Within the first month of me going from full-time military to a civilian contractor in support of the military, I surprisingly discovered that I was pregnant. From that moment on, I knew that to go through with this meant that I would be doing it completely on my own. At the time I wasn’t sure how this was going to work with my job and with being in the middle of gearing up for a house move. I admittedly knew very little about being a mother and the costs entailed and decided that I needed to make some life altering choices to make this work for me. I decided to go with a much lesser house to have a lower rent payment and I was doing what I could to prove myself at work so that I wasn’t in a position to lose my only source of income now that I was going to have another mouth to feed. I was actually gearing up to go back to school full time at this time as well and I had to put that on hold. It took several years for to find any sort of confidence in my “mommy” skills and to find the best routine and security in my job. I did end up changing companies for a better family benefits package and more job security. Now that I have established more security and stability, I no longer need to put school off, I am ready to go back. I have already been setting aside time in advance to ensure that I can succeed in this venture.
Before I get ahead of myself, I guess I better get back around to describing what I have learned from being a mother. I have learned more than can ever be put into words. I learned what the true meaning of time management is. You don’t realize how much free time you are wasting in life when you are younger until you forget what sleep is and pray for an extra 5-10 minutes in the morning to make it to work on time. I have learned what it truly means to be selfless and sacrifice for another human being. Previously I had thought that I was being selfless in life, but until I was a mother I never knew how easy it would be to put someone else needs, future and wants before my own. I learned what true unconditional love is. I have always had love for animals, but never had the love I felt for a person been unequivocally unconditional. I experienced the highest levels of stress and I learned the definition of “mommy guilt.” I have fought so many internal battles as I have grown as a person and entered into the process of learning what it is like to care for another person’s every need; to wish any pain and any hurt could be taken into me so that my son would never feel a second of discomfort. As my son has entered into toddler stage I have felt stress at the constant pushing of limits to constantly re-evaluate the way that I teach him in the best way possible for him. The search for the best way is new and different every hour; some days every minute. I have learned that in times of high stress I can reach anger much too quickly and that to yell can make me feel like the scum of the Earth. I have learned that I need to be easier on myself, that some days are good, and some are bad. Other lessons I have learned include learning how to take that deep breath and walk away until I am more level-headed. I have learned that I am not alone and that as our family of two, we are a team and must move forward together. Time management has become my best friend and has made me more efficient than I ever knew I could be at the most menial of tasks. I was always good at multitasking, but I have become a machine now.
Most importantly when it comes to incorporating these lessons into being a prospective student, I now know my limits, I know what I can and can’t handle and I know that pursuing education further is the best plan for me to achieve long-term security for my small family. The heightened confidence that I have achieved as a mother will be incorporated into bolstering my passion, drive and motivation to successfully accomplish this goal. I have the ability to do this at this time in my life, as routine has become second nature. I know that the longer I wait to get started, the more that I would enter into regret for lost time. As I have learned so many lessons thus far as a single mother, I relish the idea of all of the new lessons I will learn in the future.