What We Are Fighting For

Posted 03-15-2013 at 08:47 AM by Krista

School is hard. I mean, I remember at least once a week since I began school thinking I couldn’t wait until I graduated, so that I didn’t have to go to school anymore. I didn’t really plan on college—what was the point? I was going to be a famous writer, anyway. I didn’t need to go to college for that.

When my husband began asking me about it, he got the same answer. He was less happy to accept that than my parents had been, so he persisted. And then, when we had kids he pointed out that if something happened to him I would need a way to be gainfully employed when the life insurance money ran out. While he’s right, it often seems nowdays a college degree doesn’t guarantee gainful employment, or even less than OK employment. But that’s neither here nor there.

I did start school, when my baby girl A was less than nine months old. It was after my first semester that I discovered I was pregnant again. Ever since then I have been scraping by with two or three classes a semester. It feels like the end will never be here, and I could kick myself for waiting until I had kids to start. Wait a moment while I try.

I am taking my least favorite subject at the moment: math. And for some reason, I always delude myself into believing that I can study while taking care of them. Annnnttt!! Wrong. I don’t need a game show buzzer to tell me that.

Right now I’m feeling really burned out and frustrated. I want to give up almost every single day. Forget setting a good example, forget gainful employment. I’ll just tell J to up the life insurance policy, shall I?

Sometimes, when things get hard—and I’m talking really, really hard—we have to be reminded of what we’re working for. I’m trying to think of all the couples I will help adopt their baby, all the families I will help to complete. That’s what I have to focus on: not how much math sucks (no offense to anyone who is mathematically inclined. Lucky.) or how much I don’t want to do a project. I have to focus on what really matters, what’s at the end of the journey.

I’m going to channel Frost here when I say, I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.

Filed Under: General


7 Responses to “What We Are Fighting For”

  1. momof6kids84 on March 15th, 2013 10:34 am

    I, too, waited until I was married and had kids to finish school. I had completed a year at Auburn University when I married. So, I registered at the local community college to complete an associates. I was done. I did that while caring for two kids. At the persistance of my husband, I applied to and was accepted to the University of Alabama. That’s when I found out that I was pregnant with number 3. During my first semester at Alabama, I gave birth. I went on to complete my degree and graduate in December of 2011. It took me five long years, and I gave birth to two kids during that period. When I graduated, I was 6 months pregnant with number 5. I didn’t even get to walk because all my kiddos came down with a stomach bug, but, when I received my degree in the mail, it was all worth while. The sleepless nights writing papers and completing projects were all worth it. Not only can my husband rest assured that I have a backup plan if something happens to him, but I have the confidence boost of being able to say that I did it. I did it when all the odds were stacked against me. Now, to only get my husband through graduate school…

  2. musicmom2x on March 15th, 2013 10:38 am

    I think its hard enough doing school and kids without being frustrated that your are doing something that you don’t really want to do. There is plenty that you can do to earn money without a degree. If you want to write find out what situation makes you the most productive and then make that happen at least twice a week. If its a kid swap with another mom who needs a break or if its a walk in the park or midnight meditation or whatever. The first thing I would do is talk to your husband to figure out an alternative that you can both agree on. I would want to know why he was so worried personally. I wish you the best!

  3. BCsMom on March 15th, 2013 11:36 am

    I work at a university and I have a number of students who are also moms, and I really feel for them. It is TOUGH. Good on you for working on this, and seeing the longterm goal! I think that will help a lot – the students of mine who don’t end up sticking with it are the ones who don’t have that future in mind. I know some of the classes (like math…) seem pointless, but the overall curriculum was designed with a holistic education in mind. Think of the great role model you’ll be for your kids, and how much knowledge you’ll have to teach them.

  4. kjlarson on March 15th, 2013 5:40 pm

    Kudos to you. I am a professor at a community college and I am always blown away by students like you who are balancing home, family, school, and for some, even a FT job! I can’t tell you how to get through the frustration, but did want to take the time to tell you how much I admire your drive. A child swap with another student mom or friend would be helpful, as would just getting together for playdates and venting to each other. I must agree, too, that a college degree does not mean as much as it once did. I tell my students they should explore all possibilities before settling on a college degree. Good luck to you!

  5. cathplyr on March 15th, 2013 7:18 pm

    I hear ya. I hated school. I studied biology and chemistry at a private school and had planned to go to vet school. but I didnt want to live at home anymore so I moved out instead and paid off my huge student loans and decided not to accumulate anymore debt. I went to hell and back just trying to get a minimum wage job at starbucks and target. I felt like a fool for wasting so much money on college when there are just not too many jobs out there. I am a pharmacy tech. but I couldve done that without college. KWIM? I’m done beating myself up over the lost years and wasted money. but I know I would not have done that again.

  6. mommyamb on March 18th, 2013 3:17 pm

    Thank you… I’m in school right now and feeling tired and ready to quit. I needed to read this. I have 6 kiddos ranging from 9 months – 14.

  7. homegrownbaby on March 19th, 2013 2:39 pm

    Just remember when it seems to be taking SO long,that time will eventually go by whether you are in school or not, but at the end you will have a degree to show for it. And while a college degree doesn’t guarantee gainful employment, a lot of good jobs are ruled out WITHOUT one! I teach part time at a community college and many of the students are in your position. I find they are often the best students because they are working so hard to be there! I admire your resolve and hope you stick with it! You will always be proud of your accomplishment!

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