Toddlers: 24 Months+

Having a hard time balancing priorities

ChelsiAnn13ChelsiAnn13 member
edited October 2014 in Toddlers: 24 Months+
Hi everyone. I don't post often and I'm usually on baby names. I'm not even she this is the right place to post this.

Background --
I'm a single mom of a three year old. I moved back in to my parents house with her and my fiancé at the time when my boss wouldn't let me pump. My parents told me to just quit, and since I Was the breadwinner they would support us and do one better and send me back to school. It was an offer to good to refuse. I am blessed. (They adopted me at two so it was a chance for them to experience the infant stage and they didn't think they would ever get grandchildren)

Anyways I have since broken up with my fiancé because he was always cheating and never helped out... Yadda Yadda. I have no hard feelings and have since met someone who treats eevee and I better then I thought possible. He even helps me clean (we don't love together since I'm still at my parents) and tells people she is his daughter. I'm a bit smitten still abd it's been over a year lol.

I am now a sophomore at an art college and I love it. But here in lie my problem. Art school means every assignment is a project and I can do little to none of it at home. My parents help me all the time but during midterms and finals I am sometimes there 24 hours. And even then it's hard to get my projects done. I've noticed since this last midterms I am still having to put more and more hours on. And I enjoy it and I need to do it for our future. But I was a stay at home mom until she was two (I was still nursing until 2.5) so being away from her this much is really hard. She's with my parents and goes to a preschool she really likes and is happy at home but I feel like an awful mom. This last midterm I hadn't seen her in almost 48 hours. I didn't finish my assignment until 5 am, I have to leave my house by 6:30 to get to my am class on time (it's a 30 min drive with out traffic) but I went him and climbed in bed with her for the hour or so I had anyways.

Am I a horrible mom? :(
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Re: Having a hard time balancing priorities

  • Thank you. That does make me feel better. And that's the problem. The papers aren't an issue and there aren't even written tests. Im a jewel and metal major so it metal working or glass blowing or black smithing mainly. I admit that school is not geared for returning students. A lot of the older classmates struggle with making time for these projects. I just still miss her so much.
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  • Thank you so much. You don't know how much better and inspired I feel.
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  • I am definitely in the camp that you need to do what you need to do for your future.

    I am married with a 2 year old. I work full-time and do 12hr shifts, so I have 3-4 days off each week. I went back to school part-time, distance this fall. It's for a degree I technically need for my position and was promoted to the position with the understanding that I would work towards this degree. My manager and executive director are supportive and have said they don't care how long I take to complete as long as I'm working towards it. To them it's just a piece of paper, but something the funder requires.

    All of that said, it means managing my time really carefully. When I have a lot to do for school, I send my DS to daycare for an extra day on one of my days off. I've actually been pretty impressed with my ability to get things done quickly and early, when I have the time to do it. It's been about 5.5 years since I was in university so I was nervous about how I'd transition back.

    I do feel guilty occasionally, but the degree will be useful in the future and keeps some doors open for me. I also consider that while I do play, engage with, and am present with my son on my days off, he has way more fun playing with the other kids at day care so an extra day there is certainly not to his detriment. I also consider the fact that he'll be starting school part-time next year. Soon enough he'll have his own schedule and things that don't revolve around me so it will be easier to make some of those sacrifices with time.

    Just remember your intentions. It's not to spend time away from your LO or avoid responsibilities at home, it's to better your future and build a stable life for you and your LO. Your LO has a loving and supportive home life and will one day appreciate the time and effort you took to builg the life will you have. Don't feel guilty for that!
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  • You are working to build a better future for yourself and your daughter. Try to remember that the time you are spending away from her is truly temporary. School isn't going to be forever. You are sacrificing time with her  so that in the future you can make a better life for both of you.
    When you have some time off in between semesters make it special time to spend with your daughter.  It isn't quantity of time you spend with a child, it is the quality of time. When you are with her, try to give her that extra hug, read that story one more time, listen to her about her day, etc.  And once school is over, you will get back to a normal schedule again.
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  • You are not a horrible mom in the least!! You are doing the best thing for her by continuing your education.  There are just so many more opportunities available with a college education and you will give her a stable life by focusing on this.  I can relate to feeling guilty as I'm a single, working mom with a 2 yr old.  Sometimes I feel so sad that I can't spend more time with him.  Evenings are just rushing to get dinner done, prep for the next day, etc. and he is with his father half the weekend.  I know that by focusing on my career, I'm really guaranteeing my son a stable future where he has everything he needs.  And school will be done in no time at all for you.  I try to live in the moment with him as much as I can and I make our weekend day together a really special day for him.
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  • You are not a horrible mom!!!!

    If it makes you feel any better, both DH and I have to travel for work sometimes and don't see our kid for days/weeks at a time and once, we took a weeklong vacation without her. If I can go for a week without seeing my kid for the heck of it, then you can go for 48 hours because you are getting and education and working hard to make both of your lives better. 
  • I'll come it at from the other side.

    When I was your daughter's age, my mom worked full time AND went to school full time.  She worked as a nurse in a hospital, which meant sometimes she'd be there for multiple days straight depending on her shift.  And she went to nursing school in a different state, so days she was in school she was gone before I woke up and home after I went to bed.

    I grew up and am a relatively well adjusted adult.  I don't have any memories that don't involve my mother at that time, so it's not like I remember her being absent.  And I remember as a young adult being so in awe of everything she did, how hard she worked, how she was able to do so much.
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  • I think you are doing a great job!  When your daughter is older, she won't even remember the short periods you were away, but will see that her mom worked hard and made a great life for her. And she is getting to know her grandparents in a way that many children never do, so what a great gift for both her and your parents.
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