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How To Go Back To School As A Single Mom

How To Go Back To School As A Single Mom: Expert Advice

Last Updated on March 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

As a solo parent, you’re embarking on the remarkable adventure of going back to school. Yet, you might be contemplating how to manage the transition back into education whilst juggling your duties.

As someone juggling the demands of parenthood while pursuing my educational dreams, the decision to return to school can feel like stepping into a whirlwind of doubts and uncertainties. 

Today, I’ll share practical insights and strategies to help you navigate this adventure gracefully and successfully. Read on. 

5 Simple Ways To Go Back To School If You’re A Single Mom

Woman Studying

1. Set Clear Goals

Define your educational objectives and outline the steps needed to achieve them. Break your goals into smaller, manageable milestones that can be accomplished over time. 

Applying this strategy will aid you in keeping your studies in perspective and giving you a sense of accomplishment.

2. Enroll In An Online Course Or Program

Online courses are often very convenient and make it easier to structure a schedule that fits around childcare. 

And because online tuition is usually more affordable than doing an on-campus program, it can save money. 

On top of that, many online courses offer plenty of guidance and support from teachers and other students. But what does it mean if you dream about going back to school?

3. Look For Trustworthy Childcare

As a single mom, ensuring you have quality and reliable care for your children while going to school is critical. 

You need to search for potential providers and see what others have said about them. 

“I’m not really single. I mean, I am, but I have a son. Being a single mother is different from being a single woman.”

Kate Hudson, American Actress

Ask other moms what was important to them when selecting care, and consider what you can afford. 

The safety and development of your children should be the primary factors in your decision. 

4. Research Flexible Education Options

Look for educational institutions that offer flexible programs, such as online courses, evening classes, or part-time studies. 

These options allow you to tailor your education around your responsibilities as a single mom and create a manageable schedule.

5. Build a Support Network

Reach out to friends, family members, and fellow single moms who understand your unique challenges. 

Establish a support network to encourage, help with childcare, or offer a listening ear during demanding times. 

Online communities and local support groups can also provide valuable connections and resources.

Read: Things You Can Do For Dealing With Back To School Anxiety

What Psychological Impacts Does A Single Mother Face?

Woman Writing on a Notebook

1. Stress & Anxiety

The challenges of managing all parental responsibilities alone can lead to increased stress [1] and anxiety. 

This might stem from financial pressures, balancing work and childcare, dealing with the child’s emotional needs, and trying to find personal time.

2. Financial Concerns

Financial strain is a common concern for single mothers. The responsibility of providing for the family on a single income can lead to anxiety, worry, and feelings of inadequacy. 

“When you go back to school as a single mom, you’re not just investing in your future; you’re paving the way for a brighter tomorrow for your children.”

– Howkapow Gift Site

Financial stability is crucial for a single mother’s overall well-being.

3. Lack Of Sleep

Staying well-rested can be challenging for single moms. They often feel tired and stressed due to having to take care of many responsibilities simultaneously. 

Without adequate sleep [2], irritation, depression, decreased focus, and poor judgment can all be symptoms that single moms feel. 

These issues can be daunting to try and break the cycle of exhaustion. Check out these tips to get back on a sleep schedule for school here.

4. Discrimination & Shaming

Single mothers are often the subject of discrimination and judgment from different societal sources. 

The defeat brought about by family, associates, employers, and even structures could be harsh words, gossip, or social exclusion, which can have damaging psychological effects.

5. Isolation & Loneliness

Balancing work and childcare often leaves little time for social interaction, leading to feelings of isolation. 

Also, if the single mother doesn’t have a strong support network, feelings of loneliness can be exacerbated.

Read:

Why Do Single Parents Decide To Return To School?

Single parents often choose to return to school because it opens up new opportunities by providing them with new skills, knowledge, and qualifications. 

This, in turn, can lead to greater career opportunities and higher earning potential, which will help them take care of their family more effectively. 

Returning to school also boosts their self-confidence and sense of achievement, serving as a positive example for their children.

FAQs

What are the struggles that single mothers face?

Single mothers often face many financial, child-rearing concerns and struggle with their time. 

How much income does the typical single parent have?

The typical single parent earns an average of $50,942 for single fathers and $32, 586 for single mothers in the United States, significantly lower than the average household income. 

Wrapping Up

Going back to school as a single mom is an audacious endeavor that can lead to tremendous growth. 

I vividly recall the struggle of balancing coursework and childcare, the nights of exhaustion, and the worry about finances. 

But through enrolling in online courses, setting clear goals, and finding trustworthy childcare, I overcame those hurdles. 

It’s crucial to acknowledge the psychological impacts like stress and discrimination, but with resilience and support, success is within reach. 

Trust yourself, seek community resources, and embrace the adventure of education and motherhood combined. Your future awaits, and you have the strength to make it extraordinary.

References:

  1. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-signs-and-causes.htm
  2. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works
Kimberlee Johnson
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