Being a mama isn’t hard because it is brain surgery or particularly difficult. Being a mama is hard bc society is a set up. But, what happens if I do want to be a brain surgeon? Is my life over bc I had a child outside the sperm support of a man?
In a world where more than half of our children are being raised by single parents, it makes you wonder, why isn’t the world more child friendly?
It’s obvious all children need more than one, & even two people in their lives. So, why don’t all jobs provide in-house child care? Or allow children in the workplace? Or why can’t I grab a glass a wine while my daughter sips on a ginger ale at a pub? People in the UK do it. Why am I assumed to be a ‘bad mom,’ if I want to still do shit regular humans do?
I remember one time I went all the way to Newark, NJ from Yonkers, NY to a poetry show with Zi, who was a toddler. I was a co-organizer of the show & my own co-workers didn't let me in on that winter night with a kid bc they felt like a child did not belong in a place where they sold alcohol. Although, I didn’t come to drink.
I can’t say how many times I have been denied in social spaces bc of opinionated non-parents, or part-time parents who have a say on your life bc let’s face it, they are assholes who have the privilege of not needing support the way I do.
It is a pretty lonely feeling when someone denies you your right to a particular space bc the person you love more than anything in the world cannot be there.
I graduated from SUNY Purchase in 2012. I started college in 2002. It essentially took me ten years (I wasn’t in school the whole time) to get my undergraduate degree. I went back to school when Zi was three years young. In my first semester, Zi spent every other weekend with me on campus until I got my housing situation figured out.
SUNY Purchase use to house families, but bc of the shortage of housing they split their one bedrooms apartments that would house one family into doubles & triples for space & money sake. I went back & forth with Resident Life bc I wanted to live on campus with Zi, but babymamas ain’t got no rights as a parent.
SUNY Purchase had an obligation to house me, but not Zi.
Luckily, I found a studio apartment that was a 15 minute bus ride to & from campus & my daughter was enrolled in the day care on campus that cost more than my rent, but I digress…
Before I settled on SUNY Purchase I was looking into Wilson College bc they have a Women With Children Program.
In my initial stages of research, I found other schools that support mothers & children. So, I compiled this list of universities that provide childcare & housing (a winning combination) for those of us who are budding scholars & babymamas & want a degree.
What is dope about these initiatives is that it allows mothers to not only be academic, but also social. Mothers & their children can both get their needs met. & the mother can stay close to their child(ren).
As the only babymama on SUNY Purchase campus, I had to create makeshift ways for me to still be present, which meant Zi wasn't with me half the time. I was the founder of the first national collegiate slam team & a yearly hip hop festival. I was also writing a manuscript, a justice for the student gov’t, & combating the kids of white privilege everyday.
So here are the schools that encourage & support babymamas to get their degrees. I recommend that you check all of them out, as they have some specifications for qualification. Not only do these programs support women in earning a degree, but these women are also given a space to learn & bond over financial literacy, parenting & life skills specific to babymamahood.
All links provided takes you straight to their single mother programs:
Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA
Baldwin Wallace University, Berea, OH.
Berea College, Berea, KY
College of Saint Mary, Omaha, NA
Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI
Misericordia University, Dallas, PA
Mills College, Oakland, CA
Endicott College, Beverly, MA
Please share this post with parents, educators, youth workers, & teens who want to go to college, but feel like they do not have the support to do so. It is out there.
Do you know of any other college programs that support babymamas? Please share the wealth in the comments below.