Alicia Marion

Server, California Pizza Kitchen
Age: 32
Children: (left to right) Presley, age 14; Aprilleo, age 5; ; Noelle, age 11; and Shawn, age 15

As a working single mom, my biggest challenge is with after-school activities for my kids. Finding the money I need for those programs, and also being able to get them to and from practice, can be difficult—because sometimes practice ends before I get off from work.

Our kids take in everything we say and do—good or bad. They may not always act like it, but they hear us. So keep that in mind. Also, honesty is so important. No matter the age or the question, give age-appropriate answers. I hear so many parents say “No,” and the child says, “Why?” and the parent just says, “Because I said so.” An explanation will teach them why they shouldn’t do something.

Dinner brings us all together and gives us time without distraction. Just talking is our favorite thing. I’m open about my life and what is going on, and my children are the same.