Practical Advice for Student Moms

Amberosity isAmberosity- Baby a 22-year-old parenting student now attending Oregon State University. As the mom of 3 young children and expecting her fourth child this Fall, Amberosity generously offered her advice to other pregnant and parenting students.


Find at least one solid support person.

You are going to have days where you question why you are doing this and how you are ever going to make it. Unfortunately, these times seem to hit especially during the most difficult parts of college/parenthood and not during the good times. You need to have at least one person who can support you, help you work through the stress, and remind you that your goals can be reached. For myself, this person has been my husband. I cannot begin to count the number of times when he has offered a hug, brought me my favorite snacks, or simply reminded me that I can do this and why I am doing this. For other people, this support person may be a parent, a mentor, or a friend.

Be passionate about your major but also realistic.

As a parent, you have to think even more critically about what careers will be available to you once you graduate and the future health of those careers. At the same time, if you are not passionate about your major, it is going to be difficult to be motivated to complete the degree.

Accept/ask for help.

There are a lot of resources available for students and parents. Within your college, don’t be afraid to ask for advice and help from your advisor and professors. They are not only paid to help you, they want you to succeed. Also, many schools offer free tutoring for students. Colleges are also creating a lot more programs for students with families which you may be able to use even if you are going online. For example, my college provides a free membership to for students which I can use to find babysitters in my local area. If you have family or friends who offer to help, accept it. Look into programs at the local and state level as well. Focus on using state programs as a temporary resource to help you get a step up and succeed. There will be many chances in the future where you will be able to pay it forward and help someone else in need.

Connect with your professors.

If possible, connect early on in the course with your professors. If you are pregnant, make it a point to contact them during the first week of the course if not before to discuss the best way to manage coursework. Establishing a connection and communicating throughout the course will make things much easier. If something drastic happens (e.g. a power outage or very sick child), let them know as soon as possible. If you need to ask for an extensions, then ask. The worse a professor can say is ‘no’. If you ask as far before the deadline as you can, it may also make it more likely that the professor is willing to work with you.

Connect with other parents.

This can be really difficult for young mothers- especially when you are also juggling school. But try to find a few other parents to connect to. These may be other mothers on campus, moms at a local library story-time or MOPS group, moms at your local church etc… Other moms can more easily understand the struggles and joys of raising children. They also provide a valuable resource for ideas and advice.

Grades don’t make the person.

Good grades are important to a point. They will help you get scholarships while in college. However, when you graduate no employer is going to care if you got an ‘A’ in English 101. Two things do matter; what you ultimately learn from the course and the time you spend with your family/children. Sometimes it is best to do that art project with your kids instead of taking that time to study.

Look all over for the best deals on textbooks.

While some of my textbooks I still do use for reference, many I have only used for the classes I bought them for. The huge majority I have not bought from the college bookstore. I look online for many deals and try to buy used. Make sure you also figure in shipping whenever you are trying to find the cheapest price. If you live near campus find the campuses selling, barter, swap page (Facebook often has these) and see what textbooks other students are selling.

Ask about using a later edition.

I had to buy a 3rd edition ornithology textbook for a class. It was selling for $90-$100 on every site. However the 2nd edition was only $10. I emailed the professor and got permission to use the 2nd edition, saving me about $80. Many textbook editions have very small changes so don’t be afraid to ask your professor if you can use an earlier edition.

Use the library resources.

I live across the continent from my college but make use of my local libraries. The librarians at my local library proctor my college exams for free. At one point, I needed a textbook just for the last 3 weeks of a course. I was able to get the book through interlibrary loan for $1.50 shipping saving myself about $30. Both your local library and college library will have tons of resources for research online and in print. Many college libraries have limited copies of required textbooks for in-library use (you can’t check them out). Also many local libraries host children’s story times for all ages (from newborn upward) and other great activities for free. My local library hosts a mommy/baby/toddler yoga session for free each week.

Remember that this is possible and worth it.

Completing college on its own is a daunting task. Parenting is honestly terrifying as well. It was never my plan to be parenting and going to school. I was terrified when expecting my first child, but it has been completely worth it. I would not change anything. There have been times where I have debated my decision to attend college, but I have never debated my decision to give life to my children. I love attending college and I love being a mother. I firmly believe that both are possible, especially with the increasing focus on nontraditional students within our secondary education systems.


Thank you, Amberosity, for your practical advice! We encourage other parenting students to contribute their stories and advice by emailing our Coordinator at

Brooke Foster: Athlete, Student, Mom

Photo Credit: Graham Hayes, ESPN

Photo Credit: Graham Hayes, ESPN

24-year-old North Texas shortstop Brooke Foster isn’t just an athlete. She’s a competitor. She has worked hard to claim her prowess on the field. North Texas coach Tracey Kee said, “It’s not until you get out here on a daily basis and see what the kid does. She just plays the game flat out… she’s just constantly a true competitor. She doesn’t take a day for granted. … She is our little engine at the front of the lineup that can drop a bunt or drive it out of the ballpark.” In a recent game at Oklahoma State, Brooke hit .354 with a .677 slugging percentage. Not too shabby for an athlete who took 2 years off from the game.

On the surface, Brooke Foster appears to be just another great player on the field. However, Brooke’s story is different from many athletes. Unlike other athletes, those 2 years were not spent redshirted recovering from a persistent injury or surgery.

Brooke Foster is a mom.

A high school standout, Brooke earned a softball scholarship to Houston Baptist University. In her freshman year, she discovered that she was pregnant. She dropped out of college, moved back to Wylie. Brooke assumed a full-time positioned at a local pharmacy in order to pay for her medical expenses. Through those months of pregnancy, Brooke and her family struggled to accept the challenges to their expectations and the stigma of unplanned pregnancy. She admits to feeling embarrassed and even ashamed at her situation.

On Aug. 21, 2009, baby Layton entered the world. While there remained challenges to embrace her new life, Brooke was fiercely determined to be a good mom. Looking back on that time, Brooke stated, “I was determined that [Layton] was going to be mine, and I was going to be able to raise him and I was going to be so happy. I was just so defensive over him. And I still am. Any time anyone tries to say anything, I’m like, ‘You know what, I have been to hell and back so many times for this little boy to be here.”

After watching the Women’s College World Series on television, Brook was inspired to continue her pursuit of a college education. She joined the North Texas softball team as a walk-on and continued her education. Since joining the team, the 24-year-old senior has stood out for her talent on the softball field and her commitment to motherhood. Currently, Brook is the record holder for career stolen bases, and she is closing in on hitting records as well.

This year, Brook will also be the first of her family to graduate from college. Pursuing her college education and reclaiming her athleticism had trials. However, Brook has overcome the fears of the past and regained her confidence.

“I will never let anybody tell me that I can’t do anything because not one person told me I could do this, and I’m doing it. I think [Layton] is going to be proud of me.”

Reporter Graham Hays sums up Brooke’s story beautifully. “Brooke could easily have become a cautionary tale, the uber-talented athlete whose unplanned pregnancy led her to drop out of school and drift away from a future once seemingly in focus. All of that happened, and left her on a precipice. Hers isn’t a path even she would wish to tread again, not through times both dark and lonely. But Brooke came all the way back. Not to reclaim that which she lost, but to protect what she gained the best way she knew how. Really, the only way she knew how: with a bat and a glove.”


Brooke Foster- ESPN

Photo Credit: Graham Hayes, ESPN


This post was contributed by Beth O’Malley, Pregnant on Campus Coordinator. All images are credited to Graham Hayes, ESPN. If you would like to submit your story, please email Beth at