enjoy and share your thoughts about the interview.

Mommy&MeHow many children do you have?

I have one, 17 year old daughter.

What challenges have been the hardest?

  • I was a teenage mother so it was hard when I couldn’t move around freely with my friends.  I didn’t understand it then but the best thing for me was, not being able to just drop my daughter off with my mother while I ran the street.  I remember thinking; she’s a stay at home mom, why couldn’t she just keep her too? My parents were old school and what I called strict, my siblings and I weren’t dropped off at everyone’s house and she was very particular about who kept us. So part of her rule was “you stay home with your own baby!!”

  • Then it was hard to hold a full time job and go to school.  It took me exactly 15 years to complete my Bachelors but I was determined, even if it would have taken 25 years.

  • Being the sole disciplinarian was hard for me, I wanted to say “I’m going to tell your daddy” or even just “I’ll let your daddy handle it” Ugh I wanted help.  But I thank God she’s a great teenager.

  • Lastly, making decisions based on what I thought others wanted to see or thought of me.  Trying to prove people that doubted me, wrong. Now I wonder if I was just living in my own guilt.  I wasted so much time trying to create a picture perfect Shana.

How did you turn them into opportunities for success?

Not being able to freely go, taught me responsibility and accountability. I believe it played a major role in my daughter’s now well-disciplined behavior and her respectful character.

I have learned what it means to be determined.  I’ve learned to stay focused on Shana and not what everyone else is doing. Hey I caught up with all my classmates that went straight through college. Mostly through this I’ve learned to love the Not so perfect ME!

How do you keep your lives on track? Open Communication, we talk often about everything. We have 1 TV in the house that’s in the living room; it gives us the opportunity to hang out watching our shows together.  We also sit down with a calendar planning and prioritizing our schedules, we know what’s going on for the whole month.

What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?

My daughter and I have so much fun. I love watching her; she’s such a beautiful young lady inside and out.  I must admit I love that other people often notice her ability and cultivate her strengths.

Has higher education played the big part in your sense of success?

Yes more so my success and accomplishments as a single mother.  I promised my mom when I got pregnant that I would finish school. She would always tell us “my kids are no dummies, I have smart children”.  I also take pride in being the role model for my daughter and my siblings, I told them I expect for them to academically obtain nothing less than me.  When I graduated with my MBA my

daughter said, “you’re not going for your PhD or you?” that was too funny!

Who is your favorite celebrity now?

I am a Mary J Blige fan and then Iyanla is running a tight race now.

Who is your favorite celebrity mom?

O wow! Definitely Michelle Obama.  When I look/read about her I am empowered. I see a woman who has it under CONTROL.  Even as First Lady she has a genuine image.

She didn’t compromise her beliefs, values or style, we shop in some of the same stores.   There’s no difference  between her and us except her husband is President.  She works hard, she publicly displays her love and affection for her family.  I would bet that it hasn’t been an easy road for her, Like many of us, but she still stands tall and in my eyes she looks out and says “Still I Rise”.  She accidentally referred to herself as a “single-mom” although we know it’s not the case, what we do know is that with the schedule of our President she bears similar responsibilities as us. I know one thing, if she were a Single Mom, she would Rock!

Does issues with your child’s father’s surface often?

My daughter is older now so they can deal directly with each other.  There are times that I still have to call and get clarification on things but for the most part she handles things.  She’s a Mini Control Freak.

What makes you feel financially successful?

I believe in visualization to attract positive things into my life. I’m visualizing my financial success through faith, building wise spending and saving habits, donating to charities and learning to become an expert in my career, I believe these things will ultimately help me gain financial success.

I am on the leadership committee of Dove Empowerment Ministries a non-profit organization that is very dear to me. We have been serving the Houston community and abroad for ten years counseling, equipping, and encouraging women and teenage girls, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human sex-trafficking.  For more info see www.dove-ministries.org

Who has had the most positive impact in your life?

My mom, for her continuous encouragement and support. My Grandmother, she’s such a strong independent woman. Now she is definitely the Grandmother of the Control Freak (laughing) Bossy little thing she is. She was a single mom of 2. So I can only imagine that being in control just came naturally.  Especially when you are the sole-provider, sole disciplinarian, and the sole decision-maker.  She carries herself with such dignity and respect.

What would you change about your life?

Wow!! I wouldn’t have lived so long cheating myself, not realizing my true value and living in fear.  Fear of failure, fear of what people would think of me, fear of not being good enough, fear to step out of the box…when all along I was keeping myself from Success.

How did you handle doing it all by yourself?

I thank GOD for my Family, I had the most supportive parents.  We pitch in and help each other.  Everyone babysat or did taxi duty, my dad, my sister and my little brother.   No one can be successful doing it alone.

What advice would you give about navigating through single motherhood?

Create your personal mothering brand by answering the question, “What do you want your child to say about you at 25?” Then aim to be that person. Make your child’s life priority but remember to find you some Guilt Free Me Time.  

About Shana Naylor:

She was once shattered by her own insecurities and self-worth of being a teenage mother and having two failed marriages. Despite being labeled a CONTROL FREAK, she felt her life was being controlled by others, their opinions and expectations of her. What separates her from other coaches is despite having an MBA, a daughter who is a model teenager and being a successful professional, her life was once “OUT OF CONTROL”. She uses her life experiences to help support her clients in TAKING CONTROL! Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and at ShanaNaylor.com