Big Mama on Campus?

My friends, I think I might have lost my damn mind.

On my daughter’s 1st birthday I found myself standing in the shower when an idea ran headfirst into me, climbed up my body, burrowed into my brain and has been nesting.. Sleeping.. Growing. This is an idea that I haven’t entertained in a very long time and one that is overwhelmingly big and scary.

The idea?

Going to school. To college. Pursuing a career that can help sustain my family. I love my job, love where I work but at the same time, my family is only going to grow and expand, and so are our expenses. It’s not fair of me to expect my husband to do all of the financial contributing and advancing and so the idea took seed.

I started to think about what I could do with the rest of my life that wouldn’t suck my soul dry or drive me insane and what I came up with was teaching. Specifically, small children. Preschool/Kindergarten age. I don’t think I can handle a mass quantity of children any older than that.

Then I started thinking about all of the steps I’d have to take to get to where I’d like to be. The financial commitment. The time commitment. The fact that I want a second child sooner than 3 years from now. I’d be looking at possibly a 5 year commitment to furthering my education. Most people my age are done with their degrees, or are almost done with their degrees.

I sought the advice of my husband first, asking him if I was completely batshit for even entertaining that. However, my husband is amazing and asked me how anything I wanted could possibly be batshit? He then told me that he’d stand by me no matter what, and support me if it’s what I really wanted. I expressed concern at how difficult it would be and how overwhelmed I was. He told me that if anyone could do it, I could do it.

So I’ve decided to take small steps. Baby steps. Take it one little piece at a time and try not to look at the big picture so much but focus on small goals that I can set for myself and reach. I asked my brother for some advice because he is wise in the ways of college and higher education. He too gave me his full support, and suggested I make a list & timeline of small goals and long-term goals. He also reminded me to keep in mind what sort of time and emotional commitments I wanted with other things. Family, chorus, work, etc. I knew I sought him out for a reason.

So, there you have it. I’m entertaining the idea of chasing a degree in early childhood education. The idea is thrilling, exciting. I worked on a college campus for almost three years and I can remember walking around the grounds on my lunch breaks with my iPod playing and watching everyone. I would see them walking to and from classes, stopping to talk and laugh. I’d see them hunkered over books, notes, also listening to iPods.. And I wanted to join them. I wanted to be taking notes, reading books, and learning again. Does that sound crazy? I wanted to be a part of their world.

It’s also completely terrifying. I mean, it’s really scary to me for some reason. I think it’s because it’s such an unknown thing to me. Will I have the time to balance work, school, Nellie, my husband, chorus, and potentially having another child? Josh and I made a loose plan for baby #2, plans that will probably be implemented within the next year. Clearly going to school pregnant, and then with a newborn won’t be easy. In my heart I know I can do anything I put my mind to. I’m very determined, and I’m pretty good at getting shit done when I decide I want it done.

It’s a big step. But it’s a step to my family’s future. I want my kids to look at me and be proud. I want my kids to look at me and realize that if I can just up and choose to start at the beginning when it comes to college at the age of 27, then they sure as hell can do it, too.

Deep breaths. One foot in front of the other. Baby steps.


  1. I have been thinking about going to school, but don't know what for. My kids are almost grown and now I want to do something for me. I don't wanna be stuck being a receptionist…I want to feel like I'm doing something with my life.

  2. This is VERY exciting. Good for you!
    Kim recently posted..How to Pick Your Kids Up From School on a Snowy Day

  3. That's great! It took me awhile to get my degree but I did it. I highly recommend community college to start for the affordability! I took a lot at mine while I figured things out and really appreciated it once I transferred and was paying $1200/class.
    Nichole recently posted..The Little Prince @ The Bristol Riverside Theatre

  4. How exciting. And it sounds like you're really going about it the right way – making sure it makes sense and that it all seems doable (hectic, probably, but doable). And it's great that you're excited about it and that you get pumped thinking about it – that should tell you something, too. Woo hoo!
    Liza@Blahggy recently posted..How I Found Her Sleeping

  5. I am not by any means trying to rain on your parade. I'm just passing along info I *wish* someone had passed on to me, so I wouldn't be making these fatty student loan payments.

    I have a BS in Early Childhood, and a BA in Psychology. Aside from the "degree" part qualifying me for jobs that require a college degree, they are entirely, 100% USELESS. I could be a preschool teacher for $8/hour, but I could've done that without it. Instead, I'm a professional nanny, a job I could've gotten without it also, and siphon away any bit of extra money I come into to put towards student loan payments.

    Also, maybe spend some time working in a preschool classroom (since Kindergarten teaching assistants require a degree to at least be in process) to make sure it's really something you'll like. I thought I wanted to work in a preschool, and then when I was a lead 4-yr-old teacher went home pulling my hair out every day. Just FYI.
    B recently posted..All Good Things Come to an End

  6. Yay!!! You can do it, mama!!! And there's lots you can do with that degree. If you find you don't enjoy preschool, you can teach K. Or 1st. Or 3rd. You get the idea 😉 Good luck!
    Emily @ Baby Dickey recently posted..Ryan- youre still my baby!

  7. I started back to school when I was 36…. full time job, teenager, divorce in the works… My short term goal was to just BE in school, to achieve that ever elusive "associates" degree I had lacked (and everyone in the whole world had already gotten)… Long term goal? I really don't know… I just want that degree, however small it is… I'm majoring in psychology, but I haven't narrowed it to exactly what I want to do… I'm thinking possibly social work with small children… because they don't know any better than to be screwed up by parents and others…

    You can do anything you want to do… and if you wanted to start on it before the next baby, you could always schedule it for taking off the semester you have the baby…
    Mae recently posted..I Cant Hear What Youre Saying- Your Actions Are Too Loud

  8. On a side note, if you have a great advisor and with due diligence, if you know ahead of time if you want to specialize in something like child life or family life education, you can get into those programs or any other that you like and emerge from your degree ready for an amazing career!

    Sorry if I was negative before. My job if cutting my hours in the fall and I'm all a flutter over what I'm going to do with dim prospects, so this post touched on a nerve. Pursuing further education is never a bad idea :)
    B recently posted..All Good Things Come to an End

  9. I registered for nursing school on my son's first birthday last year. I'm now in my 2nd semester of the program and we are thinking about a second baby, which would mean I'd have to take next year off (can't do clinicals 2 days sfter you give birth) I'm trying to take everything, like you said, with baby steps and small goals. Good luck! It is doable 😀
    Keshia recently posted..Snow Days

  10. I say DO IT! Not only will it be good for your family's future, it will be so good for your soul! Nothing made me prouder of myself (pre-baby) than earning my college degree. And give you another identity besides "mommy," which I know you've struggled with. I know it's daunting…I started grad school right after I got my bachelor's and since I had Theo, I have had no interest in going back. Like you said, you're a determined lady…Good luck with whatever you decide!

    Candice recently posted..babys first haircut – before and after

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