Filed under: Exile, Goats, Graduate School | Tags: Anxiety, Graduate School, Higher Education, Parenting
A friend of mine reminded me today that I have “glorious children.” I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I don’t remember to look at them that way as often as I should. I do know it; I just take it for granted sometimes and it takes something major to bring me back around. Today, something pretty major happened.
About 4 months ago, I started applying to graduate school. Today, I got word from the Chair of the Public Administration program that I was “accepted without conditions.” I have no idea what sort of conditions there could be, but I apparently don’t need to fret about them anyway. So even though I am a world-class worrywart, I’m not going to. I have plenty of other things to obsess about! Namely:
1) Will I even be done paying off student loans before it is time to send P2 to college? And even if I am, is 10 years of higher earning potential enough to offset the years I spent wasted (spent wasted?) at dead-end jobs?
B) When, exactly, am I thinking I am going to sleep when fall semester starts? Getting through the BS in Comm (no, really, that’s the actual degree) was hard enough with the nocturnal goats in residence. I started my homework each night after I put them in bed at 8:00. I started it again when I put them back in bed at 8:07. And again at 8: 23. And 8:40. By 10:00, my accomplishments consisted of “Am hoarse, but have not yet killed children.” I’d crawl into bed with a textbook, determined to get some reading done. And when the night terror screaming started 2 hours later, I’d wake up wondering why I still had my clothes on and my contact lenses in and DEAR GOD what is that noise? I’d stumble to the hallway, pick up the bleating goat, head for the guest room (in hopes that I could avoid waking PA or the other goat), and collapse on the bed. For about an hour. And then the sleep-talking or teeth grinding or soccer auditions would start. Actually, I’m surprised I survived the BS (in Comm, I mean.) What makes me think I’m capable of Master’s program work while P2 and P3 still live here? And can I put “high functioning despite 7 years of sleep deprivation” on my resume somewhere?
IV) Finally, are my kids really going to learn the value of higher education and perseverance from spending their childhood hearing “I’m sorry, but Mommy can’t play any more right now, she has to do her homework”?? They’re growing up so quickly and I’m never going to get back these chances to play that 53rd game in a row of CandyLand or read “But Not the Hippopotamus” 9 times at bedtime instead of the usual 8. And I’m just so afraid that they’re going to resent it or I’m going to resent it or both…and what if the Master’s doesn’t pay off like I thought it would and I don’t make enough to pay for all that therapy, then?
See what I mean? Plenty to worry about. But I’m registering for classes anyway. The MPA is my ticket out of Exile and I don’t care how much therapy we need so long as we’re in another state when we get it. And someday, the goats will understand that my getting this degree was just another way of showing them how very very much I love them.
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