City College students with children juggle school work, motherhood

Single moms get creative to keep their kids entertained

India Marsh’s 7-year-old daughter does her second-grade her homework online due to distance learning. India Marsh photo

India Marsh’s 7-year-old daughter does her second-grade her homework online due to distance learning. India Marsh photo

Sophia Traylor, Staff Writer

As the spring semester at San Diego City College came to a close, Tanisha Taylor and India Marsh found creative ways to pair being a single parent with juggling classes. 

Marsh, a mother of three with a goal to become a social worker, kept her kids entertained and occupied during their time at home due to the pandemic by giving them coins to count. 

Taylor, a child development major, bought a workbook for her 5-year-old son because he’s not yet in school.

Tanisha Taylor’s 5-year-old son writes in a workbook she bought him. Tanisha Taylor photo

Both students found themselves needing to adjust their time structure since the stay-at-home order was declared March 19. 

“During the day, the attention is all on the kids,” Marsh said. “I usually do it (homework) at night when they’re asleep so I stay up longer, sometimes I stay up all night to catch up.”

Taylor has had difficulties adjusting to the stay-at-home orders. She has had to juggle working online as a YMCA childrens’ program member with school and taking care of her 5-year-old son.

“I need structure with me being at home and I’m finding myself getting distracted by other things,” Taylor said.“I already have time management issues, and on top of that, I have to stay on top of my mommy duties.” 

City College professor of Child Development Berta Harris, said it is important to prioritize the emotional well-being of a child over a parent mimicking a school routine.

India Marsh has her son counting coins to keep him occupied while she does her homework. India Marsh photo

“Trying to take care of themselves during this time can be very traumatizing and, depending on their situations just in their own lives, this may be triggering other fears and anxieties,” Harris said. “Children can grow and learn when they feel safe.” 

Marsh also found support in San Diego City Colleges Extended Opportunity Programs And Services, also known as EOPS. EOPS helps a wide range of students including single parents in finding tutors, collaborating with other students and navigating technical issues with Canvas during the transition.

“It’s very stressful at times,” Marsh said. “I didn’t think I was going to finish. I just started going back to school to do better for myself so I can’t let this obstacle stop me.”