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stories of parenting at the University

I’m glad I make this look easy.

August 15th, 2011

Written by a Graduate Student Mom of 4 year old daughter, 18 month old son

The other day I was speaking to one of my professors. He informed me that his wife had just had their first baby. I congratulated him on the new addition to the family. We commenced with the typical talk that comes with new babies (boy or girl, how old, how big, etc). Then I mentioned that it must be nice for all of this to be happening during summer. That it makes for an easier transition back to work. His response was something to the effect of, “Yeah it’s hard sometimes, but I figure if you can do it with such ease then I have no room to complain.”
The reason for the emphasis on you is that my professor knows I have two kids under the age of five and one of them is chronically ill. Going to school with kids is hard enough. It is even harder with a chronically ill child. Sending emails from day surgery waiting rooms asking for extensions on homework. Explaining that you know you just missed a week of class because your son was in the hospital, but now your daughter is sick and has to stay home. Fortunately for me I have been blessed with professors like the one I was speaking to. Professors and TAs who are understanding and appreciative of my hard work. Who are flexible with time, tests and assignments. They are invested in my success and I appreciate that. A lot.
Still I stood there wondering, “How on earth do I make this look easy?” My response to this professor was simply, “Oh…well thanks!” What I should have said was, “Well I’m glad I make it look easy, but this shit is hard! The only reason I make it appear easy is because of the support I have around me; the support of my friends and family as well as the support of the OSU community.”
I would like to extend a big thank you to those professors and TAs who understand that my family status and son’s condition do not affect how well I understand Eigen values or IM/LS curves. Thank you to those who understand that I am trying to build a better future for myself and my family and that it presents unique challenges which simply need a little flexibility and understanding.

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  • What is this?

    Here in the basement of Kerr, in the office of Childcare & Family Resources, we hear stories. Weird, heartwarming, horrific, sad, and stories so funny they draw in a crowd. We think you need to hear these stories. You need to know of the single undergraduate student with two kids. You need to hear about the tenure track dad expecting his first baby, the classified staff couple that can’t afford childcare on two incomes, the professional faculty whose partner was just laid off. How she just potty trained Jr. while working full time. How he negotiated more leave. How the professor extended her deadline. How she manages to pump and still type emails. How he brought his baby to class.

    So we invite you, parents of OSU, to come here and share your stories: the good, the bad, and the crazy. What you do is amazing, and the whole campus needs to know about it.