My experience as a mother at ARU

Marilu Cruz-Bravo

Faculty: Science and Engineering
School: Engineering and the Built Environment
Course: Engineering Management MSc
Category: Engineering

17 April 2023

Selfie of a young boy, Hector, eating an iced ring doughnut (left) and his mother, Marilu (right)

I remember the days before leaving my country to initiate my Master’s degree studies here in Chelmsford, at ARU. I received my son Hector’s visa just a few days before the scheduled travel.

It was just the right timing. For him, it was clear he wanted to go with me, regardless of being afraid of aeroplanes and having to leave his friends and family. His love for his mom was just too strong.

A young boy, Hector, cuddling a black and white cat, Carlos

It was especially difficult to say goodbye to Carlos. Black and white haired. Fat and lazy. Lovely and calm. My son’s cat. During the pandemic, Hector and Carlos spent their long free time together, whether watching videos, sleeping, playing with toys or having lunch.

Hector understood it was just not possible to bring Carlos with us. My son learned very early in his life that when you love someone, you do what is best for him. Even it that implies being separated.

I am having my lessons too. Hector started school this week. I was feeling a little anxious about it. Beginnings are not always easy.

Back view of a young boy, Hector, walking along a pavement to school wearing a Minecraft backpack

Now, after being received in such a kind way by his classmates and teachers, he is feeling more integrated, cared for and important. 'My friends helped me; they are learning Spanish to talk to me.' My heart melted when I saw his big smile at the end of day two.

I love spending time with Hector. We play video games, watch movies, sleep, play with toys, talk and laugh together. When you love someone, you do what is best for them. Even if it scares you.

Before this, people at ARU were extremely supportive. I was allowed to bring Hector with me to lectures.

I thought I would be the only one. But the very first day, in the very first class, I listened to a baby babbling in the classroom. It made me feel happy. I appreciate the culture of supporting women that is lived here.

Can I be happier? I don’t think so.

Marilu studies at ARU in Chelmsford. Find out more about Engineering Management, and other degree courses, at one of our Open Days.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.