I’m a Mom AND I’m Still in School

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Motherhood is a 24/7 job, and it’s totally normal to feel like your identity is defined around this one very important role. Our writers at Charleston Moms are a diverse group of women in all stages of motherhood. Though we are all bonded as moms, we also each have unique talents, skills, and experiences that make us who we are. Our new series, “I’m A Mom, and…” is going to introduce Charleston to our team and we hope you have fun getting to know us!

Meet Amber

I'm a Mom and I'm Still in SchoolI’m a mom of two handsome young boys, ages five and seven. I grew up in Charleston and I love everything about this city. I’m also still in school. Sixteen years after graduating from high school, I’m still taking tests and reading textbooks — and I love it.

Here’s my story:

I went to a local, private school for my elementary through high school experience. I had some great teachers and made some lifelong friends.

I attended Furman University for a year, then transferred to Winthrop University to be with my high school sweetheart — best decision of my life. We are still going strong!

I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Winthrop University with a bachelor’s degree in Art History. I had all of the aspirations to work in an art museum. I even had an internship at the Gibbes Museum of Art for a summer. I still love everything about art, but sometimes life doesn’t go as planned.

Then I got into the world of pets. I know, it was a jump (more like a leap), and I’m sure my parents weren’t super thrilled when I told them I landed a job at a dog kennel. But it was what made me happy at the time — and they were supportive of that. I eventually ended up at a local veterinary office and worked my way into being a Veterinary Technician.

Then it happened.

I had my first son. I had postpartum depression.

I had my second son. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2.

And that’s how I found Postpartum Support Charleston. I’m currently the Outreach Coordinator for this amazing organization. I’ve found that I truly love talking to other mothers about what they are going through — the good and the bad.

And that’s how I got here . . . still in school.

Yep. Thirty-four years old and I’m getting my master’s degree in clinical counseling. I love it. Seriously. No joke. LOVE IT. I love every moment of studying, reading, and learning new things. I’m a true academic at heart.

It wasn’t an easy decision, mind you. This was years in the making. I always knew I wanted to go back to school after I graduated college. But it was never the right time. We never had enough money. I never had the extra time to even think about studying. I guess you could say the pandemic helped me decide what I really wanted to do with my life. And I know I made the right decision.

My son even told me the other day that “it’s fair now that you’re in school, too, Mom.” Yep. It’s fair now. He’s right! It’s so amazing to be able to show my boys that no matter your age, you can still go to school and learn new things.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work.

But being able to dedicate time to myself and my education feels right.

So for any of you wondering if you should go back to school to finish a degree or get a new one, I would highly recommend it. Don’t be afraid of doing something for yourself and your career. You deserve it!

Read more in our I’m a Mom AND…series:
I’m a Mom AND a High School Principal

I’m a Mom and I’m Me, Too

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