American Morning

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October 27th, 2009
07:05 AM ET

Single mom balances work and grad school

By Nailah Ellis Timberlake

For Mary, a single mother of a two year old boy, the economic downturn plaguing the country has deeply affected her. When her son was born in 2007, a record 40% of children – approximately 1.5 million – were born to unmarried mothers. As a single parent, Mary juggles her education and job in order to maintain a comfortable lifestyle for her and her son.

“Women are expected to be mothers and caregivers while going to work or school. I’m competing against men that don’t have the same expectation. I have this extra burden because I’m expected to be able to do both.”

Mary takes on extra shifts and works holidays so that she can rent a condo in a gated community in the Pembroke Pines area of South Florida because she wants to raise her son in a safe residential suburb.

She commutes an hour both to work and school in lower income areas where the amount of crime dissuaded her from wanting to live in those areas out of convenience. After taking advantage of federal funding to help pay for school, Mary is a semester shy of getting a Masters Degree in Biomedical Science from Barry University.

“I’m trying to go to med school because that’s something I’ve always wanted to do and getting my Masters enhances my credentials in order to get there.” Being a single parent hasn’t been easy while working and going to school full-time.

“Today I had an exam and spent the entire weekend in the ER with my son who has the flu. Because I’m his mother, it’s my responsibility to take care of him and sit in the hospital until he gets the proper treatment. School is other people’s first priority – my son is my first priority.”


Filed under: Living
October 27th, 2009
06:00 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Tuesday October 27, 2009

Here are the big stories on the agenda today:

  • Two Northwest Airlines pilots insist they were not asleep – just distracted – when they overshot their landing last week in Minneapolis.  So what exactly were they doing when air traffic controllers were trying in vain to radio them for more than an hour?  We have the pilots' side of the story.
  • A major turnaround in the battle over your health care.  This morning  the bill heading to the Senate floor includes a public option.  But does it have the votes to get to the president’s desk?  We're live in Washington to break down the risks.
  • War and a critical decision.  President Obama on the campaign trail today as the top general in Afghanistan waits to see if he'll get the troops he says he needs.  A man who almost became the Commander in Chief is now saying sending more troops is the wrong call.
  • Well if they'd just listen….then i wouldn't have to yell!  That's what many parents will tell you about why they raise their voices to their children.  But now there are new concerns about yelling at your kids and that it could be doing just as much harm as spanking, on the inside.  Well ask a mom whose written about parenting, and a clinical psychologist whether shouting is the new spanking.

Filed under: What's On Tap
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