Her story made waves on social media when activist, Juana Change, first wrote about her encounter with female Uber driver, Jaycee Carreon. The single mom had just lost her job in product engineering when she decided to start driving for a living.
However difficult the situation was, Jaycee remained positive and continued to apply for a day job while she drove for Uber. Her efforts finally paid off when she landed an office job towards the end of July 2015.
We asked Jaycee to share a little about her life as a working single mom, her experience with Uber, and her words of advice on surviving life as a single mom.
Single mom, Jaycee Carreon, would move mountains to provide her son with a better future.
(Photo published with permission from Coconuts Manila)
Jaycee Carreon’s single mom struggles as an Uber driver
“When I was a full time Uber driver, it was a bit hectic. Sometimes I wasn’t able to eat at home,” Jaycee says, when asked about her typical day as a driver. “I had no daily routine.”
Despite her erratic schedule, Jaycee made sure to spend as much quality time as she could with her baby. “When I woke up and before I went to sleep, I’d spend time with my son. If he was awake, I’d make sure we had some fun, like watching cartoons, playing and being silly or reading.”
One challenge Jaycee faced while she was driving was her breastfeeding schedule. “If my son was asleep when I get home, I would check if he would latch and would nurse,” she shares.
“The most difficult adjustment was taking breaks to pump milk. It was tough. There were times that there were successive riders, which I was thankful for as a driver since it meant more income. But as a mother it broke my heart since I knew that if I couldn’t pump every 2-3 hours my milk supply would dwindle.”
Head over to the next page to read about how becoming an Uber driver influenced Jaycee’s outlook as a single mom.
How being an Uber driver influenced Jaycee Carreon as a single mom
The rare occasion when she could spend time with her son was something Jaycee really looked forward to while she worked as an Uber driver.
Rather than be brought down by her situation, Jaycee rose up and learned from it. “It’s tough being the sole provider. I know I cannot think of it as being a difficult situation, but instead take it as a challenge to find other means so that I can provide a better future for my son.”
“The one thing that kept me going was my son, Jared,” she adds, “The thought of him, his future, what he deserves.”
“The experience strengthened me as mother since through it all it made me more aware that I should have time for my son no matter what. Even if it means I had to be awake for 24 hours just to have silly time with him or watch cartoons or play superman. To a child, time and love are two of the most important things we can give.”
Through it all, it was hope that fueled Jaycee to keep on driving. That same hope is what she holds on to now as she starts on her new chapter as a working single mom.
“I hope that whatever challenges may still come my way, I will be able to stand strong and face them, surpass them. I hope to be able to better myself. I am determined to change my family’s stars. I believe each of us can change them.”
Continue to the next page for Jaycee’s advice to single moms.
Life lessons learned behind the wheel
She never needs to look very far for inspiration. Jaycee’s drive comes from her little man. (Photo by Ingente-Valencerina Photography)
If there are two important life lessons that Jaycee learned as an Uber driver, it’s to never give up and pray.
She was not always as strong, however, sharing, “I admit I came to a point when I almost lost hope [and] I didn’t know what else I could do.”
In every tough situation, however, there is a silver lining. For Jaycee, it was a chance meeting with a passenger. “After talking to Juana Change, my story somewhat went viral. My former company mates learned of it, and they helped me by referring me to potential employers,” she says.
“Now, I have just started with a semiconductor company, and I am working towards taking the licensure exams to be financial supervisor to have a second source of income.”
Her advice on surviving life as a single mom is to never lose hope.
“Make your children your inspiration. Keep your friends close. Join mommy support groups. I admit I would have not been able to go through the change I went through without my friends, especially those I have grown close with in the South PiNanays group.”
Lastly, “Do not forget Him. Pray. You may not realize it but He works through other people. God does not give us challenges we cannot handle.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patricia de Castro-Cuyugan
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