Keeping the Dream Alive:: Single Parenting While Earning a Degree

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Keeping the Dream Alive:: Single Parenting While Earning a Degree

I am a bucket list, checkbox, Type A person. I have a highlighted, color-coded planner that I consult religiously. I even sit up late at night, grab some Lavender tea, turn on Parks and Rec on Netflix and sticker and highlight away in my planner.
Here’s a few highlights from my bucket list:: Skydiving {check}, travel to Paris {check}, go on a cruise {COVID messed that up}, and get a terminal degree {almost}.

Graduate school doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? A lot of people do it. And knowledge is power, but that power is costly. Especially since I am a single mom, and a full-time teacher. However, this presented the ultimate challenge, and as a textbook Enneagram 3, I did not back down.

But in all seriousness, as moms, we sometimes put our dreams on hold. We subscribe to the rhetoric that says we have to focus on the kids OR regret that we didn’t. That’s not true. It’s possible with serious help from the Big Guy to do both. And besides, I had to complete this goal for a few other reasons as well::

For the Love of Learning

I love learning. Reading, writing, learning a new instrument, a new language—whatever it is I love it! I think I’m one of the only adults that sign up for Summer Reading Challenges { Yes, they have some for adults, too!}. I often spend my free time taking professional development for teaching—not because I have to. I want to. So getting a degree seemed like a nice reward for a lover of knowledge like myself.

High Standards

My parents set high standard for me and I want to show them that their dream and struggles of coming to a new land were not a loss. I am one of 5 siblings, all raised by parents who came here for the chance at a better life. Not just for them, but for their kids. They wanted us to be the best people we could be and believed that education is key to that. My mom worked as a Registered Nurse while she and my dad raised us—oh yeah, and she was also in medical school at the time. So this kind of trouble is in my DNA.

Future Goals

I want to write policy, and to make sure that I am not only competitive but knowledgeable, I decided to increase my education. I often see that people who make decisions about teachers are far removed from education. Making sure I am knowledgeable in current events, and a master of my field will help me develop policies that are dynamic enough to stand the test of time.

An Example for My Son

I respect my mom so much for all of the hard work she did to raise us. {I believe that she is basically the Nigerian Michelle Obama} I want my son to see and admire those same traits in me.

Is it hard? Yes. But the duality of being a parent is that you have to believe in your dreams, just as much as you believe in your children’s dreams. In doing so you teach them that they are an individual that is part of a community—both equally important to helping them become successful. 


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