By Ogechukwu Adiele, Staff Writer
A traditional student is enrolled in about 15 classes and they might have a part time job. However, I am nursing student who has three children and a full-time job. Although student mothers might not be a typical college student, we are a part of the Fisher family.
I remember when I had to go to work from school and didn’t see my kids once that day. I can recall the times when I had to take a nap in the car before I went home because family responsibilities prevented me from resting at home. I can also remember when my kids told me that I didn’t have time for them. However, it is hard for them to understand I am doing my best to create a stable future for all of us.
Courtney Henninger is also a nursing student and a mom. She said it is extremely difficult to meet the demands of college courses and motherhood. This mom juggles her school work by waking up early in the morning to study for tests or finish assignments. Although Henninger doesn’t receive much financial support, she is motivated by her determination.
“It can be very overwhelming and there are periods of crying because of the guilt of not spending much time with my children, and struggle to be the best student and mother possible for my predicament,” said Henninger. “I always feel really bad that sometimes my homework takes precedence over getting them to bed on time, or forgetting when it was show and tell, and I didn’t remind them to pack something.”
Henninger said that being aware of time and outlining a realistic plan can help her complete assignments on time. Although she manages to keep a strict schedule for herself and her kids, she noted that plans frequently change because of her children.
English professor Stephen Brauer, who is a dad, said that raising a child is a challenging enterprise. However, it is brought to a different level when a parent is attending college as well.
“As a parent of two boys, I know what things have been like for me and for my wife as faculty members at the university level,” said Brauer. “It’s a tricky balance of child-rearing, work commitments and daily life that often feels never-ending. It can be deeply rewarding but it’s also physically, emotionally, and intellectually tiring.”
Even though being a mother and attending school can be stressful, I feel a sense of fulfilment and joy when I reflect on this endeavor. The grace of God has been my greatest strength during the ups and downs. Despite the indisputable fact that being a student mom is not the best experience, it isn’t the worst either. I must admit that at the end of everything, it is worth it.