Monday, November 7, 2011

Thinking just makes my head all hurty

I have a confession.

I sometimes really struggle with the fact that I never finished University.

I went to Uni straight after school to complete my Bachelor of Education. I lasted a year and a half. I don't really know why it is such an issue for me sometimes. Because I honestly do not want to be a teacher. I think about it from time to time, and the answer's always no, I don't want to teach.

Yet it still sits badly.

I quit Uni for a few reasons. Shane and I had just gotten married and it would have been really handy for me to be earning some decent money, I was tired of study. I didn't feel like I fitted in at all at Uni, because I was young, but married, and just didn't really find my tribe. But I know none of that would have mattered if I'd really wanted to teach. But I didn't. Not enough anyway.

I love children. But I was studying a degree that would have enabled me to teach children from grades 1-10. And when on prac I realised that I really don't like older children. It's not like I hate them or anything, but once kids hit about grade 4 or so, I just find them so much harder work. (Plus, you know, you have to know stuff to teach them)

So I ended up getting a job in childcare and found that I loved it. I ended up in a babies room, and it was great. I discovered that I really enjoy the early childhood years. Yes, they are hard in some respects. But in others they are so easy.

Nonetheless. I still feel a little less... worthy, or something because I didn't get that piece of paper.

I don't really understand it. I don't think any less of people who haven't gone to University. And I know plenty of people who have a University degree and they have done nothing with it. I know there are lots of people who have studied and studied for years, but they still haven't lived.  I know that a degree doesn't mean a person has wisdom or common sense. Some of the best people I know don't have a bunch of letters behind their name.

But still.

I've considered going back to Uni. But why? To study what? I don't just want to study for the sake of a degree. I don't see the point in studying something unless you want to, unless there is an end goal in sight. I still don't want to teach. I don't really want to go back to childcare either. It was great, but it was also a very demanding job, physically and emotionally.... for not much reward. Motherhood beats it by a mile. Maybe that will change when my own children grow up, but I don't know. And as much as I love the idea of being a high-powered career woman. I don't really want that life either. I think I'd be quite happy to stay at home with my kids for as long as I'm able, and then when the time comes go work in a job in retail, or in an office that doesn't demand too much of me, so I can still make my family my top priority.

I don't see anything wrong with that. Really I don't.

But at the same time I do. I can't put my finger in it. I never would have imagined being here now when I was at school. I wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, but I did okay. I won some awards, I used my brain. This isn't what I envisioned my life to be like. Married at 18? Having children young? I guess I thought, like most people that all that kind of thing would just happen after I'd lived a bit first. I never imagined that the first boy I dated would be the one I would marry. But I am so glad it was. I wouldn't want to change my life even if I could. I am really happy the way it it is. Sometimes it's more work than I thought possible. But it's so right, you know?

I wish I understood how you can feel so many different conflicting things at once. I wish there was more of a road-map to life. I wish being a grown-up was as easy as I thought it was when I was a kid. Part of me feels a little cheated because I'm only 23 and I feel like I'm 30. I feel like I am living like my Mum and Dad already. I want to be young and beautiful. I want to stay out late and party and dress up. I'm scared of turning into an old lady before I've been young.

But at the same time. I wouldn't change this. I love my life. My family. They make everything worth it. I just wish I wasn't plagued with doubt all the time about the choices I've made.

I just shouldn't get all introspective. It makes my head hurt. Just live one day at a time Robyn!

Do you get what I'm trying to say here? Do you feel the same way? Or are you one of the clever people who did everything perfectly? (Do those people even exist???)

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT :)


  1. My head is hurting too!! The angst we put ourselves through is amazing isn't t! I actually think it's great that you were sensible enough to quit while you were ahead... x

  2. I totally get where you are coming from. I am forever trying to make a joke out of me having two half degrees and whether that actually counts for anything. I have thought about going back as well, maybe third time lucky kind of thing but then I think nah... :)

  3. I feel exactly the same way! I am so happy with my life but at the same time I feel like I missed a whole section. I love being a Stay at home but at the same time I feel like I am lost and drowning! I am hearing you!

  4. I'm one of the clever people LOL, no only kidding :-) I know exactly what you are saying. I think a lot of us, especially mums are conflicted. You like what you have now. You love it even, but it doesn't stop you from longing for something else that could've been. I posted about that last week actually! I do think that if studies is what will make you feel better about yourself and that's what you feel you need, you should go for it. It doesn't have to be about studying that one thing that'll give you your dream job (if you can, great), but sometimes it's just about feeling like you have achieved SOMETHING
    (other than being an awesome mum and great wife of course).

  5. I totally get it, there is a part of you that wonders what may have been if things hadn't fallen into place so early. You will have a chance later to study if you still have the desire, if only for your own sense of achievement and being able to say you completed it.
    It would probably niggle at me if I hadnt finished my degree too even though I never really put it to use.
    I think the problem is we don't give mothers enough credit for the incredible job they do so you sometimes feel as if you have to have something else to show for yourself.

  6. I never finished my degree and I often think about going back, but only because I love study, I could honestly be a perpetual student..

    I think life takes us where we don't plan. There are a hundreds different things I want to do, and none of them seem to gel together at all. It's frustrating yet beautiful at the same time. And I know that doesn't make sense either, so I guess I get it exactly where you are.

    Oh and the age thing as well. I'm only 28 and yet feel so much older. It's kinda depressing.

  7. I enrolled to do the Child Care diploma, was accepted and then backed out as I couldn't stand the thought of more study. I wish I had done it, even though I am now a mother and doing it any way, but I still wish I had done it.

