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Local mom's work-life balance benefits with unique program

babys mama.jpg
Posted at 7:01 PM, Dec 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-08 20:01:43-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Motherhood is a full-time job. 19-year-old Anya Tamez lives that reality. For the last 14 months she's had her hands full with her baby Aveah. Anya enjoys being a mother, but when she first learned she was pregnant, the 19-year-old was both delighted and concerned. Tamez was worried about working overtime, balancing parenthood, life and finances.

"At first I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to do it. I was freaking out, I was crying. I was like, I don't have money, what am I going to do?" said Tamez.

In this economy, having kids isn't cheap. Less than a quarter of Texas families are able to afford child care. According to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Standards study, child care for infants is affordable for only 15.8 percent of Texas families. That means more than a million households are struggling to pay for those services. The average cost of infant care in Texas is almost as much as the average rent cost. It's about $777 a month according to the Economic Policy Unit. Parents have more expenses to think about including food, clothes, and other essential items.

Tamez shared more observations on costly items, "I've been noticing the price of formula has been going up a lot. And when it was going up, I was really struggling with that."

The Pregnancy Center of the Coastal Bend has been alleviating the struggle for mothers like Tamez. It has programs for women expecting, mothers of newborns, and even fathers. The programs help people navigate through their new life of parenthood.

To learn more about the Pregnancy Center of the Coastal Bend and its programs click here.

Jana Pinson, the Executive Director of the Pregnancy Center of the Coastal Bend said "They get diapers and wipes and clothes and cribs and absolutely anything they need during that whole first second year of their baby's life."

The program also offers job opportunities at its thrift shop, Hi Again Resale on Kostoryz Road. Some moms, like Tamez, start working there when they're pregnant. Once little Aveah was born, Tamez was able to make a living and bring her baby to work. Hi Again Resale was Tamez first job.

"It was so great I didn't have to miss a lot of things with her. I got to see her crawl. I got to see her talk and things like that." she said. "Her first word was "mama."

"Programs like this are important, because we hear in our culture right now, they says women can't have a baby and a career, so many things block them. But you can. You can have it all." said Pinson.

The executive director said, the children aren't the only ones they get to watch grow, staff at the pregnancy center also witness parent's evolution to. The program typically lasts 18 months and the pregnancy center helps participants find jobs and connections or their future endeavors.