As we all have, Anderson College students have faced unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an attempt to focus on the triumphs and celebrate the courage and tenacity of our community, we launched a My 2020 Story Campaign. Students were asked a few poignant questions to spark the sharing of their experiences and insights. The response was overwhelming and, in the process, we have been blown away by their authentic sharing and inspired by the powerful lessons they have learned. We are grateful to all those who contributed and are richer for having you in our Anderson family.
Here is one such story, for you …
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2020 will always be special for me. I had the opportunity to see my infant grow, my daughter blossom into a beautiful young girl and over and above all that I got the opportunity to go back to college and give myself a fighting chance for the future!! 2020 was My Year!
“Persistence – thy name is mother”. My personal motto is based on Shakespeare’s famous quote “Frailty thy name is woman” … only my version resounds to mothers all over the world. 2020 what shall I call thee? The year of the pandemic? The one where it all went wrong? Or just “The one where I stopped wishing and started doing!” Let’s go with the last one!
Where do I begin? Professionally I was a teacher until 2017 in my home country, where teaching is considered a “part-time” job – the one mothers do when they want it easy. The one where you are “JUST” a teacher. At that time, with one daughter in tow, we made the decision to move to Canada, for the future of our child. Little did I know with an obsolete MBA in marketing from over 12 years ago, and some teaching experience, I would find that getting any job would not be a walk in the park.
“It was time to step up. No more hiding behind the “Stay At Home Mom (SAHM), cannot do anything else” mindset.”
As luck would have it, baby number two decided to show up in 2019. Although 2020 began with smiles from an infant making us emotionally satisfied, we were financially struggling to make ends meet. New immigrants, shuffling to find stable jobs that were beyond odd jobs, contractual positions that came and went. Safe to say immigrant years can be hard. Daily frustrations that parents hide behind smiles for the sake of their children while they struggle to figure out how to pay the next month’s rent!
This HAD to stop. There had to be an end to this tunnel. The smiles had to become real. It was time to step up. No more hiding behind the “Stay At Home Mom (SAHM), cannot do anything else” mindset. No more watching while the year passed by. Yes, there was pandemic! Yes, there were few jobs! But how could I work around it? Obsolete degree? Let’s make it current. Despite one child distance learning and one being merely one year-old, I went back to college for Accounting and Payroll Administration. I enrolled in this amazing program, working towards a certification to become a Payroll Compliance Practitioner, making me relevant in the work force. I used 2020 to make 2021 successful.
“It is never too late to grow, to break the stereotypes society aligns with you. It is never too late to take a step back and restart.”
Who says it’s too late to study? Here I am, 36, a mother of two, going right back to college. Who says you can’t be a home maker and a student at the same time? Who said being a wife, a mother and working part-time is all you can do? Throw in some books, feed the soul, and GROW. Today I feel I am doing too much. Will I think this after a few more months when the world opens its arms to me? My efforts will NOT be in vain. MY 2020 will be the year I made something of myself, over and above a SAHM. This was MY YEAR. The year we all smiled, not hiding the tears, but really, really smiled.
It is never too late to grow, to break the stereotypes society aligns with you. It is never too late to take a step back and restart. Hit that refresh button. I want to inspire all Stay at Home Moms to make something of themselves. The kids will leave the nest and then you will be left empty and unfulfilled. Update and recreate yourself so you can take on the future whenever you are ready for it!