Back to school is on everyone’s mind right now, especially moms. We are downloading the supply lists, writing down kindergarten registration, figuring out which bus number to memorize, getting the kids shoes that actually fit, finding time for haircuts, trying to squeeze in a last little bit of summer fun, and wondering how the family will manage the back to school grind in August. Momming ain’t easy, and neither is schooling.
Back to school means something a little different for our family this year because Mom is going back to school too.
Yep. After six years of being home with my kids, I decided it was time to fire up the ole noggin again with an online Master’s program. A little over a year ago, I went back to work part-time in a completely unrelated field to my Bachelor’s in Biology, and y’all I’ve loved it. I had to learn the ropes through trial and error, sometimes by fire, and with the help of people around me.
I never intended to stay home with my kids as long as I have, and although it’s been simultaneously a blessing and the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I’ve always had the thought of grad school in the back of my mind. When I had my first child, I assumed I’d go back to school eventually for something in the science realm. A couple of months ago, I signed on the dotted line for a Strategic and Digital Communications degree. Talk about a 180! This was not in my life plan six years ago.
Kids, am I right?
I’ve wondered many things over the years. Should I apply to a program now? Oh no, now’s not the right time. How will we finance another degree? Is it selfish of me to want this? Do I really need this? Am I doing this for myself or for someone else? Who will watch the kids? Do I have the mental capacity to actually do this?
I literally woke up one day and decided I was going to apply and that I was going to do the program if I got accepted. So here I am.
My current remote work allows me the flexibility to still be Mom first. That’s why I took the position! I wanted something for me but I still needed my family to be the priority. (Thank you pandemic for opening the door of flexible and remote work for women!!!!) I needed a degree program that offered a similar setup and that’s why I went with an online program.
I want to tell you a few things if you’re considering going back to school, Mama:
- If you want to go back to school, for anything from a certification to a PhD, you are not selfish. Moms have aspirations too!
- You are showing your children the value of life-long learning.
- You are creating freedom and security for yourself.
- It is not wrong to want this.
- Consider various programs and their flexibility; online is great for moms.
- Consider your “village.” You will need it as you add another thing to your plate!
- You don’t have to do it all at once. Take it slow. One class a semester is just fine.
- Do not do it at the cost of putting yourself in massive debt. Consider all financial avenues and consequences.
If you have been thinking about going back to school, I want to encourage you to do it! There will never be a “perfect” time. I truly believe in the value of education and think teachers deserve the moon.