Becoming a mother at 15 made me feel as if I had to prove to the world that I could do “it” on my own. My individualistic approach to parenting intensified until, at the age of 20, I realized I needed help. My daughter and I had just moved to New York City, one of the most unforgiving cites in the world, and I had no one to count on.
Timidly, I began to ask people in the building about childcare options, babysitters outside of the building, and possible after school programs for my daughter so that I could continue going to college full time. In order for me to stay on track for graduation, I had to take at least four classes, some of which were only available after my daughter’s school dismissal time. My search for help became a paramount part of my daily routine. Yet every inquiry yielded the same result: the cost was not feasible.. One day I stepped out of my comfort zone and asked a neighbor if she knew of anyone who watched children in our building, “I do” she replied. Just like that I had a sitter who would pick my daughter up from school and watch her until I got home, and all for a very reasonable price.