Many parents enjoy staying home with their children when they are young, but, as they get older, start looking for something else to do. If you are at the point where you would like to enter, or return, to the workforce, but aren’t sure if you are ready, you may consider going to college.
Going to school rather than jumping straight into the workforce is a good choice for several reasons. If you have been home for more than a few years, you may find it tough to land a satisfying job. You may also want to do something different than what you were doing before having children. Your priorities may have changed, and a career that offers more flexible hours, better wages, or some other benefit may be a bigger priority than when you were younger.
Handling the Costs
If you are ready to head back to work because your finances are tight after staying home for a few years, it may be hard to consider college. Going to college, particularly if you have never attended, can boost your earning power. Earning more makes it easier to juggle the responsibilities and challenges you face when working and raising children. Going to school also allows you to gradually transition into being away from home. Rather than diving into a 40-hour workweek, you can schedule classes so there is overlap between your classes and your children’s school.
Private lenders offer student loans to help cover the costs of attending college. These student loans allow you to pay for tuition and other expenses related to your education. You can check online to get an idea of the interest rate you qualify for and find out the terms of your loan without ever leaving your home.
Making it Work
Your return to school will shake things up for everyone in your household. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it, but expect some rocky moments in the beginning. Even if you schedule your classes so you are home when your children are, you will need to study. They will need help with their school work on evenings when you are exhausted, and getting dinner together may seem like too much effort on many evenings. Stick with it. Everyone needs some time to adjust to the lifestyle changes, but they can do it.
Self-Care is Important
If you have been out of school for more than a few years, the return can feel intimidating. You may feel like everyone is younger, quicker, and smarter than you. It can be hard to speak up in class. You may not want to ask questions because you assume everyone else understands. Relax, nothing could be further from the truth. The transition can be tough, and you may be exhausted the first few weeks just from the effort of staying focused for extended periods.
Think of it as a new workout routine. You expect to be sore at first as your muscles get used to the new effort. The same thing is happening with your brain. You won’t feel this way for your entire college career. You and your family will settle into a routine that works for everyone.