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Tips for Moms Going Back to School

Returning to school or pursuing higher education after having children can be both challenging and rewarding for many women. Balancing motherhood and college can often feel like a juggling act: in essence, it's like having two full-time jobs -- or three, if you have other work as well. Success is definitely possible, but it requires considerable sacrifice, a fierce level of commitment, and some smart planning. Below are some tips for excelling academically while giving your kids the attention they need to thrive.

Back to School for Moms

First and foremost, it's important to explain the decision to your family. You know why you want to return to school--to challenge yourself, to grow as a person, to further your career opportunities once the children are out of the house during the day, or to bring in more money to improve your family's quality of life. But everyone living in the house is also impacted by your return to school, so you'll need to explain to them--even the youngest children -- why it's so important to you and what they can do to help support you.

Whether you choose one of many online degrees for new moms or a traditional campus-based education, you'll need to plan ahead to make time for your family in your busy schedule. Setting aside one or two nights a week as family evenings or making sure to eat dinner together every night goes a long way. You might even consider inviting your children to get involved with your studies if they're interested. Homework time might not be the most fun family activity in the world, but it's a way to spend time together and help them understand what's occupying your time.

Balancing Motherhood and College

Making time for both your children and your education isn't easy. A big component of success is accepting that you'll never have as much time to devote to one or the other as someone whose only job is motherhood OR school. It's important to realize that you'll never be superwoman and to cut yourself some slack. Just do your best to take care of yourself, your kids, and your studies without expecting perfection.

In the interest of devoting as much time as possible to taking care of your family, you might choose to enroll in an Internet-based program. Online degrees for new moms offer the flexibility to study whenever it's convenient, such as when the baby's napping, when the kids are at school, or in the evenings after they've gone to bed. You can work toward your degree from the comfort of your home, the library, or anywhere with an Internet connection. Of course, an online degree isn't for everyone -- it requires discipline and sacrifice to make sure you meet the demands of your course workload without a rigid class schedule.

Other women find that balancing motherhood and school is easiest when they can utilize a childcare system, whether it's a nearby daycare, an after-school camp or kids' music program, or a trusted babysitter or family member who can watch the kids a few days each week.

Degrees for New Moms

It's never too late for moms to return to school. There are plenty of degrees for women available both online and at traditional campuses. Higher education is always a wise choice, offering opportunities for personal growth and also a significant return on your investment in terms of future job and income potential. Whether you've already set your sights on a particular career or you're still seeking guidance on which course of study to pursue, going back to school is the best course of action to achieve your dreams. Balancing motherhood and college is possible if you have the determination, patience, and desire to do it all.

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