Whelp, I am officially into my second week of school. You know, the week you actually begin to figure out what the semester will be like. The first week (syllabus week), creates a sense of false security as you sit in class and fantasize about how you are going to do all the work for that semester (or at least I do). Professors cover the syllabus and handout rubrics, and you look at all your readings and assignment and convince yourself that this semester will be different.
Then like a splash of cold water the second-week hits and you actually have to do everything you said would…
Add into this the challenges of being a parent and all of a sudden my well-laid plans fall apart like that. No one ever told me how hard it would be to balance motherhood and being a student. That I would be doing homework with a crying baby and a toddler who needed me to do everything and then would be satisfied with nothing. My kids are older now and it hasn’t gotten any easier.
Juggling the bazillion note cards, papers, assignments, daycare and school pick-up and drops, meals, appointments, is certainly never easy.
Explaining to my single classmates and friends that I can’t do things because I have kids is hard. I want to be apart of the group and yet in many ways, I am not. I can’t just commit to that date to work on the group project or set up an impromptu meeting to cover that presentation.
Being a parent and a student means navigating what is already a stressful process with added pressures. It means having to tell professors you can’t come to class because your child is running a fever, or pulling out your hair because you have to write that paper but your little one won’t stop screaming. It means your planner gets sticky because you left it on the table at breakfast, or needing a new highlighter because your child just colored an entire picture with the package you just opened.
Yet it is all worth it. I know I am setting a good example for my little ones, that my degree ultimately means a better job and life for all of us. It’s just that getting there sometimes is hard. Sometimes it means taking breaks and time away, so when I come back I can hit harder.
But on the days I want to quit (and they’re often) I remember what that piece of paper will mean. I remember that though it is hard and sometimes feels insurmountable, I have people that will support me. I remember that even though I still have so far to go, this is only temporary.
Most of all, I remember who is watching me!