• Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Move Over Superman: Single Moms are the Real Heroes Around Here

Single mothers-the hidden gems. Often overworked and overlooked, these superheroes often go unnoticed. The demands of work, kids and school for some, present many challenges and disparities. With these challenges, it may discourage a lot of single mothers from pursuing their education. Let’s look at how a single mother currently residing in Missoula, MT is kicking butt and taking names. 

According to the website, higherlearningadvocates.org, nearly 10%-1.7 million-of all United States (US) undergraduate students are single mothers and the numbers are still growing. Balancing school and work are hard enough for the average student, adding a child to the equation makes it even more difficult. So, how do they do it? 

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I asked Holly Old Crow, a single mother who is studying law at Alexander Blewett lll School of Law – Missoula, MT, how she balanced it all and what support she had, and Old Crow said “I realized I could make one of two choices; 1. Continue working where I was without an education, living paycheck to paycheck or, 2. Start chasing an education and striving for a much better future for myself and my kids. I have a wonderful support system. My family has been nothing but supportive in my journey as a mother and in my journey in academia. I consider me and my children a strong team and I’m very thankful for it. I am also from a very culturally rich and tight knit community, and I receive lots of support from those back home.”

Holly Old Crow, a single mother who is studying law at Alexander Blewett lll School of Law – Missoula, MT Photo provided by Holly Old Crow

For a lot of single mothers out there, Old Crow’s statement is inspiring, but it is easier said than done. How does one simply balance it all? Routine. A routine means a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program. And it is essential to balance work/home life. I asked Old Crow about her routine. 

“As a single mother, in law school, I thrive on routine! Without routine, I tend to get very overwhelmed, and things get chaotic. I am gracious to myself when it’s not a strict routine, but a routine nonetheless is incredibly helpful. A typical day for me is starting my day early to get my children ready and dropped off at school. Depending on my workload, I will get up even earlier to get a little work done before their day starts. I treat law school like a job, so I reserve a lot of my studying and work to be done between 8am and 5pm. In the evenings, I prioritize my children and their needs until it’s bedtime. After they’re asleep, I will commit more time to studying and work. During midterms and finals, my routine will get a bit derailed because I have to commit more time to my studies, but my kids and I work well as a team. Of course, when life throws the unexpected things our way, we adapt and overcome to the best of our ability.”

Holly, like many other single working mothers are not your average superheroes. Batman, Spiderman, etc… Have nothing on the minority women who chose education in the face of poverty, where education was their only way to financial security. So, if you know a mother who is in school (or isn’t), no matter their financial status, support system, or marital status, let them know that they’re doing a fantastic job. Life is hard. Offer help if you can and remember that college moms are the hidden heroes.

Myia Rainey, Reporter

(Featured Image from Canva)