I've always known that I wanted to have children. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but you never truly know about something until you experience it.
Each child came with a different set of challenges, but overall, parenting is rewarding and overwhelming at the same time. My most challenging moments happened with my oldest. I was a single mother, a full time college student, had a full time job, and was even homeless at one point.
I literally stayed in a shelter and bounced between family member's houses. This was after Janya's father wanted his freedom and literally said "ya'll have to get out". I damn sure wasn't gonna stay where I wasn't wanted. I said "y'all means both of us" and he said "it is what it is". Not long after that, he got his ex pregnant. He was in love, and it definitely wasn't with me.
(Janya at one year old)
When I was in college, I ended up having to move to Connecticut. So I ended up getting a job there, Monday-Friday. Then I'd take the Metro North train, with Janya in tow, from Connecticut every Friday after work, which was a 3 hour ride to New York (because that's where school was). Then I'd drop Janya off with my little cousin in the Bronx (who was about 20 yrs old, so don't worry, she wasn't a kid lol) and I'd go to classes in the city on Friday night, Saturday morning and Sunday morning. Then head back to CT Sunday evening and do it all over again. It was fucking exhausting.
Janya's grandmother, who lived in the city, told me to just come stay there since school would be easier to get to. I knew that was a big mistake given our relationship, or lack thereof. But I was tired, and getting to school would definitely be easier. I could literally walk there. Since I was only making less than $7/hour, I got approved for child care assistance which allowed me to only have to pay $3/wk for preschool. But I was still broke because all of my money went towards eating at school, books, getting to my internship, etc. Seven dollars an hour working part time is NOT a lot of money.
I was so stressed and still recovering from postpartum depression despite the fact that Janya was now three yrs old. I wasn't eating, I weighed 91lbs, my hair was falling out, one of my best friends died (he got shot right between the eyes); I was a hot fucking mess. Yet I still had to be a mother. I still had a responsibility, and it was hard!
I don't even know how I made it through all of that. But I'm glad those trials are over.