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Next Life, NO Kids: Why This Mom is Heading Back to School Even Though it is Selfish

September 14, 2017

Why This Mom is Heading Back to School Even Though it is Selfish

I am heading back to school to finish up unfinished business and get some fancy letters after my name. I'm 70% sure it's going to end in disaster.

I can't wait to be surrounded by 20-year-olds wondering what the hell I'm doing in their classes. The other day I started thinking about how selfish it is that I'm making the conscious decision to sacrifice time with my kids to fulfill this dream of mine.

Why did I wait so long? Why didn't I do this sooner like everyone else?

And then I remembered: I was busy.

I was busy getting sober at 22, and restarting a brand new life without alcohol. I was busy learning how to live -- how to be a mother and friend -- without the incredible relief getting drunk provided me. I was adjusting my ass to better fit into "big girl pants."

I was too busy fighting with myself about whether or not I was worthy of physical custody, and going to court every six months to be reminded I wasn't. I was busy making sure the little girl in my life knew that custodial or not, I was there and present and able to be her mom.

There wasn't much time for school, working two jobs or between the countless meetings I was taught to depend on for air. I wasn't as free to do whatever it was I wanted, because death was lurking around every corner, and college would have been "dangerous."

Then I got super busy with fear; afraid it had been too long, that it wouldn't be like riding a bike. I would fall behind and make a fool of myself. I would fail. And then that failure would trigger me back to a drink and we would all die miserable deaths because of my selfishness.

"How are you going to balance all of this? There's no way!" has been spouted off by a few too many of my female friends. After pressing, it seems if they feel they can't do something, I probably won't be able to pull it off either. Fortunately, that's now how any of this works.

Last week, the topic of this new venture upset my eight year old. He told me I was too old for college, and his eyes filled up with tears. I immediately felt guilty and responsible for these feelings. I jumped straight to how selfish it might be to want something other than this gift of being called "Mom," and I wondered for a brief moment if he was right. I began to freak out a little...

And then I remembered: I was prepared.

I asked him if he was feeling nervous or worried that I wouldn't be able to be a very good mom, because I would be so busy with school. He nodded. I took him into my arms, and I told him (and that doubtful voice inside me) as matter-of-factly as I've ever said anything, "This is going to make me an even better mom for you." I believe that.


Returning to school is for me; most definitely, and could totally be viewed as selfish. It is something I've known I wanted and needed to do ever since I left. I am simply not done walking this particular path. However, there are also tiny eyes watching, and the fiercely amazing message that you are never too old to do whatever it is that you want to do.

Heading back to school is also for my kids. The best thing I can do for them is provide them with a happy, purposeful mother. A mother who challenges and pushes herself whenever possible to change and grow the ways she pushes them to.

Is going back to school right now a little selfish? Maybe. But don't I deserve it? Haven't I worked hard enough to earn the right to take some time to better myself? Absolutely. Won't this selfish act prove to be worth every second in the long-run? I sure hope so.

After all, "It is never too late to be what you might have been." ~ George Eliot


I hope you'll share this and help me spread this powerful message!

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