I’m that mom that lives by her calendar and a to do list. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t write it down, it’s just not going to happen in this lifetime. I also have this list. I wouldn’t call it a bucket list really, it’s more of a list of goals I have outlined for myself. Either way, this list is not as long as my daily to do list! I want to tour Paris, swim with dolphins, pay off my mortgage and earn a Masters degree. All of these are quite realistic to me. The one I’ve decided to work on this summer is my Masters in Early Childhood. That’s right kiddos…
Mommy’s going back to school!
I’m more than just a mom. I crave a little bit more than my day to day mommy duties. I don’t mind chauffeuring my kids around to practices. I don’t mind cooking and cleaning. Oh, wait a minute. I’m lying! I do mind laundry and mopping. Then there are days I can’t help but feel guilty locking myself away in the bathroom just to read the junk mail in peace. That is when it hits me. I have these moments, not everyday of course, but I begin to feel incomplete. I’m living this life one time. What do I want to accomplish other than just trying to be Super Mommy? (Just so you know, I’m not that super, I fall down a lot and make mistakes.)
Back in the day, oh in my early 30’s, when I thought I could do it all… I tried juggling a full time job, a social life, home life, kids and grad school. I struggled to keep my head above water during the week rushing from work to grad school and trying to figure out who was picking up the kids on what days. My schedule was a mess. Then my husband suggested “let’s have another kid!” I’m a multi-tasker by nature, so sure! Well, life happens and when baby number 3 arrived, I found out that I couldn’t quite figure it all out. I decided to put grad school on hold so that I could focus more on my growing family and my career. Five years later, three kids in, I’m running an early childhood program from home and now I’ve decided it’s time for me to tackle that one item on my list that I have been longing to accomplish.
Coming from a Latino family, I have a strong support system in anything I want to do. I was the first one in my family to earn a 4 year degree on my father’s side, so when I mentioned I was thinking about going back to college, my family was very supportive with that idea. I found an online program that offers a degree plan that aligns with my busy Mommy schedule. I was accepted this spring and started my coursework in June. So as I’m writing this blog, I’m thinking about my reading assignments and due dates for the week. Since it’s a self paced program, I get to set my own deadlines so I don’t feel overwhelmed. I can read online anywhere, anytime with my electronic devices and even turn in my assignments digitally! I didn’t have this luxury years ago when I was in grad school the first time.
Going back to school as an adult is hard. Going back to school as a Mommy is even harder. We have so many things to juggle, but here are a couple of stress free tips for us Mommies going back to college:
- Scheduling. Whether you’re taking classes online or in person, your calendar will be your saving grace! Be sure to keep track of your kids’ activities in this calendar along with penciling in those assignment due dates. You don’t want to miss that soccer game or reading assignment!
- Time. Study when you can and not when you actually want to! I highly recommend getting as much school work done in the morning before the kids wake up. I can get in a good 2 hours before my kids wake up scavenging for food.
- Space. Have a space in your home that has been designated a “kid free zone” and really enforce it Mom! This is your space and no kids allowed when you’re doing your schoolwork; unless there’s an emergency.
- Worth. Remind yourself why you’re doing this. What’s in it for you? As women it is important for us to explore a higher education for ourselves and to empower each other during this journey. Despite any hurdles we may come across, knowing you’re going back to school will be worth it in the end.
So as I sit here thinking about how much time has passed since I attended grad school the first time, I feel confident knowing that I am more prepared and focused this second round. I’ve sat down with my kids and shared my goals with them. Nothing will change other than sometimes, I will need to be left alone to do my schoolwork. My kids understand how important this is to me and that I’m not just a mom.