Guest Post: Homeschooling As A Single Mother Through Graduate School

I’m a single, homeschool mom and grad student. Sometimes just saying (or typing) it makes me tired. But I don’t know anything different. I’ve been a single mom for as long as I’ve been a mom.  My husband and I separated very soon after my first son was conceived.  Before he turned a year old I applied to law school and was accepted.  His father and I had a brief reconciliation for about 6 months during my first semester of classes, but when I found out that we were expecting again my husband checked out of the family.  It was very difficult but I managed to get through law school. It took me a year and three summers longer than I’d originally planned. But I did it and my boys cheered for me last Spring at my graduation.  And because law school was so much fun as a single mom I decided to do it all again as I work towards a Master’s degree in Social Work.

People usually think I’m supermom or a special kind of crazy when they learn that not only to I homeschool but that I’m also in school myself.  While I’m definitely not a supermom, they may have a point about me being a bit insane.  It’s not easy balancing my responsibilities as a mom, homeschooler and student but I do the best that I can.  I haven’t had a pay job in five years. I quit to attend law school full-time.   The boys’ father hasn’t paid child support in a long time.  Clearly money is tight.  My family isn’t in a place where they can or want to help out.

When you are a single mom anything that you add to your plate will have its difficulties: work, school, homeschooling.  The more roles you have to manage the harder it is to find a balance.  Even though I’ve been doing it for a few years I still struggle to make it to the end of the day in one piece. It helps when I am able to keep my priorities straight.

  • God:  When people ask me how I manage it all I usually tell them that I don’t.  And that’s the truth. The only way that I manage to get through each day is with the grace of God.  With all the stress of my day, all the tasks that need to be completed along with the fact that I never have a break I can get really cranky.  The only way that I can control Mt. Momma is through prayer and devotion. There are times when I lay in bed read to give up.  Once I cry it out and give it over to God I always feel better.
  • Mom:  No matter what my other roles and responsibilities are being a mom has to come first {after God of course}.  I am notorious at my universities for letting them know constantly that my boys will trump school every time.  I must be there for my children and make sure that the needs of my home are met before I even think about doing anything else.  I’ve got Bible for that. But on a practical note I’m not really productive at anything if I know that my house is a mess, and laundry is piling up or that my pantry is bare.
  • Homeschooler:  I take my calling to homeschooling very seriously.  And just because we are a family of three instead of four didn’t release me from the job that God called me to.  I do my best to make sure that our lessons are planned and prepped so that our school time runs smoothly. I also make sure to budget and plan for curriculum purchases and supplies each year.  It’s not the easiest choice in the world but it works for us.
  • Student: I’m going to confess that often I’m not the best student. Usually I’m burnt out and exhausted and my work is the last thing on my mind.  But I also have to remember that I’m taking time away from my family to pursue my degree {so that I can use it to minister to others} and that I can’t neglect my studies.  Sometimes this is really hard, especially when the boys are sick and have a ton of school work to do. There are times when I don’t get enough sleep. And there are times when I want to quit. But when I start to feel like this I turn back to God and He always renews my strength and determination.

My life seems a bit crazy to most people. But I love my children, I love homeschooling and I know that grad school doesn’t last forever. With the help of God and the love and encouragement of my boys we’re going to make it.   And we’re going to be a stronger family because of it.

LaToya is a single, homeschooling mom of two bouncing boys. She lives for the quiet moments of the day which are few and far between with two rambunctious young men running around the house. She strives each day to life fully for God and although she often falls short she is determined to stay the course. LaToya blogs about her life at LaToya Edwards: Learning to Let Him Lead.

Comments

  1. Rosanna Nguyen says

    LaToya is absolutely AMAZING! This is so encouraging to read. Blessings to you and your lovely boys. God is so good!

  2. Carlie says

    Thank you so much for this beautiful guest post :) I am blessed to have met you and to witness God’s mighty hand in your journey of life with your two handsome boys :) Thank you, friend, for sharing your heart with us – we all appreciate it!