This is my third daughter’s senior year, and she’s stressed out trying to get into college, and so am I. I wish we were like all the other cool, “together” families that have already gotten their acceptance letters and offers, but we are not. I do a great job keeping myself encouraged and hopeful for a promising future for us all, but there is no greater challenge for me than not giving in to the feelings of failure as a mother. There are so many things I wish I had done better. Saved more. Worked harder. Planned more. But “should-ing” on myself doesn’t change our situation. I have to help my daughter get into college.
It also doesn’t help that she had to transfer unexpectedly in her senior year. On a good day I tell myself there must be something divine and providential attached to this move from the city to the suburbs. At my lowest moment I find myself once again in the “hole” of despair I know I am to avoid, but nevertheless, there I sit in the dark at the bottom of the pit, at least now with the realization of how I got there.
I don’t think there’s a parent in the world that doesn’t want a better life for their children, so I am able to encourage myself by the fact that at least I have that in common with the “together” families. We are all striving for that. But as for my ability to give her the easiest college application experience, I have fallen short.
I feel overwhelmed by this all because how was I supposed to save when I have lived one step above the poverty line and two steps away from middle class with my own student debt abounding? Every month there is more “mon-th” than “mon-ey” so I have just tried to be a great provider and give them the things they need.
Recently, my daughter who is in her second year of high school, told me a story about a conversation she had with a friend at school and how she had to explain to the girl that she didn’t wear $200 boots because she has three other sisters at home and it’s “hard for my mom.” She was trying to encourage me by showing me that she was mature and grateful for what she had, but inside my heart was aching. That’s not what I want my daughter to know. She KNOWS we can’t afford what some of her peers have. I really was sick inside.
But, in the bottom of the hole where I find myself only rarely and for but a spell, I immediately look above and see the light. Even though my “right now” may be bleak, I am hopeful.
Because there are some kids in the same spot, if not worse, who don’t have a mother who cares. I encourage myself by telling myself that at least I care. And I do.
At least I have a degree in Writing and I can help her apply for scholarships.
At least we have a computer and Internet and we can access the world at our fingertips.
At least I earned not one or two but three degrees so I know how to navigate the college application process.
No, I don’t have all the money in the world.
But I have faith.
I have hope.
I have a spirit of resilience and perseverance.
And when I slip and fall and land in the dark bottom of despair. I have hope. And I cling to that. For my future, and for the future of all of my six daughters.
We’re gonna be okay.
I’m up and out.
I’m walking down another street.
About Me: I’m a wife and mother of six daughters with a passion for health and fitness. You can click the About Me tab above to learn more about me, and click Subscribe by Email to have my latest blogs emailed directly to you. It’s free and there’s no spam.