Kimberly Bell is a working solo mom of 5 children (4 of whom are adults) and 6 grandchildren.
Kimberly finds creating balance a challenge sometimes as there are so many aspects to solo parenting. She also thinks that within that balance solo moms must remember to care for themselves as well.
One way Kimberly manages is to connect with God and her spirituality to get the strength and wisdom she needs.
Kimberly agrees that we minimize our struggles by depending on God for guidance.
A balanced life doesn't mean everything is perfect. It means you live in the moment. You do what works in that moment.
Kimberly shares her story of being adopted after her biological parents dropped her off at 5 years old and never came back for her. She talks about this and other childhood trauma in her book The Epitome of Kimmy.
Connect with Kimberly: www.kimberlyannebell.com
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[00:00:00] Kimberly Bell: And me being the type of person of being abandoned and being rejected. I was looking for that connection to the men that I married and the fight for me, the fight and, you know, and it, it was failed many times because of, I was looking in the wrong direction. [00:00:20] J. Rosemarie: SoloMoms! Talk was designed to curate the stories of solo moms globally. As a facilitator of this platform, I aim to create a peaceful environment where you can share your heart, feel loved and get the advice you need. So, So if this sounds like you, why not RSVP for our next virtual meet up the link is below it's, where you can retreat from the chaos of your life.[00:00:46] So you can recharge, connect with other moms and get answers to your burning questions. Remember, you're not alone and you don't have the parent in silence[00:00:58] My guest today is [00:01:00] Kimberly Bell. Welcome Kimberly. [00:01:02] Kimberly Bell: Thank you. Thank you. I'm glad to be with you. [00:01:06] J. Rosemarie: Absolutely. It's a pleasure. And I usually just get into it and ask you to tell us[00:01:12] who is Kimberly? [00:01:14] Kimberly Bell: Well, right now I am a single mom of. Four adult children, one minor that she's six years old. and I tell her that she's the one that's getting old.[00:01:25] I'll be almost 50 soon, but she she's six going on 60 , but I have six grandchildren. I'm a case manager I've been working for the state and doing case management for probably now close to 10 years. Okay. So I love what I do, navigating resources, helping participants and, and just, just serving. I, I, I love being in the public and, and working in the community and diversity and different families.[00:01:56] So I'm, I'm excited because since the COVID was lifted, [00:02:00] all majority of my cases are from disparate nationalities. So I'm just like, wow. Yes, cuz this is the first time I've ever went into. Different nationalities that Arabic and and Russian. And so it's, it's just been, it's just been exciting to, to meet the family and to serve that, that population too. [00:02:22] Mm-hmm [00:02:22] J. Rosemarie: all right. [00:02:23] Okay, cool. So well, I'm gonna ask you something else, but you said, you said COVID is over, but not where I am. We'll have. [00:02:33] Oh yeah. well, it's lifted here in Maryland for us to go and resume back visiting and stuff like that. So, okay. Even down with our school system and Maryland now it's optional.[00:02:46] For a mask. Yeah. So when I, I, I don't mean it's over, over, but it's just, it's everything's trying to lift to get back to normal. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Which I don't think that'll ever happen, but. [00:02:59] I know, it [00:03:00] just seemed like it was gonna go on forever, right? Yes. Yes. Okay. So as you know, we serve the solo mom crowd, and I'm going to ask you, you said you have four children and six grandchildren.[00:03:15] First of all, how did you become a solo mom? [00:03:18] Kimberly Bell: Four adult children. And one minor. So five together? Yeah. [00:03:25] J. Rosemarie: Oh, five, five together and six grandchildren. I became a solo mom for my last marriage about[00:03:31] four years ago and okay. Yeah. And. Even prior to that marriage, I had been a solo mom a couple of times, you know, within, you know, within my, within my journey of life. Mm-hmm, , it's definitely adjustment, definitely a transition, but I'd rather be a healthy solo mom, happy and well, and living a peaceful life that way that my [00:04:00] daughter and my other children can see.[00:04:03] You know, there is quality life being a single mom and just as well as the quality of life being a not single mom, but it all, all has to do with choices that you make yes. To, to that, you know, that is the best for your life.[00:04:19] Right, right. Okay. All right. Thank you for sharing that. And what has, what has been your biggest struggle or what is even still your biggest struggle with raising your children alone?[00:04:32] Kimberly Bell: I would say, you know, balancing. Adjusting finding that balance, knowing when to because I work, you know even though I've been working for home for quite some time just making sure that I have that balance and adjustment that I give the time, the quality time for her, the quality time for myself, without her spiritual time for myself.