So Your Kids Are Finally in School—Is It Time to Go Back Yourself?

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YES! Sorry, that was just me answering the question posed in the title of this article. If you drop your kids off and spend most of your mornings pinning recipes for dinners you won’t make, then this article is for you. Click out of the open Pinterest tab. Log off of Facebook. This is your window of opportunity. Put your spare time to good use. Go back to school and get that degree.

Don’t be intimidated, and don’t convince yourself that it’s impossible.

College isn’t as one-size-fits-all as it used to be. You didn’t miss out on your only chance. There are options for people in all walks of life—including you. You can study remotely at an online university, making your own hours. You can take night classes locally. It’s up to you. It’s important to do the research beforehand and find what school will be the best fit for you and your family.

After you sit down and start the planning process, you may want to quit before you even start. Start slow, taking a few units. There’s no rush, and no need to take on more than you can handle.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the prospects of laundry, Team Mom duties and homework. Focus on the good. This is an exciting change, and really, when those things come your way you’ll learn your way through them. Don’t stress about making mistakes along the way, the end goal is worth it.

This is a chance to do something for you. You’re a mom, so you’re selfless. It’s like something took over you that made you put everyone before yourself, which is awesome, sometimes. It’s still important that you carve out time for yourself. Re-discover what you’re capable of. You might be able to bust out a term paper in less than two hours, who knew? Discover fun, new things about who you are. With the kids in school it’s the perfect time. You won’t feel guilty about leaving them, and they won’t miss you much once you’re gone.

Once you find a school that fits you and your family’s needs and schedule, you’re going to need to get organized. That means keeping track of sporting events, family time and assignments. Buy a big, blank calendar. Post it on the fridge, where everyone can see. Having a system and schedule in place will help. It’s important to make time for the family, even when school is stressful. Try to keep school hours and family hours separate. This will help you find a healthy balance. It’ll also help to keep work during work hours, forcing you to stay focused and productive.

This is all to say that it is possible.

Even though it won’t always be easy, it is possible. You’ll have to work hard, harder than some of your classmates, but you can do it. The best part? You’ll have tiny, cute cheerleaders rooting for you. Make your kids proud, and show them that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to. Be an example for balancing school and personal life. Do homework together at the kitchen table. This can be a fun season of making memories, if you have the right perspective.

Obviously answering the question of “Is it time to go back to school?” depends on the person. If you are debating it, though, I strongly encourage you to take the dream seriously. Look into the options out there, the scholarships for moms and the programs with flexible schedules. Don’t laugh off a potential dream. Include your kids. Make it a fun time for the whole family. It might be your time.

Really, you’ve earned it.


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Paige Dinneny is a recent graduate of Biola University. Born and raised in Southern California, she currently lives in Long Beach and is now pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Fiction at Cal State Long Beach. Her days are filled with many jobs including social media marketing, retail and this! She spends her free time writing, watching the Game Show Network and going to concerts.