The IMBC Blog

A Working Mom’s Guide to Earning a Degree Online

Being a mother is one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs in the world. It also happens to be one of the most time-consuming, especially when you have little ones who are still in diapers. They may be cute, but they can be a handful. Toddlers and even young children do not understand things like “I have class after work.” Or “I need to study.” 

Working mom with children watching an iPad
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

Luckily, if you are a working mother who is also earning her degree online, it does not have to be an overwhelmingly stressful experience. In fact, earning a degree online can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience in itself. However, it takes careful planning and execution to ensure that you get the most out of your investment in your education as a working mother. That’s where this guide can help. Keep reading our complete guide for working moms earning a degree online. 

Why Earn Your Degree Online?

If you are set on making a positive change in your life, you have many options from which to choose. Earning your degree online is not the only way to make a meaningful change in your life. However, for working mothers, earning an online degree almost seems tailor-made to fit a working mom’s ever-changing schedule and life. If that is not enough to convince you that earning an online degree is the right choice for you, then here are some more. 

  • Advance in, or Make a Career Change: Whether you are going back to school to secure a promotion or to change your career path, an online degree is a perfect launchpad to start you on your journey.
  • Flexibility: One of the biggest reasons to pursue an online degree is the flexibility to get an education on your schedule, which, as a working mother, might not be consistent from day-to-day.
  • Accessibility: You do not have to move your family to a college town to earn your degree. An online degree allows you freedom from being tied to a specific location, so you can avoid relocating to or traveling around a college campus. There’s no commute at all – saving you time and money.
Making time for studying
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Schedule. Schedule. Schedule. 

Earning your degree online requires two personal commitments: time and effort. There is no doubt that you have already got the effort down pat. Choosing to earn a degree is a major decision, one that you could not have made lightly. 

That said, the time part is a bit more complex to tackle. While we are all given the same 24 hours a day,  being a mother is a 24/7 job, in addition to your day job. So, when it comes to time management, a strict schedule is your best friend. 

Free resources like calendars from Google or Apple (built-in to your smartphone) make it easy to share your schedule with loved ones and plan out your day from start to finish. That means, if you need to set aside an hour after dinner to study, then your loved ones can hold down the fort for that hour, leaving you free to get your study on.

You will have to budget your time. You have a fixed amount of time in the day, so account for all your hours. It is essential to strike a balance. You do not want to become too strict that you can’t take a break or relax. 

Choosing the Right Program

You know best what resources you need to succeed as an adult student. As a working mom, you will need flexible and understanding instructors. That is why it is imperative that you choose a program that works best for you and your needs. 

The program you choose should allow you to comfortably juggle your children, work, and earning your degree. Most online programs allow you to complete your work at any time of the day but require assignments and tests to be completed by certain dates. So, you can plan by leveraging the flexibility of completing your assignments when it works for you.  

Do your research to check whether your chosen school offers resources to support working mothers and students that need more flexible arrangements.

Child playing
Photo by Tanaphong Toochinda on Unsplash

Arranging Childcare

When possible, it is important to arrange childcare to maximize your time spent studying or in class. As a parent, your desire to protect and care for your children is natural. However, when it comes to learning, it can be difficult to focus if you are anxious about your child’s well-being. Arranging childcare is beneficial to both you and your children. Your children are safe and sound, and you can focus your attention on your class or studying. It’s a win-win. 

Additionally, this can help to put you in the best mental mindset to complete assignments and attend classes. You will have a quiet space with few distractions. As adorable as they might be, a toddler singing songs from Frozen at the top of her lungs definitely qualifies as a distraction.

Talk to Your Instructors

One of the best resources for online students is the access you have to both your instructors and classmates. Reaching out to your peers or instructors is as easy as sending an email. 

In most cases, you can easily attain any notes or documents you need just by asking. So, if you miss out on something or need an extra hand, it is not difficult to get back on track. 

You can also leverage social media as a means of communication. This is especially true if your class creates a Facebook group. Even though you might not meet in-person, you can still benefit from a supportive environment when learning virtually. You can even video chat over FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, or Skype – all at no cost.

Start Your Journey with IMBC

Earning your degree online is not something that you do just for your own future. It is an investment in yourself and your family. Choosing a school that understands your priorities and the effort it takes to juggle being a working mom and student is the key to your success. 

IMBC offers programs with the flexibility and resources you need to succeed in earning your degree online. We support each student, regardless of their circumstances, in their journey to achieve their academic goals. This includes our many working moms (and dads!) 

Want to learn more about how IMBC can support you while you earn your degree as a working mother? Get in touch today.