[00:04:54] And you know, Making the adjustment that it's not [00:05:00] anyone else's responsibility, but even with co-parenting that I have to balance because I at times when co-parenting, you're still taking. More than if the child is at home with you more than the other responsibility for the other, other parents.[00:05:18] Yeah. Like extracurricular activities, like for just recently she's, she's a swimmer and she just there accepted in the swim club. So she's been swimming since she's two years old, but those after school After school hours after school care at YMCA, I have to make sure that you know, her swimsuit and her her favorite towel is in there the days that it is picking up her and, and, and, and tweaking the schedule, because I know those two days, she's gonna be tired.[00:05:47] What to plan for dinner, making sure that we get in bed a little bit earlier. Is this gonna be the tub night or the shower night and stuff like that. So it is adjust. And it's a balance and, and we can't forget about [00:06:00] ourself along with this adjustment and balance. Mm-hmm nor can we lack in, in her or the, the child needs and wants.[00:06:10] J. Rosemarie: Right? Right. So even when there is a co-parent around. The, the fact remains that the, the responsibility, the full weight of the responsibilities on the, the custodial[00:06:25] parent. right?, [00:06:26] Kimberly Bell: right, And what I to believe, and this is what works for me is I. Connect with my spirituality with God and, and ask him for strength and help and wisdom and work in the season.[00:06:42] And the moment that I am in not be as anxious and impulsive or in the anxiety of, okay, this is so overwhelming. I have to have a partner. I have to have someone the team. No, but just live in that moment. and find that strength from God that you are able [00:07:00] to do this. Yes. Can you do that balance? Mm-hmm yes.[00:07:04] J. Rosemarie: Yeah. So you, you minimize your struggle by depending on God to guide them. That's [00:07:09] right. That's right. That's right. Because there's a lot of times that, you know, we as women, we, we, we want that super Cape and we've wanted to do it and, and, and trust me, I have to be mindful too. I'm only on, I'm not perfect.[00:07:23] I'm I'm human. And I might have to You know, out of two, three nights do KFC McDonald's oodles and noodles or whatever, but that doesn't make me a bad mom. What it makes me is a conscious mom that she's getting fed and knowing that it's too late to do the three course meal, or I had to, I that my, my job that day didn't help me work my schedule where I couldn't put that roast on or that chicken on, or that, that home cooked meal.[00:07:52] But right. As long as I get it in, when I can get it in, everything will be okay. Everything doesn't have to happen a [00:08:00] quick fix, but if you go with that moment yes mm-hmm mm-hmm yeah, yeah. [00:08:06] Everything doesn't have to be perfect and we don't have to do it all and we don't need help. [00:08:13] Kimberly Bell: Yes. [00:08:14] J. Rosemarie: Yes. Yes, absolutely. I agree.[00:08:18] Okay. So I understand you wrote a book. What inspired you to write a book? [00:08:23] Kimberly Bell: Ooh, boy, I tell you well just bits and pieces of my life. You know, I've been just blessed since almost 49 years here on earth that periodically during my working and career and, and, and choices of jobs that I was able to obtain that I would at times be able to share bits and pieces of my story as far as when it was appropriate when I was working with the youth at risk youth to encourage them to stay in school because they're gonna need that education.[00:08:54] I know because I quit in 11th grade and, and so on and so on. So when the COVID hit [00:09:00] it, be prior to that when people would know a little bit bits and pieces of my story that said your, your, your life is almost like a book, you really need to get a book out. And so when COVID hit, it was like a it was phenomenon, but it was a voice that just got stronger and said, this is now or never for you to put your whole journey and be able to inspire other people because you did not go through that.[00:09:28] For just yourself. So that's what I did. So I started from the beginning of five years old being with my biological mother and father up until I was five and then dropped off and never you reunited with my mother and father and the traumatic experience that I've I, I seen while I was living with my biological mother and father.[00:09:48] And along with that, my, my sister who was my shero and still is my shero. She was two years older than me, but she ended up staying with my mother. They had kids after me, but like I said, I [00:10:00] never reunited with them. I had to deal with the rejection. I had to deal with the abandonment I had to deal with.[00:10:04] Them never coming back. For me so thinking for years, what was wrong with me? What was, what was wrong with this child that you all brought in this world without my choice and never, never fought for never, never reclaimed. Right. So I had to deal with that with my adoptive family. And I was really blessed to have older adoptive family that taught me morals and values and, and Built the shelter of stability.