Student-Mommy Life


Tatyana Ratcliff, Staff Writer

“Have a kid”, they said. “It’ll be fun!” they said. Just kidding! Who in their right mind would ever suggest such a thing to a 19-year-old, in an unstable relationship? It was the exact opposite, as a matter of fact. It was more like “You can’t afford this baby”, “What about school?” and “You’re not even married”. Fast-forward six years later, and Ta-Da! Here I am, successfully raising a little boy who is now a kindergartener, a beasty football player, and undefeated at ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’.

Being a student and employed since Ka’Van was three-months-old, ‘stressful’ is not a strong enough word for what it has been. Sure, there have been roadblocks, times of uncertainty and times that I have been discouraged; but the one person that keeps me going is my son, without a doubt. Knowing that he was placed in my life for a reason it is clear that I was chosen to be his mother for a reason. Some still have their doubts about my road to success while being a young mom trying to obtain a B.A. and start a career in Journalism. But they were wrong then, and continuing to prove them wrong while elevating in success is the goal.

Ka’Van is healthy, his reading level is far beyond where he is expected to be, he is caring and compassionate towards others, and his personality shines bright.

Being a mother, it is sometimes complicated to be a parent and a student. Inevitably, when push comes to shove, Ka’Van will always be the center of my life and main priority. However, sometimes pursing my career and maintaining a healthy role model and provider for Ka’Van conflicts.

Take last week for example. In the morning, everything was perfectly fine. It was shaping to be a wonderful day. Ka’Van was his simple jolly self, ate all his breakfast, and my class work was close to being done. As the day went on, my paper was nearly done and all of a sudden the phone rings. When the schools named flashed across the screen, I could not help but ask myself, “What is the problem?” The school never calls in the middle of the day with good new. Preparing myself, I answered and the teacher tells me that Ka’Van was misbehaving in class. He was running from the teachers and not listening. At that point they required me to come and get him because he is now a liability for himself and others. As simple as just picking him up sounds, my deadline was quickly approaching and my quest for perfection ate the clock up so much that I could not finish the paper. Ultimately, I missed my deadline; however, when mommy duties call, good or bad, Ka’Van comes first.

Situations like this are definitely strenuous, but definitely not impossible. It all goes back to understanding your own character and what you are capable of. Things could have been so much worse. It was definitely inconveniencing, but not the end of the world. Understanding your child is also a great way to determine how to react. A six-year-old such as my son is a definite busy body just trying to adapt to an environment with children his age.

That is a major understanding on my part because I was not at all a fan of kids until I had my own because I am the baby of my family. I had no interaction with kids younger than me. When Ka’Van was born, it was such a wake up call, but it’s been a meaningful one. He teaches me patience, calmness, and love. Although the phone calls home drive me up the wall, I am reminded by that innocent face that things happen and people make mistakes. No matter how many dishes he drops, or how many times I have to unplug the toilet, or how many times his toys poke me in the center of my foot, I wouldn’t change my life or give up on this journey that I was set to walk. I am dedicated and if I can parent-and-student, anyone can!