As a mother, you probably do everything for everyone and put yourself last. This can make it hard to do something that is just for yourself, such as going back to college. You may feel selfish, as though you can’t be there for your family the way you think you should be. From a practical standpoint, going back to school can be beneficial for your family in the long run because it can mean a higher income. However, it can still be tough to overcome your reluctance, and the tips below can help.
Be a Team
Your family should approach this as a team. If you have a spouse or a partner, they may be able to pick up some of the domestic tasks and errands you are usually responsible for, especially if you are going to be juggling a full-time job along with your classes. Depending on their ages, your children can pitch in as well, probably more than you realize. If you’ve always done everyone’s laundry or cleaned their rooms, you may be surprised how quickly they can learn to do the former and how fast you might stop worrying about the latter.
Know Your Financial Options
You might feel guilty because not only are you taking time away from your family, but you are potentially taking money away as well. College can be expensive, but there are also opportunities for help. If you have good credit, you may want to see what kind of interest rates you can get for student loans from a private lender when you need help with tuition. You have other options as well, such as scholarships and federal aid. Check a student loan planner to see how you could move forward.
Talk About It
It’s a good idea to sit down and have a family conference about your decision to return to college. This can give your kids a chance to air their concerns about things, such as who will drive them to football practice or help them with their homework. You can also talk about what your needs will be during this time. If you don’t have a room you can go into and shut the door when studying, you might want to consider a sign or a funny hat to let the kids know that just because you’re sitting at the dining room table, you’re not actually available at the moment. It is probably also worthwhile to do check-ins from time to time to see how everyone is adjusting and if changes need to be made.
Be a Role Model
As a mom, it’s important to believe that it’s okay to do things that are just for your benefit and not someone else’s. At the same time, you will help your family by returning to college and not just because you can get a better job. You will be encouraging healthy habits in your kids, and setting a wonderful example to your children, who will see that you believe in perseverance and hard work. This can even be a good lesson for them in overcoming failure if the reason you do not already have a degree is one that you are now overcoming. For example, if you dropped out as an undergraduate because you struggled with coursework, going back to do it again years later demonstrates resilience and determination.
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