Diary of a Working/Student Mom: How I Survived My Bachelor’s Degree


Last summer while on vacation I turned to my husband and announced, “I’m thinking of going back to school and applying for the bachelor’s degree completion program at Pacific University.”

student momHe took a swig of his beer and said, “Okay. You should probably do it now.” I finished my wine and went inside to find my laptop. And so the tale began…

July 21, 2015

Email from the director of the program: “On behalf of the Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) program faculty, staff, and students we would like to welcome you to the BHS program.”

Pure elation. I’m going to be a working/student mom and get my bachelor’s degree!

August 29, 2015

I’ve met the 22 other people of my cohort for orientation. What lovely people. They all work, have families, and lives. They get it. OMG. They get it. This is going to be awesome.

September 1, 2015

First day of class. Thank heavens for Laura from Wondersitter. There is no way I can do these online classes with a toddler interrupting every five seconds. Hopefully my parents will be back soon to help me with child care, but, hey, I managed to keep my regular after-work gym routine!

October 1, 2015

I have to write a white paper for my comparative healthcare class. What the hell is a white paper? *hyperventilating* I’m going to fail. At least my mom and dad are back.

Dude, I totally got this, even though I haven’t gone to the gym for a month. Uh-oh, my chocolate stash is getting low.

November 15, 2015

We’ve started our capstone. I don’t know what I’m doing. Why did I think this was a good idea? *reaches for the wine bottle and opens laptop* Here goes nothing.

December 14, 2015

Miracle of miracles! I passed my classes with As and Bs. Don’t know how that happened, but I’m not asking questions. Hello, Christmas vacation! Zoo lights, shopping, and cookies. Oh, and hello gym, I have missed you.

Jan 12, 2016

Here we go again… My daughter can put herself to sleep now, therefore no need for sitters. I love my classmates. They always make me laugh. I totally have this. Yo bachelor’s degree, you are so mine.

February 11, 2016

I’m doing my part of the final group presentation with my mic and webcam on when my daughter comes out into the living room and announces at the tops of her lungs that she has to poop. Without missing a beat, I glance up at her and say, “Well, go poop then,” and continue with the presentation. Fail.

March 22, 2016

Yay, spring break! Not. I still have class AND a very sick toddler, my parents are out of the country, I can’t find a sitter, and I have to work because I don’t have enough vacation hours to take the week off.

Woke up with a sore throat for the fourth time since January. I’m so sick of being sick. I’m so sick of school. *Cat pukes on my text book*

April 5, 2016

I despise my life. Why did I think going back to school while working full-time and being a mom was a good idea? Oh, and I’m sick. AGAIN. However my daughter wants snuggles before I do my class tonight. I’ll try to not breathe on her, because the last thing I need is a sick kid, too.

May 24, 2016

First of all, I’m going to fail. Further more, my house looks like a set from the Walking Dead, and I haven’t showered in several days. My cat just pooped on my arm as I’m trying to log into my class (probably trying to tell me I need to bathe). My daughter once again announced she needed to poop while I was answering a live question in class. That bachelor’s degree feels like a fantasy from another lifetime ago.

June 21, 2016

I just want to crawl back in bed and never get up.

“Yes, baby?”
“When you get done with school, will you have time to play with me?”
“Yes, baby. Now go to sleep.”
“Yay! I love you, mama.”
“Love you too.” *wipes tears and opens laptop*

July 20, 2016

Capstone dead week. Average sleep per night is four hours (for the last two weeks). Times snapped at my daughter = ten and counting. I take rest of day off and crawl into bed to cry until there are no more tears. I can’t do this. I’m so close, yet I want to throw in the towel. I haven’t had sex in weeks, not that I’m interested or even have the energy. I can’t sleep, I hate my life, and want to die. *Cat pukes on the bed* I laugh now, because I don’t have anymore energy to cry.

July 21, 2016

1:43 p.m. final capstone paper has been submitted. I am in shock, because I’m exhausted. To celebrate, we’re driving to Seattle to see Sting & Peter Gabriel, and then coming right back the same night.

July 23, 2016

That’s all she wrote, folks. This student mom completed her bachelors degree of health science at Pacific University. Graduation here I come!

Working, Student Mom


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