Moms to Moms: Going Back to School

After having our first child, my husband encouraged me to go back to school.  He wanted me to have a marketable skill in case anything ever happened to him.  He also felt that the burden of being the sole provider would be lessened if I chose a career that had part-time options.  I decided on a two year, full-time nursing program at a local community college.

There were many other students returning to school in this program.  At the time it seemed that mothers with school age children had an advantage since they didn’t have to find day care.  However, I now realize that advantage was offset by the need to juggle their children’s involvements.  Once I got home, I spent my time with the baby and utilized her nap time and early bed time to get my studying done.

It was very intense program and the people in charge did not believe in giving any leeway for those of us with children.  However, once I completed the program I felt that I was well trained and could handle anything that came along. (Jody Tansey)

I had previously completed three years of college and decided that I wanted to go back and get my degree.  Being a single mother I was already working full time, but I believed that enhancing my career was an investment in my daughter’s future.

I attended a continuing education program at the state university.  This program is set up for people juggling families and jobs.  All the teachers were supportive of our needs.  They were willing to give extensions for assignments with penalty if we explained our limitations ahead of time.  They knew there needed to be a social element to develop mutual support among the students.  There was excellent counseling available to help you determine what course requirements you needed to obtain a degree, as well as helping you select classes that you would enjoy and would fit your learning style. They would even help you develop your study skills if you felt “rusty”.

Although I felt stressed while going to school, it was well worth it.  My self-esteem improved, and I was given more respect, more responsibility, and more money at work. (Christine Ederer)

I returned to school after the birth of my first child.  My inspiration cam from another mother.  I thought, “If she can so can I.”  My choice was cosmetology school- something I’d always wanted to do.  I attended three or four evenings a week and Saturdays, taking two years to complete the program.  Sometime during the second year I became pregnant and was sick, but I kept going.  Setting that goal and reaching it was an important step for me. (Angela DiCicco)

I went back to school when I turned 30.  I started thinking about the next decade ahead of me (I had never thought so far ahead before!) and I started wondering- Where will I be in ten years? What will I be doing when the kids are older and I in school all day?

I decided that I wanted to develop a skill, a speciality.  I had always been interested in nursing, but never though I had the ability to make it through nursing school.  So, I found a 2 year nursing associates program at the local community college.  It had an excellent reputation and was very much in demand in our area.  Plus, the cost was quite reasonable.

I now have one year completed.  So far, the hardest part was actually applying for admission.  At the time, I felt a little overwhelmed by the paperwork.  I also had to swallow my nerves to drive out to the main campus and find my way around in the midst of hundreds of 18 year olds.  However, I learned that there is a large percentage of older students on campus.  I also learned that my age has given me the advantage of maturity and life experience! (Teresa Haggerty, 1992)

Encouragement: A publication by Angela DiCicco and Gail Signor

If you have any suggestions or little stories to share email me at

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