Friday, June 10, 2011

Single Mom in 1983 By Julie Ann Wells

My unemployment was running out and I had to get back to work.  I was so fortunate as to have my Dad’s place and my (almost) sister-in-laws home to live in.  Now, I needed someone to take care of my girl. 

The first place I tried was a licensed day care owned by an old crusty retired couple.  I didn’t feel food about leaving the baby there but felt they had the best credentials.  With in the first week my baby got a black eye from another child throwing a toy.  This was clearly accidental but I had to go with my gut feeling and find a different provider. 

The next provider ended up being a lady who was looking to take care of only 1 or 2 kids.  She was in her fifties.  She was peppy and she thought my kid was darling. I was so happy with her!  Over the course of several months all was well.  Then I began to notice empty glasses around her condominium.  For a long time, I talked myself out of admitting that she was having a drinking problem.  Then she got worse and would be having a Bloody Mary when I went to pick up my child at 2.30pm.  Finally, after a friend informed me that she had seen my babysitter and my baby in the local bar at noon, I faced the facts and let that babysitter go.  The babysitter and I cried over this but she did admit that she was an alcoholic. 

I felt like an idiot for allowing myself to ignore a potentially dangerous situation for my baby.  I was mad at myself and upset with how hard life was turning out to be.  I took an extra day off work and began to scan every avenue for childcare. 

A day before I had to get back to my job I spotted a pregnant teen chatting with her pals.  I approached her and asked her if she could babysit for me while I looked for other ways to get help.  She was so excited to take care of my baby that we walked right back to where she was living with her Dad and talked about all of the details. 

So when I worked, I walked the baby over to her Dad’s house by 5:30am.  I walked right into the house and into the teenager’s bedroom.  After I woke her up, I would leave my child in her arms and head off to work.  At 2:30, she would bring the baby to me and we would sit on the beach and talk about our day. 

This young woman provided pace of mind for me.  We became good friends.  Even after she delivered her baby girl she helped me and I helped her.  I was so grateful for this friendship when I needed it the most!

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