How do you manage work & school as a single mom?

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Hi! I am a full-time college student, and once you put all of my jobs together, a full-time worker, as well. I am striving for perfect grades so that I can get into med school. My ex is a stupid jerk (as are most, I suppose) and takes our son only every other weekend (assuming he is not on vacation with the money he whines about not being able to afford for child support). Anyhow, my child has been kicked out of daycare for being sick. Doc says it's a virus that has to pass. I have missed school/work for 6 days now, and am feeling so discouraged. I have no family here to help out, and my friends have children of their own and do not want to take a sick child in. Is it possible to have a child and ever make anything of your life outside of motherhood? I want to hear from women that do it/have done it!! Please inspire me/give me hope my dreams are not impossible!

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Amylarch - posted on 01/21/2014

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Hey, I was wondering the same thing! I am a single mother of three kiddos, I work full time +, and their father has the boys about 30% of the time (or less than that. He doesn't tell me, but the boys state they're with his gf and grandma a lot!), and I do not receive anything in child support (ex is a jerk from a conservative faith background- so, ultimately, the woman is responsible for the kids no matter what... I hate patriarchial chauvanism!). I am taking one class at a time, and having to fight for my time. It's hard, people don't get that you don't have time for them, but it will be worth it. I have a decent job, but with myself and three kids + daycare + benefits and NO support, there's not much I can do other than go to school to get a higher paying career.

Salma - posted on 05/21/2013

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hi beth, i hope my message is not to late for you..i know it is been awhile since you posted your problem, but it won't hurt if i can share little bit with you what i think of your situation that almost matches mine.i am sure life must be hard for you with all the hard work that u do to keep up as a mother and as student , it is very hard , but not impossible. when you start feeling overwhelmed or defeated, tell yourself aloud the word "i think i can" "i think i can" "i think i can"...you might even change the words to ""I KNOW I CAN" do not be so hard on yourself, you are doing great im sure of that.
as you make your way toward success you will be challenged with big obstacles as well as small ones too. pick your battles wisely. while you need to resolve the small issues, do not dwell on them and lose precious time and energy when you should be focusing on the bigger picture (to be a doctor) . in other words do not allow the menial things to clutter your mind and monopolize your time. your son will get better it is just matter of time..if daycare won't take him while he is sick...try to find a trustworthy woman or neighbor to leave your son with her for little bit money just till he gets better then u can take him back to the daycare...because this situation can repeat itself since kids get sick many times. i have two children and if one of them get sick i have to stay home from work and school and when i am about to get back again my other child gets sick by turn. and ill have to stay even longer..and when both gets better i get sick at the end lol. but even though i go to work . life is not easy and will never be..we will have to stand for ourselves and stand up for it and fight to survive in this hard times. all your hard work won't fade away..you will be reward sooner or later. just have faith and god bless you dear. your sister salma from morocoo. peace

Kelly - posted on 02/04/2009

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It might seem impossible, but it's not. It's a long, winding road, but you'll get there. I am a single mother of a 6 year old girl, and she is my angel. Working full time and going to school is very hard, and I just want to throw the books sometimes, but it's well worth it. It took me 8 years to get my 2 year Associates degree, but I did it, and it felt nice. I am now working on my bachelors, luckily with online classes, so I can be home with my daughter. She has been great so far when she knows mommy has homework and online seminars to do. She only goes to her father's every other Friday night, so she only sees him a lousy 2 times a month. What is that?!?! He knows he can see her anytime, but that's his choice because he has t work, so not much I can do. I live paycheck to paycheck, not being able to spend anything more then I want I have to, and it's a struggle. I'm looking into getting a part time job as well, so I can have a little extra money, but that's been tough as well. But after all is said and done, after a stressful day, just seeing her beautiful face makes me know I am in this world for a reason, that I am the one person in her life that is always there and always will be. Take it one day at a time girl, you'll do it!

Kelsey - posted on 02/09/2009

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It definitley is possible. I just graduated as well with my BA in Journalism I got pregnant my junior year of college and had to postpone graduation because I took a semester off when he was born. It seemed so stressful at times going to school with a brand new baby. I only work part-time so it was a bind on my financially as well. I got no paid maternity leave and had to put my child in day care at 5 weeks because I couldn't afford anymore time left and had no one else to watch him. I know its hard. Tests, then coming home and cleaning, washing bottles, feeding the baby, then getting up every 2-4 hours for feeding or crying for no reason, just to get right back up to be at work by 9am and then school right after. I know its long days and long nights but don't give up. I must admit, I had a great support team. My mom stays 20 mins away and my best friend helped me out a lot by babysitting when I had classes, so I suggest you definitely ask your friends who have other kids to help out. Are you assuming they wouldn't want to help you? Remember everyone needs help every now and then. They watch your chid sometime, and sometimes you watch theirs. Thats how it works. Talk to co-workers or other people who may know someone trustworthy enough to watch you child despite the fact that he/she has a virus. Hell, I have even takin my 8-month child to class with me! It really depends on how bad you want it. I've missed classes and been late to classes due to my child, But definitely talk to your professors and let them know your situations. Some may be more understanding. I can remember waking up in the middle of the night with a laptop in front of me and a half-typed paper. Its hard, but you can do it. You definitley have to find a support system, someone other than your own fam. How about your ex's family? Grandma, Aunt? I also used to study at work if you have that type of job? And carry your laptop because you never know when you may have free time to do work. As for my childs father...he was in school 3 hours away and only came home every other month and never kept my child over night! So at least you have those weekends. I graduated only a semester behind, so if I did it I know anyone else can. Good luck mama.

