Going to college while raising children
As job markets become increasingly competitive in the United States, it is becoming ever more important to have an adequate education. More and more well educated people are settling for employment that is below their degree level just to be able to have a job. That leaves even fewer jobs for people who do not hold any kind of degree beyond a high school diploma.
Many people say that they would like to go back to school, but just don’t have the time. Today, however, there are many options. It does not matter if you work full time or are a stay-at-home parent full time, you can still finish your degree through online classes in an array of fields. There are education, business, healthcare, and law programs offered completely over the internet. This is especially appealing for a stay-at-home parent who does not have childcare options or the ability to afford childcare and go to school at the same time.
You can search on the internet for a school that offers a program that interests you. Then contact the admissions office and financial aid if necessary. There is some paperwork, but it is very manageable and the admission counselors are trained to help non-traditional college students who have been out of school for a while.
Once you have the paperwork taken care of and start your classes, do not let the tasks of taking care of the kids, the house, the cooking and going to school all overwhelm you. It is very manageable; you just need time management and organizational skills. Set up a desk or an area which is only for your school work. If your kids are school age and have homework, work on your homework while they work on theirs, who knows, you may be able to help each other.
If your kids are younger, babies, toddlers, or preschool, take advantage of naptimes and early bed times. You must put your kids on a schedule though, such as a nap at 2:30 every day if your class seminar starts at three. Schedule your classes for times when you know either someone will be there to help you, or the kids will be asleep, or you know that you can distract them for a large chunk of the time with a video, favorite cartoon and a snack or something along those lines.
To-do lists are a must; keep a running one in your notebook. Don’t try to separate household tasks from schoolwork. If you do this then you may finish the household task list but never get to the school list, so keep them all on the same page.
Last, never think that you are superwoman/superman and can do it all. Know when to ask for help and have a support system, whether it is a significant other, a parent, a sibling or a neighbor. If you keep focused on the long term goal and use humor to get through tough situations, anything truly is possible.