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Maria Diaz, An Intimate Portrait of a Single Mother

Maria Diaz, An Intimate Portrait of a Single Mother

I became a single mother, for the first time, at the age of 15.

I became a single mother, for the second time, at the age of 16.

I became a single mother, for the third time, at the age of 18.

I became a single mother, for the fourth time, at the age of 19.

 

four children, three boys and one girl

no husband

absent fathers

 

financially, solely dependent upon the government

not enough money….not enough food….

 

too small of an apartment for me and my children

rodents….numerous rodents….mice, roaches, and black ants, in abundance

 

cold in the winter, this apartment

hot in the summer, this apartment

on a street that is always unsafe and never clean, this apartment

never a home, this apartment

 

every day, I fight the borders of poverty, this is who I am

every day, I struggle to care for two children who were born with developmental disabilities

and one child with a learning disability and all four children with psychological disabilities

 

I yell and scream, all of the time out of frustration

 

the children ask for things

the children need things

the children….the children….the children….

 

I am disgusted with my unwillingness to make a better life, for me and for my children.

 

Tonight, as I sit in front of the only window in this apartment that doesn’t face a brick wall,

I think….I think about my life….I think about my children’s life….

 

Tonight, I will kneel down beside my children and one by one, I shall kiss them goodnight for

the last time with tears overflowing.