The end of a school semester is like one big juggling act.
Between studying, final exams, and facing those research papers you've been putting off for a month, it can feel daunting to get through it all. And that doesn't even include what's happening in life outside the classroom.
Like ... finishing school and parenting at the same time!
When Monica Willard, an ROTC student and single mother of two, found out her kids' babysitter had to cancel right before she was supposed to take her final military history exam, she thought for sure she was dropping the ball on both her academics and her parenting.
After all, it's hard enough to get kids to be quiet at home, let alone when you're trying to focus on your academics in a public setting. But Willard knew she had no other choice. She took her 4- and 5-year-olds to school with her and hoped for the best.
Willard's professor, Dr. Daniel Krebs, was not only understanding of her situation, he offered to babysit her kids while she took her test.
By the end of the final exam, her kids were having a blast, as evidenced by this photo captured by a fellow classmate.
Krebs' nice gesture could have just saved Willard's focus – and her semester. But he doesn't want to take credit.
“A person like Monica, she’s a non-commissioned officer going to school, she’s a Mom of two kids. I mean that’s the kind of thing that’s really impressive,” Krebs told ABC News. “Me handling her kids for 40, 45 minutes, that’s not impressive.”
Regardless, it's an act of kindness that goes a long way, and it uncovers a bigger problem that many students face: the accessibility of child care in the United States.
Child care center costs are at an all-time high, ranging from around $3,500 to up to $19,000 a year, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. In Indiana, a single parent with two kids pays 73% of their income to child care centers. That's not sustainable — that's ridiculous.
There are some colleges that are beginning to recognize the problem and offer on-campus child care solutions, though. Organizations like the American Association of University Women are pushing for more to follow suit.
Women, men, and families shouldn't have to choose between accessing child care and getting an education. While there's a lot of work to be done on that front, it's heartwarming to see heroes like Dr. Krebs demonstrate that the support of teachers extends far beyond the classroom.