Being a young mum feels like falling through the cracks, camouflaged behind toothless smiles and big blue eyes. It’s wanting to give your degree your all but only having a fraction of yourself to give because the rest is at home stacking blocks and knocking them down.
It is being built up by immense joy and pride to be completely shattered by a sleepless night or defeated by tears you simply don’t understand.
It’s saying “sorry I wish I could” and hearing “I know your circumstances are different”.
Desperately trying to better yourself for the sake of your child but feeling as selfish in doing so. Mum guilt creeping up on you in the middle of a lecture. Assignments begging for attention that you can't bring yourself to give during wake windows. So it's exhausting days followed by excruciating evenings packed with work.
It is wanting to be good enough but impossible to be good enough for everyone.
Being a student mum is dressing a little smarter than most others because University is the only place I'm free from unwashed hair and hoodies covered in food, snot and spit up. It’s coming out of the shadow of your child.
It’s feeling alive as you engage your mind beyond the words of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’. It’s eating with both hands but missing the little fingers grasping for a taste.
University days mean no chores to do, no bottles to make and no nappies to change. That's what being a student is.
Coming home to all those tasks after a long day of learning, to everything you left behind.
It’s gorgeous smiles that scream “I missed you mummy!” and cuddles to show he means it. It’s childrens shows on TV while I scramble together dinner for it to be thrown on the floor.
It’s bathtime and bedtime with inevitable evening tears. It's a bedtime story and a kiss goodnight.
It’s finally sitting down and then remembering the bags need to be packed for tomorrow.
It's one last kiss goodnight and lingering in the doorway because he’s so peaceful when he's asleep. It’s watching him sleep for a little longer, reminding myself why I do it.
That’s what being a student mum is.