Continuing My Education/ Kids Push Us, Not Hold Us Back

Hi! My name is Kristy. I am 28 years old and I have a 3 year old daughter. I began as a stay at home mom when Kailey was first born. It was great to be able to be home with her. However, I realized that in order to provide for her and to give her everything she wanted I would need to do more than just be at home.

Like most kids, I went to college straight out of high school. Instead of sticking with it and continuing my education, I dropped out thinking it was to hard to work and go to school. Boy was I so wrong!! I had it made back then. I took for granted the opportunities I had in front of me.

Continuing my education

So, at 27, I decided that if I was going to be an example for my daughter I would be a good one! I enrolled at the local community college. I knew raising a daughter and having a family while continuing my education would be hard, but I had no idea it would be the experience it was.

I began my first semester in the Fall of 2011. I was still unsure of what I really wanted to do. Since I had dropped out so early in life I had few dreams or goals for my self. I finished the first semester pretty easy. Made straight As and managed to make some new friends. I learned that I really enjoyed learning and challenging myself.

Continuing my education into a second semester, I became part of the honors society and the honors program. This made school much easier financially but so much harder in every other way. I struggled to find the time for homework, classes, cooking, cleaning and the most important, spending time with my little girl.

As the semesters came and went I realized that I had to make some hard choices. It was very hard to prioritize and accomplish everything in a day. I became stressed and overwhelmed by it all. I wanted to quit many times, but I just kept reminding myself of why I was doing this in the first place. I wanted to show my daughter that she could do anything as long as she set her mind to it. I was determined to continue my education and finish college. I was determined to walk across that stage as she watched and cheered me on.

I finished my degree with a 4.0, along with several awards and certificates. Not only did I walk across that stage and become a college graduate, I was valedictorian and student speaker. Not only did my baby girl see my accomplishments, she told me she was proud of her mommy. There is no diploma that could ever amount to such a gift.

I have many regrets in my life, some big, some small, but continuing my education, by going back to college, is not one of them. I have become an example for my baby girl. She wants to be just like mommy and I cannot be more proud of that. Graduating from a community college may not seem like such a big deal to most people, but it was more than that to me. It was me proving to myself and to others that just because I have a child doesn’t mean I cannot achieve success in anything I want.

I plan on continuing my education even further and fulfilling my dream to become a nurse. I encourage mothers of all ages to follow your dreams. Having a child may change your life but it does not hinder your ability to improve yourself. Children don’t hold us back, we hold ourselves back and use them as an excuse. Not anymore!!!!


  1. April Stephens says:

    I love this! It is so difficult to balance life. It looks like you are making good choices! I’m proud of you too! :) Thanks for the words of encouragement.