Single Mothers Cherish Life's Greatest Gift
Shanika Turner is a Kaplan University student, quality control engineer at William T. Burnett and an advocate for single mothers.
When her 12-hour shift is finished and her school work is done, she turns her attention to her most important job: being 9-year-old Raquenlen and 3-year-old Jordan's mom.
While moms around the country will receive crafts and homemade cards from their loved ones, today — Mother's Day — is about falling in love all over again with the reason you are a mom.
"It's the first year where I'm alone with my children," Turner said. "I look at it as my kids and shaping their lives is a blessing from God. It is a job that takes all kinds of balance and discipline."
Turner, who is a single mom, postponed her daughter Jordan's third birthday party until next weekend to focus solely on herself and the children.
Instead of worrying about paying the bills or household chores, today will be filled with a big breakfast she will make with her children, shopping and going to Chuck E. Cheese in Concord and, later, with arts and crafts.
Statesville resident Narissa Wood said she is the one who is responsible for bills and her three daughters' well being. It is easy for any single parent in her situation to become stressed out.
But then, when she walks through the door and Malaze'a, Paris and Indya come running toward her saying "Mommy, Mommy," nothing else seems to matter, she said.
The challenge of being a single mom is finding time for yourself and your children when everything seems too stressful, Turner said.
"You go by so many titles," she said. "Sometimes I feel like the oldest 26-year-old in the world. As a single mom, you spread yourself so thin."
A Gardner-Webb University senior, Wood said her daughter Malaze'a, 11, has become a big help around the house so she can go to the store or make time to do her school work.
"I have a surprise for her," Malaze'a said. "It's at church."
Paris said she made her mother a card and a picture of their family, including their dog, Brazil.
Wood smiled at the girls' vivid descriptions of the gifts they were planning and said she keeps everything they give her.
"It's extra," she said about Mother's Day. "They appreciate all that I do for them." (statesville.com)