How to Balance Being a Mom and Student
By Geneva Crooks
College is tough, but you know what’s tougher? College with a baby. My name is Geneva Crooks, I am 21 years old, a senior at Valdosta State University and mother to a precious angel named Luna Skylar. No, this article isn’t about me. This article is for any mom/mom to be or dad/dad to be that wants badly to further their education, but don’t think they can do it while raising a child. This is a bit about my experience, to help you better yours.
I got pregnant the summer after my sophomore year. I was still a child. I was still pretty immature. I didn’t know much about babies or how to take care of them, and my now husband and I were pretty much scrambling to grasp the fact that soon, we would be responsible for a human life. But, we did. We did it. And immediately after discovering I was pregnant, we decided we would stay in school. Here are some tips on how to do it.
First off, just because you’re a parent does not mean all your dreams have immediately turned into fairy tales. It is important to remember that you can still achieve your goals, and that you are still your own person who is important and deserves to go the places you want to go. Also, getting a degree can greatly improve life for your child and how you can provide for them. And most importantly, earning your degree gives your child yet another thing to look up to you for.
I am lucky enough to be with Luna’s father, Devante. The road has been rough, and there are still hills to climb, but we are still holding on together. Anywho, a vital part of being able to attend school as a parent is scheduling. For most parents there are three options on where baby goes, a babysitter/daycare, the grandparents or themselves. For Devante and I, we made sure to schedule our classes around each other so that when one parent is in class, the other is always at home with the baby. If it was not for us paying close attention to the classes we needed to take and the times they were available, school would not have been possible.
A dilemma that a lot of parents face when they consider going to school is how they will have enough time to actually make money and work. As a full time mom and student and a part time worker, I have come to the conclusion that yeah, I won’t be rich now, but after graduation and when all this hard work pays off, I will be able to provide for myself and my family the way I want to. A big part of why we have been able to continue school without taking any breaks is that we have a very supportive family. But if we didn’t I know that we would have to cut back a lot, but we would make it through to reach our goals.
The last thing I want to say about attending school and having a child is how important time management is. Let’s put it like this, as a parent, time management is your best friend. As a parent, time management is a must. With doctors appointments, tantrums and grocery shopping, I have to make sure I use my time wisely. As a normal college student before Luna was born, I had the time to procrastinate and do things right before it was due. Now, I am cautious. I know that as a parent time to yourself to get things done isn’t guaranteed. So I make sure I use her nap times wisely, and even do a few assignments at work. It can be a headache at times, but I know it is worth it.
Luna is my motivation. She is my reason why. When I look at her I know that I can do anything as long as she is my focus. She, a chubby almost one year old who is just starting to take her first steps and talk, is my world. I am just her axis, I would do anything for her. As parents, we make many sacrifices for the love of our children. But our educations should not be one of them.
Geneva Crooks is a journalist, writer, mother, wife, and english and journalism graduate of Valdosta State University as of May 2017.