Further education once you’re a mummy

I left school at 18 with more than the average 8 GCSE’s all with pretty decent grades (A-C) and one A level. I went on to college and completed an Art Foundation Degree – my family view this as a waste of time since I decided I didn’t want to do anything art related afterwards. I went on to work as a carer in a nursing home. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant and after having my first son I didn’t go back in to work, I’ve been out of work now for more than 5 years. This hasn’t been a problem as we’ve lived fairly comfortably with just The Man’s wage – no holidays and the likes but in all honesty do you actually need to jet off abroad somewhere to relax? It’s a want more than a need so we’ve had none of that.

I’ve been thinking recently that I wanted to do more with my life, to add to theĀ householdĀ income, to be able to have lovely holidays – not really needed again but it would be nice wouldn’t it?

Yesterday I went for a group interview in college for an access to higher education course. Since I’d been out of education for more than 5 years I had to sit a test. After around an hour and a half I was called in alone and found out that I’d been given a place on the course. Initially I was absolutely thrilled. Once I got home and thought about things properly I became uneasy. I don’t know whether it’s because it’s been that long since I’ve thought of myself as anything other than a mum or just that the reality of my situation isn’t as easy as I first thought.

The hours on this course are pretty intense. I’ll be in most days from 9 until 5. Since we don’t have a car (still) I’ll have to get on a bus which means leaving the house even earlier. From September both of my boys will be in school for full days but neither myself nor their dad will be at home to pick them up from school. We live a fair distance from any of our family so we won’t be able to ask them to help us out which means we’ll have to pay for childcare. I said earlier we’ve managed fine with only The Man’s wage but that hasn’t ever covered childcare costs since I’ve always been at home with my boys.

The other problem with the long hours is that it will be leaving the poor dog alone for around 9-10 hours daily. There is absolutely no way I’m getting rid of my dog – some members of the family (The Man’s side) have actually suggested this to me, seriously!

The main issue I have with all of it is the fact that I’ll be leaving my boys. Even when I am home I’ll be too busy with coursework and assignments to give them the attention that they’re used to. It will only get worse when I go on to University – which is the whole aim of this course. The hours will be longer, the workload larger and the expenses will be enormous. I probably will get a great job at the end of it but is it worth it?

Once you’re a mummy is it possible to go into further education or will I be eaten alive with guilt for leaving my boys? Is it better for them to miss their mummy and for me to get a decent job or is it selfish for me to even think about?