Surviving Motherhood in College
Study Mom, Study
Things You MUST Know
Quick background information. I'm a mom. I'm twenty-two. I have a two year old and an infant. I'm a full-time college student. I succeed at what I do. I only recently discovered that I CAN do this. This is for all the young moms out there who feel stuck, incapable, lost, and scared.
If I can do it, you can do it...
I know it's cheesy, but it's true. You CAN do it. I wake up every morning to happy snuggles and hugs. I get ready for school while simultaneously changing diapers and making oatmeal, always rushing, and always enjoying every minute. I sneak out of the house as soon as my sitter gets here, with a wailing discontent trailing close behind me that still seems to break my heart each time. I leave every morning hoping to God that I received a sufficient amount of hugs and kisses to get me through the day until I return home. I love this lifestyle.
During school, I dive into my study. I give it my all and pay close attention. I'm not learning to get a great career. I'm not learning to land a job. I'm learning for them. If you have kids, you're learning for them too. You no longer have the option to mess up on a test, because everything you do effects your children. We're learning because they deserve the best life we can possibly give them. We're learning because we want to be able to tell them why the sky is blue when they ask.
We need to know.
IT'S EASY (KIND OF)
In all actuality, it's relatively easy to be a student mother. There are times when you're tired. There are times when you're embarrassed because you get to class and realize you didn't get a chance to brush your hair before you left. Let me just say....it's ok! Nobody cares. In a good way. Anyway, there's a good chance that a decent portion of your classmates just rolled out of bed and barely made it to class before the doors locked. If you had a chance to brush your teeth, you're moving ahead in life.
I waited so long to start school because I thought my kids were too young to be away from me, I wish I had started earlier. I thought I could never afford college. YOU CAN AFFORD COLLEGE. Trust me, before you just assume that you can't afford college, look into:
- FAFSA (Pell Grants)
- Other Financial Aid offered by your college
- Scholarships- there are scholarships specifically available to moms going to school. DO YOUR RESEARCH.
If none of these are options for you, then at least let the idea of student loans roll around in your mind for a while. This is not my first choice....and I'm not exactly FOR student loans. Honestly speaking, if getting a student loan was my only option for going to school, I would do it. I would get a student loan versus not going to college. These are my children we're talking about.
You can find the perfect sitter
It takes time to find a sitter that meets your needs. You need to be patient for this part. When looking for a sitter, keep these things in mind:
- You CAN run a back-ground check. I did this. It's a good idea. It also gives the impression that you're a serious bad-ass when it comes to your kids. Don't mess with mama bear.
- Have your sitter watch the kiddos for a trial period before you jump in. You learn trust during this time and get a feel for if you're serious about this person. It's like dating. Don't just jump in.
- Discuss a weekly pay versus hourly. This is so much more affordable for me. Of course this varies depending on your situation, but in my case-it works out this way and everyone involved is happy.
- Be nice. If you're thinking of hiring a sitter versus taking the wee-ones to a center, it's imperative that you use the golden rule. Treat others as you would want to be treated. The last thing you want (or need) is for a good sitter to not show up, causing you to miss class, because you were a beezy.