how my tuition money is spent

Dear Polished Stranger (From a Happy Working Mommy)


Dear Very Polished Stranger,

Let me tell you a secret … I am well aware that that my toddler is currently trying to drive a toy dump trunk into my cleavage while announcing, “Oh no! Truck stuck!” 

You are right, though, that I didn’t notice the 2 pens in my hair … yes, or that binder clip the toddler found in my shirt. I’m sure there was a reason it was in there. I had copy-edits this week … and am drafting … and had teleconferences with Hollywood … also a toddler, a teen, and a kid in college. It’s been a chaotic week, and I think it’s only Wednesday.  Honestly, though, we should be grateful that I’ve remembered to wear a shirt in the first place. I’m a little sleepy. 

I will admit that juggling work & kids hasn’t made me look particularly model-like. (Neither did the years pre-kids & career when I partied, incidentally. The black circles under my eyes aren’t actually NEW.) You know what my kids & work HAVE made me? HAPPY even when I’m as tired as I look.

Yep. I’m kinda old to have such a wee mammal, but no, I’m NOT his grandmother.  That teenager currently making faces at my toddler isn’t a teen dad. They’re both my kids. There’s a 3rd one at university (graduating after only 3 years with HIGHEST honours, btw.)

Yep. I can see why you think it’s a “little weird” to have a 21 year old, a teen, and toddler.  I was pretty close to my daughter’s age when I started this mom gig. 

No, it wasn’t an “oops.”  Motherhood has been on purpose every damn time, too. I FOUGHT for these kids. I don’t have a body that grows babies well. Only one of the 3 grew in my body, so when I say it was a choice, I mean it was a difficult, expensive, and utterly exhausting fight to have all 3 of these kids in my life.  I spent over $60k in legal fees for one of them. The hospital bills for one were in excess of $200k, and I didn’t know until afterwards if the insurance would cover it. Let’s not even start on the future tuition bills (do you know how expensive college is these days?), or the past clothes, lessons, and etc.  Then there’s weird things. Teen is getting a pilot’s license. Daughter needed to move to Guatemala (among other places) for a few months for school.

 It’s all my money though, and that’s what I choose to spend it on: being a mom. If it were your money, you could comment.  It’s not.  

Some people like designer clothes or shiny rocks on their fingers and ears… or cars … or who knows.  I don’t get some (most) of that, but I don’t care what they do with their lives and money bc it’s none of my business.  Me? I work to afford being a mom and to take trips. That’s my choice.

Some people hit an age where they stop wanting babies. I hear it will happen to me too, but … lately I’ve been thinking that maybe I’ll start fostering or adopting teens in a few years. That’s my current loose plan for the next adventure. I like being a mom.  I like working too. I’m doing fairly decent at both so far.  The eldest had scholarship for uni, and multiple fellowships for graduate school. The middle one is excelling in school and socially. The wee one overcame medical challenges. They’re all happy and want for absolutely nothing.  

While we’re chatting, I want to politely point out that if you suggest again that my rather intense toddler is “lucky” I adopted him, I may have to smack you. I’m trying not to resort to violence or cussing because it would set a a bad example.  Being a mom makes me a better person.  It might be a fair note to say that you’re lucky I adopted him. Without him here in my arms, I would be demonstrating my skills with words that aren’t toddler-safe. I do get what you meant, but he’s no luckier than my other two kids. It’s hurtful to say that. I didn’t “rescue” any of them. It’s not a social service to be a mama. It’s my calling in life. I’m the lucky one

I don’t judge you for your lack of kids. I promise you.  I’d rather people who don’t want to be parents opt out. It’s better for you and potential kids. It’s a respectable choice. It’s perfectly cool not to want this. I even understand why it seems odd to want it somedays, but I’d like you to think about your attitude toward those of us who DO want it. I’d like you to think about why you see no issue with YOUR choice, but think it’s okay to judge mine. 

Here’s the deal: finger paint is messy. Motherhood, in general, is messy. Writing is oddly messy. All of it is a bit exhausting when combined. It’s also exceedingly fun–and it hurts no one.  

And if I’m okay with my choices and can afford them, why does it even matter to you? I’ll take the babies. You take the baubles. We’re both happier with this plan, and at the end, that’s what we ALL deserve in this world: happiness.

Love,

Happy Working Mom

PS I clean up pretty well, so feel free to come to one of my book events where I usually wear the clothes I don’t wear around the toddler. I’ll even cover some of the black circles under my eyes. Umm, no promises on the pens in my hair though. 

