The pandemic has been a whirlwind for a lot of mothers. Despite the pandemic being devastating for many people, college student mothers have immensely struggled to maintain all their daily tasks.
According to edsurge.com many were forced by school and daycare closures to prioritize care and remote learning for their children over their own education and careers.
“Little day-to-day things do add up quickly once you become a new parent and then adding in school and classes … you have to learn to manage your time very wisely, especially so you don’t burn out quickly,” said Jordyn Guerrero a previous social work major, undergraduate student, and mother of two.
College student mothers are expected to “do it all” and although it is possible their personal experiences exhibit how challenging it truly can be.
“The pros of online classes are that you can do your classes whenever unless the professor has a scheduled lecture time. The con is sometimes it’s a little bit harder to stay focused since you have more leniency. The problems I ran into were that I underestimated the time it took to maintain the class,” said Guerrero. “What helped me is that I had a very good support system. My boyfriend is a great dad and would take the baby when I needed to get schoolwork done or run errands. My sister would also watch the baby while I did my homework and completed tests.”
Helping and assisting mothers while they pursue their education is not often thought about.
“I didn’t factor into my schedule breastfeeding, meals for myself, upkeep of daily chores, even just showering, getting groceries, and other errands,” said Guerrero.
While college student mothers have always faced various challenges, the pandemic was especially harmful to women’s academic life and career. According to survey reports by the US Census Bureau, more women than men have had to reduce their number of classes or have dropped out of college altogether.
While many mothers may not have enjoyed online classes due to the quality of education, other mothers found it extremely useful to their packed schedules.
“Some of the pros of online classes I experienced while being pregnant is that I was able to be in the comfort of my own home without the expense of having to commute to school all day,” said Cal State University graduate, Ann Margarett Bacorro. Online classes give college student mothers the freedom to make their own schedules that aren’t limited by specific time blocks. “Online classes have made future assignments available to anyone who wants to get ahead, and luckily for me, that is exactly what I was able to do.”
College student moms need support from those around them to be successful. According to edsurge.com, “women with bachelor’s degrees will earn $623,000 more over the course of their careers than high school graduates.”
“My best advice is: do not give up if it is something you truly want. Find that good support system and the people who do not mind helping you and want you to succeed,” said Guerrero. “Manage your time very wisely. Don’t add more classes than you can handle. You can even start out with one or two classes just to get a feel for it and see how it best fits your family’s schedule and how you can make the time for it all.”
“I’ll admit it can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Find a daily schedule, a routine, that works for you and stick to it. A routine has helped me complete my final year, earn my degree, and take a step closer to my career while having time for myself and my baby,” said Bacorro.
“Be honest with your professors. Let them know your situation. I informed my professors during the first week of school that I was pregnant, and that my due date was interfering with some classes. They offered me time to recover as well as time to spend with my baby,” said Bacorro.College student mothers having the support they need, good time management skills, and a set schedule that works for them will allow them to efficiently manage mom life, school studying, and everything in between.