By JASON CAMPBELL
Annamarie Neuman didn’t have the best luck in life.
When her daughter, Beth, was born, the father decided that he didn’t want to be a part of their life anymore and skipped out on his responsibilities and mpved out of state.
So there she was – young and with a newborn child that she all of a sudden had to take care of completely on her own.
But don’t think that overcoming obstacles was enough to keep Neuman – who has since launched a successful career in health care – from doing what was best for her and her daughter. No matter what, she said, she was going to do what was necessary to make sure that her daughter was taken care of.
“I don’t want to sound like a bitter single mom because you keep hearing those stories and there are so many more things that go into than what you hear,” Neuman said. “I don’t fault him for leaving, although it isn’t what I would have wanted. But I’m not going to let that keep me from making sure that my daughter has everything she needs to be healthy and happy – regardless of what that means I have to do in order to ensure that.”
It isn’t easy, however, for Neuman to make sure that even the simplest of tasks are taken care of. She takes her daughter to daycare in the morning and has to leave work in time to pick her up – something that prolongs her day and prevents her from getting the sort of overtime she could realistically use to improve her place in life.
The house she lived in before has been downgraded to an apartment – an upstairs one at that – so making trips to the grocery store with a toddler in tow, if that wasn’t hard enough, becomes immensely more so when she has to lug the milk and the groceries and the diapers upstairs by herself.
She said she hasn’t gone out to see a movie in over a year, and since a large majority of her friends are still single, the family gatherings that are geared for kids are few and far between in her world – meaning that what little disposable income she has is set aside for the entertainment that her little one craves on a daily basis.
But there are a lot of parks in town, she said, that provide a great service for those who can’t afford some of the higher-priced fun. And while she’d love to eat the steak that her ex used to cook every weekend, shopping has been a budget experience – clipping coupons and making sure that every dollar gets stretched as far as it possibly can.
All she needs to be happy, however, is to see that her little one is happy – and she said that gets reminded of that on a daily basis when she does something cute or crawls into her arms.
“At this point in my life it’s all about her and what I can do to make sure that she’s okay,” Neuman said. “I’ve never been one for self-pity and while there are a lot of things I’d like, I have everything I need.
“And I get to wake her up every morning.”
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.