Being a mom is the most challenging job you will ever have, but at the same time the most rewarding.
Before my daughter was born . . . I don’t know. My husband and I, we would just kind of go out to eat here or there, you know. It was Peppy O’Tools until they closed, now it’s Coyote’s. We didn’t have a lot of friends or interaction with a lot of people. My husband isn’t very social and we were pretty regular in our daily lives. Now we don’t go out as much. I think we are busier.
We both moved up here to go to college. We didn’t really plan to stay in Greeley. My husband always wanted to move to like Nebraska or Kansas where there were less people. But I don’t think we ever really were serious about moving.
Once you get a job, you’re kind of stuck. And then you gotta like be at that job to move up. You have to like have years of experience. I work for the hospital and my husband works for a construction company. And it’s nice and you get to have a house to invest in and make your own. And this is like our home. It’s always hard for a new place, a new house, to feel like your home. It takes a long time for that.
Having a child does bring change to your life, and also it brings the worries that comes with bringing her up with values and keeping her safe always. I was married to my husband for 13 years before we had our daughter. Now she is ten years old.
I put her on the charter schools, Frontier and Universities, lists when she was like 3 or 4 days old. I drove over and put her name on there. You have to put a child on the list that early, and she barely got in. It’s like you get on that list and they work down that list. It’s first come. We got a letter in the mail in the early spring saying Kylie got in, and she started kindergarten in August. We were very relieved and excited.
That’s one of the main things that keeps us here is Frontier, because she loves her teachers and this school has high academic standards, and that’s what we want for her versus a public school that doesn’t necessarily focus on that. We have heard the high schools and junior highs here in Greeley are very hard and rough, lots of gangs, lots of drugs and not good stuff. So that’s why it was important to get her in to one of the charter schools. We wanted only the best for her.
I am what some people call a helicopter mom and I think this day and age you need to be. I read emergency room charts every day in my job and there are so many kids that come in that have got hurt unnecessarily. Also, as they get in their early teens they get into trouble due to parents not being around. Drugs, abuse, and pregnancy.
As a parent, you look at things, people, and situations differently. You want to always make the best choices for your child. A difficult thing for me is trusting others to keep my daughter safe. I remember leaving her at daycare, kindergarten, and each day of school. I always pray as I drive off to please keep her safe.
“Please God, keep her safe and watch over her. Please let her have a great day too!”
I think too though when you do have a kid you really watch and kind of see things differently. You kind of see the potential bad things over the good things. You focus more on dangerous situations and risks of daily life in certain areas. And Greeley has changed too over the last 10 years or 20 years. There’s a lot more drugs, a lot more crazy people running around. With this in mind, we wanted to keep her in a safer and more secure learning environment. We would need to teach her how to keep herself safe and how to make the right choices.
I feel Frontier Academy and Greeley are great choices for us to bring her up with all of this in mind. Greeley is big enough to have things to do for us, but not too big that larger problems are here. We have met several great families through school, and her friends have introduced us to their parents who we are now friends with. The school is a great connection to meet other people in the community. Also, I basically know all my neighborhood so it’s nice to have that connection too. These add to my sense of security in raising my daughter in Greeley.
Greeley has been a really great place to raise our daughter, although we never thought we would still be here now. Despite that fact, we have movies, swimming, gymnastics, and great restaurants that help provide great entertainment. Greeley is also close to Loveland, Ft. Collins, and Denver. And my parents are only a half hour or an hour car drive away. I have a really close relationship with my parents so that is nice as well.
I have always respected my mom and dad. I think they are the best parents ever! I feel so fortunate that they are my parents!! I check on them every day and they need to call me when they get home from appointments. I am very close to mom and dad both and I am not for sure how I am going to deal when their time here is done. My mom is my best friend. I have always been able to confide in her. I can tell her anything and she will always give me her advice.
I hope when my daughter grows up, I will be her best friend like my mom is to me.
The one choice I would absolutely make again in life is deciding to have her. Even though at times I feel I struggle at being a great mom to her, the love I have for her is so very special.
This story originally appeared in Facing Change: Reflections on Civic Health & Social Trust, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by the University of Northern Colorado in Greely, Colorado.