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How Venus Morris Griffin Created a Beautiful Life Amid Unthinkable Betrayal and Heartache

“People think it's something big and magical that you do to save your family. It's really not. It's the little things that make a difference.”

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For Venus Morris Griffin, success and survival seemed to go hand in hand. Venus grew up in a violent home with a mother who struggled with addiction. While working two jobs, she put herself through school and married her college sweetheart, Tripp Morris. Her life began to unravel one night when she found out that Tripp, a realtor, had been living a double life during their entire 20-year marriage. Tripp was sentenced to 45 years in prison and Venus was left to take care of six children — their ages spanning from one to 15 at the time — as an unemployed single mom. In this episode of The MomForce Podcast, Venus and Chatbooks co-founder Vanessa Quigley talk about the determination and faith that got Venus to where she is today and how she became a real estate mogul despite having all the cards stacked against her. 

In her candid conversation with Chatbooks co-founder Vanessa Quigley on The MomForce Podcast, Venus talks about what happened after she received a phone call from a sex worker in the middle of the night and how it changed her entire life. From that moment on, Venus refused to be seen as a victim and, due to her self-determination, perseverance, and grit, she’s been able to build a beautiful life for her family. 

Here are a few of our favorite moments from the interview… 

Tell us a little about your story.

My story is about a girl who comes from a trailer park, worked two jobs to put herself through college, and had six kids, [ages] one to 15, with her college sweetheart… who got 45 years in prison. And figuring out how to rise above that.

Kylie from our MomForce Facebook group submitted this question, “I’m wondering how Venus has been able to help her children heal from the trial/trauma?” 

After my husband went to prison, I remember coming home from the courthouse and sitting all six of them in a circle. I was very honest and I didn't sugarcoat it. I said to them, you know, I'm scared, I don't know what the future holds. But, the first thing we're going to do as a family is we're going to forgive your father, and we're never going to talk about it either. He's got 45 years to serve in prison, and that’s punishment enough and we're not going to judge him. And I’m going to pick myself up. I’m your mother and I’m going to take care of you.

What advice would you give to a young mom going through a divorce right now? 

I would tell her to be easy on herself. Know that you’ve got to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you can be a good mom to your children. You teach people how to treat you by the way you treat yourself.

You talked about a special moment you had with your oldest son when he spoke as president of his dental class and had you stand up in front of everyone to be recognized for getting him to that point in his life. That sounds like an incredible moment. 

When you're a mom, you really don't get a paycheck sometimes until 20 years later. And what I would tell moms is: every day you keep doing the little stuff, and you will get the biggest paycheck 20 years down the road.

How did you create this beautiful life for yourself and your children when you were facing so many challenges?

You know, people think it's something big, something magical that you do to save your family. It's really not. It's the little things that make a difference. I committed to my kids that I would work as hard as I could, and I committed to having family dinner every night.

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