Mom Advice: Feeding Your Academic Mind

Stacey graduation

This week's Mom Advice Question is a hypothetical one, yet something I hear moms talk about all the time.  I'm a busy mom, the kids are young, there's not a lot of money, and yet...I wish I could go back to school and finish my college degree.  How does a mom continue with her own education?  Is it even possible?

My Answer?  YES.

I was in my second year of college when my husband and I met and married.  Over the next thirteen years, I was in and out of school while having babies, raising them, and supporting my husband through his own studies.  After my husband finished his MBA and began his career, I decided - with four kids at the time, the youngest being three years old - to make a final push and finish my BA in English.

It was NOT easy.  We had to borrow more financial aid, I worked grave shift at the time (which turned out okay, since that was the only time I had to do homework), and we relied heavily on friends and family to help watch our youngest.  But I did it.  At 32 years old, with four kids, and a whopping 14 years after I started school, I walked in my university's commencement ceremony, and with cum laude honors no less.

Do I tell you this to brag?  Absolutely not.  I tell you this because all the odds were against me, and common sense made it seem impossible.  But if I had considered all the obstacles, I never would have gone for it.  Instead, I kept my eye on the finish line and simply dealt with the details in between.  If I could do it, you can do it.

Still doubting that going back to college is the right thing for you?  I understand.  There are plenty of ways for you to feed your academic mind - at home, and for free.

My favorite is Academic Earth, which offers free access to video courses and academic lectures from leading colleges and universities like Yale, Harvard, MIT, and more.  You can also learn new languages at Babbel, and check out iTunes U for 350,000 free lectures, videos, films, and other resources available for download through iTunes.

In this "age of information," continued learning and a quality education for busy moms is possible, whether you decide to go back to school or take advantage of the resources at your fingertips.

You can connect with Stacey on her personal blog, Tree, Root, and Twig, or on Twitter and

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