It’s official. I’ve decided to go back to school for my Master’s Degree. This will either be the best or worst idea I’ve ever had. It’s not like I’m 19 and commitment-free over here. I’m a stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids under eight, and have all the responsibilities that come with managing a crew of five. Why on earth would I think going back to school in this season of life is a good idea?
Here’s the deal: there is a very good chance that this is NOT the time of my life to take on grad school, but, heck, I’m gonna try. I’ve dreamed of going back to get my Master’s Degree for a long, long time. I thought about it while I was working to put my hubby through his grad program. I thought about it while changing diapers, nursing in the car, and dropping off kids at preschool. We’re now three kids into this family life thing and I’m pretty sure we’re all here now. My youngest starts preschool soon, and suddenly, for the first time in a long time, there are slivers of my week that have opened up. Just a few hours, a couple times a week that I will have to myself. As I’ve thought about those hours, I’ve thought about school.
Those thoughts quickly turned into conversations with my husband and phone calls to my school of choice. Suddenly I found myself touring the campus, toddler in-tow, and excitement building. “Someday” became “next semester,” and the question of “could I do this?” evolved into “how the heck am I going to do this?!”
It’s going to be a challenge on all fronts. My family will have to make adjustments to fit a new schedule where dad is handling dinners and bedtimes multiple times a week while I’m in class and studying for my master’s degree. I’ve taken on a part-time, work-from-home job so I can help cover tuition costs. My kids are trying to wrap their brains around mom being a student, and I’m trying to wrap my brain around how to do homework between grocery shopping, baseball practice, and bath time.
Regardless of the logistical details that still need to be mapped out, there is an anticipation brewing in my soul that is singing louder than the voices of doubt. It’s been a long time since my excitement about something was louder than my fear. I do a lot of things scared, and I think that’s one of my better qualities. I’m a risk-taker who’s willing to fail, but rarely do I feel as thrilled about taking a leap as I do about going back to school to get my master’s degree. My job as wife and mom has been that of cheerleader, supporter, protector, and coach, and I will hold those roles for as long as I’m alive, but there is this part of me, looking ahead towards my first semester saying, “It’s my turn.” It’s my turn to be cheered on and supported and protected and coached. It’s my turn to run hard after my dream and give myself time and space to accomplish something huge.
I love being a mom and a wife and I’m pretty sure I’m going to love school, too. I’m so grateful to get to attempt to do all three. Finger’s crossed; mom’s going back to school!