Since I've started school, I had this idea that if I could be successful at school and being self employed, I would most certainly be a success as a mother just because of the way my son would see me as being so hard working and doing it not just for the money, but because I want to move in a positive direction.

Apparently, I missed the memo on that whole "there's only 24 hours in a day" thing.

Sometimes I feel that my success as a student and writer relies on my failure as a mother. It's the whole balance thing. For me, the closer it gets to completing my degree, the less time I get to spend being a mom. I hate that I'm missing some of the details of my son growing up.

Worse, in between all of that is the fact that I need some adult time of my own. Does that seem selfish of me? I used to think it was and when I'm feeling sorry enough for myself to get pissed at myself for being human, it still does seem selfish. But I know that without some time out for me, I'll end up resenting him and he hasn't done anything to warrant my resentment.

The bottom line is that it's almost impossible to balance the scales perfectly. I've given up trying. While I know I'm failing as a mother in some ways, I think I would be an even bigger failure if I gave up on my goals now. If my success is also my failure, then so be it. All I can really do is weigh all the factors and do the best I can.


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  1. You can always choose to stop; and seed a thought, hug, or time together. Its not the "saying" rather applying. Portion control right? our gut always tends to let us know when we need to pull back..if we don't listen..then it becomes a health issue. OK give yourself a BIG HUG, i mean it, wrap your arms around yourself big breath and SMILE cuz failure is not fatal! It just helps us with our reflection.

  1. i think your doing the right thing . yes you my fill like your missing out with your son but your showing him to go for your goals in life . your son is very smart and he wants the best for you and as you do him. you to love each other very much and it only takes ten mins to sit down and talk and see how he fills about it . you can do bouth your stroung kathy. no one ever said being a singal mom was going to be ease .but your a femal and femals can acheve things guys only wish thay could. so heres a HUG and smile . your doing the right thing.

  1. It seems to me (although I'm admittedly an expert on exactly nothing) that the mere fact that you are weighing your every action against the potential effect that is has on your son says that you are a pretty terrific mother. Trust your instincts, keep moving forward, and do your best to kick guilt to the curb. Guilt is a nasty bastard who will steal your joy if you don't grab it by the back of the collar and toss it right out.

  1. I am so glad I clicked on this particular blog just now. Thank you for putting your thoughts & feelings out here for all of us to absorb. You are doing everything right, everything except one thing, that is. Stop beating yourself up for teaching your precious son how to prioritize. Yep, that's exactly what you are doing. He is learning by watching you how to find time for everything that matters. You need your education to provide a living for the two of you. You need time with your son. You need adult time. Those are all important to the well rounded YOU. So for each the required time is being spent. Is it perfect? Nope. Life isn't perfect, it just IS. You make choices and you work hard. You love your son and he loves you. That is success. (((hugs)))
    Well done!

  1. Going to school while having kids at home is tough. I finished college and law school while my kids were still in middle and high school and I was working. Not easy, but you will do it.

  1. It sounds like you are doing the best you can. You are right, there are only 24 hours in a day. If you are able to juggle being a mom, work, and school and not lose your mind, I would say that is success in itself. Well done!


  1. All anybody can ever do is weigh all the factors and do the best they can Kathy.

  1. I've been there...going to school full time and working full time and trying to be a full time mother...It is not an easy balance. Just make the moments you have together special...a little extra praise, encouragement, a hug, a talk, a movie or a game...just little special moments and somehow it really will all work out!

    Many hugs to you. Jenn

    Great post!


  1. I'm 100% agreement with Word Nerd's statement. I also don't think that anyone can be successful without learning from their mistakes along the way. Mistakes are our stepping stones, you may trip over them at first but once you realize they are there, they will guide you to the right path.
    Don't be so hard on yourself! No parent or child is perfect but they can be perfectly fit for each other and that just takes time and lots of learning from one another and growing with each other. Just enjoy it all!

  1. Thanks so much for all the encouragement. Parenthood really is the most rewarding job, but certainly makes one step back and review every action as if it may be life altering-because sometimes it can be!

  1. Everything seems to have a give and take in life. Now that it is summer, hopefully you'll have a little more time with your son.

    I'm sure you're not the failure as a mom as you think you are. Do you beat him? Not care about him at all? Get high or drunk in front of him? Bring abusive men into the home? Helicopter him to the point that he can't do a thing for himself? Doesn't sound like it to me! The fact that you're worried about raising him right, speaks volumes.


  1. So very true!!! It's a constant juggling act. Nice blog, and I also love the layout!

  1. When I was going to school full time, working before, after, and in between classes, one of my daughters complained that I wasn't spending any time with her or her siblings. She was right. So I set up homework on the table so we could all work together (I had to create homework for my toddler), I made picnics on the floor for dinner sometimes, and I took my homework to places like the local skating rink, so I could work while they played. That worked for me. I hope you can come up with something that works for you.

    Theresa Wiza

  1. There's this really interesting theory called the four burners theory (i wrote about it here: It basically says exactly what you're discovering. You can't run all four burners at the same time but you can't just cook one thing at a time either. Balance is so important-- it's probably the most important thing I look for and the hardest to establish.

  1. Dear Student of Motherhood,

    You need to send me a FB message! I just got an evaluation from my counselor today and I am applying to University in October. I have 6 kids and share some of your guilt. I do have suggestions though that could suppress your guilt about spending time with your kids. It's the simple things we do that make a difference; even if it's only for a meesley 15 minutes. Good luck!

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