If your life is anything like mine, then there are likely a handful of ways that it hasn’t turned out like you thought it would. I thought I’d be a little better at keeping my closet organized by this point. I thought I’d have completed my first novel and my first half-marathon by now (I know).
Going Back to School
I started taking college classes my junior year of high school, so I thought I was on the fast track to graduate college well before the rest of my class.
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Instead, halfway through my degree I married my now-husband who was in the military, and that changed everything. Due to our frequent moves, I attended three different universities, the last of which was online. I graduated behind the rest of my class, and I did it amidst the chaos and busyness of full-blown adulthood.
It was not easy, and I often found myself jealously thinking about the kids who weren’t working full-time, and who weren’t waddling through pregnancy.
But I also found a surprising truth: my position made me uniquely equipped. My life as an adult prepared me to succeed. It didn’t distract or deter me, it empowered me.
I’m here to tell you that if it’s something you want to do, it isn’t just possible for you to succeed, it’s totally likely, because as a stay at home mom (SAHM), you’ve already got the skills to pay the bills… or rather to go back to school, and succeed. Now that going to school online like I did is an option, the sky’s the limit!
I know from experience.
SAHMs are busy, tired, and often frazzled. But we’re also hard-workers. We’re resourceful. We’ve got motivation for days, especially when it comes to investing in the right things, because we understand the value of the long-term. I would go so far as to say that SAHMs are the perfect candidates for going back to school.
SAHMs Work Hard Even When They’re Working Tired
Nothing compares to the energy-sapping ability of a newborn, not even pulling sporadic all-nighters like the students in the dorms do during finals week. And here’s the real kicker: Even though moms (especially those with young children) are really tired, they’re also working really hard.
Virtually all the SAHMs I know are freight trains of effort and energy. They just don’t quit. I used to feel that a lack of energy was oppressive, but now I’ve recognized that it isn’t. I might have bags under my eyes, but I will be okay. And so will you.
If you want to go back to school, but aren’t sure you’ve got the energy, look at how powerful you are at home and recognize that that same power will carry-over into both the classroom and if you want, even the workplace. Education is a tool that can potentially allow you to mold your tireless capacity for work into a meaningful career like nursing, where what you already know about care taking is directly applicable.
SAHMs Have Smart Priorities
We know what matters. We’ve got priorities. We know that investing in our children, in society, and in the future is better than getting back the body we once had, or getting enough sleep, or being able to drift through Target alone, for hours on end.
Students who don’t have solid priorities see school only as a burden. They don’t see the potential opportunities. They don’t see the priviledge there. But we see it. We don’t have time to invest in things we don’t care about.
Not only does that clear understanding and drive give SAHMs the foundation to succeed and remain committed in school, if you want to go back to work afterwards, it will be apparent there as well.
Perhaps those priorities will give you the gumption you need to make a difference in a field like social work. Whatever your vision is, look at what you’ve already done (i.e. kept multiple helpless humans alive), and recognize that your potential isn’t even close to being fully-tapped.
SAHMs are Investors in the Future
What clearer sign is there that someone is investing in the future than by having children? Children are a clear sign to everyone that you believe in the potential of tomorrow. If you’re a SAHM it’s clear that you’re invested in contributing to the future of society at the ground level.
Your impact will be direct and weighty. Despite that, though, being home with kids is often a thankless, messy job. It’s a job that is usually only cited as an actual job if you’re getting paid to do the exact same thing for someone else’s children in a daycare-type setting. Maybe you see yourself trailblazing a new path forward within the public health industry in an effort to impact the future for many.
You give up freedom with your time and money on behalf of the next generation. That work-ethic is the very thing that will allow you to apply the skills you already possess as a SAHM to thrive in other settings, like the virtual classroom, and perhaps even in future jobs where your talents will be considered invaluable. Right now you’re making a difference, and a return to school may supply just what you need to allow you to keep being the world-changer you are, even after your kids are grown.
If You Want to, You Should, Because You Can
When you’ve got little ones clamoring around the house just getting a pair of real pants on can feel like a chore, but if you go to school online you can wear those pajama pants all day long. Even if you’re worried about the time and effort it will take to complete a degree program, if you give investing in your own well-being a shot, I think what you’ll find is that the returns will consistently roll-in.
You’ll see that investing in yourself is really not just about yourself, it extends to the little people who are watching your every move, and to an unknown future where your impact may very well become even more influential than it already is.