People go to college to gain knowledge on different fields of study in attempt to get them into a career path. Unfortunately there ares no degrees for parenthood or being a mom.
But that’s not to say that a college education doesn’t prepare you for life lessons. Architecture School definitely played a major hand in preparing me for motherhood. It even gave me some really cool skills I couldn’t possibly have had without my degree.
All of what you are reading here is mostly completely and totally true. 😝
ARchitecture School vs. Motherhood Struggles
There’s no degree for sleep training yourself or your child, learning how to enjoy coffee, learn patience, not getting a day off, and working through the exhaustion. Granted there are a few similarities between any schooling education and being a mom, like testing you with your knowledge and patience, dealing with stress, and counting down toward the finish line.
So here’s what I learned in my college years that have helped prepare me for this crazy journey of being a mom.
You learn to take mini naps in shifts to keep your body functioning through the night. You even stay up with your classmates taking turns napping so no one oversleeps.
My husband and I took turns every time the baby cried at night.
We were tired but we were okay with it because we had done it before… just not with a baby… and with less sleep and more line drawing and then having endless nightmares about them.
Back in my college days, I couldn’t stay awake through a movie. It’s not that much different with parental exhaustion.
You learn to like coffee, which if you’re like me, you absolutely hate. And then reheat it because you were so busy drawing or building your model that you forgot to take a second sip. All so that it can help you not hallucinate at 4am in order to complete your presentation in time. However, you’ll end up hallucinating anyway by the time you actually have to present it.
Moms live on coffee. Very few moms, like me, don’t ever or rarely ever drink coffee. Moms depend on coffee during the day from staying up all night taking care of the baby, we’re groggy without energy. We all go to bed every night and tell ourselves we’ll be more lively and energetic for our kids the next day but wake up groggy and either reaching for coffee before even being able to get dressed or just spending the day on the couch in our pajamas hoping the kids can handle themselves.
You learn to have patience when you permanently ruin a hand drawing you’ve been working on for hours because a tiny line somehow managed to end up in the wrong place.
Likely because you forgot to take a sip of that coffee. And have to take a deep breath and regroup.
How many times do our kids do something they’re not supposed to? Deep breath mommies!
I’m not the most patient person but I was definitely way less patient before Architecture school.
Like any school, there are several exams and pop quizzes to determine whether you’ve learned the material. In college, these tests usually leave us clueless.
Being a mom is a test in itself. We’re constantly learning the material and being tested.
Kids are also testing us, by always asking questions. Even when we don’t have answers or have already answered them.
My kids hound me with questions about how things work and what everything is. “Mommy, what is that? Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy? Mommy? Mommmyyyy!”
I even get “Mom, why doesn’t my sister have a penis?” which I wouldn’t be able to creatively answer without my degree.
Kids are always testing us… particularly our patience.
They think they’re always right and when answered one of their constant questions they answer with “no, that’s not right.” How about when they’re saying your name on repeat just to get your attention? Or not doing what they should be despite being told 15,000 times to go potty or clean up their mess.
All tests. And we are always failing them, just like in college!
Stress & Grey Hairs
School is stressful. Architecture School was intensely stressful because we had such high expectations and absolutely zero time to complete projects.
I started getting grey hairs during my college years, likely because of my intensified stress levels.
Being a mom is super stressful. From trying to figure out how to take care of a crying baby to dealing with a whiny toddler or child and then the teenage years. It’s a constant ball of stress.
And I have so many grey hairs now that I have to color my hair to disguise it, something I’ve never done before.
Working Through The Holidays and Illnesses
Most college students love college vacations because they’re usually longer than regular school vacations. But in Architecture School we had to take classes over the summer and never got to enjoy Thanksgiving because of Finals.
When you catch a bad cold, ideally you should stay home to rest and recover. But in college, particularly Architecture School, if you miss one class you fall behind and let your teammates down in group projects. So basically, you have to work through your illnesses, no matter how shitty you feel.
In parenthood, there are no vacations and no holidays, and you definitely cannot take the day off to recover from a cold or the flu.
If you’re lucky enough to get to go on a vacation, staycation, or have a date night take advantage of it.
Exhausted But Unable To Sleep
During my Architecture days, we were working on our projects around the clock that the few times we were actually trying to sleep we either struggled to fall asleep because we kept coming up with more tasks and ideas or because our dreams were a continuation of our work.
Just as soon as I’d start to doze off an important idea would pop into mind and I’d at least have to write it down so that I could remember it later. My one hour nap quickly turned into twenty minutes due to all these thoughts and ideas. Then I’d dream of forgetting things or drawing lines over lines over lines.
Maybe not the lines part but definitely the not being able to sleep even though you’re exhausted!
So many times I’ve gone to bed “early” and then struggled to fall asleep because I was worried about my kid choking, not feeling well during a cold, or even needing to go potty. I worry about whether I did something wrong that day, whether I overreacted when I put my kid in time out, or if I could’ve done something different to handle certain situations.
I also have thoughts upon thoughts about how to “make tomorrow different.” Do I take them to the playground or a fun event? Or maybe I should plan an activity or something more exciting or educational.
Less sleeping, more thinking.
Counting the Minutes til...
In any school, students are counting down the minutes until class gets out. Or the weekend and even the days until vacation.
I count down the hours and minutes until nap time and bed time. What parent doesn’t look forward to a short kid-free time!?
At nap time, I need some time to myself. It’s my quiet time to think, without having to yell “no running” or “no fighting” as well as do things I want or my house tasks. Being a SAHM mom, that time is also my personal cool down time and I’m not the same without it. Like a toddler, I get frustrated and grumpy if I don’t get this time of peace.
The countdown to bed time is so that my husband and I can have our time alone in peace, usually to watch a show or a movie that isn’t child appropriate.
There is absolutely no kids music or G-rated TV allowed in our house after 9PM.
Architectural Classes & Motherhood
What did I learn in Architecture School that is still useful to me today as a mom?
Well, In physics class, I learned how to do a bunch of crazy equations. Now I can mathematically teach my toddler that climbing on furniture is not a good idea, because gravity can cause him to fall at full velocity towards a nice big ouchie. Just like our egg drop project… or Humpty Dumpty!
In my drawing classes, I learned that markers bleed through paper and ruin drawings and desks. So my kids are forbidden from ever using markers. God forbid they ever find one or get a hold of a sharpie, because it definitely doesn’t pair well with drywall, or really any other material I’ve studied. But I also learned about a few products for cleaning certain inks and glue stains.
I also learned how to draw using straight edges, templates, and to scale. So I cringe when I see an imperfect line or circle drawn by my kids. I really have to act when they look proud of their drawings.
Thanks to my Theory classes, I can build really great domes with foam blocks. But I can also make awesome cantilever structures out of Legos.
School totally prepared me for being a mom. I’m a perfectionist at drawing, I can prevent any accident, and I’m a pro at building blocks and puzzles.
‘So now you know. If you’re thinking about being a mom, just go to Architecture school!
Or maybe Medical school, so you could save on some medical bills too.
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My name is Paula and I’m a mom of two scrumptious cuties. Thanks Mommy Blog became a project for me to help guide other new moms and current moms through any of my own personal experiences and struggles. My hobbies include singing, doing jigsaw puzzles, baking, designing and trying to stay creative.