Going to College After A Baby: One Nap At A Time

By Beth Dumbauld

Congratulations -- you’ve just had a baby! You’re elated, you’re exhausted and you are overwhelmed. You should be. It is awe inspiring to be responsible for a precious little being. But what about promises to yourself? Perhaps you had always planned on going to college. Or perhaps you thought one day you’d go back to college and finally earn your degree, but now, with a baby, it seems your dreams must be deferred.

Reality can be tough. You’re on a baby’s schedule now; there never seems to be enough uninterrupted time to take a shower, let alone find a babysitter, hop in the car, drive to class, drive back home, take care of the baby and do your homework. And, oh, somewhere in there, eat and sleep. The time issue even multiplies if you are a single mother. And forget about the cost. With the thought of diapers, formula, doctor visits and your child’s educational needs, money is more than tight. At this point in your life, it truly may seem there is not enough time or money to attend college.

That’s where you would be wrong. A baby does not have to be the excuse to accept the status quo; a growing family can be the driving force behind a move forward. You can afford college. You can find the time. Welcome to the new generation of online education.

Online courses are flexible and fit your busy life

You can make time for education while being a mom. With the advent of online alternatives to the traditional college path, you don’t have to let time constraints constrain you. During the first year of life, when you can expect your baby to sleep from 12 to 18 hours a day1 -- set baby nap time as your educational pursuit time. Think about it: in the equivalent of one 2-hour nap per day over a 40-day period2, you could complete an online college course. Keep up with this pace for 12 months, and by the time your baby celebrates its first birthday, you would be on track to have completed the equivalent of 9 transferable college courses. That’s something to celebrate.

With a one-nap-at-a-time mindset, you can take those first steps and translate them into a slow and steady achievement of your educational goals. Fortunately for new moms today, the first steps towards a college education no longer require a lengthy application process, just a willingness. At reputable online educators, like StraighterLine, it is possible for you to sign up for college courses while your baby naps, receive a Student Advisor that same day -- and begin taking your initial online course during that next nap or block of down time. This virtual institution also allows you to transfer course credits to accredited partner colleges . With tuition as low as $99 per month plus $49 per course started, the financial risk is minimized. An online institution such as this may mean the difference between starting your path to higher education now and that “who-knows-when” someday.

1 The Cleveland Clinic, Sleep in Your Baby’s First Year, Jan. 26, 2009

2 StraighterLine.Com, FAQ, How Long Does it Take to Complete a Course? It takes an average StraighterLine student about 40 days to compete an online course.

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