Five years ago, if someone had told me that I was going to live in Luxembourg and raise a baby girl while studying English with the UoL International Programmes, I probably would have laughed. Yet here I am: a Spaniard based in Luxembourg studying English and, yes, raising a baby at the same time (six months now and going strong!).
The truth is I studied to become a teacher back in Spain. I got my teaching degree there but life brought me to this little country and, after a while, I decided to enroll in the International Programmes to widen my knowledge in English.
And then, one year after that, I got pregnant. During my pregnancy I focused on the Creative Writing module and did a bit of reading for Intro to English Language. Unfortunately, when examination dates were released, Intro to English Language was just two weeks after my due date, and so I decided not to register for that examination (and I am glad I did!). This year I have decided to retake Intro to English Language and start level 5 with Renaissance and Restoration.
To be sincere, this summer I considered not registering for this year, or maybe to register for Intro to English Language “just in case”. During the first four months of life of The Little One, I really thought life was over. I mean “outside-the-diaper” life. Luckily, my family encouraged me to take on this challenge, and they insisted on the importance of having my own intellectual outlet, something that would be just for myself. I remembered what Virginia Woolf described on A Room of One’s Own as the “angel of the house” and so I finally decided upon registering and doing my best.
In the student forums on the VLE I see many people struggling with the conciliation of their personal lives, work and studies. It is a feeling that we all share as distance learners: it seems daunting to keep going when you have to rely only on yourself to push and there are tonnes of other things you have to do. I know being a mother is a 24/7 job. Even when The Little One is at daycare for three to four hours in the morning, my head is revolving around her, and it is really hard to think about affricates or Milton’s role in Cromwell’s England when a part of you is worrying non-stop about someone’s well-being. It will always accompany me, no matter what I am doing or what are my goals. I hope blogging about motherhood and studies will help me coming to terms with these new feelings of first-time mom.
I invite you, reader, to come with me in this journey. Hopefully, we can learn a bit together and, if not, then maybe we can have a good laugh about it.
Ana is studying the BA English by distance learning in Luxembourg.