Today i’m writing about going back to school after being a mum. I just felt really inspired and wanted to let you know that it is not too late to chase your dreams if you have had children. At first you would probably be discouraged, when i got my place at medical school i got mixed reactions from people and i worried as well about how my children would be. Some family friends were positive while some of them made statements that made me wonder if i was making the right choice. After a while i just didn’t want to talk about it or tell people. I just didn’t want any more negative thoughts coming into my head. I am so glad that i made that decision.
If you are thinking about going back to school after having children. I want you to know that it is very possible. However, it requires a lot of planning and sacrifice.
I have outlined some points to consider at the preparatory stage if you intend to go back to school after becoming a mum. These include:
- The age of your child: It is important to consider the age of your child when going back to school . This should play a role in deciding how far away from home you can be. If you child is less that 2 years of age , I recommend that you should not look to attend a school in a different town or country where you could see your child every couple of months or where you have to take a plane just to get home. Trust me it would be very difficult especially on you as a mother. When i had my second child i had to start my masters programme 3 months after. Luckily for me i had my mum in law around, even at that it was very distracting. I would constantly look at my phone during class incase i missed a call or text from home or get zoned out thinking of what he was doing…was he eating, crying, being fussy? However if your child is older than 2 years old you could consider looking to school abroad. However, i still think that when your child can start speaking and communicating, that is when it’s ok to school in a different town. You could always speak to your child on over phone, skype or even facetime thus maintaining a relationship even though you are away.
- Support System: You would need to consider the type of support system you have in place. I dont mean friends i mean FAMILY. However not family that are too busy and that in an emergency you know your child can’t stay over at theirs for a week. You should ensure that apart from your husband or partner there is some sort of support available . This support system should include family from your child’s paternal and maternal side.
- Finance: This is very critical. You will need to be in a good place financially. You do not necessarily need to have all the funds available for your fees, but there should be plans in place. As a mature student you would obviously spend wisely, however you do not want to have to drop out of school half way through. You need to ensure funds are in place for school fees, extra curricular activities, rent,living expenses,etc. If you do not have the funds right away at least you have solid plans in place or a steady stream of income coming in. This could include your husband or partner’s income, your personal savings, bursary or even a student loan. Nowadays, there are initiatives, NGO’S, and government organisations that can support students financially. You may need to look into these options if need be.
- Be positive: In the initial stages of planning, try to keep away from negative thoughts. You do not need to tell just about all your friends and family about your plan at this stage, otherwise you may be discouraged. There is still the stereotype that once a woman has had children she needs to settle down and focus on the children, her husband, her job and making/managing a home. However, if you feel that you are not in the right career for you and you stick to it what, happens 20 years down the line? Would you feel fulfilled? If not then think positive and keep away from negative thoughts that make you feel that you are making the wrong choice, you can’t do it or that you child or hubby will not cope. You would be amazed as to how fathers step up when mothers are not home.