Did I Waste My College Degree by Becoming a Mom?

5 years ago

I have a bachelors of science in Information and Computer Science from UC Irvine. I don't work in that field now. In fact, I had only worked in it for about 8 years when I transitioned to pursue my music. Since childhood, there was nothing I wanted to do more than music, but I didn't think that a music degree would help me much in pop. Besides, I wanted to be a good Asian daughter to my parents, so I got a very practical degree despite the fact that computers was never my passion.


It just took motherhood to realize that I had majored in the wrong field.

Today, I'm a full time mom with a part-time job in music. I try to perform as often as I can, but a great majority of my time is devoted to being a mom and a housewife. I have to turn down possible bookings if they interfere with my kids' schedules, and I have to think long and hard about traveling for my work (which I'm doing this later this week and about which I will surely blog). So, does this mean that I totally wasted my college education and degree?

Well, maybe...

Being a mom requires a huge variety of skills. Never before did I wish so much that I had been a Child Development major. I rarely paid attention to babies and children before I became a mom; I was too busy being a Professional. My friends who studied Child Psychology and Early Childhood Education had it so much easier than I did as a new mom. I was practically in tears each night trying to figure out how to put a crying baby down or, later, how to handle a tantrum-throwing toddler. I was never so tortured by such a tiny human being.

When the kids started reading, I wished that I had studied Literature so I could do a better job introducing our kids to the literary world. For a long time while we had babies and toddlers, all I ever read were People magazines and the backs of cereal boxes. Not exactly the Classics. (For the record, I am now a voracious reader of real books!)

Once the kids were eating solids and beyond, I wished that I had studied Culinary Arts or Nutrition. I was making terrible meals which, I'm sure, will continue to haunt me as I my kids march down the road to bad nutritional health.

I have also often wished that I had become a nurse, because there were so many health issues to deal with when kids are young. Fortunately, we did have one member of our family in the medical field, so I felt a little better here.

But the aforementioned member of the family in the medical field works long hours, so I was the one who often played catch in the front yard with our son. He also needed to try basketball and baseball at one point, but I knew nothing about these sports. How I wished that I had majored in Physical Science and Sports Psychology! As the kids got older and I felt the need to keep them (or at least get them) into shape, I wished that I knew more about Fitness Education.

Everything I did as a mother, it seemed, I had to learn from scratch, scouring the internet and reading up on volumes of books. So often, I cry out to David, "But I didn't go to college for this!" Now that the kids are in middle school and high school, I wished that I majored in Mathematics, Accounting, Social Sciences, Biology, Physiology, Psychology, and Political Science and had become a certified school teacher.

But I'll tell you two areas where my major and profession have come in handy:

1. I set up the LAN network in our house, complete with wireless remote printing from any of our devices.

2. I sang them lullabies and wrote a song for each of my kids.

And when I start playing the "I could have/should have" game, I recall these words from Romans 8:28:

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

He has indeed redeemed even this Computer Science major Panda Mom, so I'm comforted by the truth that nothing -- not even my college education -- is ever a total waste, at least not in God's plan!

* * * *

Did you go to college? How has your major helped you in motherhood (or not)? Tell me about it!


Photo Credit: maveric2003.

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