The struggle is real

By Imalay Guzman

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Imalay and her family

Keeping up with three kids, marriage and working full-time is draining! Somehow I find the strength to keep going. Knowing people depend on me is a big part of why I keep pushing. I don’t like to disappoint my family or want them to have to go without. Attempting to give my children a good childhood and teach them to be decent adults is exhausting, but I know it will pay off someday. I am who I am because of my kids: they inspire me to be better and do better.

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Imalay’s husband, with two of their children

I was in a homeless shelter, pregnant with my son. At the time, my daughter was two years old. I thought I was ready to be independent, and it just so happened that that was the right move. While I resided in the shelter I learned so much – it matured my way of thinking. The staff there taught me how to find resources within the community. They also showed me how to obtain affordable childcare ane how to budget and live on a budget. After three years of living in the shelter, I sustained stability for my children. It was a traumatizing experience. I realized then how important it is to keep a stable home.

To be able to survive in life, you must maintain a steady income -especially when you have children. I am a mother of three beautiful kids. Each of my children is very different because each one has their own way of being. My daughter Avannis – she’s six years old and also my first born. She is the sweetest little thing! – when she wants to be!! “Ava” has a wild imagination, likes to build forts with chairs and blankets and she enjoys keeping her two younger siblings busy.

Then there is Joseph Jr., the only boy and the middle child. He is a kind soul – always loving and always caring for me and his sisters. My son likes to make sure you’re ok and, if your not, he gives you a hug and tells you everything will be fine.

Our youngest is 10 months old – her name is Alainna. She is at the best stage of a babyhood, in my opinion. A time when they start to walk, eat real food and become real curious! She’s just starting to walk, so you can imagine I’ve grown a spare set of arms. Being a mother is a never ending job.

Married and with children can sometimes feel like you’re married to your children. My husband is my supporter and best friend. But just like any relationship, it has its ups and downs. We bump heads often when we are parenting, or even dicussing a matter in a form of debate. I respect and understand that he has a different point of view; it comes down to being able to step into each other’s shoes and have and understanding.

Communication is key in marriage. It can be hard to open up and express my feelings because it can affect my husband’s emotions. What we do is that if we start a conversation and one of us gets upset, we give each other a minute of space. Once we feel up to it, we continue to finish the conversation.

I got married early because I believe in the old way of life. In order to have children, you should have to be married because if it takes two to tango, then it takes two to raise a child. I am lucky to have had children with my best friend! He supports my every move and reminds me how beautiful and intellgent I am. Simple words from him will have my ego blown up, ready to take on the world!! We learn from one another, and we have each other’s back – something I want my kids to learn from.

Life can be hard, having to deal with many different things at once. But that’s life. Always try to look at the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. Accepting life as it is and going on with a positive attitude can make the journey alot easier.