Big Mama on Campus?

My friends, I think I might have lost my damn mind.

On my daughter’s 1st birthday I found myself standing in the shower when an idea ran headfirst into me, climbed up my body, burrowed into my brain and has been nesting.. Sleeping.. Growing. This is an idea that I haven’t entertained in a very long time and one that is overwhelmingly big and scary.

The idea?

Going to school. To college. Pursuing a career that can help sustain my family. I love my job, love where I work but at the same time, my family is only going to grow and expand, and so are our expenses. It’s not fair of me to expect my husband to do all of the financial contributing and advancing and so the idea took seed.

I started to think about what I could do with the rest of my life that wouldn’t suck my soul dry or drive me insane and what I came up with was teaching. Specifically, small children. Preschool/Kindergarten age. I don’t think I can handle a mass quantity of children any older than that.

Then I started thinking about all of the steps I’d have to take to get to where I’d like to be. The financial commitment. The time commitment. The fact that I want a second child sooner than 3 years from now. I’d be looking at possibly a 5 year commitment to furthering my education. Most people my age are done with their degrees, or are almost done with their degrees.

I sought the advice of my husband first, asking him if I was completely batshit for even entertaining that. However, my husband is amazing and asked me how anything I wanted could possibly be batshit? He then told me that he’d stand by me no matter what, and support me if it’s what I really wanted. I expressed concern at how difficult it would be and how overwhelmed I was. He told me that if anyone could do it, I could do it.

So I’ve decided to take small steps. Baby steps. Take it one little piece at a time and try not to look at the big picture so much but focus on small goals that I can set for myself and reach. I asked my brother for some advice because he is wise in the ways of college and higher education. He too gave me his full support, and suggested I make a list & timeline of small goals and long-term goals. He also reminded me to keep in mind what sort of time and emotional commitments I wanted with other things. Family, chorus, work, etc. I knew I sought him out for a reason.

So, there you have it. I’m entertaining the idea of chasing a degree in early childhood education. The idea is thrilling, exciting. I worked on a college campus for almost three years and I can remember walking around the grounds on my lunch breaks with my iPod playing and watching everyone. I would see them walking to and from classes, stopping to talk and laugh. I’d see them hunkered over books, notes, also listening to iPods.. And I wanted to join them. I wanted to be taking notes, reading books, and learning again. Does that sound crazy? I wanted to be a part of their world.

It’s also completely terrifying. I mean, it’s really scary to me for some reason. I think it’s because it’s such an unknown thing to me. Will I have the time to balance work, school, Nellie, my husband, chorus, and potentially having another child? Josh and I made a loose plan for baby #2, plans that will probably be implemented within the next year. Clearly going to school pregnant, and then with a newborn won’t be easy. In my heart I know I can do anything I put my mind to. I’m very determined, and I’m pretty good at getting shit done when I decide I want it done.

It’s a big step. But it’s a step to my family’s future. I want my kids to look at me and be proud. I want my kids to look at me and realize that if I can just up and choose to start at the beginning when it comes to college at the age of 27, then they sure as hell can do it, too.

Deep breaths. One foot in front of the other. Baby steps.