FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – The recession has been particularly hard on American women, says a White House report released today.
You don’t have to tell that to Heather Morris, a single mom in Frisco. She recently opened her cupboards and found they were bare.
“Just recently, I had to go use the food bank. And I never thought I would be there. It’s a humbling experience,” Morris said.
For Morris, it all adds up to the economy. She couldn’t find a job, though she has two degrees and 15 years marketing experience. She said she found herself competing with people who had masters’ degrees and 20 years experience.
“That was a wake up call. It really was. It’s not a level playing field anymore,” Morris said.
So, like her father and grandfather before her, she decided to join the Navy.
“I just started looking at the fact that I needed security being a single parent. I didn’t want to be reliant on having to have a husband or anything like that. I needed to be self-reliant,” Morris said.
It’s a lesson she wants her son to learn. “Sometimes you have to sacrifice time with your family to have a job you need to have for security, for longevity and the pension and the medical and everything else that comes along with it,” Morris said.
Triston is learning how to add and subtract in second grade. He’s also learning how to count his cash at home.
He keeps his savings, from the tooth fairy and money earned from jobs around the house, in a jar on the kitchen counter.
Unfolding several $20 bills he said, “I really want us to save money so we can get ourselves food and drinks and so my mom can have a lot of clothes. So I can too. Because I’m growing like a weed!”
Morris coaches her son’s soccer team. She’s a former goalkeeper for the Dallas Sting, a women’s semi-pro soccer team. But she says that was B.C. - Before Child.
She knows she’ll be competing again, this time with women 20 years younger. “I don’t want to be, ‘Oh, she’s great for 37.’ I want to be ‘Oh, she’s great. Period,’” Morris said.
But then again, her seven-year-old son already knows that. “She’s the best mom in the whole world!” Triston said.
Heather Morris will have six months with her son before she heads to boot camp. Then, it’ll be at least another six months before she sees him again. Morris says the longest they’ve been apart is two weeks.
She said, “That’s going to be extremely hard. I can’t wrap my head around it just yet.”