Getting a Graduate Degree as a New Mom
Earning a degree is hard work. You may have considered going back to school before, but now you think it is near impossible to do so. You juggle enough as it is – a full-time job and a brand new baby keep you pretty busy.
But what if earning a master's degree is possible, even if you are a new mother? Ashford University allows you to successfully achieve a master's degree on your own time. Although there are additional challenges you might face when working toward earning your master's degree, the end result will make it worth it. Having your diploma in hand will make you an inspiration to not only your children, but other working moms who don't think going back to school is realistic.
To give you an idea of some of the challenges you might face when getting a graduate degree as a new mom, check out this list of modern issues, as well as success stories from previous Ashford students, to prove that you can pursue further education and earn a master's degree no matter what your circumstances are.
Once you explain to your friends and family that you want to go back to school and further your education, you should have a close support system. Many colleges also have resources available to you, including financial aid. Additionally, there are several organizations who are dedicated to offering programs that aid mothers earning their MBA or other graduate degree. You may even want to search for parent support organizations, who can offer financial, emotional, or academic assistance and give you the motivation you need to complete your degree. Misty Manning, a mother of six facing a rare and life-threatening medical condition, was able to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science and a Master of Business Administration from Ashford online. She clarifies that, "No obstacle is big enough to prevent someone from learning if they wish to grow in their education." Having the support system of her family and understanding Ashford advisors and professors helped her to achieve her life goals.
Managing your time efficiently is one of the most difficult challenges you will face. Staying on top of your coursework, as well as balancing time between a full-time job and a brand new child, might sound hopeless. Lauren Scheer was able to tackle running her own business, raising two children, and earning her Master of Business Administration online through Ashford. She was able to access her online coursework when it was convenient to her schedule, giving her the ability to finish her degree within her own timeframe. She points out that, "Yes, [earning an MBA] takes time, and yes, it's work, but it's very doable." There will be a schedule that works for you, whether that be studying while your family sleeps, or studying on your lunch break at work. Keep in mind, also, that smart time management doesn't just apply down at the level of minutes and hours – it's just as important within the larger scheme. Figure out an overall plan and stick to it. Of course, some plans will fall through and emergencies will happen. When those instances occur, make sure you're prepared with a backup plan. Prepping for disaster before it strikes and maintaining a proper schedule is a good way for you to stay on top of your schoolwork and family life.
Eyes on the Prize
As you work toward obtaining your online graduate degree, don't overlook the motivating power of keeping your eyes on the prize. When things get challenging, and you wonder if you're in over your head, take a moment to breathe deep and remind yourself that you've put together a solid plan for success, and always remember that the goal you're after is worth pursuing. Getting that online MBA or other graduate degree can be a huge boost for your career goals, which alone can make it all worthwhile. But don't forget the personal benefits that can come with it as well – including that huge feeling of accomplishment, the sense of knowing that you can tackle any challenge, and especially the great example you'll have set for your little one. Keeping these rewards in view as you work toward your goal can really help to propel you toward success. The bottom line is this: Dedicating your time to education now may open doors for you and your child's future in ways that you never thought possible.
As other moms who have been there before can tell you, getting your online graduate degree as a new mother can be a challenge at times, no doubt about it. That's why it's even more important to take care of the things you can control – including putting together a stabilizing support system to lean on, relying on smart time-management practices, and always keeping your eyes on the prize. By doing that, getting your online graduate degree while raising a child doesn't have to just be something to dream about anymore.
Written by Ashford University staff