Localmumjuggles work and university study
Sau Lefeau calls it a good night’s sleep if she gets more than three hours.
The 28-year-old Hamilton mum spends 40 hours a week on a night shift at Anglican Action.
Then, after dropping off her own children to school and kindy, she heads to Waikato University, where she is studying for a double degree in sociology and Maori and Pacific development.
And in her spare time, Lefeau volunteers as a Pacifika leader at the university. But she misses her son Mila and daughter Iva and squeezes time in with them whenever she can.
‘‘I see it as a moment of intensity in my life that’s going to benefit in the long run,’’ Lefeau said.
She will be the first of her family to complete a tertiary qualification.
Money had been tight.
Her rent shot up and after her partner worked overtime, their weekly Working for Families subsidies dropped from $170 to $20.
Lefeau pulled Iva out of daycare to cut costs and took her along to afternoon lectures.
The family of four moved back into Lefeau’s parents’ home.
Lefeau knows plenty of other mums studying while trying to get food on the table.
‘‘Our economy is doing really well. But we have this massive bunch of people who are just struggling to get the basic stuff for themselves and their children.’’
She recently won one of four $1000 Vice Chancellor Adult Learner awards, given to top mature students who contribute to the university’s community.
She has also won two TAPA awards, designed for Pacific Island students.