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Mom's Nag Pad is a place of support for women and moms. I hope that while you're reading the stories about the crazy lives of others, you'll remember yourself and pick up that dream deferred. Like me, everyone should indulge a dream!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Second Career

With the economy being what it is, three kids who need a college education, and the ever increasing costs of living, I've been seriously thinking about going back to school. It's time for that second career! For the past twenty years or so, I've basically been at home with my kids and running a sewing business. Staying at home was very important to me, and it still is. Our house and lives just seem to run better when I'm at home. But reality has a way of hitting you in the face about some things, and it's almost impossible these days to make it on one and a half incomes.

So these are some of the things I've been thinking about: a Masters in Social Work, a Masters in counseling or an alternative teacher's certificate. There is a method to my madness. During my years at home, whenever I did venture out, it was in the capacity of helping others. Aside from helping out in the kids' schools, I've mentored children, taught adult education, tutored and managed non profit programs. I love helping people, so maybe I should get some kind advanced degree or certification in a field where I could continue to help and make a nice salary as well.

Picking a second career is the easy job. Trying to navigate today's education superhighway is not. With one daughter in college, I already know the hoops one has to jump through to get into school these days, and it's been just as annoying as I thought it would be. If you've been out of school for more than twenty years, schools ask for information that doesn't even exist anymore, like immunization records. I haven't a clue where they are, but rest assured that if I haven't contracted measles by now, it's not likely to happen. This is New Orleans, and those records could have been swept away by flood waters on more than a few occasions. What if they ask for your old test scores? You can't get any of that stuff without a PIN number. Guess what? There were no pin numbers in 1980!

Which schools do you look at; brick and mortar or online? I'm a little worried about the accreditation credentials of some of the online the schools. Most are accredited by some board, but if these boards are not recognized by the US Department of Education, potential employers may look at you sideways. After you've poured thousands into an education, imagine not being able to get a job in your field.

Speaking of thousands of dollars, how are you going to pay for your education? You're already tapped out because your oldest is already in school, and now you have to decide if you want to take on more debt in hopes of a larger payday in the future.

Research all your options. Talk to other moms who are juggling family, work and school. Will a couple of years of total insanity kill you or make you stronger? If after looking at all the options and realizing how much less time you''ll have to yourself, you still think you can do it, jump right into the deep end. I hope you can swim!

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