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.

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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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.


I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.


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