If you’ve been thinking about going to college while you’re still raising your children, you may have a lot of worries and questions. You may be worried about balancing school with family responsibilities and possibly a job. You might be concerned about having been away from the classroom for so long. However, there are a lot of good reasons for mothers to go back to school even when it means more time away from their children.
Setting an Example
It’s true that when you go back to school, you’re not going to have as much time with your kids. For older children, who may spend a lot of time with friends and extracurricular activities, this may be less of an issue, but if your kids are young, this can be particularly tough. However, whatever their age, as you plan your family future, inclusive of your educational goals, you are setting a great example for them. You’re showing them the importance of hard work and demonstrating that it’s never too late to change their lives. It can also be important for kids to see their mother as a whole person with her own set of ambitions, especially as they get older.
If you’re going back to school as a mom, it’s probably in pursuit of a better job. While school can be expensive, in the long run, you’ll earn more money to support your family and yourself after your kids grow up. As for the costs of school, one way you can pay for your education is by taking out a student loan. Private student loans may be available to you even if you don’t qualify for federal loans or scholarships or if those are not enough to cover all your costs, and you don’t have to start repaying them until you are out of school.
It can be intimidating to step back into a classroom if you’ve been out of one for years or even decades. However, the life experience that you bring is just as valuable as the more recent academic experience that many of your fellow students will have. Colleges recognize this value and increasingly cater to nontraditional students. Sitting in class, you might find yourself wishing you’d gotten this all out of the way when you were the same age as most of your classmates, but you have a wisdom and maturity that adds an extra dimension to the knowledge that you gain. You may also have a rapport with your professors thanks to your age and background that is different from what they share with more traditional students. Look for opportunities to balance parenthood and being a student while connecting to other’s doing the same through campus organizations, but don’t hesitate to strike up conversations with younger students as well. You may be surprised at some of the common ground that you find.
Going back to college will teach you new skills, and those will not just be the things that you learn in the classroom. Parenting itself requires a special kind of multitasking, and you’ll be drawing on what you know of that and improving your time management and organizational abilities since you will probably be juggling more responsibilities than your younger classmates. These skills will benefit you in your new career and throughout your life.