Being a student means having a lot of priorities – I have readings I have to do, I have assignments I have to research for and write, I have classes to attend and presentations to prepare.
Being a mom means having a lot of priorities – I have a kid to take care of, mind, body and soul. She has a lot to say and I want to be listening. She needs back rubs and baths, she needs meals and sleep, and I’m the mommy.
Being a student mom means that my priorities are always in flux. I want my daughter to get everything she needs from me, but there is a pile of work that I have to get done. And I’m also still working on my own business, trying to earn a bit of an income at least. So the student and mom portions fight for the top spot.
I also need to feed myself, sleep and try to get some exercise and figure out where I fall on my priorities list.
And lastly I’m a wife. We’re celebrating 7 years next week, except we won’t actually be celebrating because I’ll be in class all day. We don’t get our evenings together because I’m in class or I have work that has to get done.
It’s almost impossible to get readings done while the kid is present, so I spent most of Sunday with my head down at my desk trying to make sense of things.
The levels of guilt piling on – not seeing the kid, not being there when she needs me, not getting my exercise in, not getting my readings done, not getting to office hours to ask the questions I need answered.
And the guilt is accompanied by fear – the fear of screwing up my assignments and all of this being for nothing, the fear of losing the connection that I have with my kid now that it seems like I barely see her, the fear of a total disconnect with my husband now that we’re back in two different worlds, and the fear of spending this year growing fatter and more unhealthy because it’s all just too much.
All of this together leads to panic and tears. Overflowing tears. Nights spent restless because I’m wondering what I’m forgetting about this time.
And I don’t know how to make it all make sense, or maybe I just have to live like this, teetering constantly, to get through this year. And then decide if I actually do have it left in me to do the next one.