Almost every night, after dinner, homework and some quality time together, Cristina Fraga tucks her two sons into bed. As she is saying her final goodnight to her youngest son he says to her, “Mom, make sure you make mistakes.”
After the small pep talk Fraga now faces a night of homework before finally getting some sleep to take on the next day, and she is sure to make mistakes.
“I tell my sons that the only way to learn is from (mistakes),” the 34-year-old sociology major said.
The mother of two, Daniel, 10, and Ethan, 8, made the decision three summers ago to return to school, shortly after her separation from her husband.
“To make a long book short: we got married too young,” Fraga confided. “It was like having a bad class, or walking into the wrong one.” She quickly added that she has no ill feelings toward her ex-husband.
Instead, Fraga would rather focus her time and energy into caring for her sons, going to school, working and also making sure she finds time for herself.
As of now, her children are her biggest priority.
“Life’s about them, not me,” she said. “Right now it’s all about their world.”
Fraga enjoys downtime with her sons, and has seen her decision to go back to school as a good impact on them. The three often spend time talking about Fraga’s classes and professors. She also enjoys playing Legos with the two, and having them read to her.
By majoring in sociology, Fraga would like to work with groups that help to empower women. She greatly enjoys learning about what women have suffered through but have all accomplished throughout time.
“I think we’re just amazing,” she said.
Fraga currently works on campus with students transferring into CSUN and is also the president of the Transfer Student Association. The organization was developed to support transfer students in getting acquainted with the campus and resources they need to know on campus.
But all work and no play has yet to stop Fraga from becoming dull. She also enjoys going to the beach and favors shore spots like Zuma and Point Dume. And although she also enjoys tea time, she has yet convinced one of her sons to partake in the activity with her.
“I think the hardest thing is learning to take care of myself,” she said. “I’m always giving and giving, I tend to lose myself in it all.”
With single-motherhood, the pressures of school and work and the need to stay centered it would be safe to say that Fraga is definitely a mother of all trades.