The monster that eats all of mommy’s time, energy


I am the husband of a graduate student. I have already finished my graduate work and am just killing time until she graduates. We communicate really well and I know she is trying to hurry and jump through the required hoops. I feel that the U sees no value to our family, yet we all pay the tuition. (The loans have her name on them but I write the checks.) How can I be more involved as a part of the U? How can I help our three children view the U as more than just “the monster that eats Mommy’s time”?

Dear Fretting Family Man,

Before I answer your question, I have to mention a few things.

One, I am a single, 21-year-old communication major who doesn’t even pay her own rent. I will answer your question, but keep in mind that I have no idea what it is like to juggle graduate school, a spouse and three children.

Two, my personal situation, mentioned above, leaves me no reference from which to support or deny your claim that the U “sees no value” in your family.

It is unfortunate if that is the case, but hey, it could be worse. I don’t know of any other university (outside of Utah) where you would see so many wedding bands and diaper bags in a 1010 lecture hall. At least you are not alone. I would also like to say kudos to you for supporting your wife through graduate school.

Both my parents went to graduate school when I was a kid and the benefits of that choice have far outweighed the temporary inconvenience to our family.

On to your question: How to be more involved at the U?

If you were a traditional student, I would suggest you join a student advisory committee, sorority or fraternity, ASUU, some kind of club or hell, write for The Chrony.

These suggestions are, however, not practical for you. Being active takes time-something you ain’t got.

Do things that make you feel like a part of the U that don’t take up your time or require commitment.

Go to guest lectures, like ASUU Presenter’s Office events. Stop by the Bennion Center and find a one-time community service project you can do with the kiddies. If finances allow, sign up for a weekend camping trip.

Look at the U’s Web site or The Chrony to find events that suit your interests.

Getting your kids involved with you will show them that the U is more than the “monster that takes up Mom’s time.” It makes kids feel better if they can see for themselves where Mom goes all day. Bringing them to campus will make them more a part of Mom’s “school” life.

Take them on walks or bike rides (scooters maybe-whatever kids do these days) around campus, to the Union to meet Mom for lunch, to the bookstore or library to pick out a book they would like to read, and so on.

Little family outings like these should make you all feel a little more love for the U.

Keep in mind the great example you and your wife are setting for your kids-it might make this hectic time a bit easier to bear.

Send me your questions at [email protected]