To identify myself is very difficult at this time. I am trying to finish my Bachelor’s degree while raising two children as a newly single mother. I work full-time at a place I cannot advance at until I have a degree. I have been at this place of business for over nine years.  I am a hard working individual who came from two very hard working parents who do not a dime to their name. Nothing in life has been handed to me. I have always had a strong work ethic and even bigger ambition.

My children define me. I have a 3 year-old daughter and a 5 year-old son. They are the reason I work hard every day. They are the reason, I do not give up. They are the reason I find the strength to stay up late to finish my homework after they go to bed at night. The reason I left their father so they can know what true love is.

My responsibility is to set a great example for my children. To show my daughter that her mother is a strong independent woman and that a woman does not need a man to define her. I want to show my son how to be a decent human being. I want him to know it is acceptable for a man to show emotion and express their self.  It is my responsibility to hold my family together and set a great example for them. I want them to know that money is not the most important thing. My job as a mother is to lead by example. By finishing college, working full-time, and showing them what self-respect and self-love looks like, I am being a great influence on their lives.

The TED Talk from Rabbi Sharon Braus was relatable when she was referring to raising her daughter in a world full of hate and chaos. She stated, “My God, what kind of world did we bring this child into? And what was I as a mother and a religious leader willing to do about it? (Brous, S.)” My biggest fear is that I cannot protect my children from the hurt in the world. I will not always be with them. I can only hope that I can teach them how to be strong and stick up for themselves and others. I m going to dedicate my life to helping them be great people, know their strengths, and telling them how proud I am to be in their lives. Raising children in a world that is full of negativity and destruction is scary and intimidating. I am constantly questioning how I am doing a parent.

I have never considered myself a religious person. I was not raised in a religious home. I believe God, but I do not believe that I have to go to a church to pray or worship. I believe by treating others with care and love, you are doing your part. By teaching my children the importance of taking care of others and being thankful, I am helping to mold them to be better people and strong adults.

Every day is a challenge for me. It is a challenge to be strong, kind, and patient. It is a challenge to love my ex-husband because he will always be the father of my children. It is a challenge to maintain friendships when life is so busy that I can barely find time for myself. It is a challenge moving into a small two-bedroom apartment from a 3-bedroom ranch-style home with 3 bathrooms and an acre of land. Although I have all of these obstacles, every day I wake up and face the world because I have 2 beautiful children who depend on me. I do it because I have goals to be successful and be one of the first people in my family to earn a degree on their own. I know I will be successful because I have a purpose. Without my children I would not be the person I am today.