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Juggling single-parenting & studies

May 2002

HI, I am a thirty year old single mother. I have been going to a local community college in the bay area now for five years. I never finished high school so I went to get my high school diploma. And went on to prepare for a four year university and my major. During all this time I have been receiving governmental aid. I wanted to work, but with my child and full- time college I just did not know how. I have now, been accepted to a good university and I am preparing to go. I hope that financial aid will help to get me through the one-two years that I need to be there. Just to think about carrying out a part-time job while studying and taking care of a seven year old child scares me. I want so much to get good grades so that I can go on to graduate school-while working -it has been my life-long dream. I just can't wait to get out of school so that I can do the normal parenting and enjoy my child without the stress of homework and finals. Does anyone have any experience with single-parenting while being a full-time student. It seems so hard for me. I don't have any family here and rely on friends very little. I detest my financial situation and hate myself all the time for it. Yet, I want to be the best mother that I can for my only child. I don't want to compromise my child's already hard(only gets to see father about once year)life. Anyone have any suggestions or advice. I am desperately in need of some. Thanks. anonymous


Just your commitment alone to both your future and your child has me convinced you can do anything you want. I have seen many women, parenting mostly alone, go beyond even their expectations with their focused will to make their life better than ever. What achievers! An inspiration to all. I have found for myself that utilizing the hours of 10pm to 1am to be my surest formula for success. My child took a lot of energy for years to go to sleep, and it often wasn't until 9:30-10:00 pm. That's when Peets coffee and I reunited again that day. Also, I have done different creative trades with other Moms so that we could mutually help each other out in a crunch. I also explained to my child what I was doing so that she seemed to absorb a little bit of the team spirit of her mother getting through school. I just submitted my MA's thesis last week so all I can say is YOU CAN DO IT. Good luck! proudly anonymous
hi--i don't know if you live in university of california housing, but in the uc village there are some resources for single parents, particularly a group run by dianne rush woods called the single parent group, that might be helpful to you. i think you should call her even if you DON'T live in the village-- she may know of other resources, or the group may be open to you if you're a ucb student. if you do go to cal, and you don't live in the village, you might consider it--there are many other supports here, including several single parents! give dianne a call, and good luck. jessica
I was a single parent - no relatives in the area - and a full time student for 4 years with my daugther being between the age of 4 and 8. Can't say it was easy, but it was doable since I could work only on a very reduced schedule (4-8 hours a week) because of a scholarship. I used all kind of financial & community support I could find: WIC program, free school meal for my girl, scholarships at the Y for daycare, university housing which at that time was rather affordable. Many times I just brought my girl to the computer lab or to class - yes, I had a 7 year old listening to a 1 1/2 hour lecture on database structure, the fact that she loves to read so I could just give her a book helped a lot. Good luck! Giulia
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