We’re living in a new world, one in which the competitive, global economy forces us to get ahead just to get by. Unfortunately, this means that a college degree doesn’t always guarantee future security. Having kids changes everything, and some parents feel as if they can’t devote their full attention to their kids and their education. However, it’s possible to raise children and go to school at the same time, as long as you follow the tips below.
When a parent decides to go back to school, one of their first questions is likely “How will I pay for it?” While student loans are an option for some, they may leave you in debt for years to come. Personal loans are another good choice, as they can be obtained more quickly than loans from traditional banks. With a personal loan, you can get the funding you’ll need to further your studies.
Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends (And Family)
After you find a loan online and secure the financing you’ll need to pay for your education, the next important step is to get help with balancing your family life and academic life. Ideally, your partner or spouse will be supportive enough to pick up your slack as far as child-rearing is concerned; having support from others in your life will help as well. Once everyone’s on the same page, you’re on your way to building a support network you can count on for carpooling, babysitting, and a sympathetic ear.
Learn About Your Degree Options
It’s possible to raise a family and attend classes on campus, but it’s much harder than many expect. Thanks to flexible degree options and online classes, it’s easy to get a degree from a well-known school while spending time with your family. However, it’s important to research those options thoroughly, as there are numerous unaccredited online programs out there.
Choose a Degree That Will Help You Further Your Career
Before enrolling in a full-time degree program, it’s important to ask yourself how it may help you in your chosen line of work. Many parents, especially those who have stayed at home, are excited about the idea of going back to school, but they fail to realize that many employers prefer real-world experience over advanced degrees. Because you’ll be investing your money (and taking time away from the family), you should decide just what you want out of your degree. If the opportunity cost is justifiable, go ahead and sign up. If you’ll simply rack up loan debt for a degree that won’t help you on the job, it’s time to reconsider your choices.
Manage Your Time Effectively
Once you have decided to go back to school while raising your kids, time management skills will be more important than ever. Regardless of the flexibility of your degree program, it will undoubtedly be very labor-intensive. Set aside time to spend with the family, and block out time to study. If you make both a priority, time management will soon become second nature.
Many articles say that you can have it all, in the form of a degree, a great career, and a well-adjusted, happy family. While it’s possible, it’s extremely difficult, and it takes dedication and sacrifice. By following these tips, your path may become just a little bit easier.