It’s hard to believe that just 15 months ago I learned I was pregnant. Oh how time flies, and how quickly life changes in such a small amount of time. My life before Jacob was vastly different. I used to be able to get up and go as I pleased and come home whenever I wanted to. Although I have always been good at budgeting and saving, I didn't have to think too much about what I spent my money on. I worked, went to school, shopped and went out with friends - the average life of most 20 something year olds. After becoming pregnant though, my life and the way I thought and spent my money instantly changed. Something most parents can relate to, I’m sure. But in those first few months I made many promises to myself, including that I would never lose who I was before my son. With that came my dedication to school and my career, something I could not give up. So I walked into my classes proudly sporting my little belly for 8 long months, completing the year with a 3.8 GPA. Jacob was born the month after, and I spent the summer falling more and more in love with my handsome little fella. I grew so attached that it was hard to believe I had to leave him in September to continue my studies full time (which now included an internship 21 hrs a week). The HARDEST decision I had to make was to continue on with school and leave my son in the hands of someone else; imagining that I would miss his smiles and coos, that they would possibly witness his milestones before I did. Thinking for many nights I would come home just to put him to bed and wake the next morning to drop him off once again. Would I be a good mom if I sacrificed the time I had with my son so that I could continue on with my education? All through my pregnancy I knew exactly what my plan would be. But that all changed as I watched him sleep beside me.
Somewhere during a break between one of my many crying sessions, I came back to reality and reminded myself that I had to do this – for us. No longer could I be selfish. And crying at night because I didn’t want to leave my boy was selfish. I had to think about the bigger picture – if I didn’t get my degree, who would support us later? Where would we be? Daddy wasn’t there to take care of the bills. It was up to me to ensure that my son had the best and brightest future. It was up to me to make sure that I provided all his necessities and more. It was up to me to make sure that my life was in order, and that I took care of myself and my responsibilities so that my son would be okay later on. In reality, I know that Jacob will not be in years of therapy because mommy wasn’t always there when he was an infant. He will be perfectly fine; It is me that is dying inside. I realize that it is now, when he is too small to remember, that I need to complete my degrees. This way when my son is 2, running around and starting school, mommy will be there to love, support him, and provide all that he needs.
So as I get ready to complete the last semester of my undergrad, I remind myself that I made the right choice in moving forward with my goals – except this time around, I have even greater motivation to succeed. I am reminded every time I pick him up from daycare and he looks up at my with bright eyes and a toothless smile from ear to ear that melts my heart. I still get to play with my son, hear him coo and laugh, and watch him smile as he develops and grows. Momma’s still here Jacob, and we will be just fine.