It was down to the wire in the semester. Classes were coming to an end and everything was suddenly due. I stared at the computer trying to concentrate on the assignment at hand (one of what seemed like a million) but it wasn’t happening. I was usually pretty good about these things; I was always so on top of everything.
Although the fact that I was hours away from giving birth to my second child could have explained a few things.
That could have been it.
Hello, I’m Donyae. I’m 24 years old. I’m in college. And I’m a mom. This . . . makes things a little different. I haven’t always been a mom in college. I’m not one of those “went to school after they had their baby to give them a better life” cases. I was already in school. And then, bam!, one of those little suckers slipped past the goalie. Instant life-changing event. Less instantaneous then a car crash but somehow more life altering, because once that little person is inside of you it’s not all about you anymore.
And I was fine with that. I accepted my responsibility and made it my goal to finish school and finish it well.
But, once that baby pops out people look at you like you’re some sort of college leper.
There’s no way you can possibly achieve your dreams and still be a good mom.
You’ve made a mistake now live with it.
Baby = the end of the road for you.
Kick ass magazine job in NYC? No. Foreign ambassador? Absolutely not. Start flipping burgers – you got a baby to feed.
(And that’s why I breast feed; because it’s free…and you can do it while typing.)
For me becoming a mom was about not giving up. Sure I can no longer run the streets and stay up all night cramming – I just don’t have the energy – but I’m still fun and fabulous. I’m still awesome and brilliant and all the other random stuff I was before. I don’t want to say that getting pregnant forced me to grow up, because that’s cliché and stupid (and not really that true anyway). I was just as grown up before; I just have better time management skills now. And I can budget my cute little butt off!
I didn’t shut down my world. I actually made a point to expand it. I travel more, I keep in closer contact with my friends, don’t let things with school get overwhelming. I’m more open with my situation (not just the babies; I mean getting sick, backed up with work, whatever) than I was in the past. Before I was more apt to keep it all to myself and let everything get out of hand. Now I just try to be open and up front about things with people and approach everything with an open mind.
Despite all the stares and naysayers I keep on keeping on: with school, with life, with everything. Having a baby does change things – I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. I would be lying if I tried to say that life was just a walk in a park after kids. It’s not. It’s hard sometimes and things are different but it’s all for the greater good. Sure it’s a little more difficult, but you learn to do what you have to do to make it work.
3 am feedings? That’s time to plan out next week’s term paper.
Effects of language in young toddlers? I have test subjects.
Being a mom in college isn’t about some great struggle against society. I think I’m awesome and my kids are awesome and that’s the way things are. Yes I’m a mom but at the end of the day, I’m still me.