August 23, 2015
Being a Single Mother while in Cosmetology School by Ashley Paulson
It seems that in each class we start quarterly, there are a handful of students that are playing the role of both mother and father to a child, or children. When I get to hearing their stories and the journey that brought them to us, I immediately resonate with them. First, sympathy takes place. Then, immediately following sympathy… PRIDE.
I remember the day I chose to sign up for cosmetology school. I remember what I wore the day I turned in my application and speaking with Len. I remember the feeling as I began my first day of Basics at Hays Academy, and being both scared and excited. Scared of failing my newborn daughter. Excited to make a better life for her than what I was then set up to give her. As a single mom, going to school full time, trying to work and also finding time to be a mommy was very difficult. Anyone that tells you it isn’t tough is sugar coating it for you. It isn’t for the weak at heart. I was fortunate enough to have a great support system in my family and close friends that believed in me. I worked from home for a hospital doing transcription, and would put in my hours while my little one slept. Though it made for long days at school, I knew it was what had to be done if I wanted to continue my education.
I missed a lot. I missed her first steps and missed opportunities to hold her when she wasn’t feeling well. I made sacrifices, knowing that I had to be making the right choice. Looking back now, I often think to myself ‘how in the world did I do it?!’ It is amazing what we are capable of if we are determined and refuse to make excuses for our situation. I love the saying ‘it’s not about the cards you have been dealt, but how you choose to play them.’ To all the single parents out there trying to make it through school to create opportunities for your children, play your cards without excuses. Play your cards with hope. Play your cards with love. Play your cards with a strong faith. The rewards you will reap outweigh all the tough times, and the pride you feel when you can stand at graduation and say ‘I did it’ is emotional, but incredible. Stay strong!