Sun | May 19, 2024

‘I always try to fight it for my kids’

39-y-o says children motivate her to keep going

Published:Saturday | May 7, 2022 | 12:06 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Natasha Williams-Whittingham
Natasha Williams-Whittingham

Natasha Williams-Whittingham has not found the going easy, but, each time she contemplates giving up, the love for her children and a burning desire to see them excel keeps the single mother going.

“Giving up is the last thing in my head, but sometimes when the pressure reach me, me cry and say me feel like me would a give up,” she admitted in a recent Gleaner interview. “But, when me think of my kids, how far we a come from and that I want the best for them, it push me harder.”

The 39-year-old mother said that her husband’s death three years ago marked the start of the escalation of woes for the family, as she now became the sole breadwinner for not only her three children, but also her disabled father-in-law, for whom her husband had assumed full responsibility.

Her husband had fallen ill a few years before he died, which disrupted the family’s income as their agriculture business soon fell apart.

Whittingham described him as a “great husband” and “the best father in the world”, but said that, soon after his passing, the struggle to meet basic needs became even more burdensome, taking care of the children, who were then ages five, 12 and 17 at the time.

Years on, however, not much has changed and the financial setbacks have been many.

Whittingham said she even had to make the call to transfer her child, who had been placed at the Chapelton-based Clarendon College, to Old Harbour High, which is closer to their Longville Park, Clarendon home.

Despite an unsteady flow of earnings from working on construction sites, Whittingham said that she is willing to do anything to provide for her children and afford them a good education.

“Mi go out there and throw up the concrete bucket them, catch them back, and do what me can do. It rough. It hard,” she reflected. “Sun bun yuh, rain wet yuh. Sometimes mi tired, mi affi lay down pon people verandah.”

But giving up is not a option.

“I always try to fight it for my kids. Mi nuh ask people for nutten. If wi hungry, dem nuh know; if wi belly full, dem nuh know. Me grow my kids with respect and manners and grow them in the right way,” she said.

“Mi make a lot of sacrifice, trust mi,” added Whittingham, who broke down during the interview.

With mounting bills and limited funds, she tapped into her entrepreneurial skills and ventured into selling juices at her home, but business is not always promising.

“Most times, me go a me bed [late] because a dem time deh people come and buy from mi. Most times, nutten nuh gwaan in the days, but, in the night, mi will get a sale,” she said.

Despite the struggles, she is confident that life will get better.

“They are my world and I will go the extra mile for them. As a single mother, it’s not easy, but I have to do what I have to do.”

olivia.brown@gleanerjm.com