[00:10:32] And I never seen lights off that I was blessed with that I never seen the phones off. But also still things happen in the inside of that home that they didn't intentionally set up for it to happen, but happened. That is taboo to talk about, which was, I was molested by one of their family members at 12.[00:10:51] Wow. Right in their home. So I just put all that in my memoir to inspire and let people know that [00:11:00] things, things need to be accepted and embraced. Yeah. First you have to accept, you know, your past. And embrace your future, but be have, have your voice of your truth. Yeah. And let it be told because for years Like in that generation era, it was what's what was going on in home state, in the home, even when I was introduced to their church and P and their, their family and friends, I was told immediately that people were nosy, that if people came to me and asked me, who was my mom and dad, because we were still in the same hometown where my biological family were that I tell.[00:11:40] That that's my mom and that's my dad. But here I'm five. I knew the difference. Mm-hmm I think they wasn't, I never stayed a night with them, but that night that my dad dropped me off and said that he was gonna come back and get me and never did. Hmm. So, so I had to make sure that I like I said, during COVID.[00:12:00] [00:12:00] Wrote it down and made sure that my truth everything that I had went through in my journey was transparent. Mm. And was, and was told to like I said, inspire and encourage someone else that may feel guilty, feel shameful, feel like it was their It was their fault and still taking responsibility as somebody else's actions and behavior.[00:12:25] And that's what sorta I had did for years with my biological mom. I weighed the weight of her. Giving me away as that was my responsibility. That was, you know, that was my fault. And it wasn't. That was for her. Yeah. Yeah. Mm-hmm [00:12:42] J. Rosemarie: yeah. All right. And what is, what is the book [00:12:45] called? It's called [00:12:47] The Epitome of Kimmy: Accept and embrace it all[00:12:49] okay. All accept and embraced it all. Mm-hmm. [00:12:52] Accept and embrace it all. Yes. Right. So I'll put a link to that in the show notes. OK. So if you could to it, [00:13:00] and so you have a story there regarding your past mm-hmm and how is that all that your you've experienced. Impacted your life not just today, but also decisions, your decision making in, in your adult life.[00:13:18] Kimberly Bell: Well, I tell you one thing was that courageous move that I made, made me have a hell of a courage now. I'm making, making right choices. For me, not just for my children, but cur, but that courage that I can confidently choose without a shadow of a doubt and incapable of choosing what's best for my life.[00:13:44] And what I, what I will accept and what I won't accept OK. [00:13:50] J. Rosemarie: Yes. So it, it has a, it had a positive impact in that you were able to make better decision. Is that what you [00:13:56] Kimberly Bell: said? Well, that's a good thing. [00:14:00] [00:14:00] J. Rosemarie: That's usually happens, right. [00:14:06] Or the opposite way. Right. [00:14:06] yeah. And I learned to reinvest in myself and that you know, we, we get into this microwave.[00:14:11] Society that we've, we want things, what we want, just like that. And, and I've learned after this book also that I have time, I, I ask God for patience and what is for me, Lord, let it be for me, what is not for me, but I won't jump ahead and move. I'll just be patient and embrace where I'm at now, you know?[00:14:35] Yes. Yes. Okay. All right. Cool. All right. So what is Kimberly grateful for today? [00:14:43] Kimberly Bell: Oh, my I'm grateful for life. I'm grateful for learned experiences. I'm grateful for my past, because it truly helped bring the essence of who I am today. Mm-hmm and allowing me to invest in myself and love [00:15:00] myself and know that I'm deserving.[00:15:02] Of investing in myself, define myself, love, define myself worth. And once I love me, I can't attract, I can't help, but attract someone that knows that I love me. [00:15:14] J. Rosemarie: yes, yes, yes. I one of my favorite line is that if you love yourself, you will teach others how to love you. yes. [00:15:23] Kimberly Bell: I love that. Yes, you're absolutely right.[00:15:27] J. Rosemarie: Yeah. Mm-hmm all right. So alright. So we talked about your book and so do you offer a service other than your, your book? Do you offer any service to, [00:15:39] Kimberly Bell: yes, I'm starting finishing up my mentoring service and I should be before the, the year ends. Next book will be released in August and some coaching classes, but I, I am finishing up mentoring service and I, I am a public speaker.[00:15:54] I will speak anywhere. okay. So, and I will travel anywhere and I [00:16:00] just love to Be able to share my story just to help you know, something else. Yeah. OK. [00:16:05] J. Rosemarie: And do you [00:16:06] Kimberly Bell: have a website? Yes. OK. You tell us. OK. It's www.kimberlyannebell.com. [00:16:16] J. Rosemarie: Okay. All right. Thank you. And we'll put that in the show notes as well.