A Happy Mother’s Day story

May 2023
By Erika M. Hirschman, Contributing Writer

The sun leaks in through the dining room window onto Arielle’s face and a warm, modest smile forms. She sits comfortably on an orange chair in our dining area working on getting 2-year-old-son Ky’ Legend – nicknamed Ky – to finish his oatmeal. The toddler is definitely more interested in seeing what the other children are doing in the TV room. Ky joyfully scampers off to find them, as Arielle recalls what brought her to this point.

The 18-year-old single mom has been through more than anyone at any age can imagine: family struggles, running away, pregnancy following a rape.

However, through the hardships, pain and struggles, she’s gained perspective and has become much stronger. She says motherhood gives her purpose, happiness and reasons to live.

Arielle has much to be proud of; although she’s just beginning to feel the pride. She has been a guest at Mustard Seed for 7 months and says it hasn’t always been easy for her to live in a community environment with guidelines and expectations.

Still, Arielle says her motivation and spirituality have allowed her to stay on track, along with the love she has for Ky. She can see a future beyond their current situation – one that includes moving into her own home perhaps this summer.

Having her own place wasn’t always something Arielle thought was certain … and safety, security and joy even less so.

But Mustard Seed – and Arielle’s patience and hard work – has allowed her to have hopes and dreams for herself and Ky.

She says Mustard Seed has been a blessing and she considers herself and Ky fortunate to have landed here. Her own mother was actually instrumental in helping her come to our home last fall. Focusing on the motto “One day at a time” Arielle says, is at the center of getting through challenging times.

“You have to stick with it and you have to work on it. I can’t speed up any of this process. I have to be patient.”

This is just one of the lessons Arielle has learned in her time at Mustard Seed. She enjoys attending parenting classes through the Youth Protection Council of Saginaw, reading to Ky and art projects. “It can make a huge difference if you make things fun for you and your child.”

Arielle, her mom and sisters are all hairstylists. Their business, BraidingBeauties, LLC, is located in Carrollton Township. Arielle plans to continue working as a stylist once she leaves Mustard Seed.

“I love meeting new people and the relationships we’ve built with clients. And helping them feel and look better.”

While Arielle admits she and her mother have had difficulties in the past, she says she takes responsibility for her own actions when it comes to their relationship.

“I love my mom. She did a good job raising [the four of] us. I give her props and I understand her more now that I’m a mom.”


About Erika M. Hirschman
Erika M. Hirschman lives in Saginaw and is a veteran freelance writer. She has enjoyed meeting and interviewing the amazing, strong women at Mustard Seed Shelter. Erika is inspired by the stories she’s heard and feels grateful to those women who have trusted her to write and share those stories with our followers and supporters.