Guilt over going back to school. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-23-2010, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Not from myself so much, but I'm feeling it from friends and family.

Ok, heres some background....

My kids are 9, 6 and almost 4. I dropped out of college years and years before they were born. I worked terrible clerical jobs until my son was born and thankfully, my hubby and I decided I shouldn't work.

I haven't worked or done anything non-parent related until the last year or so. I started taking an art class in community college last year and loved it. I'm taking a second one now, and I feel I really need to pursue this.

I've been voluntering at my kids' school doing art and I love doing it. I would like to be an art teacher.

So, I've been applying for scholarships, entering my work into shows, and generally diving in to find out what I need to do to get there.

I was thinking this was a good thing for my kids. My youngest only has one more year of preschool (which is a co-op we all work at), and then she'll be in school with the other two.

We are not doing well financially and my hubby is terribly stressed as eventually we are going to need new cars, some home improvement, etc. going back is a good thing...right?

My mother last night told me she thinks my priorities are messed up and doesn't know why I need to do this "now".

I'm only planning to take a an online course along with one painting class next semester.

I told my husband and he said "Well, you do get obsessed with stuff and drop everything else."

I am so discouraged. I thought everyone would be proud of me-- I've never pursued ANYTHING. The only thing I've ever done well and done right is mothering, I just feel like it's time to get going on something. It's not like I'm going back full time on top of working.

I'll admit, I've been stressed this semester- juggling my ONE class which meets twice a week, and getting everyone to school and baseball and such. But, this is new for me...I need to adjust.

Am I just being selfish? Should I back off? Is my youngest still "too young"?
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#2 of 4 Old 04-23-2010, 01:21 PM
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I don't think you are being selfish at all. You've spent the last 9 years focusing on your kids, and considering your youngest is 4, I really don't think this is a bad time to go to school. If anything, you are doing this for the better of your family - whether it's to gain employment and help make ends meet when you are through with school, or if it's to make yourself happy, which your family will benefit from. Honestly, I'm sure your mom means well, but it isn't very encouraging and helpful to make comments like that.

My kids are 9,7,5, and 3 - and for me, this is the perfect time to finish school. I need to do it for me, and I need to do it for them. The longer I wait, the longer it will take to be done. If the next couple years are a bit of a juggle, and everyone has to make slight sacrifices, I think it will be completely worth it in the end.

I think you will find that adjusting to multiple courses vs. just the one will help you manage your time in the rest of your life. I mean, sure, you'll have more schoolwork - but you won't be focusing on just the one class. Maybe by dividing up the amount of time you would spend on one class into all of your classes will still leave enough time and energy to devote to everything else. Not sure if I'm making much sense - LOL - but for me, taking several classes isn't that much more overwhelming than only one class. I think I just manage my 'school work' time more efficiently?

Anyhow, I wish you the best. Don't let other people bring you down. You wouldn't have enrolled in school if you didn't think it was the right time... and really, if it doesn't seem to be working out, you can either drop your courses or finish the semester and then take time off before starting again. I had to do this years ago when my 2nd baby was born - b/c I wasn't juggling it all well. Even though I have more kids now -- we're in a better place for it to work out. I am in my 3rd semester since going back to school, and while it took some adjusting to fit it in our life, it hasn't been bad at all.

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#3 of 4 Old 04-24-2010, 04:28 AM
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My guess is their reaction is their issue or relationship issue to work out than, you actually being selfish or having your "priorities messed up." I think any time is good time to go (back) to school. People with infants and toddlers go to school and find it almost easier to juggle than WOH. It will be harder to go to school without a support system though, so I'd try to talk, especially to your husband, heart to heart with your family and try to get their support. But if it's really in your heart to do it and they don't support it, I'd just go ahead and do it anyway, because you will probably keep wondering what would've happen if you didn't.

Plus, if you go full time, you can look into getting grants and loans(if you are inclined) to help out with the finance! I'd definitely do it. You got to do what you got to do.
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#4 of 4 Old 04-24-2010, 05:54 AM
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I think what you're doing is great. It must be so hard for you to want to go to school and not have the support of your family. For me it's the opposite, my family wants me to finish my degree and I do want to but I just don't think I can leave my kids yet... BUT my kids are 3 years old and 9months. If my kids were your kids' ages, I wouldn't feel guilty. I don't think 4 is too young for you to be going to school at all. I think now with your kids at these ages is the perfect time for you to go to school.
You said being a mom is the only thing you have ever done well and right, that's how I feel too, and I just think it'd be nice to do and be good at something else that everyone doesn't just think is "nothing"... you know how ppl say "you do nothing all day" to stay at home moms, well to me they do anyways... so I think this will be good for you to do something for yourself, especially after 9 years being all about your kids. I can't even believe that anyone would make you feel guilty for that.
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