It’s an early morning in late August and you let out a relieved, yet slightly nervous sigh. You’ve just dropped your twin sons off for their first day of middle school, and as you make the drive from their school to your office you can’t help but think about the rollercoaster ride it’s been getting them to this point. It seems like it was just yesterday you were in the delivery room, worried you would never get the chance to make this trek, but here you are and you can’t believe it.
The road up until this point has been paved with numerous doctors’ visits, hospital stays and more tears and anxieties than you’d like to count. Each weighing just over a pound at birth, your sons were born premature, with little hope of seeing their first birthday. But thanks to the miracles of medicine and faith, they beat the odds and now only have to worry about surviving the trials and tribulations of adolescence.
This story is not my own, but that of my sister and the two best nephews an aunt could ask for. For the last few years, my sister has proven what a strong woman she truly is. Not only was she able to power through all of her sons’ medical issues, she also weathered a brutal divorce and made a life-changing decision to go back to school and get her accounting degree.
I share her story, because I feel there are more women like her out there who are busily raising households and working crazy hours, while leaving their own needs on the backburner. My sister was definitely guilty of this. In the beginning, she tried to do everything herself and never asked for help. But, as can be expected, she was wearing herself thin. Knowing my sister and her pride, I knew she wouldn’t openly ask for help—because in her mind that would mean she had failed—even though no one else would think anything of the sort.
My mom and I always offered to help when we could, having to more or less impose ourselves into situations to allow her to keep her sanity, Until finally, after a particularly worrisome hospital visit(for herself not her twins) just before the twin’s seventh birthday, she nearly had a breakdown. She was miserable at her job(which offered poor pay and benefits), constantly worried about her boys and newly divorced and the stress she was under was getting her constantly sick. As we talked, she finally began to see the point we were all trying to make. She realized that not asking for help or taking care of herself was, in the long run, bad for not only her, but also her boys, as they depended on her for their basic needs.
The next year was a blur of changed behavior and baby steps toward progress. She started slowly taking a course online here and there, making sure she took time for herself to go for a run or visit the gym. Finally, just last year, she was able to complete her coursework and graduate with a BS in accounting.
Today, she is on her way to her new job, where she has a nice office and an understanding boss. Things she couldn’t have fathomed just five years ago. Not only is her future more stable and secure because of this, but so is that of her sons. Looking back she realizes how ridiculous and irrational she was being, but also knows it was a lesson she had to learn on her own, but she hopes that other new mothers will have the courage to ask for help sooner than she did.
Angelita Williams writes about a variety of topics pertaining to education. Angelita has a particular interest in online education, as she covers many stories on online courses and the distance learning lifestyle. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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