[00:16:21] Okay. Yeah. all right. What one piece of advice would you give to a solo mom? You're a solo mom who have your hands full and but you have a lot of wisdom there. So give us some, give us some [00:16:33] Kimberly Bell: invest in yourself. You are so deserving too. Mm-hmm it will be the best gift that you could give yourself.[00:16:40] Yes, who's investing in yourself and accept and embrace it all except whatever you want for yourself. As long as it's the quality of life for the best quality of life that you want and embrace it. Yes, [00:16:57] J. Rosemarie: mm-hmm I, I love that. I really [00:17:00] love that. Thank you very much. You're welcome. And yeah, sure. And I hear a lot of hint of self care in there.[00:17:07] So do you practice self care and what does that look like for you? I [00:17:11] Kimberly Bell: do. I do. So, like I said I try every morning, even in my travels, it doesn't have to be on my knees, but just like I have the conversation with you and I was telling one of my. Girls too. It's, you know it's okay for mama to pray for you and I will, but you have to have that connection and that choice to choose to connect with mm-hmm your spiritual being, you know?[00:17:35] And so I communicate and I conversate with God every day. And ask for wisdom guidance, or sometimes I just, you know, just in a, in a grateful mode and just thanking, thanking him for, for things that has been done and will be done. And music, I listen to all types of music. So I, I, I travel with my music.[00:17:59] I [00:18:00] go to bed sometimes with my music, but music has been A peace of mind for me, a tool that I use. And I just let the playlists go from, from R and B to jazz, to, to to old's and goodies to country. It's just, that's just the way of my life that I found out that that's another positive tool that I use.[00:18:20] Also I have found with investing in myself that I like to travel. I like to go to different restaurants. I just like to, if there's something that I feel like that I haven't haven't did and I, and I want to do it. I put it on my bucket list. I have a visual board. So I find what works for me and, and I more hands on anyway.[00:18:42] So I put things on like, I've never been to a wine tasting, but I do socially drink. So that's one on my bucket list that I I'm going to complete this year is I'm gonna go to a wine tasting. I've. You know, so I've set up, you know, my support system and this is what I [00:19:00] found myself you know, reinvesting in myself, in helping self care.[00:19:04] I also, you know, look at my body as my adopted dad have poured his wisdom in me. He only had a third grade education. I talked about him in my book, cuz he was my pretty much first love and my protector, but he used to say to me, Kimmy. And that's how I got the, the, the Kimmy on the epitome of Kimmy.[00:19:23] He named me that he used to call me that he said, Kimmy. He said, listen to this, listen to daddy, Bill. I'm gonna tell you this. And I'm gonna only repeat it about two times, but I want you to get it before the third time. He said, if you don't take care of your body, your body won't take care of you. So I, I drink water.[00:19:40] I try to drink it. I try to eat as healthy as I can. I have my little snacks. I have my little cheat time and stuff like that, but I do invest also. And taking care of my body. And when I, what I've learned also through the four divorces and the marriages, and I have all that in the book and finding [00:20:00] myself and finding my selfcare is that as.[00:20:03] Strongly as I feel about my physical body, now I'm getting it. And I strongly feel that way about my spirituality and my mental and my mentality. So I try to protect that with all cause by keeping trying to refrain from negativity, any drama if I find that I'm, I, I. Getting sucked into chaotic or stuff that I can control that I have to remove myself.[00:20:30] That's not good for my state of mind. I do that. So, yeah. And, and, and, and I've learned people have to get to those choices to make. And this is a conscious choice that I made that I found out that if I don't make it, I can't leave this to make it from nobody else for me. Right. Yeah. I have to make this for myself.[00:20:50] Yeah. [00:20:51] J. Rosemarie: Yes, that's very. All right. Thank you. Thank you, Kimberly. Be for coming and talking to me today. Thank you. Yeah, [00:21:00] for sure. That's where I Can end the interview. Mm-hmm but listening to you, I find a lot of similarities between us and I have one more question for you. Okay. And we can air it or not.[00:21:12] Because maybe I wanted for my own personal as well. Mm-hmm so my mom left me at nine months old. My grandfather, my grandfather died when I was 12. Mm. I didn't meet my mother till I was almost 15. Mm-hmm . Right. Mm-hmm I was married and divorced three [00:21:29] Kimberly Bell: times [00:21:31] J. Rosemarie: similar so I realized at the end of the fourth marriage that I was looking for something that these men couldn't give me mm-hmm right.[00:21:42] Mm-hmm family. Cause I never [00:21:44] Kimberly Bell: had family. Right, right. [00:21:45] J. Rosemarie: Mm-hmm . Was that, did you find that's what happened with your, well, I should also say that because I was a Christian. I didn't wanna shack up or, you know? Yes, yes. But did you find that, have you [00:22:00] thought about, you know, your marriage is not working out and thought that maybe it was something like that for you too, you were looking for something.