Being a student in college is something that takes inspiration, motivation, dedication and probably some other “-ation” word I haven’t already thought of. However, being a mother takes the same things, plus a little bit more. So where can a line be drawn between mother and student?
When I first started my journey as a full-time student at HCC, and full-time mom to one at home, things were a little bumpy. It was hard for me to prioritize my roles as a mother and student, but it was ultimately the desire for a better life (for myself and my son) that helped me see these things more clearly.
I am taking classes both online and on-campus at HCC, so my schedule as a student is pretty full. But the same goes for my schedule as a mom, and wife for my boys at home. I have to make dinner, keep the house clean and organized, and help my son with schoolwork every day – and this doesn’t include all of the medical appointments and other events I have to attend as a mom, friend or family member. It was the work of a $10 calendar I have hanging on my wall in the kitchen that started my fast track to being super-mom and A student.
Having the calendar in a place where it’s visible to everyone in my house was important. I needed to be able to see everyone’s schedule all in one place, and the same goes for my son and husband. By being able to visualize our schedules, our lives run a little smoother, and everyone always knows what’s going on. Also, I’m able to block off at least one day (or night) for study time, and my boys can look at the calendar to see when I’ll be ‘unavailable’ to them. This helps a lot because I’m the type of person that needs complete silence when I study. The boys will normally find something to do together to stay out of my hair – and this helps with their bonding as well.
The second thing I did to help my household function well while I’m a full-time student is look at different resources available to me as a mom or as a student (or even just as a Texas resident). There are several scholarships available to moms (single or otherwise) that are incredibly easy to apply for. I just google-searched “scholarships for moms” and started applying. I also looked into getting food stamps, Medicaid and financial aid for childcare for my family. I never wanted money to be an issue when it comes to my education, so these resources were incredibly valuable to me. I encourage anyone else struggling as a mom and/or student to look into these – you can go to www.yourtexasbenefits.com for more information.
The final piece to my current success as a full-time student and mom was to set aside time for my family. I try my hardest to get all my studying done while my son and fiancé are at their schools, so that when they get home, we can spend time together as a family. We eat dinner together every night, and a few times a week will go on bike rides together. Just as passing my classes each semester is important to me, so is making sure that my boys feel safe and loved. So during these times together, we usually talk about our education, and what we’re learning about in class, which has ultimately brought us all closer – and for that I’m thankful.
If you’re struggling as a mom and a student, I encourage you to reach out to your school, your community or your family for help. The resources available to students and to mothers (especially single mothers) is multitudinous and easy to find with a simple google search. And if all else fails, you can contact me through the Egalitarian.