To anyone who is a working parent in school…

To anyone who is a working parent in school…

It’s 11:03pm central as I write this post. I haven’t written a blog post in a while…since JUNE, even! At this point I may as well just write whatever I want, because I’m pretty sure anyone that had been reading my blog previously has probably moved on (except my one faithful reader, my grandmother…thank you Mimi xoxo…if you’re even still reading!). The truth is that I’m not ready to let my blog “go”, but I haven’t found any time to actually pay attention to it, and sit down to write. The additional truth is that every second that I’m not sleeping, working, or spending those precious seconds of the day with family, I’m up late (like tonight) doing school work. Oh, the life of a working parent in school!!

There are some days that I have no idea what I was thinking starting my MBA with a full time job and a young family to tend to; that I’m CRAZY for even wanting to be a working parent in school. Then there are other days that I feel pretty invincible…only to have the roller coaster repeat itself, and find myself crashing down and feeling my stomach drop along the way. Last week I was angrily throwing all of my scrap paper into the trash can after a financial accounting test that I received the same poopy grade on a month before, but studied twice as hard for, and then tonight I felt a surge of super-woman power. I accomplished all the work things during the day, took the kids to swimming class, left them in the gym daycare for some actual one on one dinner time with my husband, brought them home, got them fed and halfway to bed before my weekly Zoom session began with one of my class teams. And then, after finding my husband asleep on the couch watching the Steelers, I had enough time to do some more school work, some leftover REAL JOB work, clean up the house, put more trash out for the neighbors to judge us on (somehow our family of 4 has more trash than the Duggers, I swear), took a shower, and came back downstairs to write this post. Because somehow I felt motivated to get it all out here.

There are apparently 7.7 billion people in this world, and I know I’m not the only working parent in school. I’m not the only one trying to make it in the corporate world, while also raising kids, running a household, and also in some type of educational program.

During residency week of my MBA program, one of the teachers mentioned how hard this would be, understanding that all of us have lives outside of the classroom. She said that some days, you’ll just need to tell yourself “I can do this”. And repeat. And repeat. And repeat again. And again.

And I have.

This one phrase, I’ve repeated ALL the time. All. The. Time. Sometimes I just need to hear it. Sometimes I repeat it over and over again during the only Zen moment I seem to be able to have nowadays, when I press my hands over my ears in the shower, close my eyes, and let the water run over my head (try it, it’s pretty relaxing). I’ve said this to myself while driving, while writing, while going to sleep, while studying, while taking my accounting tests (which…hasn’t worked but whatever). (So thank you, Dr. Duck, in the event you ever happen to read this…I think your discussion on this has probably saved my entire existence)

If this sounds like you…someone who has all the things going on, and you’re just trying to keep your boat above water without rocking so much it capsizes, or is filled so much it’s starting to sink…just keep telling yourself you can do it.

Because you can.

You can.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Didn’t do so hot on that test you just took? Will it matter when you make that walk and get your diploma? Your laundry is in the wash for the 4th time because you forgot to change it over in between all the other things you have going on? (I’m on round 2 here, high five!) It will get done, and laundry detergent for that extra washing isn’t real pricey anyway. Got the kids McDonald’s because you just needed that quick dinner instead of some big dinner circus act tonight? (another hand raise here) It’s FINE. Get your stuff done. Move on. Spend your extra seconds with the kids, because they need it more than the textbook does. But also, remember to forgive yourself for the time you need to just get that work done and submitted so you meet your deadlines. You can do it.

These nights that we’re up til 1am getting our work in…it will end. This will all end, eventually, and you’ll have whatever your end goal is, and move on. As all the parents like to say (me included), “the days are long but the years are short”. The years are short. You won’t be doing this forever. I won’t be doing this forever. WE won’t be doing this forever. You won’t be a working parent in school forever.

You can do this. I promise you, and I promise myself. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.

Are you a working parent that's also in school? It doesn't matter what level of education you're pursuing, it's HARD work! And you need to read this! #encouragement #workingparents #momsinschool

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6 Comments

  1. Mimi from Kleinheim
    October 29, 2019 / 6:12 PM

    I understand, completely. I did that once but it was for undergrad and my children were older and able to fend for themselves. The hard part was the end when I took 5 courses that last semester because my husband wanted me to,”hurry up and get done.” Your courses, I know, are hard and trying and take so much concentration because you have to leave so many other aspects of your life behind in order to accomplish the goal. It sounds like your getting into the groove of it and that makes for success. You’ll do it, along with all the others that have a similar goal. I send you energy and love. Mimi XXXXX

    • Meredith
      Author
      October 30, 2019 / 9:52 PM

      Thank you! xoxox

  2. Janet Duck
    October 30, 2019 / 8:47 AM

    Meredith – You rock! I love this and I appreciate your perspective on being a mom in school and juggling life from top to bottom! I was there during my MBA/PhD and I think this forum will resonate and SAVE so many parents who are in the same arena! Thank you for validating that I should continue to say “you can do this!” … I will continue to pass on these words at Residency. I remember my Dad saying this to me during those years when breastfeeding was my “break” activity – sometimes (many time) accompanied with tears.. he said it, and said it, and said it… and it was my saving grace on many days. Keep your words of encouragement coming – you are making a difference for so many – I am sure your family, especially Mimi – is so proud! and from someone who has survived the days of the young kid arena of juggling – and is now a mother of young adults – they will be in awe of what you have accomplished – and how you helped others along the way. and Meredith. You.can.do.this! :). ~ Dr. Duck

    • Meredith
      Author
      October 30, 2019 / 9:53 PM

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment–I really appreciate it, and appreciate you taking the time to read this as well!

  3. Zerlinda Armes
    November 2, 2019 / 2:05 PM

    Needed this today, thank you. In a whirlwind of thinking it is all too much, getting the mindset that it won’t be forever is helpful.

    • Meredith
      Author
      November 2, 2019 / 10:25 PM

      I’m with you, it’s like this constant juggle between “omg I can’t handle this!” to “don’t worry, it’s fine!”. You’ve got this!!! You can do it, just keep repeating it even if you don’t feel like you can. You can, and you will!!!

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