Some of you know that I started a full time MFA program this fall, in addition to working on my book, and being a mama to two little guys. It’s been adventure, to say the least, and I’m hoping to share a little bit about that adventure here every week.
The backstory is this:
Before I decided for certain that I absolutely wanted to attend the program I googled all over the Internet trying to find stories from other mothers who had done what I was considering attempting, and had not only survived, but thrived. I found next to nothing, which seemed to me to be the indication of one thing: that I would be attempting a next-to-impossible feat and would never have time again for anything, let alone blogging. (There were several blogs about mama’s attempting PhDs—but the independent, longer term nature of writing a dissertation is entirely different than attending a full-time, studio based MFA.)
I spent an agonizing few days after I was accepted, waffling.
Would I miss out on my children’s early childhood, going back to school now?
Would I be a terrible mother?
Would I be able to maintain any semblance of balance?
Each question seemed to have a heap of negative answers perched precariously like a bucket of water to dump on the fool who would walk through such a doorway… and yet, there were many reasons to go for it, the biggest of which was simply this: if not now, when?
I’m 32. At a crossroads in my career where I urgently want to be full time the creativity and passion I’ve been quietly cultivating on the side until now. If I wait until my kids are bigger, I’ll have closed certain career doors that I very much want open.
And while my kids are not particularly at the easiest point they’ll ever be at, we’re getting closer to that easier place. My boys are 5 years old and 20 months old. The older one, Bean, is old enough to have rounded the corner from utterly dependent to mostly independent and occasionally helpful; the younger one, Sprout, is, well, not so independent yet…. In fact he’s full throttle toddler: all impulse and curiosity. Still, he’s the most flexible kid I’ve ever met, which makes otherwise insurmountable moments with two kids, slightly more attemptable.
The other thing that I have is a rock-star support system. I have incredible inlaws (yes, I lucked out) who live close by and who are utterly and completely supportive: saying go for it. We will do anything we can. Similarly, I have dear friends and a husband who have said the same, and together they have rallied around me to watch my kids, pick them up, drop them off, and provide unwavering encouragement (and the occasional meal!)
So I’m in school. Full time. While writing a book and raising two boys with a village of help. This will be a weekly chronicle of that adventure.
I’d love to hear your experiences about being a full time student and parent. Please share!