Returning to school for higher education is a significant life decision, and for moms, it can be an even more daunting challenge. Balancing the responsibilities of family, work, and school can seem overwhelming, but with the right mindset and strategies, it is possible to succeed.
Whether you are pursuing a degree for personal fulfillment or to advance your career, going back to school can be a rewarding experience. With determination, support, and a solid plan, moms can achieve their educational goals and create a brighter future for themselves and their families.
Moms Going Back to School: Facts and Stats
Whether you are pursuing a degree for personal fulfillment or to advance your career, going back to school can be a rewarding experience. Here are some stats that may inspire you.
- The National Center for Education Statistics in 2020 showed that 4.9 million college students in the US were parents of dependent children, representing 26% (!!!) of all college students.
- A survey by the Lumina Foundation found that 3 in 4 parents who return to college are women, and over 40% are single mothers.
- According to a report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women who have a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, $22,000 more per year than women with only a high school diploma. This wage premium increases to $36,000 per year for women with a graduate degree.
Preparing for the Transition: You Have to Be Ready
Making a decision to go back to school is difficult, but, arguably, it is only a beginning. You need to be prepared, because you don’t want to be discouraged by some problems that could have been foreseen.
- Set realistic goals and expectations. If it was easy, everyone would do that, right? You need to realistically assess your situation at home and/or at work to set the goals that can be achieved without putting you under immense pressure.
- Research programs and schools that fit your needs. It is good to have dreams, but first of all you should pay attention not to fancy school names, but to programs that fit your plans and opportunities. For example, if you’re looking to get into the healthcare field, Gwynedd Mercy’s online DNP program may be the perfect fit for your current schedule.
- Create a support system. Your goal is to get a diploma, and you should think about the support system to help you achieve it. We will talk about family and friends later. Now, choose a reliable academic writing service, such as Write My Paper Hub, to use when you are swamped at work or/and at home. Students around the world address this and other companies for writing assistance and get help with papers of different academic levels. You should keep it in mind to meet the deadlines and quality requirements with your papers.
- Look for financial help. There are many scholarships that are now available for moms coming back to schools. If you can have less financial burden, why not?
Managing Family Responsibilities: No Chore Left Behind
You have to create a roadmap of family responsibilities and redistribute at least some of them. Don’t hope you will manage everything yourself.
- Communicate with family members about your educational goals. Make sure they understand why you are doing it, and what is there for you and for them in this venture. Emphasize that it is a temporary situation.
- Establish a schedule and routine. New life situations, new conditions, require establishing new rules and new routines for the whole family. You can expect some tension and resistance, but don’t give up!
- Delegate responsibilities and seek help when needed. Make it clear that your family will have to pick up some extra slack now.
Balancing School and Work: You Can Do It!
It is a tricky part, but we really believe you can do it, because moms are really good at striking a balance between different types of activities and different goals. Here are some tips:
- Explore flexible work options. You won’t be able to combine a full-time job, family responsibilities and classes, but you can earn money with side-hustles and part-time gigs. Financial security is still important.
- Create a study schedule and prioritize tasks. You are not striving to become a valedictorian of a sort, right? You need results, not bells and whistles. So make sure to prioritize assignments and advance in your studies steadily.
- Seek support from professors and classmates. They don’t owe you help because you are a mom going back to school for higher education, but when possible, why not play this card? It is really harder for you.
Taking Care of Yourself: Don’t Neglect IT
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is truly difficult, and it gets worse if you are a perfectionist or have some more difficulties at home than usual. Here are some tips to take into account:
- Practice self-care and stress management. We bet it sounds cheesy, but it can be truly helpful, especially with the increased load. Even 10 minutes per day spent on mindful practices will help you survive.
- Celebrate accomplishments and milestones. It is important both to you and your family. Your family will see that you are advancing in your studies, and you will receive extra energy to move forward, some motivation not to give up when it gets really hard.
- Fight the guilt attacks. Moms feel guilt. It is a universal rule. Try to fight these attacks and focus on all the benefits your family will receive from you getting an advanced degree. Your children will have a much better start in life thanks to what you are doing now.
Returning to school as a mom is not easy, but statistics shows that it can be truly rewarding and ensure financial security for you and your kids. You will also set an inspiring example for their children and demonstrate that it is never too late to pursue their dreams. By taking care of themselves, managing their time effectively, and exploring financial aid and scholarship options, moms can overcome the obstacles of returning to school and create a brighter future for themselves and their families. We hope that the tips we shared above will help moms coming back to school for higher education achieve better results.