About Single Mom in the Ivy League

I’m a single mom to an amazing toddler boy, who I will call P, that I am raising on my own while working my way through my first years on the tenure clock at Yale University. Prior to this job, I had earned tenure at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but gave that up because, hey, who turns down Yale? I am acutely aware that I am part of a very small group of people trying to earn tenure at a place like this while raising a child on their own — okay, to be honest, I’ve never met another soul in this situation (although I would really like to!). My goal is to use my personal experiences to analyze how academia and parenting intersect (or don’t); to document the challenges faced by parents, especially single parents, in the academy; and maybe even to ruminate on some solutions … or at least ideas about how to get through the day-to-day grind of parenting and professing.

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3 thoughts on “About Single Mom in the Ivy League

  1. This caught my attention as a single nursing mama of an almost 4 yr old i too am raising completely on my own. Without help or support in a city that isn’t very progressive warm or welcoming, it has been quite a challenge. Without question, our time here is done. He has been my compass, no doubt. I made some drastic life changes, leaving San Francisco the place where life felt whole and happy and limitless. I feel like I have been in the thick of starting over since he turned 1. I’m ready to add a big life changing commitment, I have been the best most present mama for my baby boy and he shows readiness too for this next leap to apply for PhD/Masters included; clinical and behavioral therapy programs. Today I decided I would even attempt applying at some Ivy league schools.. Your brief exposure here has motivated me even more so.
    With Gratitude,
    C~

  2. Amazing..You are so strong.
    I am also a single mother of a 2-year old boy and an international student at Columbia University.
    When I came to Columbia, my son was only 5-month old and I was breastfeeding between classes. Raising a child alone without any support is really tough. I believed there is no such undergrad at school, and no one can survive in the situation that I have now. I wished if I could have enough money, I would send my son to daycare. I can only afford to pay for babysitting for few hours during I’m attending classes. (I’m a full-time student though)
    The only way in which one can manage this situation is to stay strong, to believe your potential power and never to give up, which I usually do.
    I’m really glad to find a mom who has a similar situation like me. I know it is REALLY tough!!
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience!
    It encourages me a lot!

    • Dear Taeko, thank you for taking the time to write. Your strength shines through as well! It encourages me to know that there are many of us out there (I used to think I was the only one), and that we are making it work somehow. There are no easy answers, just a lot of getting through the daily grind, but refusing to give up our dreams. I wish you ongoing resilience and also little pockets of rest where you can find them.

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