Single hard-working moms matter

Janai Moton with her daughter
Photo submitted by Janai Moton

I had my daughter at the tender age of 21, and I didn’t plan my pregnancy. Since then I have been balancing the roles of a single mom, full-time employee and  full-time college student. I think I deserve an Academy Award. Would you agree?

According to the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, out of about 12 million single parent families with children under the age of 18, more than 80 percent were headed by single mothers.

Working and going to school was simple, but doing all that while pregnant was more than I expected.

I worked because I loved the idea of providing for myself without the help of my parents. I also enjoy school because I come from a background of successful black immigrant parents. The expectations were set at an all time high.

Day to day duties for a solo parent are no different than they are for a married couple. Coping with sleeplessness, finding childcare and paying bills are stressful for any couple, so just imagine doing it on your own.

Vonshay Jackson, a TCC student and single mom said, “Working and being a single mom to my son is hard, but our babies need us and look up to us. We have to be the best we can.”

At times my daughter is a handful, and so is my job at Newk’s. However, I still manage to get things done. As a single mom I learned to manage and juggle many tasks that I never knew I could.

I learned patience is key. College is no longer about partying. Staying up late and skipping class is no longer an option. I go to bed faithfully at 9 p.m. and can barely keep my eyes open past 10 p.m..

Being a single mom and working hard is something that many people can’t do. These are shoes very few choose to walk in.

Damaris Sanchez, a FSU alumni said, “Single moms rock! Not everyone is cut for this job. There’s no script to parenting.”

Now, the time has come to graduate, and I will be receiving my bachelor’s degree in public relations. My daughter Khloe is five years old and I’m loving who she is becoming. Her dreams are to become a doctor like her uncle Brandon.

My plans are to go to graduate school and continue to be a great single mother to my daughter.

Who knows what the future holds. These were the cards I was dealt, but my hand is the winning hand.