I am Britttany, a Young Mom, and this is my story.
Brittany, 25 lives in Wayne County with her daughter Za’Niyah (8) and Jaceon (2).
As told to Jasmine Getrouw-Moore, Young Families Connect Media Outreach Coordinator (November 2016).
Catching up with Busy Brittany
In Brittany’s previous blog we learned about how she discovered the Young Families Connect program. Additionally, Brittany shared intimate details of her pregnancy, labor delivery with Jaceon in contrast to her experience with her daughter, Za’Niyah. Furthermore, Brittany shared her work/life balance: how she juggles being a mom of two young children and working to support her family. In this update, Brittany shares what changes have occurred since our last discussion, like changes with her children, family relationships and goals. Whew! Brittany is busy! In addition to Brittany’s role as mom, student and employee, Brittany shares (below) how she and her children lived through Hurricane Matthew in early October 2016.
Notes on #HurricaneMatthew from Brittany:
I left my apartment on Sunday, October 9th and I didn’t get home until Thursday night, October 13th. The hurricane didn’t affect my apartment but I was in the Dudley, NC area where I couldn’t go home because the roads to Goldsboro were flooded! I ended up staying at my parent’s house with my children, Jaceon and Za’Niyah. The children didn’t show any fear or ask any questions; I don’t think the hurricane affected them much but some of my friends and family were definitely affected. I was affected. My coworkers, work life and clients at my home ehalth job were affected. And finally, my school and classwork was affected by the hurricane. My home health job was affected because 1) I was unable to get to work because of the flooding which means I didn’t get paid! 2) without a home health aid clients are without the care they need. That can put a strain on the agency. I was, however, able to get to my 2nd job on Sunday, October 16th and return to my home health job on Monday, October 17th. Even though my routine was off track, I am okay and my children are okay. We are all okay.
Challenges of Parenting
Some things have changed since last time we talked- my support system, family relationships like that of Za’Niyah and Jaceon. To begin, we have recently celebrated Jaceon’s 2nd birthday by hosting a party in the park with family and friends. He enjoyed it until I smashed his face in his birthday cake. He got upset. I think I might do it again next year but I don’t know yet! (laughs). Za’Niyah helped me with preparing for the party; she kept Jaceon busy while I set up by playing with him during my planning and organizing time. Jaceon plays all day. He is a terrible two but he is getting better and is talking more and clearer. I’m trying to get them to get along because they argue and fight every day. I’m not really doing anything about it. I just yell at them and then soon after they are at it again. It’s mainly my son, he tries to be a bully. I have tried to redirect him and let him know what he can’t do. He says “no.” Everything is now running smoothly. It’s not like it was when he was first born.
Since last time we talked, Za’Niyah has transitioned to a new elementary school where she wasn’t doing well since she had become a big sister to Jaceon. At her old school, she used to talk and play because kids from our neighborhood attended school with her. I feel like she wanted to talk and play because she was so familiar with the kids from the neighborhood that she didn’t realize that school was not the place for that kind of all-day interaction with friends. She had an “I’m going to do what I want to do” attitude. Now that she is at a new school, considered out of district, she is doing well since she doesn’t know the kids or the teachers. She is transitioning well and even has a new best friend. Za’Niyah is really starting to buckle down because now she has to take the EOG and I think she is nervous about that. She is more like “Okay, I’m going to get it together and be good in school.”
Unlike before, I really don’t feel like I have a strong family support system. My mom was the main support person from my family but now she doesn’t want to babysit when I need her to. This really affects my weekend work schedule. I currently have weekday childcare, so I’m not experiencing this issue during the week but due to my mom not babysitting on weekends, I have to either leave early from work or not go in at all. This means, I miss hours and have less pay because I am an hourly employee on weekends. I hope this changes soon!
Jaceon, Jaceon’s Dad
Out of the blue, Jaceon dad’s side of the family reached out to me in hopes to establish a relationship with Jaceon. Since we had been talking, I decided to visit them while I was in Greenville where we met at their house so they can meet Jaceon and we can talk. This would have been the first time Jaceon would have met that side of the family, to date, he has only met a couple of his dad’s family members. This meeting didn’t go to well. For one, Jaceon’s dad showed up unexpectedly- I assume someone in his family told him I was coming over. Next thing I know he pulled up and everything when downhill from there. When his dad showed up we almost got into a fight twice. He just walked in and asked “Why are you here?” I explained that his parents reached out to me. He wasn’t listening to me and I wasn’t listening to him. We were just arguing back and forth with no communication. I almost punched him in the face.
Since that incident, I rarely speak to his family but Jaceon’s dad actually called to apologize to me about the whole situation and still it’s just been a rollercoaster with him. A recurring issue is the DNA test. Earlier in my pregnancy, I was with another partner when I was pregnant and I told Jaceon’s dad that was not jaceon’s father. This is what may have created this anger from Jaceon’s dad toward me. Jaceon’s grandparents want a relationship with him but need to make sure Jaceon is their grandson before getting close to him. I don’t have any doubts Jaceon is his dad’s child. The other guy I was with took a paternity test proving that he wasn’t my son’s dad. Jaceon’s dad has been saying he’ll do the test and that he wants to be a father to Jaceon but no action. No test. I keep thinking that we could have confirmed his doubts over a year and a half ago but like a said, it’s been a rollercoaster. I really want o make sure that Jaceon has his dad in his life as his primary male role model. I mean, Za’Niyah has her dad, I see the positive benefits of having a dad around when I see Za’Niyah her dad. I really want that for Jaceon. I’m not concerned with financial child support as much as I am concerned about Jaceon having extended love, support, care and nurture from all of his family. In the meantime, I am trying to concentrate on school, work and doing all that I can to support my family.
Busy Brittany: Mom, Student, Worker and More!
I will finish with my current certificate program in December. Before, I shared that I was in school for the CNA II program but I had to stop attending the program once we started to do clinicals due to a required background check I was unable to pass. Since then, I chose another program “Health Unit Coordinating” which is preparing me to work in a medical facility and register patients along with other administrative work in healthcare. The health unit coordinating program is all online and doesn’t require me to do any clinical work. This bought me some time while working to get my charges cleared. Classes are going good but I’m more of a face to face learner versus online learning. My test scores could be better but overall I’m passing. I haven’t spent much time studying at all. I just go over my work and old quizzes to help me study. Honestly, as a single mom without much help or support, it is really hard to study and get my work done with two active children. I just don’t have the drive to study. I try to stay focused on the end goal, to be able to work one full time job and I still think about my interests in pursuing a degree in nursing. Next, I want to continue my plan to get my CNA II which would help me move toward my goal in becoming a registered nurse. All this will have to happen after my background is cleared. Sometimes, I feel very overwhelmed but in the end I know it will be okay. Ms. Diana and the Young Families Connect team are always there for me to talk about what’s going on with me, how I feel, share when I’m overwhelmed. Right now, I’m trying to move forward and figure out which next step will be right step and strive to be great parent to Za’Niyah and Jaceon. I do talk to Ms. Diana and she gives me great feedback. I’m trying to move forward and figure out my next step as well as trying to be a great parent to Za’Niyah and Jaceon.