Tough times never last but tough people do
Becoming a teen mum
At 18 not only did I become a teen mum I also became a statistic. I hid my pregnancy for 9 months in fear of the way I’d be judged. The news of my pregnancy eventually leaked to those outside my immediate family but when bombarded with questions I still tried to hide it to save face. The shame I felt about becoming a teen mum because of the comments and dirty looks I received from both people I knew and strangers was only building my power from within.
Life as a young carer
Life circumstances can change drastically and unexpectedly, as mine did. I went from having a strong independent mother of 7 children and 7 grandchildren to a mother who often needed my help with daily tasks including getting in and out of the bed and bath, getting off the sofa and, on occasions, going up or down the stairs.
As a care-giver it’s difficult to witness your family member deteriorate right in front of your eyes with nothing you can do about it. In my case, as my mum’s health worsened, the only thing I could do was take on the responsibility of picking up and dropping off my younger siblings to school and after school clubs. Being a family carer is not something you sign up for but something you do out of love. At times it can be challenging, and you have to put their needs above your own, but you do it with no hesitation as you're desperate to try to make their situation better.
Pursuing my career
Despite the responsibilities of being a young mother and a family carer I still had hopes and dreams for my own life. I have always dreamed of working in the Metropolitan Police Service and refused to let my current situation be my final destination. Although being a single mother slightly alters the way I can work, I have started to pursue the part time role of a Special Constable until I can commit to the job full time.
It’s a huge honour and a very proud moment for me to receive the Everyday SHEro award and be recognised for something I considered as a part of my everyday life. Winning the award boosted my confidence and motivated me to keep going because, despite difficult times, I was rewarded for my strengths.
With the help of the Young Women’s Trust, I was able to acknowledge that I was doing so much more in my life than I believed. Although I felt my life was at a standstill, Young Women's Trust helped me to realise I was being selfless and caring while also taking care of myself and my baby at just 20 years old.
Tough times never last but tough people do. Will you let a tough time define you?