Making the decision to enroll in school felt like a giant leap of faith.
In a lot of ways, it still does.
As a mother of three, my responsibilities are vast and some days they seem endless. Laundry has this tendency to pile up on its own until it threatens to take over the house. Dishes clamor in the sink until they demand attention. I won’t even mention cleaning out the refrigerator. That is a nightmare in itself.
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of sitting next to a stay at home mom while my youngest attended basketball practice. I listened to her describe her routine to me and as I listened I also looked her over. She was dressed neatly, hair perfectly pinned back, and her shoes matched her purse. As I noted how together she looked, I did an internal look at myself, hair in a messy ponytail, wallet crammed in my coat pocket and I could feel one of my socks slipping.
I couldn’t help but wonder if I was doing this motherhood thing wrong.
Here I was, sitting next to this perfectly well-groomed stay at home mom who just told me her day centers around her children, and I’m a full-time employee considering going back to school wearing a slipping sock. As I sat next to the mother of the year, I felt guilty over considering enrolling in school.
Enrolling in school seemed selfish. I would miss out on some of my kids' practices and play dates.
Enrolling meant less family time, less homemade dinners, and rushed homework sessions. As I wallowed in guilt over the thought of placing myself before my children, realization kicked in: I have to go back to school, not for me but for them.
My children are the highlight of my day. I don’t want to miss a moment of their lives, but I also want to be the type of person my kids can look up to. Do I believe you have to have a degree for your kids to look up to you? Absolutely not. But I don’t want my children to look up to someone who allowed obstacles to stand in their way. Instead, I want my children to see a fighter who slays dragons, not a cowardly knight who ran away when his sword was nabbed because this knight brought a spare.
I slay my guilt dragon and enrolled in school. Instead of focusing on obstacles, I found solutions. Family time became more valuable, causing all of us to work very hard throughout the week so we can enjoy one another on weekends. Crockpot meals and casseroles have become a staple in our household.
My eleven-year-old son is also learning to cook. My husband is a Godsend during homework sessions and he and my seven-year-old are my biggest cheerleaders. My kids and I complain about homework together and it’s created a solidarity between us.
I made the decision to go back to school and as Robert Frost said, “And that has made all the difference.”