Students as parents: The delicate balance

Learning, and raising a child can be a tall task, however, such is life for some students at Algonquin College. Making time for studying, schoolwork and care of a child, simultaneously, may not be familiar to most students. But, that is exactly what Primrose Broverman, a first-year esthetician student at Algonquin College is trying to […]
Photo: Tyler Major-Mcnicol
Primrose Broverman, a first-year esthetician student at Algonquin College, getting in some study time alongside her son, Robin.

Learning, and raising a child can be a tall task, however, such is life for some students at Algonquin College.

Making time for studying, schoolwork and care of a child, simultaneously, may not be familiar to most students. But, that is
exactly what Primrose Broverman, a first-year esthetician student at Algonquin
College is trying to manage.

“I find that my biggest struggle balancing
parenting and school, is getting enough studying done for tests and quizzes.
Finding time in my schedule to review my notes is difficult,” said Broverman.

Finding time for yourself is always important,
as taking your mental health into consideration is crucial, but it’s even more
essential when you are responsible for a child’s care. Being mentally and physically rested is important to accomplish the multitasking of being a student and a parent at the same time, according to Broverman.

“Recently my mom has been coming over twice a
week to babysit my son. She also occasionally takes him for the weekend, so I
can catch up on homework and do some household chores,” she said.

“Time, or should I say, lack of it, it really is a balancing act, and my time management has to be on point at all times or it’s easy to slip and get behind. The other thing that gets to me is the whole mom guilt. There are times when I really just want to lie next to my son and watch a movie, but with assignments, readings and lectures, I have to put that on hold, and it sucks,” said Catherine Coleman, a second-year social support worker student at Algonquin College.

But, getting everything done is not the only difficulty.

Staying motivated isn’t always the easiest task,
but having a good reason to stay invested goes a long way, according to
Alexandra Ladouceur, a graduate of the early childhood education program at Algonquin College.

“When I faced times of exhaustion, the only
thing that motivated me was my daughter. The reason being, I thought of her
future and what me getting a career was going to do to help her in the long
run. Thinking about my family’s future is what kept me motivated throughout the
semesters,” said Ladouceur.

An integral part of managing a busy life raising
a child and a work schedule attending college, is having professors who are
understanding. Leniency in providing extensions on assignments has been crucial, according to
Broverman.

“I’ve been blessed with wonderful teachers. Most
of the time I would need to email them in advance to increase deadline times,
but that’s all,” she said.

“My daughter was born Jan. 11, 2021, and my
courses were starting around the same time, which meant that I was so busy
having to give birth and having to go to doctors’ appointments with her that I
could not focus on school as much, so I had asked my professor for an extension
on some of my assignments and she had given me the time,” said Ladouceur.

Facing such busy schedules keeps these students on their toes, and at the end of the day, their child’s smile keeps them motivated, even when stress levels get high.

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