I am a proud ScholarShare 529 Ambassador. This is a sponsored post.
My firstborn child, my daughter Ayva, was born a few months after I turned 30. When I found out I was pregnant, I had just gotten promoted at my job, had signed the contract for a well-paying side gig, and was looking at new apartments in better neighborhoods because I was moving on up! I was also planning to go to graduate school, and had been accepted to a post-baccalaureate fellowship that was going to get me prepped and ready.
A difficult pregnancy and life as a single mom threw me for a loop. All of the plans that I’d made had to be shifted as I adjusted to a new type of normal. I had an entire baby to care for. She needed food, clothing, health insurance—I pushed a lot of my dreams to the side to make room for my little girl.
I wouldn’t change anything. Becoming a mother was the very best thing that has ever happened to me. I do wish that I had received more advice about how to get back to my dreams once I had the time again.
So many moms that I’ve talked to have shared the same sentiment. They were right in the middle of getting things done, and becoming a mom stopped them in their tracks. Having a baby, especially your first, is a major life change. I was in a complete daze for at least the first two years of motherhood. So, my dreams got deferred.
Things slowed down for me at work because I didn’t want to take on a lot of extra duties. That promotion I got before I became pregnant was the last one until I left the organization two years later. I had to resign from the lucrative side gig because I barely had the energy for my first job. Although I did start and complete the fellowship, but never did go to grad school. I know that there are the mamas who were able to push through and do everything that they set out to do. That just hasn’t been the case for me.
That’s not to say life has been bad or that I haven’t done anything for myself since becoming a mom. I did start a new career in a different industry and have found good success. I met my husband, and we have another adorable child. Still, of all of the things that I gave up, graduate school still beckons to me.
Making a plan for mom to go back to school
Right now, my husband and I are focused on setting up a strong education foundation for our children. He’s totally onboard for me to go back to school, too, but we need to have a plan. I’m looking up programs that are low-residency where I can do most of the work from home, and that also offer accelerated degrees. We’re talking about child care, and thinking about what our schedules will look like when I’m back in school.
I’m also getting prepared financially. Going to grad school is a big expense, and we need to be ready to manage it. ScholarShare 529 is a college savings plan that lets us save for our children’s education, but what a lot of folks don’t know is that parents can use it, too. College savings accounts are not just for kids.
The best part about the college savings plan is that it can be used at at any accredited institution, and for lots of other school expenses. While I won’t need to worry about room and board when I go to graduate school, I could use the funds to pay for some supplies, fees, equipment, computer, and lots of other qualified expenses.
Moms can plan to get back to their dreams with ScholarShare 529
We spend so much energy saving up for our children and their future. Moms, we have to start doing the same for ourselves. Just because we’re parents, it doesn’t mean that we have to let go of our goals and dreams. It’s just as easy to consistently contribute to a ScholarShare 529 account for ourselves as it is for our children.
It doesn’t have to be today. It doesn’t have to be tomorrow. But when we’re ready to get back in the game, and finish what we started, won’t it be awesome for the funds to already be there?
What’s a dream that you’ve put on the backburner?