From the first moment you lay eyes on your newborn it’s clear: Being a mom is the best full-time job in the world. Between the diaper change years and the eventual proms, this particular job will demand more heart, dedication and patience than anything else you’re likely to undertake in your life. It’s not, however, standing in the way of you earning a degree.
Even if you work a full-time job outside your home while raising your children, going back to school to pursue a degree is possible. It’s also quite likely a whole lot more manageable than you think.
Hitting the Books
Now, more than ever, women are investing time in themselves to earn the degrees they desire while building careers of their own. In 2010, 36 percent of women in the U.S. labor force between the ages of 25 and 64 held college degrees. That number was only 11 percent back in 1970, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The number of women enrolled in four-year degree programs is also on the rise, according to the U.S. Census. In 1980, the total number of women enrolled in college was about 6.2 million. That number rose to nearly 11 million by 2008.
Overcoming the Obstacles
It’s easy to list the reasons why you might shy away from dedicating time to pursuing a degree. After all, you’re already occupied at the best job you’ll ever have. Chances are you’re wrestling with myriad concerns. But, believe it or not, there are solutions to every obstacle you face.
Paying For it All
Financial obstacles can be big ones, but they’re not deal breakers. Thanks to scholarships, grants and student loans you can find a way to fund tuition. Take the time to speak with a representative at the college or university you’re hoping to attend. Chances are there is assistance available.
Juggling it All
Fitting in the demands of motherhood with the requirements of college-level courses isn’t easy, but it is doable. Overcome this obstacle by:
- Scheduling your days. Time management is the key to successfully navigating college while raising a family. Look at your current schedule and see where you can fit in classes and study time. Determine if there are places where you can cut obligations to make room for your studies.
- Starting off slow. You don’t have to dive in with both feet to be successful. In fact, you might find you’re more successful by taking a single class or just a few classes at a time.
- Enlisting help. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Perhaps you can pull out of the carpool rotation a few days a week to squeeze in some study time. Your boss might allow you to leave early to catch a class that’s really important. If you don’t ask, you won’t know!
Dealing with the Guilt
The prospect of taking time away from your kids might be a little overwhelming. Relax! If you manage your time wisely, your children will benefit from:
- Seeing you set a good example as you study and learn. If your kids are older, you might even be able to turn homework time into family time.
- Watching you work toward and attain a long-term goal.
- Enjoying the benefits of the eventual career you are pursuing.
When you make the decision to get your degree your entire family benefits. Let go of that guilt by reminding yourself you are leading by example and that’s the best parenting a mother can do!
Go Online to Bring it All Home
Still worried about making it all work? Why not consider pursuing your degree online? When you do, you’ll gain benefits such as:
- A flexible schedule that helps with time management since you can set your own class times
- The elimination of the need to commute, which can save you time and money both
- Access to a wide array of degree programs
- The ability to study and learn just about anywhere you can access the Internet
Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you can’t earn your degree. In fact, you’re raising your best reasons for doing so!