Thursday, August 14, 2014

Juggling and Struggling to Make It Through

Interesting article today in the NY Times entitled "Working Anything but 9 to 5" about a struggling single mother who works as a Starbucks barista. The story focused on how difficult it was for her because her work schedule was so sporadic. It bled into so many other areas of her life.

Starbucks single mother barista
The part of her story that talked about juggling to find someone to watch her small son resonated with me. Many times, you have to rely on the kindness of others in order to make it through.

When I moved to NYC with 2-year-old A to go to grad school, I did not have a concrete plan on who was going to watch her during my evening classes. I had arranged for her to go to a nearby preschool, but  my classes started just when the preschool ended. Luckily for me, on the first day of her school, A befriended another little girl right way. As we were witnessing the moment when our daughters became friends, this girl's father offered to pick up A for me two nights a week. That way, I could walk 2 blocks to their apartment once my classes ended at 7pm.

Another chance coincidence that first week of school was running into someone from my freshman dorm as we were walking down my street.The story goes that he was walking south to the metro stop, but felt lazy, so he turned around to walk north to catch the bus TO the metro stop. When he turned around, he noticed a cute kid before he looked up and realized he actually knew the mother! If he had not turned around, we would have not run into each other… and a whole year could have gone by without us realizing we were at the same grad school. Again, luckily for me, he generously offered to pick her up one night a week, which let me attend my third evening class.

These regular weekly pickups helped me in so many ways. It solved a big logistic problem that allowed me to finish school. It made me feel less alone.

I am forever grateful to those who helped me through the journey of being a single mother.

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