[00:22:10] They didn't have to offer you. [00:22:12] Kimberly Bell: Yes. Like you said, the one particular two was which is similar, was to doing things that was expected, which was getting married. You don't share regardless. And you don't live with anyone. So that was one, but also going into deeper, like you said, I found that validation.[00:22:36] And me being the type of person of being abandoned and being rejected. I was looking for that connection to the men that I married and the fight for me, the fight and, you know, and it, it was failed many times because of, I was looking in the wrong [00:23:00] direction. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I, I can relate and I can tell you that if there would ever be a next one cause only God knows that the that void would not be explored to, to be filled.[00:23:16] Right. I'm be totally healed from that. Yeah. [00:23:19] J. Rosemarie: Yeah. That's how, that's how I am too. I was just like, you know, when they ended and I, I, I started to reflect and I'm like, first of all, I said, what is wrong with me? Yeah. You know, my dad didn't want me, my granddad died and I know he died, but I just felt like he abandoned me.[00:23:36] Mm-hmm , you know, my mom didn't really want me and, and I'm like, what's, these men didn't want me. So I'm like, what's wrong with me? Mm-hmm and then it was like a voice said, there's nothing wrong with you. But you, you looking for the wrong thing mm-hmm , you know, and, and I found it in God, right? Cause you know, I would, my me wanting to [00:24:00] marry and build my own nest was I was gonna show them, I could have my own family.[00:24:05] You might not want me, but you know, I can be my own. Right. But you know, that poor guy didn't have a clue what he was getting into. But know. So yeah. I mean, when, when you reflect, you can't really blame them because they can't [00:24:22] Kimberly Bell: fulfill the need that no, they just can't, they're not even capable. They're not even, they might be looking for some, some exactly, exactly.[00:24:31] You can't provide [00:24:32] J. Rosemarie: so right. So, yeah. As you were telling your story, I'm like, man, this girl she's just talking about me right there. Yeah. Crazy. [00:24:44] Kimberly Bell: So God just brings different people into yeah. And into your journey to, to say yeah, get that mirror. Yeah. So I think, yeah, yeah, yeah. Less, but you're not by yourself.[00:24:56] So we're on a mission. [00:24:58] J. Rosemarie: Of [00:24:58] Kimberly Bell: course, [00:25:00] God is good. God is good. Yeah. God is good for us to be able to relate and share those experiences because look at us now, we're, we're still here moving and, and knowing that he has so much more in store for us, you know? [00:25:15] J. Rosemarie: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And I think a lot of that healing comes for me anyway, was when I realized God is my father mm-hmm[00:25:23] So what my earthly father didn't want me. God is my father and he's sovereign. Yeah. But once I realized that I'm like,[00:25:37] Kimberly Bell: OK, yeah, something special. We date to the father. It's OK. Yeah. It's okay. Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and our husband and whoever would be in our life can't fill that void of our, our father, but, well, no, but a king, a king worthy for us. Yeah, that we are deserving of. And that's where I'm at. Yeah. God has the king already for us, you know, mm-hmm, that's not a [00:26:00] father, but a king.[00:26:01] A king. Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. [00:26:05] J. Rosemarie: love it. Love it. Love it. Yeah, I appreciate you being open and honest with me, cuz this is, this is a good discussion that I'm sure we are not the only one who are here or have been there. Les . Brown, like to say that our stories are similar. It's just the details that are different, but even some of the details are [00:26:23] Kimberly Bell: similar right.[00:26:25] In our case. Yeah. [00:26:27] J. Rosemarie: right. Sure. Yeah. [00:26:30] Kimberly Bell: Well, I thank you so much that you have this platform. Because kudos to you because without the platform, I wouldn't even be able to do it. So thank you for being obedient and having this platform. And anytime you want me to come on, just let me know. I'll be, it'd be a pleasure and a honor, because like you said, we, we, we all need to be more transparent and genuine and authentic to, to help make a change.[00:26:53] Yes. Yeah. [00:26:54] J. Rosemarie: Mm-hmm yeah. Yeah, for sure. You're welcome. Mm-hmm and thank you for coming and talking [00:27:00] to me [00:27:00] today. [00:27:00] Kimberly Bell: No problem. No problem. Yeah.[00:27:03] J. Rosemarie: I'm excited to share that SoloMoms! Talk is now on YouTube. Check out these interviews on our new channel. SoloMoms! Talk TV there. You will actually see the interaction between myself and my guests. You will also. Find bite size clips of daily inspiration to help you manage the struggles of everyday life.[00:27:23] So click Solomons, talk TV below to watch now.