A lot of times stay-at-home parents are stereotyped as ‘having it easy’. It’s thought that we sit at home watching television and eat fattening food until our little angels come in the door from school. That’s humorous.
Recently in the last few months, my oldest son said he wish he didn’t have school and could sit at home like me all day; that mommy hasn’t had a lot of school and mommy’s okay. What?!?
And my oldest daughter has said that she wants to be like me when she gets older – have a husband and kids, and stay at home all day. Again, What?!?
Wow. I didn’t know I had it so easy.
I’m glad that I was able to correct these misconceptions immediately. I quickly informed my misled children that mommy HAS had a lot of time spent on higher education, and a lot goes into caring for a family each day. Fortunately, this opened the door for a good discussion between the kids and me about the importance of school.
Like many parents, we want our children to have more than we did, to do more than we did, to have more opportunities than we did, and set the best example for them as we can. This is what pushed me to return to school in 2007 to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. It took me a long, trying five years to complete it.
In my five years of schooling I had:
- two pregnancies,
- four surgeries,
- six moves (four were out of state moves),
- one full time job,
- two part time jobs,
- homeschooling for my oldest two children for two years,
- and daily obligations while caring for my family.
When I started school we were a family of four, and when I graduated we were a family of six. I had a lot of tiring days of studying that seemed to never end, but I finally passed my Capstone Project in November 2012, and walked across the stage at the Commencement Ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia on February 9, 2013.
I immediately started on my Master’s degree the Monday after returning from the graduation. I was determined to go as far as I could with my schooling with only a two month break between the Bachelor’s and Master’s program.
I burnt out fast and was exhausted by Spring. My chronic pain was in full force and pain management was nonexistent. I was still homeschooling my oldest two children, so I was juggling their school, my school, my two youngest children, and running a somewhat functional house.
In the summer of 2013 I made the hard decision of putting my Master’s program on hold until I could get my pain and family obligations back under control and more manageable. I struggled with the fact that there was the possibility of me not returning to school due to future unforeseen events. I promised myself that I would return, regardless of how long before I returned.
Best decision. Ever.
Now seven months later, and much sooner than expected, I am able to return to school in the summer and complete the few classes I have left in the Master’s program. I am excited and looking forward to my next graduation ceremony!
Learned lesson: Do not give up on my goals no matter what comes up. Deal with the speed bumps when I cross them, then keep pushing forward.