student life

My Story: Motherhood, studies and the daily commute

Here is my story. I am a full-time third year journalism student due to graduate in summer 2013 and I have a wonderful daughter who will turn two soon.

Here is my story. I am a full-time third year journalism student due to graduate in summer 2013 and I have a wonderful daughter who will turn two soon. To make life more difficult, I commute to the university five days a week. My travel distance is around 40 miles.

Why would I get into situation like this and how can I manage this? Well, I started my studies three years ago – straight after I have finished school. I finished my first year at the university and something special happened – I got pregnant with a baby girl. I do not have much support as my mom lives in a different country, so I decided to take a year off the university to be able to give birth and spend some precious time with my little one.

The following September, when my baby was eight months old, I had to go back to the university to continue my studies, because it would not have been worth spending a year there and then just walk away. To be honest, I was quite happy to come back, because I am just not the one who can spend all the time taking care of their children. I need something different every day.

I can visualise somebody judging me after I said the last two sentences. But they should not. I know some women who can be perfect housewives and they are happy to do just that. There are also many who cannot (including me). People like me need something different – for example, have another job or be studying something. Everybody is different and you can’t blame them for being who they are. I was full-time mom for eight months and I believe we both benefited a lot from that. I am, however, still not taking her to the nursery or anything like that – we (me and my fiancé) are still raising her completely ourselves. He is with her while I study and I am with her while he is working.

It is very hard – I spend less time with my fiancé and being a mom mostly means doing university work at nights, because there is no chance to get anything (e.g. write an essay) done while my little one is around. What is more, we used to live nearer my university, but my boyfriend’s job relocated so we had to move to other city, which means now I have to travel further. I commute by train and even have to change a train each day. As being late is so fashionable (I still can’t believe how bad this is) in the UK, trains are running late more often than not. This means if the first train is late I miss the second one and, as a result, I am late for my lectures.

Furthermore, most young people think that once somebody has a child they are boring from that moment and are not worth spending fun time with – they are part of dull “mommies and daddies club”. I thought no different. But after having my baby I did not change – I am the same young person with the same attitude and views, just with more responsibilities. This means when my friends go partying I don’t, but simply because I have responsibility to be with my little one (which I enjoy a lot!). It is not the same like being “16 and pregnant” or having everything sorted beforehand – own house, good job, etc. I am somewhere in between the two. My priorities have changed; I do not even want to go partying, because my daughter means the world to me and I want to be there for her.  I will go somewhere only when I am sure she’s in safe hands, which probably means my mom is around, which is rare because of the distance. I know fellow students will probably understand all of this only when they will have their own children and that is ok.

However, I do not want this article to look like I am moaning; I am just telling my story. I know there’s light at the end of the tunnel – I will graduate in half a year and be able to work, which means we will be financially better off and I will not have to do any more assignments at home (hopefully).  I am really looking forward to this.

To sum up, life as a student parent is very tough, though manageable if one wants it bad. I am sure I am not the only one being in such, or similar, situation and I would love to hear from people who are or were in the same shoes as I am now.

Feel free to comment.