Jody-Ann Pryce – Jug­gling par­ent­ing, school, and a full-time job

Jamaica Gleaner - - FAMILY & RELIGION - Orantes Moore fam­ilyan­dreli­gion@glean­erjm.com

STUDY­ING WHILE simultaneously hold­ing down a full-time job is never easy, but for hard-work­ing mother Jody-Ann Pryce, the strug­gle be­came in­fin­itely more dif­fi­cult af­ter her part­ner passed away two years ago.

In ad­di­tion to look­ing af­ter her six-year-old daugh­ter, Kaeanna, and work­ing as part of the ad­min­is­tra­tion team at the An­notto Bay Hos­pi­tal in St Mary, Pryce is also in the fi­nal year of study­ing for a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in so­cial work at the Ja­maica The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary in Kingston.

Sev­eral times a week, Pryce, who hails from En­field, St Mary, com­mutes to and from the cap­i­tal to study. She ac­knowl­edges that jug­gling child rear­ing with her stud­ies and ca­reer would be even harder with­out the sup­port of close rel­a­tives.

She told Fam­ily and Re­li­gion: “It’s com­pli­cated be­cause I have to bal­ance par­ent­ing with my home­work, my job, and trav­el­ling to Kingston to study on an al­most daily ba­sis. Fi­nan­cially, it’s dif­fi­cult at times, but I try to or­gan­ise rides with a co-worker in or­der to cush­ion some of the travel costs. When I get home, it’s usu­ally late, and I’m very tired, so some­times, I don’t get enough time to study be­cause I have to help my daugh­ter with her school­work.

“To be hon­est, I wish that I didn’t have to work and had com­pleted my course full­time in­stead of part time so I could just fo­cus on school be­cause I think that would have made a

huge dif­fer­ence. In­stead of rush­ing around and hav­ing to do ev­ery­thing at the last minute, I would have a lot more time and en­ergy.

“Nev­er­the­less, I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to get­ting my de­gree be­cause it shows that hard work pays off. In one way, I’m so ex­cited, but in an­other way I’m sad be­cause I wanted my spouse to be around to see me com­plete my de­gree.”

STILL RE­COV­ER­ING

Pryce, 28, is a strong and de­ter­mined young lady, but she ad­mits that she is still re­cov­er­ing from the pass­ing of Kaeanna’s fa­ther, who died un­ex­pect­edly af­ter suf­fer­ing from re­nal fail­ure.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult at times be­cause I still break down now and then,” she said. “Es­pe­cially when it’s my daugh­ter’s birth­day or some other big event that feels like he should be around to see her com­plete cer­tain life hur­dles.”

Look­ing ahead, Pryce plans to find a suit­able post in child pro­tec­tion af­ter she grad­u­ates and ad­vises young moth­ers who are ap­pre­hen­sive about work­ing and go­ing back to school to fol­low their dreams and be brave.

She said, “Hav­ing a baby is not the end of the world be­cause you can still do any­thing you want as long as you put your mind to it.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to be­com­ing a so­cial worker and send­ing my daugh­ter to col­lege so she doesn’t have to strug­gle like I did. I want her to go to col­lege be­cause in this day and age, ed­u­ca­tion is the key and the way out.”

Hard-work­ing sin­gle mother Jody-Ann Pryce with her sixyear-old daugh­ter, Kaeanna Davis, in An­notto Bay, St Mary.

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