  8. Love this post. I can identify with a lot of things- except that I am actually at uni. Getting my degree one (or two) subjects at a time. I don't really know what I want to do when I'm done, but that piece of paper will give me so much validation. I will be the only person in my family (EVER) to have gone to university.

    Uni also gives me a place that isn't about being a mother or a wife. I'm just me there- they don't care about what stage of development my kids are at, if the dinner on the table meets everyone's requirements. I can work hard and get good feedback and I feel like I'm learning and connected with the wider world.

    One blog I've been loving for giving me enthusiasm and passion for my young motherhood life is You should check out her series on why being a mother younger is better. It gave me heaps to be thankful for :)

  9. Wow! There are lots of themes here from your post Robyn and also all the comments. I guess one day you'll come to find an answer and be comfortable with your choices/regrets (or is it a regret, or just saying?).

    I'm about to resign from an executive position I have held for eternity, to become..... a nothing. No job title. Scares the hell out me. What's wrong with being 'mum'? But that is a whole other story for me. Will probably post about it, will let you know.

  10. I tooootally know what you mean. I fit into the category of someone who has a useless degree, and as a young mother settled in and ready to get old. I guess the balance is finding something you like to do outside of the home- a hobby or something? Or maybe just a fulfilling group of friends to hang out with? I don't know what it is because I'm looking for it as well, but I'm sure we'll find it :) --I do know it isn't working your butt off in a cafe because I'm doing that now and it bites.

  11. I COMPLETELY understand, Robyn! I quit uni with 6 months to go because I felt like it was going nowhere, and honestly the thought of continuing made me want to vomit. I figured I was close to a nervous breakdown so left.
    It has taken me nearly 6 years to get over feeling physically ill when I think of studying, and am now studying through OUA a Bachelor of Technology. It's a very far cry from a Bachelor of Arts (Drama, Film) but I am absolutely loving it.
    Just chalk it up to experience, and know that in time, if university study is for you, then it will happen. ANd be grateful you don't have another year or two's worth of HECS/Help fees to pay back for a degree you aren't using!

  12. Its the old Sliding doors scenario huh. I totally get it. Trust in yourself though, we make decision for a reason and it usually turns out the way it was supposed to (or so my therapist keeps telling me and I pay him bug biccies so he had better be right!) xx

  13. Wow, I am sort of asking the same questions from a different angle (I have my degree and 10+ years work experience, but if I don't work 600 hours in the next 1.5 years, I will need to complete a re-entry program - no longer qualified). For me, it all boils down to... is being "just" a stay-at-home mum enough? Am I valuable enough if I can no longer say I am a Speech Pathologist (my profession)? Do I trust God enough? Or, if I do go back to Speech Pathology, am I just being wise (not wasting the experience I have), or am I showing that I DON'T trust God? Argh! Why do we have to over-think it all so much!? In some ways I would love to just return to the days when women didn't really have a career outside the home - that way there aren't so many variables!

  14. I understand, Robyn. I've started and quit a few things - I was studying Art through OUA a couple of years ago. I quit for health reasons, but beat myself up a lot over what I saw as a failure.

    The thing is, it just wasn't the right time for me. I'm studying again now, a different degree. The same may be true for you. Or you may find something you really love, that's not study-related and that will be ok too. You'll know, I think, when the time is right for you to make changes that you can cope with around your family.

  15. I think we would all like a road map, instruction manual or even vague directions as to what we should do or what decisions we should make.
    The best life manual I have read is 'the places you'll go' by the Honourable Dr Suess.

  16. Oh darling, I hear ya on the age thing!! I'm "only" 23 too, and while in many respects I feel so young compared to others (every other mum I know IRL is at least 4-5 years older than me), I also feel old when I compare myself to my peers! I don't know what the answer to that is... tell me if you find out ;)
    As for uni, well, given that I'm now doing my Masters part-time externally, you can take what I'm gonna say with a grain of salt if you like...
    There's nothing wrong with not having finished uni. If your heart's not in it, don't put expectations on yourself to do something you don't want to do. There's nothing wrong with wanting to "just" be an office worker. If that's what you want to do, and still enjoy that work, do it!

    I also think that part of our problem is that having gotten married so young (me at 20) and then having kids, is that we haven't necessarily "worked out who we are". We've gone from living at home as teenagers, to running our own households with kids and a husband. I know that sometimes I wonder who I am, without the wife or mother label to identify myself with...

  17. I really haven't got a lot to add because everyone else has said it all so well, even with all their slightly different takes on the issues. I just wanted to say that I get it too. I am not really using the degree I did get but then part of what you get out of some degrees is the discipline of learning itself, aside from professional degrees like medical, teaching, law. I do have those Sliding Door moments where I wonder what if? I do that with the idea of a Masters. If I'd just started it when I first thought of it about 15 years ago (yeah, I'm kinda old), then I would've even done it for free. But life takes you where it does. Starting a family young may be part of the issue for you too. I only say that because I did a lot of self-discovery in my20s and 30s before settling down and having my family. I didn't do everything I wanted or even now know everything I want. The hard part is accepting the path We're on and maybe finding something else that validates *that* part of you that is dissatisfied or unfulfilled. I keep reminding myself of too. Well, from nothing to add, to an epic comment!

  18. When the time is right to go back to study, you will know it, and maybe you won't become a teacher, but then maybe you will. Maybe you will study early childhood and rather than go into childcare, you might become a Kindy teacher. I think you'd be an awesome kindy teacher! or maybe you won't. one think i do know, God knows the plans He has for you. I feel young because I have young children (even though i am officially old), and you feel old because you have all this responsibility at such a young age. just enjoy where you are on the road to where you are going, and make the time to go out partying occasionally without the kids!!!!


Thanks for stopping by, I would so love to hear your thoughts!

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