I started college a week after my 18th birthday. I had dreams of a getting a degree followed by beginning an awesome career.
Little did I know that I would become a non-trad student my Sophomore year. When I was 19, I became a mom.
I still wanted to pursue a degree. But it was hard. And it felt like in the snap of a finger, my identity changed. I was no longer a typical student. I was a mom student. And for me personally, going on to finish has instilled a sense of pride in myself. No joke, after that degree, I just knew I could conquer the world. (Spoiler- I can’t conquer the world, but I conquered Calculus and O Chem. and that feels pretty awesome.)
If you’re in the same boat, then this is for you!
You might be a student mom if…
“Missing out” used to mean that you had to miss a friend’s big birthday party. “Missing out” now means that you have to miss your kid’s soccer game every Tuesday night because you’re in night class.
Before, you would socialize in between classes. Now you pump in between classes.
You are no longer exhausted and aching from dancing and hanging out all night. Now you’re exhausted because the toddler sleeping down the hall had growing pains at 2am and the baby inside of you had a dance party all night.
You used to worry about how cute you looked in your new shirt. Now you are worried about leaking breastmilk through your old t-shirt.
Heartbreak and frustration were usually how you would describe a breakup, or made a bad grade after pulling an all nighter to study. But now heartbreak and frustration to you means leaving your 1 year old, who has pneumonia and strep throat, with a babysitter because you absolutely can not miss your Chemistry lab, History project, and Statistics test…. again…
You used to get excited to see that cute boy walking on campus. Now you’re older and you get excited to see your full grown son, who is in college too, walking on campus.
Instead of just having doodles on the top of your Spanish notes, you have a tally section for kick counts.
“Making plans” previously meant deciding who to eat with, if it’s going to be date night or friend night, and then whose house will everyone will end up at. “Making plans” now is deciding if you will have a chance at study time by turning on Finding Nemo before or after you cook supper for your family. And then deciding if you even have time to cook because you have a big Calculus 3 test at 8am.
Before you were a mom, you had a job so that you could pay your gas for road trips, buy concert tickets and new clothes, and eat out with friends. After you became a mom, you need a job so that you can pay for well checks, buy your kid food that is healthier than Cheetos and goldfish, and pay the diaper bill.
Instead of folding/hanging your clothes, you might just wear them directly from the dryer.
You have said these words to your professor “Can I please bring my 2 year old to class with me today? I’ll make sure she’s not a distraction. I won’t be able to come otherwise.”
Multitasking used to simply be texting a boy, while listening to an online lecture, while working out. Now multitasking means breastfeeding while eating a sandwich, putting on makeup, and studying your Organic Chemistry flash cards.
In all seriousness. Being a mom and going to school is not for the faint at heart. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done.
But momma, you CAN do it! Sometimes it may be ugly. Sometimes you may have to drop classes or take a semester off. And that’s OKAY! You are still strong. You are still incredible, and self-less, and beautiful, and smart.
One day you will have your diploma. And you will look your child in the eyes and think to yourself “Look what mommy did for you.”
And there is no feeling of accomplishment like getting that piece of paper, knowing all the challenges, obstacles, self-control, and responsibility it took.
Mommas in school, in case no one has told you lately, I AM PROUD OF YOU. Hang in there. You got this!
I have included a few pictures of some friends of mine who are student mommas. If you are or have been a student mom, I would LOVE to see your pictures, hear your accomplishments, and know what you would add to this list either in the comments below or on www.facebook.com/myhousefullboys.
*This is in no way intended to discount or discredit the incredible accomplishments of traditional college students.
It is written to encourage moms in school so that we know that we are not alone in the challenge to push through.
**I Just want to add that a good support system will play a huge role in your success! So many people made sacrifices so that I could continue school. Thank you Ryan, Mom, Cheri, and Tim for babysitting for me!!! Love yall!