Ever heard that term? It’s used for a student who is also a parent, and there are nearly five million of them in colleges around the country. That’s over a quarter of the undergraduate population, and that number has gone up by around a million since 2011.
It can be really, really expensive to be a student parent, especially if you need to pay for child care while you’re in class.
In some states, child care for an infant can be as much as $17,062 a year, according to a report by Child Care Aware of America. Add that on to the ever-rising cost of college tuition — both private and public — and the financial strain of getting a college education becomes a huge burden for low-income parents. So much so that only a third of student parents get a degree within six years, often citing mounting debt as a reason for dropping out.
I’m really glad that my predictions for the “I Could Never Be Ready” song turned out true in the way that they did, about Greg being hesitant about parenthood and generally uncertain.
More and more we’re seeing SU deconstruct the narratives we’ve just grown to accept in fiction. The birth of a demigod-like figure is one of them. A lot of the time we don’t really put a lot of focus on the parents. They’re either completely willing and unafraid for their child, or not really part of the story.
In fact, looking back at most of the big stories that have broken into numerous forms of young-adult pop culture, as old as time, we’ve had stories of parents passing away, parents having to go away for work reasons, parents who don’t understand (and don’t try to). I wouldn’t say just parents either. In many of these stories, we don’t see a guardian-figure until the worst possible moments.
By and large, there is an implicit message that young people have to fend for themselves, learn about how things work, and change the world on their own.
Chances are, you’d be thinking of a few of these stories right now, but I’m not here to name-names. I’m not saying these were terrible stories by virtue of that missing detail. It’s worth asking why it’s such a familiar narrative, though.
I wouldn’t say that at this age, young adults “don’t care” and are only self-centred. That’s a complete disservice to them and to the people with whom they engage. I will say though, that these stories tend to be focused on their protagonists and their audience, who are also people of this age group; in the same way children usually take a backseat in a novel about adult life (unless said adult is constantly interacting with children).
1. About Gen-This versus Gen-That
Personally, I’m not fond of the use of “generational divides” and using them as a reason to throw blame and a lot of ad hominem attacks thinly veiled as criticism. To me, there’s a clear reason why the previous “generation” doesn’t just vanish the moment a new set of people are born. The rationale behind formal institutional educations is that some things can be taught by someone who has already learned them. There’s a lot to be gained from working together. And of course that’s easier said than done, but I like how SU shows involvement is possible in the smallest unit of society: The family.
I spent the afternoon decorating our Christmas tree with two little girls singing Christmas songs and only wanting to hang up the “sparkly” ornaments, & one little girl kicking away in my belly. it couldn’t have been any more perfect.
Yes, all of these chores, and commands, who haven’t heard them? Right?
Sometimes, either they make the helpers do it or have their kids to do it and think to themselves that they are “training” their kids for their future, but how about training your kids for their akhirah?
We barely hear lines “my dear, it’s time for prayer, let us go and pray.” or “read the Qur’an after you finish your dinner”
We barely hear that, in some houses, you never hear it. Astagfirullah. _____
We find many Muslim parents these days more keen on the worldly affairs of their kids rather than their deen. As a result, they push their children so much to an extent that when one fails to do what their parents are expecting them to reach they go into such depression that lures them to eventually end their lives and see themselves worthless.
Do not deny it, we have seen this, we have heard this and we have experienced it in a way or two.
This post is a plea and appeal to all Muslim parents out there, especially the new ones.
Often times, when the kids grow up and we want them to be deen focused or religiously committed it becomes so hard for us. Why? Because we haven’t really introduced deen to them when they were growing up, rather we have introduced them to facebook, twitter, trophies (you have to get that!), awards, degrees (you won’t get married if you don’t have one!), all these trending stuff.
I’ve known Muslims families where you ask the parents themselves about who is this Prophet and they would answer you, is that a Prophet of ours? I thought only Christians believe he was a prophet, families where their children memorized the alphabet but couldn’t even recognize one letter from the arabic alphabet, memorized and are familiarized with hundreds of cartoon characters but doesn’t even know Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam.
My dear brothers and sisters in Islam, You prayed and prayed long night prayers, you even cried in sujood asking for Allah to bless you with a beautiful child and when He does, you take the child’s akhirah for granted right infront of your very eyes!
Establish Islam within your houses. Start early, everything starts within our homes. The Sahabah RA (after the death of the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalaam) used to assign each other on different aspects or fundamentals of Islam, one would be the muadhdhin, one be the Imaam, one would be assigned for the troops and so on.
This was a practice that they’ve done not only within their homes but also within the Muslim community. When ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab RA was the Ameer ul Mu’mineen, he used to write to his governors always and always reminding them of their akhirah, that this should not be ever neglected while pursuing victories and dealing with their worldly affairs.
One of his letters to his governors, he wrote: “The most important of your affairs in my view is prayer; whoever prays regularly has protected his faith, but whoever neglects it is bound to be more negligent in other issues in faith.”