“…I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parentsi savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldnit see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made…”
- Steve Jobs

How my boyfriend became obsessed with Connor and Troye
  • MY Boyfriend: you have an unhealthy obsession with Youtubers.
  • Me: No I don't.
  • BF: You spent money you were suppose to use on tuition on youtube Connor Fanta and Troye Cavan Merch.
  • Me: Excuse you! It's Connor FRANTA and Troye SIVAN.
  • BF: *rolls eyes* My point! You can watch their videos for hours.
  • Me: When fallout 4 came out you skipped your classes for 3 days and completly ignored me for 72 hours. If anything that's an unhealthy obsession.
  • BF: Fine, fine, I get it. So what's so special about them anyway?
  • Me: *pulls out laptop* We must begin with O2l and the beauty that is fetus Troye....

anonymous asked:

How did you and Ryan save the money to get a house together? Like when did you move in with one another? You're just both so young and with college too....how did you do it?!

We worked all through high school…so we were able to save a good amount. We knew we were going to get married young, so we prepared for it financially before we were even engaged. We waited to move in together until we were married, so I was 20 and he was 19. We rent and chose a small apartment to save money, so all we really needed to have saved was the security deposit and now our monthly payments are pretty cheap.

With college, I got a scholarship that was more than my tuition, so I was so blessed to be able to get the difference back to help with other things. I had to take out two loans for a semester I spent at a private Christian college, but I was able to use my scholarship money to pay one off and make payments on the other one.

When Ryan started going to school, even before we were married, we worked together to pay off his tuition and always made sure that was super important. So now he finished loan free.

We have been very blessed with scholarships and the ability to work from such a young age, so that is really how we have been able to be so financially stable as twentysomethings.

I know it seems like I say this all like it was easy. It wasn’t. It was really hard. We worked our butts off. We lived far away from each other for a long time. Ryan slept in his car for a while. Then he lived in a dark apartment because he couldn’t afford water or electric. I have worked since I first started high school and I actually started college at the same time…..and can’t ever remember not working and having to go to school and juggle both. It’s been hard for us both….but it’s paid off now with so much blessing.

And now we try not to  spend our money on a lot and we always pay our tithe first, bills second, our savings third, and then extras come always last….so that is a method that has also helped us tremendously. <3 :)

WHY DOCTOR OF DENTAL MEDICINE?




It is still fresh inside my mind that first day of school 6 years ago. That feet shaking, palm sweating, heavy breathing moment as I got off the car to start a new chapter in my life, COLLEGE. I didn’t know anyone, my high school friends went to different schools and there I was, passed the entrance exam, dexterity exam and the interview not knowing what the future awaits for me and not even sure if it was really what I wanted. If given the chance to go back to that moment, MUDIRETSO KO SA GATE OY! KALISOD ANING KURSUHA. PURYA GABA!! Hahahaha JUST KIDDING! I don’t regret taking up Dentistry, it still amazes me how I survived the previous semesters of it even though I’ve given up for so many times already. Dentistry made me realize that I have capabilities I didn’t know I have in me. It’s not easy, if you’re planning to take it up or if you’re just starting; always prepare yourself because it will not just exhaust you mentally from studying or physically from all the laboratory works but it will also hit you hard emotionally.

My first year went well, we were more or less 80 in class and it wasn’t hard for me to meet new friends. I was in one school my whole elementary and high school life so entering dental school was my first time to transfer, I’d experienced minor bullying in my past that’s why I’m pretty nervous meeting new classmates (I was diagnosed with club feet when I was young). But God gave me His angels when I entered college and I call them friends now. The subjects during this year were easy (Except Physics! HAHA) I tell you, pre dentistry is just the preparation for the real thing so you must think it over and over if you really want to become a Dentist. In short, back out while you still have time. But if it is really your calling just continue and be positive.

Second year is my favorite, me and my batch mates became closer because of the activities from our subjects like short films, videos and magazines. For me, this year is the most relaxing one especially second sem. Although Anatomy was very stressful, I can still say that compared to other years in Dentistry, second year is the most enjoyable one.

