My mother was married right out of high school. Although she continued her studies at the local university, it wasn’t long before she became pregnant. She gave birth at nineteen, and before her twentieth birthday, she was divorced. Understanding that a college education would provide a better life for both her and me, my mother was determined to graduate.
She studied, worked hard at a part-time job, and eventually did graduate from college, receiving a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. Although many women might have decided that an undergraduate degree was more than enough, particularly when they had a baby to care for, my mother would not stop there.
When I turned five-years-old and was preparing for my first day of kindergarten, my mother was preparing for her first day of law school. The first year of law school, fondly referred to by students as “OneL” is certainly difficult enough for students without children, but my mother, determined as ever, would not let the simple fact that she was the single mother of a five-year-old get in the way of her success. If she had to take me to the law library with her, she would. If I had to sit next to her and color in her Contracts class, she would.
Over the next three years, my mother balanced work, school, her personal life, and her parenting. Of course she struggled. Of course there would be some days which were worse than others. But at the end of three long, tense years, she was a single mother of an eight-year-old girl with two degrees and a job offer at a firm.
I am proud of my mother for all of her accomplishments. She went on to bigger and better things, from opening her own law firm, to working for the Federal Government. Single mothers everywhere should be motivated and inspired to do what my mother did. Although it was difficult, succeeding in higher education as a single mother can be done, you simply have to be determined and resolved to do it.