Dear Diary,

Sometimes I wish I were back in college. I didn’t have any debt. I had a lot of energy. I didn’t have any stress. I had a lot of dates. If I wanted to hit the snooze button and sleep through my responsibilities, I could. But most of the time, I got up and faced the day with excitement. My biggest decision was what to wear. When I became a new mom, a close college friend called me from a homecoming party. I couldn’t make it back to Michigan State, because I delivered a beautiful baby girl a few months before. She filled me in on who came to campus and who inquired about my absence. At first, I missed my freedom. Then, I realized being a mom is like being a college student—especially since I happened to be up in the middle of the night to answer the phone.

Here’s how my life didn’t change as much as I thought it would.

I eat breakfast food for dinner.

In college, it wasn’t out of the ordinary to whip up pancakes and sausage for dinner. I couldn’t cook. Well, I did make a few signature dishes that convinced my dates that I could cook. I’ve since mastered more meals, but sometimes scramble eggs in the evening. It’s easy, quick and a favorite meal of my favorite little girl.

The blender is my most frequently used kitchen appliance.

Everyone teased me when I lugged my blender to the Kappa house to make frozen cocktails. I wasn’t a huge fan of sipping spiked punch with canned fruit floating on top from a garbage can. Instead, I mixed margaritas. When I became a mom, the blender still got a lot of action. Instead of tequila, I pureed peas, blended bananas and whipped potatoes on a daily basis.

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I wait on someone hand and foot.

I was one of the youngest members in my sorority, so there were always upperclassmen telling me what to do. Now, I have a little person barking out orders from her bed, demanding milk and cookies, which I jump up and get. My day revolves around my daughter. I change diapers, make meals she usually doesn’t eat, read stories she doesn’t sit still to hear and push her on the swing as she pretends to kick me.

I get my hair done in someone’s basement not a salon.

For four years, my line sister Sam styled my hair in her dorm room. When I was cut and curled, I walked to her neighbor’s house to get a manicure. I probably paid $30 for my entire makeover. To cut costs as a new mom, my cosmetologist cousin does my hair at her house and offers a family discount.


I pull all-nighters.

I hated math. So much so, I took two Algebra courses in one semester to fulfill my requirements as quickly as possible. Although a 3.0 student, I waited until the last-minute to study for finals. I would pull all-nighters and pray that I would pass. I didn’t pray for an A, since Jesus would have cracked open a book a lot sooner. As a mom, I stayed up at all night breastfeeding my daughter and reading mommy blogs.

Although my friend’s call made me smile and sparked fond memories of my past, I no longer want to be back in college. I look forward to a bright and prosperous future with my daughter. She is more fun than any frat party and is more meaningful than my degree.

Hey DFTM Fam—How are your motherhood and college experiences similar?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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