Third year came, I was still in awe after finishing pre dent. I thought that entering proper would make me feel that I’m already closer to my dream but I didn’t expect that first year proper will shock the hell out of me. The only subject that I am excited about being in proper is the Gross Anatomy, it gave me goosebumps whenever I think about dissecting a real cadaver. I was so excited back then to memorize every part of God’s greatest creation, human body. But it was the hardest subject I’ve ever encountered (Second to Math of course) I started to get to used to moving exams during this year, not just in Gross Anatomy but to the other subjects as well. My first year in proper were full of sleepless nights studying, but even though I had exerted a lot of effort, they’re still not enough. I doubted myself. Questioned myself if I’m really on the right path. Failed prelim and midterm grades. Endured the smell of the formalin first thing in the morning. A lot of drawings, drawings and drawings. My eyes were tired from viewing a lot of slides on the microscope for hours. Took quizzes, written exams and moving exams without enough sleep. Payed a lot for library fees from borrowing books. Carried heavy books every day. Coffee was my best friend. My faith in God got really stronger. And yes, it was the first time I realized that Dentistry is really not easy. But I thank God because I passed all my subjects even though I thought I couldn’t make it through.

Third year was hard but for me, fourth year (Second Year Proper) is the most difficult one. Lecture subjects became more exhausting and our dexterity was tested during this year. I almost gave up and closed to shifting in another course because it came to me that Dentistry wasn’t really my thing. It is during this year that I realized I am more into multi media, my passion is to write stories, make short films and editing videos not to do cavity preparations and bring back the lost anatomy of a tooth by carving an amalgam, but it’s too late to back out. Though my ears hurt from hearing the word REPEAT again and again in every laboratory work we had and even though I spent a lot for typodonts I continued anyway because I believe that God didn’t brought me that far just to drop and hurt me. Besides, the beginning is always the hardest, we would eventually learn these things. Fourth year didn’t just stressed me out with the subjects and laboratory works, me and my parents were stressed also with the expenses of our required materials. No wonder it’s costly to visit the dental clinics, the materials are not cheap. I got discouraged during this year but after treating my first ever patients, I was guilty for thinking that I’m not meant to be a dentist. The feeling is astonishing when you finally get the chance to see the smile of your patients.

After 4 years of wearing a skirt, time came to change my uniform into pants. CLINICIAN! Yes, that’s what they call you when you reached fifth year (Third year proper) We had orientation and a seminar before starting another chapter in dentistry for us to prepare ourselves and because the blue coat ceremony started the batch after us, we were not able to experience it. We still have lecture subjects during this year and we were given the number of our cases to be done. It’s hard to manage both, like for example you had a tough day in clinics treating patients and even though you’re really tired you still need to study when you get home because of the quizzes or exams the day after. It’s hard to find various patients for your cases as well. I have experienced going house to house on random places and talk to strangers just to find patients. Hard work and determination is really needed. I had my very first tooth extraction at this time, that feeling of accomplishment after pulling out the tooth made me fall in love more with my chosen course.

But it was fifth year, second sem when I had another challenging moment. It was this time when I found out that I’m not going to graduate on time. I really did my best finishing all the work and finding enough patients for my cases but it was “time” who didn’t cooperate on me. I didn’t reach the desired number of cases to be done. I’m not ashamed that I failed because even though I didn’t get the chance to be promoted, I’m still proud that I got up after the fall. To be honest, I was really depressed because I thought I was already closer to the finish line, but it turned out to be the other way around. I still continued working, though. I just put in my mind that I need to trust God’s timing.  

I was able to reach Sixth Year, changing my black shoes into white shoes is another fulfilling feeling. We had lesser subjects during this year and concentrated more on the clinics but the subjects should still not be taken for granted because even though it’s lesser, it is still not that easy. I had more circumstances regarding my cases but I was able to overcome them all. It was just so stressful to deal with different kind of patients, I needed to be great when it comes to communication and explain to them very well the procedures. Some of my cases were not successful because other patients didn’t want to come back anymore, of course you can’t hold other people’s schedule. Expect to be more heartbroken when you’re already a clinician (I’m talking about patients here. hahaha)

I am now still working on finishing my requirements. Looking back at those moments made me realize of how far I’ve already gotten. It was a rocky road and so many bumps on the way but if you have faith in yourself and faith in God you will surely overcome all of it. My classmates became my strength. I can’t imagine surviving dentistry without them because they were there on the highest and lowest point of my dentistry journey. My parents are really supportive to me as well. I can’t remember anymore how many times I broke down in front of them because of stress and I don’t know how much money they already spent with my tuition and materials not to mention my baon everyday, but I will do my best to bring back everything to them.

Believe me, I know the feeling when you want to cry seeing your former classmates’ graduation pictures and to be asked by people “Kailan ka mag graduate?” without having a sure answer but always keep in mind that no matter how long it may take, It’s all worth it at the end. Be a good stuDENT, be confiDENT and most of all DENT-IS-TRY and try until you succeed. It’s not easy, just rest if you’re tired but NEVER GIVE UP. ;)