Being a mom can already feel like a full time job — not to mention your actual full time job if you’re a working mom. If you’re looking to add going back to school onto your list of priorities, there are a few things that are probably on your mind. There are so many great reasons you may want to return to your studies — whether you took a break from school to have your kiddos or you want to train for a new career path once you enter the workforce. No matter what your major or passion is, going back to school is for everyone, and that includes moms!
Studies can be difficult to balance no matter where you are in your life, so it makes sense that when you have kids to take care of, school can seem like a daunting task to undertake. However, your hard work can totally pay off — especially if you go about your studies in a way that works best for you and your family. You deserve to study what you love. Here are just a few tips that can help you do that.
1. Take It Slow
Diving back into studies after a long hiatus or with brand new responsibilities in your life can be a bit overwhelming, which is why it’s important to pace yourself and take things slowly, at least at first. While it can be tempting to pile on a full course load, you may find it best to start with a part time schedule or even just one class. That way, you can ease into it and decide how you want to proceed.
2. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries can be difficult as a parent, especially if you’re the main caregiver of your household. It can feel like people always need things from you or like you need to drop whatever you’re doing to care for others at the drop of a hat. While being an attentive parent is important, you need time for yourself, too. Setting hours that are just for you and giving yourself time to focus can have a positive impact on your studies, your mental health and even your family’s independence.
3. Look for Mom Scholarships
Let’s face it — school can get expensive. Taking on loans and debt can sometimes be a part of the deal, but when you have bills to pay, every little bit of help counts. That’s why hunting for scholarships can pay off bigtime. Luckily, there are plenty of scholarships designated specifically for moms going back to school, and you can apply for a range of them to see what you can get. You may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to fund your education.
4. Accommodate Your Budget
Even with the fabulous mom scholarships you can end up with, the expenses of school can sometimes come out of nowhere. From supplies and books, to tech and software, to putting gas in your car to get to campus, school can run a bill you might not be entirely ready for. That’s why putting a bit of money aside and thinking critically about your education budget can be a total life saver. That way, you won’t be surprised by the cost of schooling.
5. Remember You’re Worth It
Sometimes — especially as a parent — one of the hardest parts about doing something for yourself is remembering that you’re worth the time, attention and effort to accomplish your goals. Being a mom doesn’t suddenly mean that you should abandon your dreams and goals. In fact, following your goals helps to set a good example for your kiddos. When the going gets tough, remember that your studies are for you, and that you are worth it.
6. Plan Your Study Time
While this one ties into setting boundaries, it goes a bit beyond. Planning time to study can help you no matter what kind of student you are, but especially if you’re a mom with schedules and responsibilities to look after in your home. When you set time aside to take care of your schoolwork, it works to create boundaries in your family and helps to ward off procrastination so you can produce high quality work for your studies.
7. Make Social Connections
School isn’t always just about the learning aspect — in fact, the social aspect of school can improve the academic experience. While you could come to campus, get your work done and go home, making social connections can help you have more of a college experience. Whether that means joining study groups, getting involved with an honors society or even meeting other student moms you can relate to, having friends at school can make the commitment feel more like a part of your life.
Going to School as a Mom
As a mom, going back to school can mean a big commitment, but it can also be abundantly rewarding in your life. Whether you find yourself with a full schedule or starting with one class, chasing your goals as a mom is one of the best ways to set a great example while you go after what you want.