There’s no denying that an advanced education can get you further in life. However, there is quite some confusion over just how to accomplish the pursuance of that education when you have a family life to maintain. Here are seven tips for mothers considering graduate school:
Now versus Later.
It’s important that you weigh out the pros and cons of returning to college now versus later. Keep in mind that your children will be older later (and more able to help out), and also that it’s never too late to advance your education. Therefore, you always have the option of choosing the most opportune time to pursue this endeavor.
You may be surprised to find that you have team of people willing to help you, if only you are willing to put yourself out there and ask for help. As part of your return to college plan, you should ask your parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, church parishioners, etc. if they would be willing to provide any sort of help with the children, from having them over to play on the weekend while you finish your homework to letting them hangout for a couple of hours after school.
Reduce your Living Expenses.
It’s likely you won’t be able to devote as much time to work once you’re in the throes of graduate school. Sit down to your budget now and figure out where you can trim the fat. This will take some financial stress off later. Don’t forget to add in other expenses, like a VeritasPrep course to get you ready for your GMAT or an extra meal you may have to eat out on a class night.
Apply for Scholarships.
There are special programs out there for adult students, and even for parent students. Sit down with a college counselor and search the web to apply for as many of these specialized scholarships as you can find.
Discuss your Plans with your Boss.
In addition to the possibility of employer-paid education programs, you might also find that your boss is willing to work with you on hours and work responsibilities while you are in graduate school.
If you do decide that graduate school is the right thing for you, right now, then you will need to make it a point to de-stress on a regular basis. Schedule some “me time” into your daily routine, and fill it with relaxing things that you enjoy. That may be meditation, exercise, a hot bath, or even a massage.
Have some Fun.
It’s important that you don’t lose that valuable connection with your children while you are absorbed in the college life. Just as you must have “me time,” you must also schedule some family time to reinvigorate those family connections and maintain sight of what’s really important.
If you must work your way through graduate school and raise children at the same time, then you no doubt face a real challenge. However, it’s a challenge you can handle, as long as you put some thought and planning into balancing your college, work, and family lives.