Here I sit, in the campus library, during my third week of school. I am exhausted, getting over being sick and looking at the books from the two classes I am taking. All the while feeling completely overwhelmed already but at the same time satisfied with being here. My parents are almost always shocked to hear about how much I love being in school now because I was a horrible student when I was younger and hated having to go. In fact, I probably missed more of my classes then I attended because I could care less by the time I reached my senior year. I had learned that I didn’t matter after I got tested for LD’s (learning disabilities) and I really didn’t care. I knew I was going nowhere in my life.
Enough of the self-pitying. It took years for me to come to the conclusion that I wanted to get my degree, no matter what. It hasn’t been easy. It took me eighteen years to get my Associates Degree, as well as attending five or six different community colleges in three different states, and I am now working towards my Bachelors. It also took me that long to realize that I wanted to get a degree in something I loved. I could care less about getting a degree in something that would guarantee me a big paycheck. As well as the fact, that I wanted to be able to get into a field where I could hopefully work around my child/ren lives, and not them live around mine.
My biggest hurdle was that this semester I was going to have to put my Son into daycare if I was going to continue working towards my degree. My hubs and I had long conversations. I wanted to just give up and stay at home with Son and any future children, I didn’t need a degree right? He pushed me and encouraged me to keep going. Son is almost a year and a half, he has spent his entire life up to now with just me. It will possibly be another year and a half before we can even comprehend having another kid. He needed to be around other children, to learn to socialize with kids his own age. I know there are some out there that consider my decision to go back to school as a selfish act, because I am putting that above taking care of my Son. Hell, I feel that way as well but I keep reminding myself that getting my degree will hopefully benefit him one day as well. He is also seeing that education is important because I am studying with him and in front of him. That as long as you have a dream, you can fulfill it no matter what your age or barriers that come up. My barriers were self-inflicted: I never thought I was worth the work to get a degree. I felt I was no one special so why try. Just like in relationships, my lack of self-love was hidden behind a false front of confidence (I didn’t need no one or anything to make me happy) when I was dying inside. I don’t want my son to grow up seeing that in a woman… a self-hatred, lack of self-respect. I want him to see me as a strong woman, who works like crazy for her dream.
Yes, I am giving up three days a week with him… well, partial days but our time together now is more precious. For three days a week, it is just me and him. On Saturday and part of Friday, its only daddy who exists. I am also giving up time with my husband. We now only have one day a week together because of my school schedule but those days are more about us being a family then me being with Son while Daddy works around the house. Hubs gets Fridays while we are at school to work and get things done. By the time we get home… we can be together. Saturday we can go out. Or they go out and I stay at home and study. Its working, it’s not easy but it works for us in the hopes that one day we can take bigger vacations together and show our child/ren the world, or get them into better schools, help them with activities, etc.
I also look at the benefits of Son being in school; I say school not daycare because they do learning time even if it’s a very broad amount of learning. In less than two weeks, his language skills are getting better (he says bye now), he is learning to wash his hands, put on his shoes, drink from a cup, serve himself food, etc. The school is also on campus, which helps me feel more secure. If something happens, I can be there within two minutes from anywhere on campus. He has an actual teacher who leads his classes, and comes up with lesson plans as well as at least four other ladies he can flirt with while he is there. He listens better than before, though he is still a handful, and like I said this is just after two weeks of classes. Maybe it sounds like I am justifying myself and in a way I am because I want to make sure he is happy. Yes, we have gone from not caring that mommy is even the room to screaming when I leave; but it doesn’t last long and when he takes his naps, we have a ton of fun when we get home. Some days there are screaming fits, especially when he is over tired and he is constantly wanting to be outside now but he sleeps better than ever (actually tries getting into his crib himself).
So, here I sit, wondering still if I am doing the right thing for our family and the answer will always be yes. We have goals for our family and to reach them, I need to be able to attend school. But I couldn’t do it without the support I get my Hubs. One of the benefits of marrying one of your closest friends, is you know that they always wanted the best for you and always will. While yes, we have to sacrifice time as a family and some alone time so I can study, we see it as being worth it. I lucked out with my Hubs cause he believes in me in a way that I wish I could believe in myself. Guess I need to take the time and look at myself through his eyes more often.