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Lawrence transplant juggles family, work, school

By Corene Brisendine

Amy Damon moved to Manhattan when she was 18 after spending her childhood in Lawrence, bouncing around from grade school to grade school. After 20 years here, Damon has established herself in the community and has no plans to leave.

“I like the small-town feeling,” Damon said. “I always thought I wanted to move back to Lawrence, but it’s too big, and I know a lot of people here.”

Damon said stability is the most important thing to her in life. Her son, Will, 14, has never known the hardship Damon said she endured moving around as a child.

“To watch him move through school following the same group of kids, it’s important to me,” Damon said.  “I didn’t have that growing up. I probably went to every elementary school in the town I grew up in.”

Damon recently decided to go back to school and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychological studies at Kansas State University. She hopes to graduate in about two years. After that, Damon said she didn’t’ know what she would do.

“Hopefully, I’d like to help kids,” Damon said. “That’s my passion.”

Being a non-traditional student isn’t always easy. Although she is working on her degree, it is only part time. She also has a full-time job as an accounts payable clerk for the K-State Foundation. And on top of work and school, Damon also finds time to take care of her son.

“My life pretty much revolves around him,” Damon said.

As a single parent, she has learned to balance the good with the bad when it comes to raising her son. She said that since her son is taller — by a head and shoulders — and stronger than her, she has trouble enforcing punishments at times, but most of the time the pair talk out the problems. She said she is thankful for the relationship she and her son have. It allows her to be a better parent because she can talk to him.

Even though Damon said she spends most of her free time making sure her son is provided for and where he needs to be for sports or other activities, she said she finds time for herself too.

She said it is easier now that he is older because he doesn’t need the constant attention like when he was younger. She said as a teenager, he can visit friends, spend the night at their houses or go to the park with friends without her constant supervision. As a result, she finds an hour or two here and there to study, clean her house and just get some “me” time.

Damon said while she finds it hard to be the disciplinarian and the nurturer in her home, she finds strength in faith.

“I pray — a lot,” Damon said. “We started going back to church last November. It has been good for me, and I think it’s been good for him too.”

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