“Life can be hard as a single parent. When most think of a single parent, they think of co-parenting, where the father gets the baby on such and such days, and the mother gets the child on the opposite days. But no, I am single mother who is raising a child on my own, without help from her father’s family or her father. Because of God’s grace, I have help from my family and the bonus family God added to her life. When I was pregnant with my daughter, her father didn’t want to be in the picture. I was devastated, but throughout my pregnancy, I knew God would make a way for me and my child.
I hoped that one day her father would want to be in the picture. I hoped that one day he would pop up at a doctors appointment, ready to be a part of her life. That vision quickly came crashing down when I got news that her father was incarcerated. I wasn’t hurt or upset because my mind was already prepared to raise my daughter on my own. Little did I know, the strength I had while I was pregnant would disappear once she was born. I was lost and afraid of our future. I didn’t know the ins and out of parenting. I was young, myself, and having to grow up and raise a child at nineteen, was not the move I wanted to make, but I knew I had to do better for her.
Postpartum depression rushed through me. However, I wanted to do better and be better for my daughter.
I truly didn’t know what depression was because I never had it before. Parts of the old me left, but some stayed. I was living my life paycheck to paycheck, unmotivated to push forward. I didn’t know how to ignite the fire inside me. One day, my mom sat me down and asked me, “What are you going to do when I’m not here anymore?” The little fire that I had began to grow .
At Family Scholar House, I gained a support system, an incredible family advocate & academic coach. They push me to believe in myself. Through these conversations and self-reflection, I realized my problem: I didn’t love myself.
I wanted better for myself and my daughter, but I just honestly didn’t know how to get myself back up. Family Scholar House was my answer. Some days are still difficult but with a strong support system & my daughter as my motivation, I know I can achieve my goals.
I have gained coping skills that have helped me tremendously. My transformation has not happened over night, it’s a daily practice.
I still attend my support groups. My daughter and I are active members of a church. I don’t miss a beat at work, I’m motivated in school and our future becomes more clear each day. A year ago I couldn’t speak up for myself, but now I not only speak up for myself, I want to speak up for the impact Family Scholar House has made in my life. A year ago, I doubted whether I was going to make it, but living at Family Scholar House has provided me with the motivation I needed to be the best mother for my daughter. I know I’m doing my best because her light shines! She looks up to me and sees that I’m loving myself, and speaking and pouring life back into myself.
Family Scholar House is not only the place that provided me and my daughter a home, but it is a place that helped me step up and better myself. The woman you know today, WAS broken, WAS lost and WAS afraid, but I have and will rise above all things to make it to the finish line with God, my family, and Family Scholar House to back me up!