Monday, October 6, 2014

Why (I imagine) Getting a Masters is a Lot Like Having a Child

Having been married for 4+ years now, and slowly but surely approaching the upper end of my twenties, I (not so shockingly) get asked frequently when we're going to have children. Not so much by our families (my father-in-law knows better ever since I told him asking that question was like lightning at the pool, every time he asked, I restarted the clock!), but by concerned citizens who must be very worried that our fabulous genes won't get passed on (hey, if I get teased, I can dish it back, right?)! Lately, I've begun giving a response that I do in fact have a child - it's name is a masters degree - and I can quite convincingly compare the two. So, for your entertainment, here are the Top 10 Reasons, I imagine, Getting a Masters is a lot like Having a Child:

  1. Since beginning my masters, I've gotten a lot less sleep. Masters work keeps me up at night, babies keep people up at night. Or, if I try to go to sleep, I instead typically lie awake thinking about what masters work I should be completing. I'm not making this up - the black circles under my eyes and my bloodshot right eye are proof.
  2. Masters degrees are expensive. While (thank goodness) not quite the cost of raising a child for 18 years, still not chump change. To raise a child born in 2013 to the age of 18, it will cost a middle-income couple just over $245,000, according to newly released estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  3. I cannot neglect my Masters degree. Without a lot of care and attention, it would die. Babies require quite a bit of attention too (so I've been told).
  4. My masters degree is aging me. Since beginning my masters, I've gotten reading glasses, developed horribly slumped "computer" posture, and experienced a plethora of aches and pains. Kind of like my mother telling me I was giving her grey hair!
  5. Some days I love my masters more than others. My mom used to tell me, "I don't always like you, but I'll always love you." There are definitely days (and nights) when I don't like this degree, but for some underlying attraction, I keep on trucking.
  6. I'm proud of my masters degree. I image the day I get that hood and the letters MOL after my name, I will shed a few tears. The kind of tears moms and dads shed at their child's graduation.
  7. I celebrate little victories along the way. With the completion of each project, test, and class, I celebrate a little bit. Like first steps or first words, each credit hour is a small but significant victory!
  8. This masters degree has put some serious strain on my social life! Many evenings have been spent at the computer or parked in front of a book instead of out to dinner with friends. Weekends at the lake have been encroached on as I holed away with a textbook while everyone else was having fun.
  9. Sometimes corrections are necessary and well-deserved in a masters program. Sometimes you get an A, sometimes you don't. When I was briefly running this theory by a friend of mine who's a wonderful mama to three little people, she exclaimed, "thank goodness I don't get a grade in parenting, some days I'd get an F. But, the good thing is, the next day, I can start all over!"
  10. Despite the sleep deprivation, anxiety, expense, sacrifice, and difficulty, in the end, I know getting my masters will be more than worth it. Nothing worth having comes easy, right?

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