College and Childcare

My response to the article :

“The Student Parent Trap”

“As more parents attend college, the need for schools to accommodate them grows.”

This is something I think about every day that I’m at home trying to do homework…if I could afford childcare I could be much more productive with school and way less stressed. It’s so hard to balance taking care of my house, my kids and school that I constantly feel swamped, let alone trying to add anything extracurricular or social outside of those things. I can’t afford to put my daughter in daycare more than I already do (I have her in 8 hours a week and it costs me $36 each week just so I can go to class. The other hours I’m in class Al is home watching her) which makes doing school work at home SO incredibly difficult. $36 might not seem like much, but to a low income family of four, both parents college students, it’s a lot.

Try writing a formal paper on a classic piece of literature with a 4 year old interrupting you every 5 minutes. Most times my only option is to turn on the tv, which I don’t want to do to her all the time. The options for me then are: cruddy work done while trying to deflect children, or late night studying to the point I’m so tired I can’t keep my eyes open. Niether of these result in good grades or good parenting.

Some might say that I could just stay at home and not bother going to school. But I need more. I don’t want to be at home only. I love my kids to death, but just because I’m a parent doesn’t mean I should be delegated to staying at home. I did that for four years and it was hard. Maybe that’s my whole issue anyway. I don’t enjoy being at home with my kids while trying to get things done. I found it hard to be a constant stay at home mom and I am finding it hard to be a student and parent at the same time. Summer times are great, because I’ve had enough of a break that I’m enthusiastic again about hanging out with my kids and doing fun things with them. But lately I’ve run out of energy for it.
From the article : […]”“We hear students say, ‘Well, now I can go full time’ or ‘Now I can graduate more quickly’ or ‘I also might have study time, so my grades are good,’” said Betty Pearsall, director of child-care and disability services at CUNY and president of the National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers. “It is an investment in the community because you invest in these people for the short term and you turn around and see more success, higher salaries, higher taxes, and then you see the data about the results for their children.” […]

I love my kids, I really, really do. I’m going to school, in part, so that I can give them a better future. But there has to be a different way! It’s so stressful trying to balance school work and home life.

Just needed to vent. I’ve been recently informed about the Headstart program here and I’m going to give it a shot. I don’t know why I haven’t looked into Headstart before. I didn’t realize that it was completely free. We’ll see though. Until then, midterms are almost over and then things will feel a little less crazy here. Just have to get through each day and I know in the end it will all be worth it.

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