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A day in the life of: A single mother

“How am I gonna have a baby when I’m still a baby?” is what Sharvae Pickens, then a BGSU freshman, was asking herself 18 months ago.

“I had to develop and I had to grow up really fast,” she said.

Pickens knew that she would soon be facing one of the toughest challenges in her life and she decided to meet it head on.

“When I was pregnant, it was never the thought of me not going to school. It was always the thought of, ‘How can I get around it?’ How can I still juggle school and being a mom and do both of them perfectly?” she said.

Pickens, the proud mother of seven-month-old son Da’Vier, has managed to do both so far with support from family and Da’Vier’s father.

“His father and I are good friends; you have to be to raise a child,” she said.

Despite all of the help, Pickens’ life has still changed drastically from the one most college sophomores experience.

“I don’t party. It’s not feasible because even if I do go out I’m going to have to come home at two o’clock in the morning to a baby that’s going to wake up at eight,” she said.

Pickens has had to lighten her school workload as well.

An undecided major, she is taking nine credit hours this semester but still does more in a day than many undergraduates do in a week.

A typical day for Pickens starts at 6:30 a.m.

She first has to give Da’Vier his bottle and then bathe him.

He then needs a twenty-minute treatment for his asthma.

Once she has him dressed and ready for day care or a day with his father, she has time to throw on a sweatshirt and maybe grab a banana for breakfast before they’re out the door.

Then she’ll go to class, which she recently missed a week of because Da’Vier had the flu.

“I can’t go to my professors and say ‘I’m not coming to class and I’m not turning in something because my son was sick,'” she said.

She wants no special treatment and added that two of her professors still don’t know she has a son.

After classes, she picks up Da’Vier.

She’ll feed him and play with him for a little bit before putting him down for a nap.

“He doesn’t sleep long,” she said.

She uses what time she does get to study or to clean.

Once he wakes up it is time for more “baby time”, as Pickens whimsically refers to it.

This includes another feeding, maybe some reading and definitely some more playing.

“Babies need a lot of attention,” she said.

Somewhere in there, she manages to make dinner for herself and eat.

Then it’s time for a bath and another asthma treatment for Da’Vier before bed.

Once he is asleep, Pickens gets a chance to do some more studying before going to sleep.

Pickens said she knows exactly what she would if she could have one day all to herself, to do whatever she wanted.

“I would eat a great breakfast, and I would sleep,” she said. “I would sleep as long as I could. Then I would probably do something I haven’t done in a while, like get a massage,” she said.

“I wouldn’t do anything crazy or outrageous because I would be tired by the time he came back home,” she added.

Now that Da’Vier is starting to crawl, the challenges keep coming.

Although her life has become more difficult, Pickens never regrets her decision to stay in school while raising a child.

Her advice to expecting mothers considering the same path is, “You need a strong mentality and must always remain positive.”

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