Being a mother has brought so much joy to my life and I now truly understand the meaning of unconditional love. When I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I were extremely excited.
I had just begun my senior year at CSUSB and as time went on, I had progressed in my pregnancy but continued my studies and attended my classes as usual. Things started to become rough as I entered my last month of pregnancy. The aches and pains were more apparent and I knew that my child would soon be here.
Once I gave birth to my daughter, I started having anxiety and I was so nervous about everything going on in my life. I wanted to finish my studies and be there for my new baby girl.
Due to giving birth through a cesarean section, I was in the hospital for a week. School had begun for the new quarter, and I followed up with my professors from each course I was taking letting them know my situation.
I was back in class sooner than the doctors would have liked, but I pushed myself because I am extremely close to graduating. It is hard trying to balance time for course work and taking care of my now nine-month-old daughter.
To ease the stress of the weight a mother carries, I make sure I have a plan of action. It is important to plan ahead so that you can decrease your already full workload as much as possible.
Everyday is a new day, and I start by preparing my daughter’s diaper bag as she goes to Nana’s house for the day while I head to class. I have time to study while she sleeps. I know how long she sleeps during the day, so I can usually get some work uploaded to Blackboard or read a chapter or two from my textbook
I know not everyone has the convenience of a babysitter or someone who can care for your child free of charge, which makes things even more complicated for moms like myself.
The college campus has many resources to check into. They have the childrens’ child care center available to all enrolled students. They do charge, so I would look into the cost.
A program by the name of CCampis (Child Care Access Means Parents In School) is a fairly new resource that gives a grant to those enrolled in their child care program for low income parents. I also highly encourage you to communicate with your professors.
When times became complicated for me, I brought my daughter with me on campus and took my final exams in the professor’s office during office hours. The key is to communicate regularly and not overwhelm yourself with obstacles that come your way.
Just know that there is a finish line, and with hard work and dedication, school will be over and graduation will be here. With an amazing support system, I kept going and now have reached my last quarter and will be graduating in December of this year.
What I will say about my experience as a new mom is that when I look at my daughter everyday, she makes me want to do better and continue to push myself to succeed. Being a mom doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed, it just means that you have to take a little more initiative to fulfill the needs of both full-time mom and student.