These blessings are worth it


Photo courtesy of Mandi Grace

Cory Thaxton

Emersyn Wade, two-years-old, was in an ice cream parlor with her mom and dad. She picked out here favorite flavor, looked at the lady behind the counter and said “go get it!” Everyone died with laughter.

Children are truly a blessing and we all know that they can say the darndestblainemom blainemom chris chris things, but its not always cupcakes and giggles.

These Warhawks are here to share the ups and downs about having a kid while still in college.

Mandi Grace, a senior risk management and insurance major, was 19 when she had her son Blaine,10 years-old. She was young, overwhelmed and scared, but she knew that he was the greatest gift from God she could ever get.

“It may not have been ideal timing, but everything happens for a reason. He changed my life for the better,” Mandi said.

Mandi said the most challenging part is the busy schedule. She works full time on top of going to school full time and being a full time mom. It can get exhausting keeping up with Blaine’s homework and her own and both of their extra curricular activities.”

“It’s almost next to impossible to have a social life,” Mandi said.

But, for her, the best part is the motivation she gets from him.

“He makes me believe that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to. He gives me the drive and discipline to accomplish the things I want in life. He is a blessing. I probably wouldn’t have pursued college as hard as I have if I did not have him,” Mandi said.

Blaine has a kind heart and a love for God that goes above everything else. That is what Mandi loves most about her son.

“He tells me he loves me and I’m his number two…because God is his number one,” Mandi said.

Chris, Brittany and Emersyn Wade (photo courtesy by Chris Wade)
Chris, Brittany and Emersyn Wade
(photo courtesy by Chris Wade)

Mandi believes that the most important thing to teach Blaine is to love God and trust in Him, and she is doing a good job of doing just that.

“I hope he grows to have confidence in himself and never doubt that he can do anything that he desires,” Mandi said.

Being a parent isn’t easy whether you are in college or not, and there are always going to be some scary moments.

When Blaine was three, he and his mom were walking hand-in-hand through a parking lot. Before Mandi knew it, a car backed up in a hurry and ran over her son.

“He was pinned under the car, close to the exhaust and the tire. It was the scariest experience I have had as a mother,” Mandi said.

Luckily, Blaine is thriving today.

Mandi describes Blaine as a class clown. At only two-years-old, Mandi’s friend asked him if he wanted to go with her and he said, “get your own kid, Kasey.”

“In third grade, he wrote on his test paper that he and his teacher were dating, and he was going to marry her. She gave him points for his answer but wrote in red pen, ‘Blaine, sweetie, I’m just your teacher’,’’ Mandi said.

The same teacher told him he needed to have a seat in the classroom. While smirking and bouncing his eyebrows up and down, he said, “Yes ma’am, sassy girl!” Mandi said the teacher couldn’t help but laugh.

The advice Mandi would give to anyone having a kid while in college is to make sure you have support.

“I couldn’t have done it without my mom and best friend, Ayo. They have supported and pushed me along the way. It takes a village to raise a child, right? Don’t go into it alone,” she said.

Chris Wade, senior psychology major and father of Emersyn, said “The most challenging thing about having a child while attending school is not being able to see them as much. You get up, go to class, go to work and come home to study. It can be really depressing, and you miss them like crazy.”

Chris is married to Brittany Wade, his wife of two years. Brittany has done nothing but support Chris while he continues to get his education.

“My wife has stepped up to take care of the things that I can’t…She is a full time teacher and a full time mom. I love her for that,” Chris said.

Even with all the stress of not being able to see Emersyn and his wife as much as he’d like to on top of all of his school work, he wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. He said that his heart melted the day Emersyn was born.

“I never knew love until she came into my life,” he said.

Chris said that is it tough but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have kids while you’re in school, just be prepared.

Brittany Aymond, senior dental hygiene major, had her first bundle of joy this summer. Her daughter’s name is Tatum and she is three-months-old.

“Her little smile warms my heart,” Brittany said.

The most challenging thing for Brittany, like everyone else, is time management.

Being a single mother, she has to pick Tatum up from daycare at almost 6 o’clock everyday and she has to do all her mommy duties before she can even start her school work.

Besides that, Brittany couldn’t be any happier.

“Throughout my entire pregnancy I was terrified because…I’m in a town where I have no family. The moment I looked into her big eyes I forgot about the struggles that were ahead of us. I have never felt a love like I did at that moment,” Brittany said.

Brittany wants to teach her child that regardless of your situation there is always a bright side to things. Never give up, and shoot for the stars.

Brittany looks forward to showing Tatum the world.

“Traveling to new places is one of my favorite things to do so I’m excited for her to be by my side,” Brittany said.

If you’re currently pregnant while in college or thinking about having a child, just know that it may be hard.

It can get stressful but it will al be worth it when you get to go home to your blessing everyday.