I had been thinking about going to graduate school for a long time, but never actually DID it. Then I found out I was pregnant again in January, and immediately applied to every online graduate counseling program in Texas….which turned out to be two. But ONE of those two let me start in the spring! I would be able to get 4-5 classes under my belt before my new little nugget arrived in September.
I was hesitant to tell anyone. I figured people would think I was nuts. A job, a toddler, a new nursing baby, a handful of side hustles, and now graduate school on top of it all? Surely I was some sick, self loathing masochist. I started to second guess myself. Could I really handle the pressures of a full time job, raising my kids, and going back to college without overextending myself?
Just when I was about to change my mind, I came across this article about a woman attending Harvard Law. She was single, working, and pregnant. Yet she was able to successfully complete her LAW degree AND give birth to a healthy spawn despite the challenges she faced. She would even take her baby to class with her on occasion, which couldn’t have been easy in such a male dominated environment.
If she could do it at a high stakes university like Harvard, I was certain I could do it at a small, relatively unknown Texas college from the comfort of my own home in sweatpants. Who am I kidding? I never wear pants…Anyway, I finally worked up the courage to tell a few people my plan, and was met with an overwhelming amount of support.
Women in particular allow being pregnant and having children to be a deterrent from pursuing their education or career, but for me it was a motivation. I felt like it was now or never.
I think it is a good decision to finish your education while your kids are young, and here’s why:
- When your children are very small, they aren’t going to remember how crazy busy you were. They won’t know they spent time in your arms nursing while you typed an essay about the effects of immigration on education in America.
- Small children also go to sleep much earlier than older children. That means you can start working on homework at a decent hour without staying up until 3AM.
- You will be increasing your earning potential at a younger age. Things like houses, trips to Disney, and college are expensive. The sooner you start increasing your wages, the more opportunity you have to save up for your children’s future.
- You won’t allow yourself to keep putting it off. Take action now. The days are long but the years go fast, and the older your children get, the more responsibilities you will have. Karate, Gymnastics, Soccer, American Ninja Warrior…big kids do big things, and you are their personal chauffeur. Not to mention that by the time they hit third grade you will probably have to study to help them with THEIR homework.
- You won’t resent your children later for holding you back. Maybe you think when you have children, you are no longer allowed to focus on yourself. Not true. It is even MORE important now to focus on yourself, because little eyes are always watching. Plus, you don’t want to be that person who despairs in old age, longing for what could have been, if only…
- You will be giving your children a kick ass role model. I know, I know…parents are the apple of their children’s eye no matter what, but instilling the importance of a good education by practicing what you preach can’t hurt, can it?
If you are on the fence about going back to school because you are a parent (or about to be one), hop on over and grab that carrot. Sure, it hasn’t been easy, but nothing worth having ever is. I spend 75% of my “me” time writing papers, but it is worth it because I know it will allow me to provide better financially and emotionally for them when they are old enough to remember.
**helpful hint: Did you know that Amazon offers a 6 month FREE TRIAL to students plus a discounted rate once the trial is finished?
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links from Amazon that I may earn a small commission for if you decide to make a purchase based on my recommendation. There is no additional cost to you for using these links, and in fact, I am sometimes able to provide discounts and special offers as a part of the affiliate program. I only recommend products that are actually useful and I have personally tried, and all contents of this post are my personal opinion.
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