On being a full-time mom & a full-time grad student

Well, everyone… it’s official. School started on Monday and I am now both a full-time mommy and a full-time graduate student. Whew.

There are plenty of mixed emotions going on right now. I feel both thrilled and anxious to be back. Thrilled because I get to resume pursuing a career that I am extremely passionate about and I am one semester away from graduating. Anxious because, after an entire year of being home full-time with my son, I am now spending pretty much half as much time with him as before… Oy.

I miss him. I miss playing. I miss taking him to the park everyday and snapping a bajillion photos while he walks around and smiles at everyone. Kind of like this one:


How can you NOT miss this little munch?

Many of my friends know that before I became pregnant, I really wanted to wait and have a baby at a time where I could take real substantial time off (even though I’m sure many people will say I was lucky to even get one whole year). I wanted to be a full-time mom for as long as I chose… But given that Joshua came sooner than expected, this wasn’t really an option.

Now that I have been back at school for a week, I am already noticing huge changes in myself and in my life…  pretty much everything! We got some good stuff, but we also got some bad stuff…

The good:

  • I have more compassion as an OT. Believe it or not, motherhood gives you a completely new set of eyes for people. I suddenly love every aspect of my job.
  • I have my own, personal goals again. Being a mother is great, but there are more things I desire to pursue… and I feel privileged to get to pursue my dreams, as well as enjoy motherhood.
  • I cater to myself more as a person. It’s hard to get up and get ready for the day when your job is actually best suited for pajamas and a messy up do (ahem… mommy life). But now I have to get up early. I have to shower right away. I have to put on makeup. I have to have breakfast before I leave and I have to make sure everything is squared away at home before I go. This has helped me feel like an adult again 🙂
  • I am better at managing my time. Now that I get limited time at home and even more limited time doing hobbies that I love, I have to plan… I have to schedule… I have to prioritize. And, might I add, I LOVE planning. So this has been great for my soul.
  • I get consistent adult conversation everyday. enough said.

The bad:

  • I miss my son. I really do.


  • I get less time with my husband. Now that Nick and I are both out of the house a lot, the little time that we do get at home, we’re either playing with Josh, unwinding in front of the TV, or sleeping. Quality time with each other has become something that really needs to be penciled in. Luckily, we’re good at that 🙂
  • I spend less time pursuing personal hobbies. I love to read. I love to take photographs. I love to cook & bake. But when the majority of my time is spent either in school or with my family, personal hobbies tend to fly out the window. But I’ve decided to make it a point to do the following (so that I don’t lose site of things I enjoy):
    -bake or cook a new pinterest recipe once per week.
    -do a 30-day photo challenge with my Canon rebel T3i (more info about that coming soon)
    -finish Harry Potter 7 by June 2015
    You all can hold me accountable to these 🙂

What I’ve learned:

  •  I am blessed to get an education and do what I love.
  • I am eager to get my degree and just start working.
  • I want to master this balance between motherhood & work.

I welcome any suggestions from mothers! How do you balance motherhood & the professional world?


2 thoughts on “On being a full-time mom & a full-time grad student

  1. Jenny says:

    So proud of you! Going back doesn’t get easier. We were just talking about grad school for me last night. You can do this! Give yourself lots of grace, even if Harry Potter gets a little dusty. That’s the biggest trick for me.

    • nataliakwok says:

      Thanks so much Jenny… I always LOVE and appreciate your insight/input on mommy life… us momma’s gotta stick together 🙂

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