mom with baby at computerIt started with stumbling on an article on Working Mother’s website about moms returning to college, often while working and raising a family…which led to Mary Davis’ website The College Mom (you gotta love their motto… “You may be a mother, but college doesn’t have to be.”) and I knew I had found the topic for this post. It’s one near and dear to my heart…I had two pregnancies during grad school, and headed back to class each time with baby in tow in a Snugly.

There are lots of reasons why you might want to add college classes or a degree program to your life. Maybe you have a degree or two, but your interests or things in your field have changed. Or maybe you never got around to finishing the degrees you wanted to before the kids came along. Or maybe you just want a open a new chapter in your life (Remember Trish’s “What’s next?” challenge at MomCom? Could it be a few more letters after your name?)

Working mothers returning to college? The concept seems, well, kinda nuts. But if you’ve ever dreamed about it (though you probably dismissed it before you woke up), you should know it’s not as far-fetched as it might seem.

— Renée Bacher, Working Mother

For many, the choice is purely practical. “In today’s economy and job market, many working moms see going back to school as a necessary step to greater pay and career advancement”, says Davis,  mom of three. Others are ready to fulfil a lifetime dream, or to make a brand new dream come true.  But no matter what the reason, more and more moms are heading back to college to make a difference in their lives, and in the process, the lives of their families.

So how to they do it?

The boon in accredited online colleges and universities has helped, says WorkingMother author Renée Bacher. According to Bacher, more than 60% of online college students are women, most of them over 25. But when it comes right down to it, sheer determination is the common denominator. Her article offers profiles of three women who did it, and earned that walk to receive a new college degree.

Oh, and my story? I was blessed to be in college in Utah, where married students, pregnant students and moms in classes were the rule rather than the exception. But even so, there’s something especially memorable about nursing a baby while taking notes in a “Politics of the Middle East” lecture, all the while thinking about what time you have to pick up your toddler at preschool! But hey, we’re women. Somehow we do it.

Note: The College Mom website hasn’t had a new post in awhile, but what’s there is still a great resource for any mom in college or considering enrolling.

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