On her first day of class, Megan Call, a senior from California majoring in exercise and sport science, strived to share her attention between the lecture and her well-groomed blue-eyed baby, who continuously crawled away from her and attempted to explore the rest of the room.
Call said that she took care of the baby most of the time. “My husband only takes care of her if I want to work out, or if he’s not going to work. Usually he can’t watch her because of his job.” According to Call, she plans to bring her daughter to half of her classes this semester.
“Being mom is really hard, but once you see her smile or laugh that cures everything and makes your world so much better,” she said as other students were taking turns carrying the baby.
Call said one of her biggest concerns is other students may find her baby too loud or a distraction, but she has not received complaints.
Jonathan Stevenson, a senior missionary from Pennsylvania, shared, “As long as it doesn’t interrupt or bother students, I’m okay with it. Parents are pretty well indoctrinated to know that if a child gets fussy and becomes a distraction, they need to take the child out.
Stevenson added, “I never had an experience were parents didn’t adjust. In the Church we like people to have children, so we try to make the atmosphere child friendly, even in a university setting.”
Mele Faagai, a recently married junior from Hawaii majoring in math education, is expecting a child. She said she was not planning on having a child while she was still a student. Faagai said, “I knew that it would be hard to balance going to school while having a baby as we could not afford a baby sitter.”
According to Faagi, the hardest time was during the first trimester of her pregnancy. She said, “I threw up a lot and felt very weak. Sometimes I wouldn’t be able to make it to class, but my teachers gave me chances to catch up.”
Rosina Zheng, a senior from China majoring in elementary education, is also expecting a child. She will finish her degree next semester. Zheng said, “I am almost done with school so I thought I’d have enough time to take care of my kid and classes.
“I dropped one class this semester because I thought it would be too much pressure to handle. I’ll finish my last class next semester. As I go back to think about the school experience, the best way for me was waiting to have a baby toward the end of school, instead of in the middle of my education.”
Zheng continued, “Definitely as you get married the next question people are going to ask is when are you going to have a baby. My parents were very supportive. They always say ‘having a child will help you to grow. After you’re married the first step should be to learn how to get along with each other. After that, having a baby will help both of you to learn and to grow.’”