The up and down journey of motherhood: let's lift as they climb

Monday, May 09, 2011

[This post, an excerpt from RH Reality Check, is part of a Mama’s Day Series by The Strong Families Initiative. To follow all of the Mama's Day events, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.]

By Marlene Sanchez

Mother’s Day always makes me think about the up and down journey motherhood has been for me and many of the women I know. I had my first child at nineteen and I still don’t know how I made it. I worked two jobs, with the first one starting at five in the morning and the second one finishing at nine at night. I couldn’t afford full-time childcare, so I moved my son Danny between two part-time centers that weren’t as good as I hoped for but better than I could afford.

Marlene & her two sons
One of my most vivid memories from that time was going down to an alley in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco to buy my formula. Because I had two jobs, I didn’t qualify for WIC, and because I worked so much, I wasn’t around enough to breastfeed my baby. A can of formula at my local Safeway was $24, which it took me about 4 hours to earn. Instead, I would go to this little spot downtown that sold the formula for half price. I don’t know where they were getting it, but it was the real stuff and thankfully, despite the many stresses in our lives, Danny was a happy baby and thrived.

What got me through that time were the other young, single moms I knew; we took care of each other in so many ways. We would watch each other's kids, and I never came back from the alley with just one can of formula. We were always teaming up to get things done: grab food and diapers for each other, make dinner, and help our seemingly impossible schedules work somehow.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment