The phrase, "judge not, lest ye be judged" never felt more appropriate.
When single mom Kate Wolff quit her job as an art teacher to follow her dream of becoming a stand-up comic, she was surprised by people's negative reactions. In the YouTube video above, Wolff explains that "it's so much more damaging for a child to see a miserable, unhappy parent," and that her son gave her the courage to pursue her passion.
Wolff's other message?
"To all of you who think that I'm a bad mom because I quit a teaching job that I hated and made me want to cry every day, you need to reevaluate what true happiness and what life is really about," she says.
We were taken with Wolff's story and inspired by her message, so we asked her to shed more light on her personal experience. Here's what she had to say:
I was married for only two years, and we had a son together who is now six years old. We had actually only dated for about five months when I got pregnant, and we decided to try our best to make it work. My wedding invitations even said, "Oops, looks like we're getting married." Even then I tried using my sense of humor to cope with any situation. So we got married when I was already pregnant, and it was rocky from the start.
I decided to leave two years into the marriage because we were fighting constantly, and I was so unhappy. It is really hard to leave a marriage when you have a child together. There is so much pressure from society to stay with the father of your child for your kid's sake. But I knew deep down that being happy and having my son in an environment without fighting was more important.
When I left it was the hardest time in my life. My body started breaking down from the stress, and I ended up in the hospital for a couple of days because I couldn't keep food down. I remember the nurse walking into my room and saying, "No one can do this for you. You need to be the one to fight."
After that, it was one foot after the other until I slowly started healing. I had to reconstruct my vision of what I thought my life was going to be. Ever since I was a little girl, I thought I was going to get married and have this perfect suburban life. When I left my husband, those dreams came crashing down. But what replaced them was a brand new vision, that included me figuring out what was TRULY going to make me happy. I always tell my son that he helped give me the strength and courage to find out who I truly am. I knew I wanted to be a good mother, and that the only way to do that was to fight for my happiness.
It was about a year and a half after my divorce that I realized stand-up comedy was something that I needed to get into. I was an art teacher at the time, and hadn't ever thought about doing stand up. I remember how nervous I was at my first open mic. But I went up and did it anyway. I was hooked. I continued to teach and do comedy for about two years. I was getting a lot of slack from other teachers for being both a comedian and a teacher. Somehow, making jokes made me less of a role model in their eyes. This past September, I went back to teaching after summer break, and I was miserable. I just couldn't do something that made my soul so terribly unhappy. So I gave my two months notice. I had never been both so scared and yet liberated in my life.
I hope to accomplish a lot with my comedy career. I hope to continue to put out a lot of good content, including my weekly video blog and the stand-up I do four nights a week at clubs throughout New York City. I will also be in the next season of NickMom Night Out on Nickelodeon's NickMom.
To other divorcees dreaming about quitting their jobs to pursue their dreams, I say "GO FOR IT!!" As long as you have ways to provide for your child or children, you need to do what is going to make you happy. You only live ONCE -- you can't have regrets. It's much scarier to live life in a way where you are constantly taking risks, but the payoffs are so much bigger. I'm just so happy that I was given another chance to enjoy this new real happiness and to let my son see what real happiness and love is like.
Watch the video above for Wolff's inspirational message, then click through the slideshow below for celebrity single moms we love.