Jaimee R.: Mom on a mission

Jaimee R

Jaimee R.
28, Alexandria, Va.
www.FashionMaBE.com

Most hated stereotype:
That all black people have a certain level of ignorance or “ghettoness.”

At the age of 15, Jaimee R.’s life went from that of a carefree high school student, to one full of a responsibility her peers, and some adults, knew nothing about. She was pregnant.

Through her pregnancy she kept up her studies and was homeschooled for the remainder of the year after she gave birth, securing her place on the honor roll.

Two years later she walked across the stage at her high school graduation to collect her diploma, pregnant with her second son.

“I was scared of the unknown, not knowing how I’d guide these two little people in a direction that I myself hadn’t experienced.”

The birth of her youngest son not only furthered her journey into motherhood, but was the beginning of a defining moment in her life. A blood clot on her brain called for surgery to remove it.

“That was in August. I was back to work by October,” Jaimee said. “Those years of my life, through all my trials and despite criticism, I developed a strength. I became a fighter.”

Now 28, Jaimee is sensitive to stereotypes put not just on young mothers, but single mothers. Active in her sons’ schooling, there have been times of frustration with school administrators and teachers she feels may not take her seriously.

“People look down on you because you’re a single mom,” she said. “People look at you like you don’t know what you’re doing, that whole ‘kids raising kids’ thing. But you don’t know me or my experience.”

Sporting her tattoo, the celtic knot of motherhood, Jaimee makes no apologies for her affection, pride and belief in the potential of her two sons. On Saturdays in the fall, her voice is the loudest at their little league football games. During Thanksgiving, there was no shame as she gathered the rest of the family around her oldest while he played an impromptu concert on his clarinet. —

Rearing her sons, now 10 and 12, remain a priority, but Jaimee continues to grow herself.

Between work and her kids, she attends college part-time, working toward a degree in business administration. She recently started a fashion blog, documenting her trials with clothes and makeup. Eventually she hopes to own her own business.

Friends often say the young mother “wears her rosy shades well,” hinting at her occasional naiveté, but to Jaimee, it’s finding the silver lining in any situation and she considers it a strength.

Her path was different, but her goal is that of most mothers: to raise respectable, educated, productive children. She works to set an example for her children and in turn does the same for other young, single mothers.

“You don’t have to be the stereotypical single mom. You can be successful. You can be educated. You can do all of those things and be a single mom too. Know you can do better.”

Spilled ink

A stereotype that bothers you the most:

That all black people have a certain level of ignorance or “ghettoness.” For four generations of my family, we’ve been teased about the way we speak. “You sound white.” What does that mean? I speak proper. Black people don’t speak properly? I hate that! From my grandmother to my children, it boggles me.

What do you consider your greatest strength?

My ability to find the silver lining in ANY situation. To be able to find the lesson in everything. It allows me to make the most of life.

What stresses you out and how do you overcome it?

Financial situations often stress me out.  Doing it all on my own, sometimes I get tired. I overcome it through prayer.  There’s no problem, stress, or worry that prayer hasn’t calmed for me.

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6 comments

  1. Another incredible drawing! I have four cousins who had children while very young and unmarried. I must say it only strengthened them as far as I can tell. Sure, it was not an ideal situation, but they are raising awesome kids. And because of it, they are making strides that some family members (including me) did not think they could make. Thank you for linking up to Traffic Jam Weekend.

  2. This is an awesome piece which underlines the strength and faith in God, also how Jamiee looked at her choices as guidelines through her path that could’ve been blurry instead she brought light and focused on what was important herself and her two boys. Not only will they grow to be a mirrored statute of their mother they will respect all women. A beautiful picture of a daughter, sister, mother and a proud single mother. Keep standing tall sis cause you rock!

  3. Everyday in my morning thanks, I include you and the boys amongst the many things I am grateful for. You are everything and your outlook and your own personal gratitude for your life and your family and your boys all give me life, cousin.

  4. Pingback: Everything is Possible | Crafted

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