I know you’re exhausted. College is daunting enough without parenthood strapped along with it. I know you’re feeling the weight of expectation because I have also felt that weight. And I know you’re tired, sleep is so completely foreign to you now that you’ve almost forgotten its benefits. And yet, you’re doing amazing.
You are dealing with a long list of expectations
I remember the daunting syllabuses with unimaginable expectations, and I remember thinking to myself, “How am I going to do this?” I would attempt to make a plan for the entire semester, hoping that if I stayed a few assignments ahead, then I would be okay. But those plans always fell through. I remember writing essays and contributing to online discussions with a baby bouncing on my lap. He would pull my hair, smash the keyboard, and babble songs while I tried to do my schoolwork. I remember long nights of trying to finish work with a baby monitor on my desk and rushing to his room every hour because he couldn’t sleep. And I regretfully remember many a Zoom meeting (post-COVID) where my son would wave to my classmates while I was listening to lectures.
However, one moment stands out to me among the rest. I remember being very pregnant, turning in college assignments early because I was due in a week. I was also trying to find the time between staying on top of my schoolwork and organizing a nursery. Then, finally, I had my son. I remember crying because I had such an amazing son, but I also cried because I knew I had to physically go to school and complete my final exams a week later.
You will overcome this obstacle
I know these tasks are daunting, and you wonder when you’ll ever find the time for yourself again. You’re in college because you know it can help you gain a career, and it can help you create a life for your child that you know they deserve. And you’re doing all this extra work and taking away time from yourself because you’re a great parent. I know it is hard to feel that way when you have to sacrifice so much time in order to do schoolwork, but you are doing it all for your child. You knew this would be difficult, but you had no idea how bad it could get. There are days where you are lost as a person, and it is so difficult to regain your sanity. But I can promise you, there is a light at the end of this long tunnel.
As I bite my nails in anticipation of my graduation, I look back at all the tears that went into getting my degree. I learned a lot about myself in my ability to balance school and my son, and I feel like I have gained a lot of respect for myself as well. College is tough, but mothers are tougher.
College requires sacrifice, and so does parenting. You were willing to give up so much of yourself for both of these, and I know that sometimes it feels like the world is against you. I’m here to tell you that things will get better, and you have so many people who are cheering you on, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
So, take a moment today to look around at your accomplishments. Take a moment to revel in your glory, because you are amazing. And don’t feel overwhelmed by the difficulties you are bound to face. Instead, I hope you know that this is just a rough patch on your road to success.