I'm A Mom And I Selfishly Chose To Go To College Anyway

I'm A Mom And I Selfishly Chose To Go To College Anyway

Why the choice to go to school despite my baby was a purely selfish decision.
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Back when I was still pregnant, going on nine months ago, I posted a little Facebook rant. Yes, I gave in to the temptation. I sinned.

This rant happened to be expanding on an article about how the author didn't want to be pigeon-holed as a mother. She explained that she posted on Facebook herself about wanting to do something more fulfilling with her life and got responses saying things like "Being a mom is the greatest thing you can do!" And I would agree that yes, being a mom is one of the greatest things you can do, but it is not the be-all end-all.

She expressed her frustration with this response in her article:

"I still have my own interests, my own thoughts and my own desires...There are things I want to do with MY life that have nothing to do with my sweet baby boy...And even though [my baby] is the most important thing to me in this entire world, there are moments when I'm really engaged in my work...when I forget about him completely."

She goes on to talk about the mentality of these anonymous commenters and the media that shaped them. Basically, society still thinks, in that charmingly backwards 1950s way, that women should be mothers and that should be enough for them. And if that's not how they feel, they should be ashamed of themselves. But if they must be ashamed, they should do it quietly and without fuss.

Needless to say, I resonated with this article. My own rant went a little something like this: "I'm not planning on taking a semester off and I think some people are a little put off by this, like I'm a "bad mom" or I'm too naive to realize how difficult this will be. But I will not put my life on hold just because we are expecting a baby. I am still a person. A person who is about to become a mom, yes, but that is just one facet. I am also a wife, daughter, student, singer of songs, lover of books and all the things I was before I got pregnant."

Yet people still managed to twist this around too. I got replies that, on the surface, seemed progressive and encouraging, but upon closer inspection undermined the feminist message.

These are some of the comments I got:

"Your baby is going to be very proud of her Mom."

"Your education will improve the quality of your child's life in ways you cannot even imagine yet."

"You have to be you first. In doing that you will teach your child to be strong and confident in who they are themselves. You will teach them that they can do anything they set their mind to and give them pride in their parents to know that you still finished what you set out to do."

Deceptive, aren't they?

The consensus here is that it's okay to do something "selfish" as long as it's actually, secretly, all for the benefit of your child. I could go to college as long as my end goal was making more money to support my baby or setting a good example for her. But not simply because I wanted to.

And that's honestly what it came down to. Those selfless reasons are not my motivation, there are coincidental perks. I wanted to go to school because being in class, studying, reading, enhancing my brain, writing, socializing and getting out of the house are things that I like to do. They make me feel fulfilled as a person, as a human being, on a fundamental level.

I don't need any other reason. Why should I? Why do women historically have to justify their actions as selfless? One of the main reasons that men were persuaded to give women access to education in the first place was because we could then better educate their children—specifically their sons.

No one questioned my husband for not being a stay-at-home dad. They immediately assumed that he would continue to work. Yet a lot of people expected me to at least consider quitting work and dropping out of school—"at least until the baby's school age."

Why are women automatically expected to be overcome by hormones and maternal nesting instincts? Why do our lives have to stop when we have kids? Why do our lives have to revolve around our children? Why are we considered "bad moms" if they don't? What good does that do anyone?

Cover Image Credit: Happenings of the Harper Household

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter
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I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

https://secure.img1-ag.wfcdn.com/im/d5ea3c03/resize-h2000-p1-w2000%5Ecompr-r85/3021/30217778/Express+6+Volt+Cordless+Bagless+Handheld+Vacuum.jpg

One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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