"Monday Mornings" aims to prove there is beauty in every mother's morning, even if we need an outsider to see it. Thanks to a partnership with Allstate, I am flying lifestyle photographer Raquel Bianca across the US to document the morning routines of twelve mothers in five different cities. This is our second stop.
Today's "Monday Morning" features Shaneka, a single mom who lives in a three-bedroom condo in West Garfield Park, a neighborhood on the west side of Chicago. She's lived in Chicago her entire life "minus a brief stint in college" and chooses to raise her children there "because it's home".
In addition to being a birth doula, Shaneka works for the Federal Railroad Administration as an Administrative Specialist. She has three kids (Shekinah 17, Sterling 9, Spencer 3) and wakes up every morning at 5:30am to get herself and her kids out the door by 6:30am.
"I work 9-hour days so I can have one work day off every two weeks. So I’m at work by 7am, and I get off at 4:30pm. A small sacrifice to have that one day off, but it gives me the opportunity to visit the children’s school, chaperone field trips, grocery shop/run errands alone, or just have dinner and homework done by 7-7:30pm."
In our initial emails, Shaneka described her mornings as "quiet and fast-paced".