Imagine the stress you go through during finals. Now imagine if you had a child? How would you balance your time?
Twenty-six year old College of the Canyons nursing major Christina Garcia is a single mother balancing school, work and time for her 2-year-old son. At 23, Garcia gave birth to her son, Brandon Anthony Talbot, on July 8, 2011. She never expected to become a mother.
Garcia suffers from endometriosis, a condition in which cells are normally found inside the uterus, are found growing outside the uterus. Problems occur because these growths are outside of the uterus and the blood cannot flow out the body.
This can lead to difficulties getting pregnant. “I am lucky to have him, he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me,” Garcia said.
“My son currently lives with me, Monday through Friday and for the most part with his dad on the weekends,” Garcia says.
After working at Sisley Italian Kitchen for 5 ½ years, Garcia lost her job, and has been working at California Pizza Kitchen for the past three months. “I like the people and management at CPK but the pay is bad. I‘m looking for another job.”
Only getting paid $90 per week, Garcia struggles paying for a house, car payments, car insurance and baby expenses. “It’s hard. Got to just keep positive,” Garcia says
For those unfamiliar on what a single mother does on a daily basis, take a look.
Mondays and Wednesdays Garcia goes to school from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. and works almost everyday. Her son, goes to the daycare on the COC campus, “which helps out a lot,“ Garcia says.
Tuesdays she tries to do something fun with Brandon, like Disneyland. They go once a week because Brandon’s free until he turns 3 and they have a season pass.
Thursdays during the day they try to get chores done around the house, before Brandon has swimming lessons. He’s also in soccer.
“I try to keep him very active,” Garcia says. Thursday evenings Garcia goes to softball practice and brings Brandon along to play at the park. Fridays Brandon has school.
“While he’s at school, I try to get my homework done,” Garcia says. At 4 p.m Garcia picks up Brandon from school and drops him off at his father’s in Santa Clarita, then goes to work from 5-11 p.m.
“Saturdays and Sundays I work,” she says. Sunday night she picks Brandon up after she gets out of work. Her son only watches television 30 minuets a day. That’s when he’s on his way to bed.
Future goals she has for herself is to get into nursing school and become a nurse. Garcia plans to marry, have more kids and move to San Diego.
Garcia doesn’t physically receive government assistance. The government does pay for the daycare at COC directly, an amount of $678 for 12 days a month. Many single mothers in school have many benefits and programs to help them pursue the education they need. In Santa Clarita they have a single mother outreach program.
Being a single college mother isn’t an easy task. It takes hard work and patience. Garcia tends to handle it very well. It gets tough but “I just go with the flow,” Garcia says.