Back-to-School Moms

Graduating college is always a proud achievement, but perhaps even moreso for student mothers (CC 3.0 image by Fernando M. Larez)

This post was contributed by Touro College of Pharmacy student Saule Bekbayeva. She is a 2017 Pharm. D. candidate.

One day my son came up to me and said: “Maman, Je veux un peu de lait.”

I cried: “What?”

He repeated: “Je…LAIT!!!!”

I said: “I don’t understand. I am sorry go ask your dad!”

As I was making the bed in the morning, rushing to get out of the house to get to classes, I looked at him he as he was making a swirling sound and pointing his thumb into his open mouth. I asked my boyfriend what my son wanted to drink – milk or water?  It turned out he wanted milk. (FYI: lait is milk, d’eau is water. I always get confused in pronouncing these words.)

Ninety percent of my kid’s vocabulary is in French. Pourquoi? Well, because my boyfriend takes care of his early education while his mommy is busy going to school!

Perhaps I will be lying if I say I am going back to school to make a better life for my kid, because, honestly, I am doing it for myself. I thought about pharmacy as a profession for quite some time, so here I am, a full-time student and a part-time mommy. Yes, I am a part time parent because my boyfriend, his family and my family are taking an active part in raising my son.

Being a parent while going back to school is not easy, but it is not hard either. I am very grateful for the enormous support we get in raising our son while we are busy building our future. Here are some perks that are so awesome about being a student-parent:


Going back to school is a good example of honoring education. You teach your children how important it is to follow a dream and never give up, and that even if you fail the first time, it is never too late to keep trying to learn new skills or a new trade.

Less doesn’t mean little:

One might say, because you are in school trying to learn something for yourself, you missing out on spending time with your child, but I think that you can do both. New York City offers a lot of great places where you can spend some great times with your kid. There are so many great parks for you to spend time with your children. It is an excuse to be outdoors and get some fresh air, after staying the whole day in a library.  And who doesn’t like discounts? There are so many museums, parks, zoos and more where you can flash your student id card and get a reduced fare! I bet stay-at-home mommies don’t have it; life is not fair, I know. Yes, you do not see your kid so often because you always need to study, but when you have free time, you spend it wisely.

SOS! MOM is having an exam!

You may have heard of postpartum depression or the melancholy a woman can go through after she delivers a baby. I never experienced that, but if I did I would know who can help me, my school psychologist. There are psychological services that school provides to its students, and it is free. You can just walk in and dish about your school, and how you miss your baby, and how hard your life is, and guess what? You will be heard! It helps! So you never alone, there are people who can support you through your hard student life.

In general, I just want to encourage young parents, any parents out there, to get up and pursue their dreams. Don’t get discouraged by your household burden. It will always be there for you, but right now you need to take care of yourself. Pull all your resources together: money, loans, family, and friends to help you reach your dream. I assure you, your dream becomes their dream too – hurry up and finish that school! And that gives you a boost.

Perhaps I don’t know how to say milk or water in French, but I sure do know what medications one should avoid taking with milk. And if I survived pharmacy school, I am sure I will learn French (at least to get by around my house…).


For more on Touro College of Pharmacy Student Services:

For student services at our other campuses:

  • NYSCAS Advisement/Counseling – Students are encouraged to speak with their academic advisers about adjusting to college life, balancing work and family life with school, or any other issues




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