The Life of a Student Parent
"I live in a constant state of exhaustion and I wish I could sleep for at least a minimum of three years, it's tough, balancing everything..."
It's late 2020, and we've all been let out for the first time since March. I feel sick, my period is late, and my boobs were especially tender; I was pregnant. S*** this wasn't supposed to happen yet. I was once told by some mystical lady I would have a child before 24 but I did not believe that would happen. I took a gap year between my Bachelors's and Masters's degrees to travel, work and learn how to drive, not be stuck in a global pandemic and fall pregnant. This was not how my life was supposed to be. I also lost my job because of the said pandemic, and for the first time I had to depend on the wealth fare system, and let me tell you, this was perhaps one of the lowest points in my life. I had failed.
I would be lying if I didn't go travel all the way to a clinic to discuss my options, because for the first time in my life I did not know what path to choose. I only saw two in front of me. 1. Live the life of a stay-at-home mum, I could still write, but yea stay-at-home mum or, 2. Continue my education come September and build my career. I could still write. I just didn't have the heart to go through with it. Then it hit me, 3. Become a mum, balance my education, and build my career. I can still write.
I am a woman of the twenty-first century, and here to defy all odds. If it wasn't for other women like Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minster of New Zealand, who brung her newborn baby into the beehive (parliament) while she did her duties, I wouldn't have found the courage to continue my education and take this path; my own path. My MA is in the field of politics, and here a leader, a woman, and a mum, showed me that path already exists, I just have to dare to walk it, and dare I did. I submitted two essays before I gave birth and three essays post-partum.
Fast forward to 2022, the present day. Here I am writing this article, my son is nearly two years old, and I am in the second year of my MA (I took another year off because of the life that is mum life). I have a solid plan and have found the balance between study and parent. It is here I want to state that I am 25 years old, so still got plenty of life ahead of me, and my future is now not just mine, it is my sons too. I am doing this to better my son's life and maybe inspire him also. I am so incredibly lucky to be his mum, and I am internally grateful to have him. I never knew what love was until I had him, and I realised how powerful I am because of him, the things I have been able to do, that I thought I wouldn't ever be able to do, I can and it's thanks to him, my little bubba.
Don't get me wrong, I live in a constant state of exhaustion and I wish I could sleep for at least a minimum of three years, it's tough, balancing everything. But gods, it is rewarding. It is so worth it when I wake up and I open my bedroom door to see a beautiful cheerful bouncing cheeky little lad standing by his gate full of excitement to start the day and have breakfast with an episode of Bluey of course.
I did not intend this way of life and I'm not saying it for everyone, you got to have the strength, the determination and the willpower. The ultimate rellisence. Many days I spend crying for five minutes or so, letting it all out as they say. My days are filled with looking after my son, housework and maybe if the little man is eating his food nicely, read a quick chapter or two, or maybe write up some lecture notes. My partner works nights, so he is asleep until mid-afternoon, this is when he takes over for a couple of hours while I attend a lecture. They happen every other day and aren't for long; these are the benefits of studying part-time.
Once that is done, it is dinner time, and my partner begins to get ready to leave for work. At this point in the day, I am so tired, because it's been nonstop since the second I opened my eyes, and I am in a great deal of pain. Having Cerebral Palsy means I use three times the amount of energy as opposed to an average able-bodied person. I don't get three times the amount of sleep, however, no, no, no. Sadly not. Never mind because those fish fingers need cooking as there is a prince waiting for his dinner while he watches an episode of Peppa Pig. My partner helps as much as possible, and I push myself as much as possible.
After my son has had his dinner, he's played for a little while to let all that energy out, he has his bath and goes to bed. Some nights he goes to sleep instantly (emphasis on the some), yet most nights he decides to stay up for a little bit and then goes to bed when he has had enough. He's a clever little one, he knows when he has to sleep, but won't go without a fight. I remember this one night in particular where he just wouldn't sleep for more than twenty minutes, I resulted in putting him in the car seat rocking him back and forth and only then did he stay asleep. The things you do as a parent I can't begin to describe and if you are a parent you know what I am talking about and probably are smiling about it while you think about all the chaos your children have brought into your life.
Huzzah! Victory! The battle is won! The prince of Camelot is finally asleep. I can breathe. My body can rest, but my brain cannot, however. Time to get my laptop, pen, and notepad. Got to prep essays, finish the required reading lists for the week, and get the research in for that looming dissertation. Oh and make sure my Vocal page has got something new on it this week, a minimum of two - always.
It is beginning to get late, I have my well-earned smoke (You Can't Spell Healthcare without THC), and relax. My head hurts, and my body is somewhat numb. I run a ridiculously hot bath, that could possibly open the gates of hell, as I do set the fire alarm off often. I also like candles, because I am that lady, yes I am. Sometimes I might read, sometimes I pop my phone in the holder and watch a documentary of sorts, but sometimes I just sit there, in silence, and enjoy the peace and quiet. That silence that only comes in solitude, when you reach inner peace, it's that. I am content.
Once I am done, it is off to bed I go, as I face another day of a basket full of never-ending laundry. Thank goodness, tomorrow never truly comes ey?
It is hard. I will not lie, but I am happy. I am content with my severe caffeine addiction. I am not where I want to be, however, but I am getting there, I just have to keep moving, and I have to keep believing I will, and have faith in myself of course. I wrote this article because I know I am not the first to be faced with such a decision, and I know I won't be the last. This is just my story, and I wanted to share it...
Stay safe, stay hopeful, and stay blessed!
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About the Creator
Rosie J. Sargent
Hello, my lovelies! Welcome, I write everything from the very strange to the wonderful; daring and most certainly different. I am an avid coffee drinker and truth advocate.
If you're open to an argument follow me on Twitter @NuttallJasmin :)
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