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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.

Just trying to keep it all together. GIF via Channel Frederator.

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.

We've all have had a compassionate teacher like Dr. Krebs. Let's celebrate them!

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Here, have a round of joy. It's on us.

Alexas_Fotos/Canva

Upworthy's weekly roundup of delights.

When headlines and social media seem to be dominated by the negative, we all need reminders that the world is full of wonderfulness. Joy connects and inspires us and can be found everywhere—if we keep our eyes open and look for it. One of our goals at Upworthy is to make that search a little easier by telling stories that highlight the best of humanity and sharing the delights, large and small, that unite us.

Each week, we collect 10 things that made us smile and offer them to you to enjoy and share with others. We hope this week's list tickles your heart and brings a smile (or 10) to your face as well.

1. Tico the parrot is a master vocalist. Not even an exaggeration.

@ticoandtheman

On a dark desert hwy, cool wind in my hair…

We've shared some delightful parrots in these roundups before, and each one somehow seems to out-entertain the last. I did not see Tico's vocal skills coming, though. The intonation! The vibrato! Even my music major daughter was blown away by this singing bird.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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