Moving Forward

12/30/2022 12:32 AM By Lisa Anderson
Breaking Social Norms
Tanesha Mills
Tanesha Mills
Story by Lisa Anderson • Photo by Joshua Jacobs

Moving Forward

Mother of Six Says Don’t Give Up

Forty-year-old Tanesha Mills—owner of Meme’s Care at Home, Inc. and spiritual and life coach with Appointed Boss—looks to the camera and states, “I want to talk about the women that will hear this podcast [and] that will read the article. I want to talk about your strength, your courage, your story. I want to talk about how you can have your beauty for your ashes. I want to talk about you putting your best foot forward, not giving up on yourself and not allowing the pressures of life to carry you down the rabbit hole of disbelief and discontent.”

An Only Parent

Tanesha married a childhood friend, who told her when she was only 14 that he planned to marry her and they would have six children. “He made true to his promise. He actually made me his wife.” Twenty-one years old and pregnant with their second child, Tanesha finally agreed to marry him. “He had proposed two or three times.”

The couple were married for 20 years and had six children together (one girl, five boys). Not everything was roses, though, and they decided to get a divorce. They had been apart for only a year and a half when Tanesha’s ex-husband contracted COVID and passed away in 2020.

People attempt to label Tanesha as a single parent, which would have been accurate when her ex-husband was alive and helping to co-parent. “No, it’s a little bit different,” she explains. “I’m an only parent. There is no other. This shift mentally has been a bit of a shock. Imagine how people say it’s a culture shock. [This], for me, is a lifestyle shock, because it’s not how I started out.”

Tanesha also deals with assumptions her children are from multiple fathers. “I had a hard time renting a house, because the landlord thought that [we] were going to destroy the house. They would come in every month to check the house.”

The stigmas aren’t the only frustrating part. Tanesha would get overwhelmed by the questions from her children. “I’m like, you’re asking so many questions! I realized I’m the only one that they can ask. It [took] grace. Not just grace with others, but grace with me. I had to have grace with myself because I found myself trying to fill the void, but [now] I refuse to be the father and a mom. I can only be a good mom.

“I’m still feeling my way,” Tanesha continues. “It’s not like I’ve perfected this thing, but I am learning and I am perfecting [it] every day. I am coming to terms with how it is and how it will be and with the possibility that they could get another father to come into their life again.”

Beauty for Ashes

Tanesha learned a big lesson about grace, understanding, and forgiveness as a child when a boy named Jimmy, who had been bullying her, was involved in a tragic domestic dispute that left most of his body burned.

Jimmy needed to wear a special suit to cover his skin while he healed, and the sight of it had frightened Tanesha. She would often run away, terrified, and call him a monster. Through these new interactions, Jimmy realized how it felt to be bullied. When he called to apologize, it became a moment of clarity for Tanesha. “I realized, at that point, that hurt people really do hurt people.”

Add this experience in her formative years to the close relationship Tanesha had developed with all of her grandparents, the death of her children’s father, and her strong faith in God, and her strength and desire to help others are even more impressive. “I’ve always gravitated to helping people that I feel need to be advocated for the most, and that is the elderly and the youth.”

Raising six children has fulfilled her calling to work with children, and starting a home care business has allowed her to work with the elderly. “I’m an old soul.”

Recently, Tanesha felt called to help the women around her, who felt they needed Tanesha’s kind of strength and grace. It’s why she became a spiritual and life coach. It’s also why she wrote five books in one year (one of which is already published, God’s Daughter: You Know Who You Are!).

Many people in Tanesha’s shoes would have probably given up or at least looked at life through a negative lens. However, she leaned harder into her faith and her caring nature to lift herself and others up. “I want you to get up,” she continues, as she looks into the camera. “I want you to take heart and I want you to move forward, because you are truly the person that God has for you to be. You will have your beauty for ashes.”
Learn More
Extended Content

Watch the podcast at or listen on your favorite podcast app.

Your Place Mortgage & Title
Sponsored Content