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Brandi - posted on 02/05/2009

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Don't give up Mama!!!  He won't be sick forever...this too will pass.  Yes, for a while, your kids are all consuming.  You don't have to put off your dreams, but you may have to put them on hold.  You cannot do it all and there are only so many hours in the day.  The world has thousands of doctors but your baby only has 1 mommy.  Your ex needs to be court ordered to pay his child support so his "feelings" are taken out of the equation.  It is his responsibility.  Try to get a job where you can work some long hours on the weekends your ex has your son.  Can you move to be nearer to family?  Ask yourself why you are staying there...  Do what you have to do today and don't worry so much about the future.  Put your life's priorities in order and work on them one day at a time.  Nothing is impossible.  ALL things are possible through Christ who strengthens you!!!  This has all been my humble opinion except the last statement...

Sarah - posted on 02/04/2009

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Don't give up girl!   Woman Power to you.  I just went back to school myself.  It isn't easy and I get frustrated alot.  I keep telling myself I want a better life and to show my son that education is really important for you to make it in this tough world.  Keep up the good work and just think that you could still be with that jerk.  Keep telling yourself things could always be worse.  Good Luck to you. 

Sara - posted on 02/04/2009

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Hey :) I am in the same situation, I am currently a full time mommy of three. I am in a town with no family, and between the dr app. dentist app. and everything going on, it's hard!! your dreams are possible!! I am going to school for a law based degree, and my professors are hard on people who do not show up.. I really wish that we all could start a mothers group for support in eachother.. one needs something.. there is one who is there and can help!! I was able to keep my grades at 3.7 last semester but I am falling behind this semester. But I know you can do it girl.. I think of it as we are changing the stars for our babies!! One thing that always helps is if you get a dr. note and explain it to the professors they are ussually understanding. but yeah there is always that one that has a closed mind :( And I hear you on the dad thing, thier dad is an hour away and put his new family before the one he left behind!! He is just now starting to see them every other weekend, after two years of saying that he has to take care of his immediate priorities......yup he his lame.. but hang in there!!!

Donna - posted on 02/03/2009

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hi ive been studying for almost 4 yrs now & its been so very very hard!! putting ur life on hold, staying up late studying, cleaning cooking washing- there have been times ive not been able to get out of bed, just been so depressed and alone. it does get better just keep reminding yourself this is not just for u its for your child too. for a better life so you dont have to rely on anyone espescally the father!!!! cant wait for the day i look him in the eye & he knows i dont need him for anything & neither does his son!!

keep going once you have a stable routine it will get better i promise x

Kristina - posted on 02/03/2009

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You know, I think I actually thought that very same thing the other day! What am I supposed to do, not do anything but be a mom? Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter but I have goals and dreams I want to full fill for myself and for her. So yeah. I can totally relate. One thing I'm looking at doing is possibly dropping a class. It's too much to try and juggle being a full time mommy, student, worker and maintain your sanity and be a good mom and stay healthly. It seems like everywhere I turn there is always another door in my face, hard to open. I'm on a waiting list for child care assistance through my county, sounds like I'll be put on another waiting list at the college I attend for child care assistance, and my ex got a job and isn't able to help out and watch our daughter when I take my night class. So, my advice, is just take a breath. Seriously. Do you have a crisis nursery in your area? that offers child care, counselor/people to talk to, support. I have no family around me either so you are not alone. OH yeah, any my kid is sick too. Going on two weeks. Absolutely sucks. But your dreams are not impossible. They may take a little longer to attain, but you'll get there. Have faith, trust yourself and believe in yourself. Do it for you and for you little one. But don't expect perfection. Do what you have to to survive and try and eliminate some of the stress. Weather it be music, movies ( I know, who has time right) comfort food, exercise, tanning-getting the vitamin D, whatever will make you happy. To get out of that place of being so discouraged and if youre like me, feeling like you just want to hide under the covers and cry! :) Chin up girl!

Gen - posted on 02/02/2009

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You dreams are not impossible! I am not a single mom myself, but I do know many! They just cast away the anger and fustration and give it their all! I know one in particular who battled breast cancer and had 3 kids while still making her business so successful!



Have you thought about working from home to ease up some of the stress?

Demetria - posted on 02/02/2009

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Girl i just did it! I am a single mom of a 6 year old and have two jobs, and obligations to other organizations and no family around either. I just graduated in December with a BS in Community Health. Keep your head up Okay some things that i did were to look up student babysitters. My school had a student babysitter service and you could hire them by the hour to babysit while you go to the library and study or just study at home. This way you dont have to worry about him while you are away. Just pretend to leave and got in another room for an hour or so three times a week to do your homework. Prioritizing is very important. On the weekend, Precook separate and freeze your meals for the week; sit out yours and your son's clothes for the week, and make a to do list for the week. You will be surprised how much study time this will free up for you. also involve your son in your work. My son used to color alongside me while i studied. This only works well with studying for a test or something you just have to memorize because he will talk to you off and on. Make bath time the minute you get home. If you get this out of the way and put on a movie afterward it give you time for other things. Get involved with other single moms at your school and your sons daycare and make friends at your jobs and your church. You will be surprised how many others are going through the same thing and are willing to help. Where do you live? As far as your son getting sick, the babysitters can help out with that if you can afford it.

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