Juggling parenthood’s responsibilities


Zachary Araki

Amber Edwards, a senior chemistry major, separates layers using a separatory funnel in chemistry lab. She manages her studies and motherhood by scheduling each day.

Zachary Araki, A&E Editor

Besides going to classes and taking tests, some students fit the responsibility of parenthood into their schedule.

The responsibilities of parenthood may push studying off until the children have gone to bed, or require taking time off when one becomes sick.

Amber Edwards, a senior chemistry major, said, “You don’t want to study until the kids go to bed because then you feel bad about taking time away from your kids, but overall, I like the fact that they see me continuing something that I would like to finish because I stopped school to have kids.”

Sarah Pedeaux, a senior general studies major, finds routine to be key as a student parent.

“The kids really thrive off of routine, waking up at a certain time and kind of getting in the rhythm of things,” said Pedeaux. “It really helps to make sure you get everything done, but then school, I definitely find myself crunched for time now.”

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 26 percent of undergraduate students raised children with 71 percent of those undergraduates being women in 2012. About 39.3 percent of married student parents and 26.7 percent of single student parents earned a degree or certificate within six years of enrollment compared to the 49.5 percent average.




Despite the statistics, Edwards and Pedeaux continued to pursue their education.

When Edwards had her first child, she took off from school, but after her youngest was born, she began taking a class here and there. In fall 2016, Edwards returned to being a full-time student.

“I decided to go back full time just to go ahead and finish because it was taking more out of me by taking one class here, one class there, so I went ahead and made the sacrifice to go back full time,” said Edwards.

After Pedeaux’s mom became ill, she took a five-year break from school, and last semester, she returned to school with the new responsibility of motherhood. With three children between the ages of one and five years, Pedeaux feels the experience will make graduation more gratifying.

“My dad always has a quote that he likes to tell me, and I think there’s a lot of truth behind it,” said Pedeaux. “He says, ‘If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’re right,’ and he’s right. I made up my mind to think that I can.”

For Edwards, managing her responsibilities required scheduling each day to the minute.

“You should see my planner,” said Edwards. “I have got to have every hour of every day scheduled. If we have an hour soccer practice, I may be watching them, but I’ll also have my note cards studying at the same time. I seriously have to plan, plan, plan. If I didn’t stay organized and on task, then it would all go south really quick.”

Edwards grew up with eight siblings. Besides one who attained a degree through joining the military, Edwards will be the only one in her family to finish college. Wanting to be a better role model for her kids and not taking more time away from them motivated Edwards to finish her studies.

Edwards said, “It kind of makes me have to study harder because I know the longer I do this, the more time it is taking away from my kids, so I’m determined to go ahead and get it done and get it done the first time.”