Jennifer* holds her newborn

‘I felt guilty to ask for help’

Jennifer* holds her newborn

Families in crisis often feel like they have no one to turn to for help. Programs like the United Way-funded crisis nursery at the Children’s Cottage ensure kids get the care they need while parents are transitioning or getting back on their feet.

Jennifer*, a single mother of three, learned her newborn daughter, Brittany*, had sleep apnea. As a result, Jennifer had gone weeks without sleep and was ready to collapse from exhaustion and dehydration. With no reliable family or friends to support her, Jennifer turned to the Children’s Cottage for guidance.

“I was so scared,” Jennifer explains. “First, I felt guilty that I had to ask for help in the first place; second, I was scared staff would think I was bad mom.”

But the Children’s Cottage put her fears to rest, explaining many parents are in a similar position and the Cottage is there to help, not judge.

The Cottage allowed her to get some rest while her children were looked after by trained professionals. She learned how to get Brittany’s condition under control so she could sleep without worrying her baby would suffocate in the night.

“Because of the Cottage and the support I received from them, I have been able to keep my child and make it through the hard times,” Jennifer says. “Brittany is now four years old and I could not imagine a day without her.”

 *These names have been changed to preserve the confidentiality of those accessing United Way-funded programs