My Career Comes Before My Child
by: Raigan Mastain •client experience coordinator - The Hatchery•
It's 4 A.M. which means in 3 hours my day will start. Salim (suh-leem) will crawl into my bed and ask for his chocolate milk in a way that only a three-year-old can. He'll then ask his daily question "Mom, is it a work day?" And he knows that the answer will most likely be yes.
For me, a typical work day involves a daycare drop-off, an opening shift, a drive across town for college marketing courses, finishing up the time I have with childcare answering emails and tying up loose ends, and then back across town for daycare pickup. Dinner. Bath time. Stories. A few snuggles. Sleep for Salim. Then it's on to homework, work-work, and eventually, sleep for me.
You guys - motherhood is NOT for the faint of heart! And single motherhood? Don't even get me started on the unique set of challenges that entails. I have to let you in on a little secret, though. It's the secret that actually propels me through the seemingly endless days, sleepless nights, and seriously crazy schedule.
The secret is my career comes before my child.
I know, I know - you're probably thinking to yourself "What kind of selfish, heartless wackadoo says something like that?!" So allow me to have a chance to explain.
When I had my son and knew I would be his primary (and, more often than not, sole) provider, I made a decision that I would provide him with every tool possible in life to be safe, healthy, happy, and successful. For me, that means many things. He needs to attend a good daycare where he's engaged with his peers and receives an early childhood education. He needs nutritious food. He needs enrichment through the arts, math, science, and anything else he's interested in. He needs the self-confidence to know that, with hard work and the right attitude, he CAN do anything he wants to do.
So with that in mind, I quickly realized I would have to hustle. School became a top priority. If I wanted my son to value education, I knew I needed to model that behavior. If I wanted him to value hard work, I needed to be able to show him what that looks like in day-to-day life. It also means that I owe it to him to relieve any kind of pressure that may be felt by a financially strained household.
So by those standards - I learned that I must put work and my education before my child for the time being. I ask for help when I need it to meet a deadline or focus on finals. I enlist the love and support of his family and our friends because it truly takes a village.
For now, while I'm juggling both work and school, I sacrifice my days with him all while knowing he is loved, cared for, and educated through his daycare.
I choose to allow others to step in so that I can step up and be the example my son needs to be a good man.
So yes, during this period of transition and growth in our lives I put my career before my son - but like all things, this is only temporary - and I cannot wait to show him how far we'll go.