Working Moms, getting this college degree is only a test of your endurance. It seems unbelievable, but more than a year and a half has passed since I completed my Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the University of Phoenix. Below is an email that I sent to my academic counselor at the culmination of my program. I am writing this post to encourage all working moms out there, who are completing a degree of any kind, while holding down a job and a family. You can do it! You know how I know? Because I did it.
(Email to my academic counselor , June 2016)
…Well, I made it through Father’s Day week. I did extremely well on both my assignments, receiving only minor deductions, and I am SOOOOOO relieved! Tonight, I will submit my final 2 assignments. I truly cannot believe it. I have persevered. I am proud of myself and I can’t wait to share with other working moms that it is OK for them to be proud of themselves, and they don’t have to wait for anyone else to tell them (although research shows that it definitely makes for more productive employees when they are told how much they are appreciated :)).
Along the way, I recovered from surgery. I attended football games, basketball games, baseball games, softball games, track meets, and cheer competitions; most of the time with school work in hand. I managed to keep my family fed and with clean clothes. I graduated my Senior Prince (my son) and made it through his first year of college. I have and continue to raise my soon to be Junior Princess (my 16 year old daughter). I love and appreciate my King, my husband, for all the support he gave and continues to give. I took care of a dog. I celebrated my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Exactly I month later, I laid to rest one half of that union, and the first man I ever loved, my Dad.
I didn’t know if I could finish my journey after the major blow of losing my dad. Ironically, I had to carry on, not in spite of this but because of this. My Daddy would have wanted me to. I am so grateful for a conversation from one of my professors shortly after my father’s death. She encouraged me not to give up and to not take a break, because my daddy wouldn’t have wanted that. She really understood, because she had lost a parent in the middle of completing her dissertation. I felt like having her as an instructor at that very fragile time in my life was a sign that I needed to and that I could carry on. I will forever be grateful to another instructor, who told me that “…obtaining this advanced degree is only a test of your endurance, Robbie. Just don’t quit!” Now that I reflect back, I didn’t know just how much I would need that advice. Man, did I ever need that advice. It helped sustain me.
Through it all, I know that my story pales in comparison to many of my classmates. As a matter of fact, becoming acquainted with some of them and hearing what they had to deal with, help put my life in perspective. It gave me even more strength to carry on. I often say that my childhood and the life with my parents and siblings was so great, that I wish I could bottle it up and give it away. I have learned that this sentiment is rarely reciprocated. To some degree, I used to feel guilty for having such a wonderful family that gave and continues to give me a life beyond measure. Now, I feel no guilt for that amazing blessing, because I want to instill in other women that it can be their life too. They may not have experienced such a childhood, but hopefully, with my help as an Industrial and Organizational professional, they can learn to give it to their children. I want to help them establish a new normal – the normality of being able to join me and say that “my life is so good, I wish I could bottle it up and give it away”! I want to help them experience the normality of having a great life.
Thank you for being such and instrumental part in this process. I am very thankful to have been paired with the Best of the Best at UoP! As I fight back tears to finish this message (dissertation :)) to you, I want you to know that because of the University of Phoenix, all the characteristics that I already possessed have been amplified. I am more resilient. I am more determined. I am more tenacious. I am more patient. I am more curious. I am more open-minded. I am more than a conqueror. I am simply more. And, last but certainly not least, I am a Phoenix, and I RISE! -Robbie Green
To all my working moms out there, we gave birth to human beings! Getting a degree is a piece of cake. So, when you are feeling a little overwhelmed, repeat these words: I CAN do it. Because I AM doing it. Just KEEP doing it!
Robbie Green, MSIO
The Working Mom’s Coach
Originally published at www.linkedin.com