However, I didn’t. I took on exactly what I needed to, when I needed to, and at the right time in my life. My kids are still little and I spent many evenings after bedtime doing homework and usually once a week or once every other week my mom or husband would take the kids out of the house so I could hammer out some papers or research. I still managed to be a decent teacher. My colleagues were phenomenal. If I was not an expertise in something, they were ALWAYS willing to jump in and give me some advice, tutoring and even a hug when I was falling apart. I still managed to write my blog. My one happy place that is all mine is right here and I was not about to let that go. Sometimes it was a delicate balance, other times it was a down right struggle and choosing which part of my life was going to win more of my precious time was too much to decide.
I earned new friends. My advisor, held my hand and walked me through the entire process. She was amazing and I know that I could not have done this without her. I needed someone to push me, but to be motherlike and understanding. I am so thankful to her for everything and I am so lucky to call her a friend. It was an honor to learn from her.
I showed my babies that you can do anything that you put your mind to. I set an example of high achievement and determination. I did this for them, in all reality. Sure the tiny financial gain is great, but truth be told, the main reason that I went after that degree was not to prove anything, but instead to set an example for my kids.
I will round out this degree with a 3.9 GPA and a new appreciation for time. The sweetest part of the entire ceremony was during a section where they were giving out medals to people whose dissertations were basically getting published (I did not write a dissertation). I obviously did not get a medal and my son started crying because his mommy worked hard and deserved a medal. I did work hard buddy, maybe next time I will get a medal, but for now, I am so thankful to be done, to have time with my family again and to just breathe.
I am proud to be a UNC graduate times two (bachelors and masters), I am proud of the fact that I managed an insane schedule and life, I am proud that I set an example for my kids and I am thankful that it is all over. I have no plans to pursue a doctorate or a second masters. I am perfectly happy where I am at.