If I can just survive Finals...

If I can just survive Finals...

I am a single mom who also works and is a full-time student.

My school is 45 minutes south of where I live and work is about 30 minutes north of where I live. I live with my parents, 14 year old sister, and my grandmother. Last semester, my grandmother moved in with us and was diagnosed with dementia. We had to build rooms in order to fit everyone in the house comfortably. For the four months that it took to build the rooms, my two kids, sister and I shared one room.

It was crowded and at times very uncomfortable. My daughter rocked in her sleep and kept me up, and when she wasn't rocking my son was snoring.

I had no place to study and often had to spend what little free time I had trying desperately to find someplace close by that was open to study so that my family could not bother me accidentally.

I felt as though I was unable to spend enough (if any) time with my kids while they were awake and that I was missing out on their lives.

I often was frustrated and wanted to cry almost all of the time. I felt like I was failing everything and that I should just drop out of school and go back to work full time and then maybe I could spend more time with them. It seemed to be the most logical solution.

During finals week I literally barricaded myself in my parents’ bedroom and refused entry unless food or coffee was involved.

Then came the actual finals. After every single one I convinced myself that I was too tired and frustrated and stupid to have passed anything and I should just give up. I waited anxiously for my final grades and decided that if I passed, I could survive anything; if I failed then I would quit and go back to work.

Grades came back a few weeks later and I was extremely surprised to learn that I had passed all of my classes with As or Bs! I had not only survived living with my children and sister for four months, I had done WELL.

That was the moment that I realized I could do whatever I wanted if I just tried hard enough.

The second thing I learned was that my children just saw me succeed at school. They were watching and still talk about mommy's crazy hibernation period. They know that I am going to school and that it is important in life.

I'm glad they witnessed my struggle and survival over something that was so difficult for me. I want them to know that they can do anything.

I think they know that now.

Having It All, At Work, At Home...

Having It All, At Work, At Home...

Can a Survivor of Domestic Violence have it all?

Can a Survivor of Domestic Violence have it all?