The balancing act of motherhood and student life
Motherhood is a trial at the best of times, what with the night feeding, nappy changing, meal cooking and good old fashioned tantrums in the supermarket. But what happens when you combine that with work and university?
Rafalea Rupere(21) is a student at Anglia Ruskin University, she is in her second year of a media degree and is the mother to a one year old boy. She lives in Bedford, with her partner and son and commutes to university several times a week.
When asked what she found hardest about being a student and a mother, Rupere said,
‘Having to catch deadlines on assignments and dealing with things at home, the combination is hectic.’
Rupere also has a part time job, which I ask her how she manages to balance with her other commitments, ‘I just have to find a way to force it, if I’ve got an assignment due- I’ve got to choose not to go to work. But if I don’t get paid that’s a disadvantage I can’t work as much when I’m at uni.’
Then I asked her a fundamental question,
‘Does it impact your mental health?’ to which she replied, ‘Yes it does.’
Being under constant strain does impact your mental health, as does juggling several roles at once. With an increasing number of mothers embarking on education the pressure to perform and provide for children at the same time, is most definitely on. However, the bonus is that many children will benefit and be motivated by their mother’s success. A huge problem of the generation is unemployed mothers, who are chastised for not going to work or getting an education. Often, finances are to blame, as a lot of mothers feel that they can’t go to work because they will earn more on state benefits, and education is a fruitless pursuit that will land them in more debt than success. It’s refreshing to see young mothers such as Rupere breaking the mold and creating a secure future for herself.