The joys of parenthood are not all fun and games while juggling school. Don't get me wrong, having a baby is an amazing part of life. I wouldn't take that away from anything, but I would choose to finish school before having such an amazing bundle of joy if I had a choice. The Institute for Women's Policy Research says 22% of college students raise children and have a GPA above 3.5(Clark, 2019). In this blog, you will learn about the joys, the break, and the strength to push through.
The joys of being a student and a parent can be rewarding from the first moments of having a baby and watching every milestone they hit. This can be like going to school, the thoughts of planning, your future deciding to enroll, starting your first day of school, and making the vision to graduate come to light. These two things, for me, can play hand and hand. Every time I complete an assignment is a breath of fresh air, one less thing to do, just like when my daughter took her first steps. Every parent and student has a checklist. Every semester, finishes are a step towards joy, a step towards your goal.
As a parent and a student, I find the word Break, funny. I truly say every parent, mom or dad always needs one. Yet you will never get one from both. Before I went to school, I thought of the word break. I would think of my daughter's nap times or when I drop my daughter off at daycare. When I think of break, I think of when it's time to sleep to refuel for the next day. Let's be honest the moment you have a baby and decide to be a student, nothing is ever the same. The question becomes how much you can juggle and accomplish at the same time without burning out because there will always be:
- Homework, Group Meeting, Midterms and exams.
- Laundry, Cooking, disinfecting and cleaning.
- Meal Prepping and going to the gym (because I am trying to lose that mom weight)
As students, they always say after class, you need to study for at least two hours each class. I know a parent didn't create that rule. I love this quote "yes, with parenthood comes a lack of sleep, vacation, and official sick days. But these honest and inspirational quotes about being a mom capture the fantastic benefits that also come with the "job."" (Warner, Ashley and Carter, Maria, Na).
Do you see why I say the word "break" is funny?
The Strength to Push Through
As a parent, I always need to be looking at the bigger picture. There are always financial hurdles, Essays that are impossible to complete just because it's hard to find the time. Let's not forget mom's guilt for always having a handful of things to complete. At the same time, your daughter just wants to play. Depending on who you speak to, everyone is bias's: I have my professors saying your family is more important. My family says the school is what I need to focus on, but in the end, I believe that the key to pushing through and the people around you. If you have a great support system, you will succeed. The strength to go through is my fiancé making sure I wake up every morning on time, no matter how many times my daughter woke up the night before. My daycare provider is always available if Sieanna feels under the weather or if mommy needs some me time. My professors are always available to help if I am having trouble. My biggest advice is always to have a calendar or something you can see if you are staying on track. I personally love my calendar as small as it is; one thing, check-off gives me the strength to push through.
The joys, the break, and the strength to push through. I hope this gives new students who are parents the determination that this is possible. To stay organized, have a great support system and know that you are determined for greatness. Most importantly, you are not alone, and the 22% of students that parents are routing for you.
Clark, Jennifer (2019) Despite Big Enrollment Declines, Parents Make up 22 Percent of College
Student. Retrieved from https://iwpr.org/parents-college-numbers-pr/
Warner, Ashley and Maria Carter (n.a) 22 Women Share the Real Joys of Being a Mom. Retrieved