Need a cheering section from other single student mamas! X-posted in Working/Student Mamas forum - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-14-2008, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey mamas! How many of you are single student mamas? I have a 2yo DS full-time...his bio dad lives 1,600 miles away and only sees him 3-4 times a year so I have him 100% of the time. I have been a FT nanny until recently so that I could be with him at all times. I have also been trying to rebuild a photography business on the side (I used to shoot freelance years ago) but that takes a lot of time to build up and is not always consistent. I have recently decided to go back to school to finish my degree. I have already been admitted back into school now I just have to get the financial aid I need to do it. My school has a really great scholarship program for single parents who have not yet completed a bachelors degree...it would pay for all of my tuition, fees, books and a stipend for my entire degree. I don't want to get my hopes up too much but the advisors seem to be really positive about me being able to get this scholarship. I have never written an essay for a scholarship before! ACK!

So how do you single mamas do this? Do you go FT or PT? Do you live on your own or with family? Do you have other government assistance? How do you manage your time?

I need all the encouragement I can get!!! This is exciting but yet scary! Oh...and I am pretty sure I want to go for Graphic Design since it would be a nice compliment to my photography and it seems to have endless possibilities in terms of career paths and creativity.

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#2 of 9 Old 01-14-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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::You can soooo do this!::

Writing an essay? You're a mom - an essay is a piece of cake compared to that.

Go for it - and congrats!
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#3 of 9 Old 01-14-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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First of all, that scholarship for single parents sounds AMAZING! I wish I could find something like that. How did you find out about it?

I'm newly single, and I'm just taking 2 online classes this semester (AND living with my parents). I'll be going full time in the fall, though, and working part time. Fortunately, my mom will watch my kids for free. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to do this.

I take all the financial aid I can get, which helps also.

Good luck!

full-time student and single mommy to 3 fabulous little guys!
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#4 of 9 Old 01-14-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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good luck, it sounds like a wonderful plan.
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#5 of 9 Old 01-14-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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You can do it!!!

I'm a designer. So I'll tell you how I did it...

When my dd who is now 4 turned 2 her dad and I broke up (he doesnt even call much less visit...). I knew I had to go back to work so I decided I should use my degree (BFA - Graphic Design). I had worked in print before but never web design. For about 6 months I babysat so that my daughter could stay with me and during naps I read books and taught myself to code and at night while she was in bed I made websites for people for trade so that I could build a portfolio.

When I had enough work to start interviewing for a real job I put her in daycare full time. We started with part time for a couple of months and eased in. I got a job making half what I should have been making but it was worth it because it got my foot in the door and I gained a ton of experience and portfolio pieces. Now 2 years later I am an art director!

I looked at the whole thing like a ladder and just kept saying to myself "babysteps..." even when I was exhausted I would just remind myself to move forward... Every day try to do at least one thing to move me toward my goal.

This is an exciting time for you. Full of potential and possibility! Enjoy!
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#6 of 9 Old 01-14-2008, 04:42 PM
 
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Like everyone has said YES YOU CAN DO IT!!! That sounds like a wonderful scholarship and I would love to find a scholarship program like that at one of the local colleges for myself so consider yourself lucky.

I am working on my BA then plan to continue on and get my Masters then possibly Phd so I will be a student mama for a long time.... lol!
Right now I am taking all my classes online and doing my homework while my one year old daughter sleeps. But after a year of doing this I have some new plans to make it work a bit better.

CHILDCARE / STUDY TIME
My first choice is my ex to spend time with my dd 12-16 hours a week broken up in four hours chucks with me present for the most part... honestly this is the best visitation arrangement that he and I both agree on but this options has challenges (I will put that in another post though)
As a back up option this semester I will hire a mother's helper / babysitter for about 12-16 hours a week (which the state covers because I am in school) who would play with my dd so I can study.

HOUSING
I am living with family and though it has it's advantages I would opt for your own place if financial aid will cover it. Also I strongly suggest looking into family/married housing on campus as well as on campus childcare. Everything would be in one place and that would make it easier for you to be close to your child and still right in class. No need to commute, park, etc.

ESSAY
For your essay take the time to write it when someone else is watching your child so you can really focus on it. It seems like too good of a scholarship to give half of your attention.

GOOD LUCK!!!!

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting." - Buddha.
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#7 of 9 Old 01-14-2008, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the advice and support, mamas! The scholarship is the Nina Mason Pulliam Scholarship and it is offered at two schools here in Indy and mine is one of them. It does sound amazing so, even though the advisors seem really positive that I could get it, I'm not getting my hopes up. Too high, that is! I know it's also offered at a ASU and another school in Arizona, too.

MamaLotus: Thanks for responding! It's nice to hear from someone that is a designer. You might hear from me on occassion, if that's ok!

LoveOhm: Thanks for taking the time to tell me how you make it work! I wish that I could count on ex to be a part of child care but he lives half way across the country. I do have plenty of family for evenings and weekends, thankfully, it's just weekdays (when I'll be taking most classes) that will prove to be an issue. The living situation is a problem for me...my parents are graciously offering to let us live with them but they have a bad habit of overstepping their boundaries in regards to my DS. I could see it creating more stress than help, YKWIM?

This is getting so exciting!
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#8 of 9 Old 01-15-2008, 03:14 AM
 
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I am a single mama to 5 kids ranging in ages from 10 down to 5 months old. I *just* started school, and am on a 3-4 year path. My mom and sister are helping me tremendously with free childcare(I will pay my sister somethign when I get some financial aid), and the kids' dad might start watching them once or twice a week so I can go to school/study. Keeping my fingers crossed for that.

Single mama to Alex(13), Maddy(12), Sam(8), Violet(6), and Ruby(3). fly-by-nursing1.gif
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#9 of 9 Old 01-18-2008, 08:04 AM
 
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It's not easy. But it's doable.

I am in grad school full time. I schedule classes on the 2 nights a week my son's papa has off. I use those days to the fullest. I study every potential time I can. I have to take my son to meetings sometimes, but it is my only choice. My son has paternal family here, and they are helpful to me on weekends. But mostly it's me. I have back up and support from friends.

My school has childcare, but it closes before I am done and it was a waiting. If it met my needs, I would undoutedly do it.

You can definitely do it!

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