Mama Motivation: The Old Adage Stands True, ‘I Shine, You Shine’
How many cold meals have you eaten as a mama? I realized cold meals were my destiny for the next eighteen plus years when my dinner sat lonely and my newborn baby filled up her tummy, like a swelling water balloon, with the sweet, warm liquid nesting in my chest. My thinking then, and now, my needs can wait. I need to make sure she (and now they) is taken care of. Meeting needs has gotten much more complicated now that we are way past diapers and every three hour feedings. When I had my oldest I was a single mama with a high school diploma. Thank God I had parents to motivate me to go back to school. Any mama who has gone back to school knows the act of signing up for classes is presumptuous at best. Much like the notion of raising children, you have an idea that it’s gonna be tough. But you push past the nail biting and hand wringing fear of the things you know you can’t predict, because somewhere deep inside you are confident that you can overcome whatever comes your way. I moved pretty easily past my own attempts to shatter my confidence: Should I quit work full time? Can I afford to quit work full time? These questions were a mere 2 on the Richter scale of confidence shifting. The 8’s and 9’s of earthquake shattering confidence were triggered when exhaustion and the unexpected erupted in my life. It was then that my brain rattled with: I must be crazy to think I can do this. What was I thinking? Who told me I could do this? Will this degree really make a difference? Will a job even be there when I graduate? I usually suffered these bouts of self-doubt when I sat trying to fill a blank screen with words from chapters I should have read weeks ago, a baby crying (or that just won’t sleep) and a deadline approaching fast. Oh and there was that one time I got ‘called into the office’ and warned against working on school assignments at work (even though I had done all of my work and had nothing to do). Somehow I made it. Thank God I did. And it’s nice to know that the hard work I put in will not only benefit me, but my children too. The Foundation for Child Development revealed in the report, Mother’s Education and Children’s Outcomes, that:
- Children whose mothers had not graduated from high school were 13 times more likely to be poor than children whose mothers had a bachelor degree.
- More than half of children lived in poverty if their mothers had not graduated from high school, while almost no children whose mothers had a bachelor degree were poor.
- Median family income in 2012 for children whose mothers had not graduated from high school was only $25,000, compared to $106,500 for children with mothers who had completed a bachelor degree—a difference of $81,500.
Have you gone back to school? Are you thinking about it?