Continuing Education When You’re A Single Mom

single mom continuing education
Marin Dahl

By Marin Dahl | Oct 27th, 2019

Wake up, let the dog out, yell at my kid to brush his teeth, get ready for work. Barely get him to school on time, then work a full day, get home, make dinner, supervise homework, walk the dog, wrestle the kid into bed, and crack open the laptop to do my homework. Exhausted, yet? 

Being a single mom isn’t easy, whether you have familial help available or share custody. When I was married, I’d often see friends share the Venn diagram of; Clean House, Good Marriage, Happy Kids, Pick Two, on Facebook. It was funny but true. 

After my divorce, the never-good-but-faking-it marriage dropped off the diagram, which frankly made life easier. I’m not the first divorced woman to discover that it’s easier to keep a house clean without an uncooperative and unhelpful partner. So why add something back to life’s chaos? Because I was tired of making the same amount of money, bored with doing the same job for the past ten years, and wanted to get ahead. 

I was also thinking of my child. I knew I’d be the only parent saving for my kid’s education, and my income level directly impacted his future. I took a deep breath and enrolled in an online Master’s degree.

We can handle writing a paper on our lunch break at work, or while our kids are asleep. It may take us longer to get our degrees, but we can do it.

Pursuing continuing education while also working full-time and raising a child isn’t easy. It requires discipline, organization, and wine. You’ll be juggling and redefining a lot of priorities. For me, we ended up eating delivery and take-out a lot more. You could wind up hiring a housecleaner or paying someone to do yard work. 

While it’s not easy, it’s 100% possible. Single moms have already learned how to roll with life’s punches and make it through adversity. We can handle writing a paper on our lunch break at work, or while our kids are asleep. It may take us longer to get our degrees, but we can do it.

While I was getting my Master’s, my sister finished her Bachelor’s as the single mom of a little girl. The dad walked when the baby was born, so she was always alone. She hired babysitters, my grandparents helped out and she finished her degree in her 30’s. I even know a single dad who finished his undergraduate degree in his 50’s. 

If you’ve been thinking about continuing your education as a single mom – do it! Talk to guidance counselors at a local trade school, community college, or online university. Look into employer-sponsored continuing education programs, or apply for the Worthy scholarship

We’re all different, and our roadmap to getting an education won’t look the same. But don’t assume it’s impossible if you make less money or don’t have family to help out. Explore and research resources before giving up. Here in our Worthy community, we’ve got your back.


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