He (’Umar) always emphasized to his governors the importance of establishing regular prayer among the people, as he said: “We have appointed you to establish regular prayer and teach them knowledge and the Qur’an.” Then ‘Umar would state in his letters of appointment that so and so was in charge of the prayer, the troops.
For example, ‘Umar appointed ‘Ammar Ibn Yasir in charge of the prayer and the troops, while ‘Abd’Allah Ibn Mas’ud was in charge of the judiciary and the bayt al mal. _____
So if you come and think of it, ‘Umar would appoint assignments (like chores) but he would always remind of the importance of deen and the acts of worship before anything else.
Why can’t we become like how ‘Umar would manage things within our homes?
One beautiful character of the Sahabah that reminds me when I hear these things is the way they would say Alhamdulillah even when calamities come to them. Why? because they thank Allah that the calamity was put on their worldly affairs and not in their deen for one who loses his deen has lost both worlds.
We react in a way like life has taken a toll in us when a calamity strikes us in our worldly affairs yet when it is about our deen we take it for granted, just like how we take for granted our offsprings.
I do not ask you to be super strict on your kids, but remind them of their deen as much as you would remind them of how you love them.
Don’t lose your kid and more especially don’t let your kid lose both of this world because of you. _____
And we pray Allah helps us and enlightens the hearts of our offsprings to accept and commit religiously through our examples, as parents. Amin
Stories were taken from
• At Tareeqah Al Hakamiyah, p. 240 • Al Wilayah ‘ala Al-Buldan, 2/67 • Al Ahkam as Sultaniyah, p. 33 • Naseehat Al Mulook, p. 72
Hajime doesn’t particularly favour mornings, he doesn’t consider himself a morning person, but after years of getting up early, of 5 o’clock shifts at the hospital, and a routine embedded in the break of day, it has become a habit of his to wake up early even on weekends.
It’s a little past 8 on a Sunday morning, and the house is quiet with only the slow sizzling from the pan, where the eggs are cooking. Hajime uses his chopsticks to roll them into an omelette and sets the first badge aside.
He cooks in silence, enjoying the morning light, coming through the window, showering the whole rooms in specs of golden. He prepares the omelettes, cuts them into perfect stripes, divides the miso soup into bowls, gets the salmon out of the grill, and mashes two bananas with oats for Tobio, because he knows they’re his favourite.
He checks the clock on the wall when he finishes, a smile forming on his lip. If left to his own devices, Tooru would probably sleep until noon, snuggled under the piles of blanket and pillows he’s so keen on keeping.
That’s why Hajime walks into their bedroom and goes to sits on the edge of the bed on Tooru’s side, where he’s currently snuggled up and fast asleep, his breathing deep and even.
Hajime leans forward, his nose gently brushing Tooru’s cheek as he whispers his name, a soft nudge to pull him out of sleep.
Tooru doesn’t react, so Hajime tries again. “Tooru, wake up,” he says and nuzzles his nose into the juncture between Tooru’s neck and shoulder.
He smells of sleep, soft and sweet, his hair still carrying the smell of his lavender shampoo. Hajime breaths in and closes his eyes, an arm coming around Tooru to pull him closer, “Come on, wake up,” he huffs against his skin.
Tooru stirs, whines, tries to swat Hajime away, mumbles, “5 more minutes,” and buries his face into his pillow.
“I have today off,” Hajime tries, “I want to spend it with you.”
Tooru hums, low and hoarse and makes an effort to turn but soon flops back face down on the pillow.
“I made breakfast,” Hajime adds and finally, finally Tooru opens his eyes and peeks at Hajime with curiosity. He blinks, still sleepy, warm under the blankets, one of his cheeks still bearing marks from the pillow cover.
Hajime smiles at him with fondness, a thumb moving to caress his cheek, tender whorls over his skin. “Good morning,” he murmurs, voice low.
“Morning,” Tooru replies, barely a whisper.
The door of their bedroom creaks open, curious eyes peeking from behind the frame. “Dad?” Tobio’s tiny voice carries in the room and Tooru shifts to a sitting position as he replies, “Hey, come here, baby.”
Tobio runs across the wooden floor, small socketed feet tapping softly, then he jumps on the bed and into Tooru’s open arms.
Tooru hugs him, rocking him a bit in his arms. “Are you hungry?” he coos and Tobio nods timidly.
Hajime laughs and he watches his family with affection. “Come,” he says, “I’ve mashed some bananas for you.” Tobio extends his little arms towards Hajime excitedly and Hajime picks him up. “I’ll put him in his chair while you get ready,” he tells Tooru and gives him a kiss on the forehead before he leaves.
And when they eat together after, with Tooru fully awake and back to his usual boisterous energy, and Tobio giggling over the airplane noises Tooru makes with the spoon full of his mashed bananas, Hajime decides that he might be a morning person after all.