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Survival Tips Wanted: Transition from Stay-at-Home Mom to full time MSW student!


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Hey folks!  I know there are some people on here who are currently in an MSW program, recently graduated, or are teaching in one, so I'm soliciting some help. 


I am currently a stay at home mom (age 34 next month) with a supportive husband and two great kiddos (ages 10 and 4).  I have been accepted to a full-time MSW program for the fall and am very excited.  However, I don't personally know anyone else who has taken on a full-time program while their spouse is also working full time.  If you have done this, or know someone who has, and wish to offer any advice or words of wisdom, I would love to hear it.  Tips for prioritizing, time management strategies, general organization stuff, anything would be helpful. 


More on me: I worked full time when our daughter was little (age 1-5), and I worked part time from home when our son was younger, so I'm no stranger to multi-tasking.  I'm just trying to get a sense for how much more difficult I should expect it to be.  I've met other MSW students who are already knee-deep in my program, and they seem to think I'm nuts for trying to do it full-time with a family.  On the one hand, this makes me very nervous that I'm biting off more than I can chew.  On the other, most of the people who have said that do NOT have a family and can't really relate.  I feel a little like having a family will be my biggest challenge AND my biggest asset, since I'm already accustomed to juggling a hundred balls on a daily basis.  But I don't want to go into it blind, so any information and perspective you all can provide would be awesome.  I find I'm much less anxious about things if I have at least some sense of what to expect and can mentally prepare for it!


Thanks in advance for your advice!

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I haven't been accepted yet into a MSW program. I am still finishing up my undergrad- 4 weeks left to go- while working full time with two kids 6 & 2 and my husband is active duty. Only you will know what you are capable of- anything can be accomplished with enough determination.

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Agreed.  I'm a stay-at-home- mom with 2 little ones (aged 4 & 2).  You have to have a supportive network to help you.  I could not have gotten through undergrad without that and will not make it through grad (I'm only looking at part time though).  Your kids need to understand what you're doing and why.  You're going to need to find resources to help with the inevitable child care issue.  Hopefully the school you're attending has some of that in place. It's not entirely uncommon to have children in grad school.  You have to realize that the next two+ years of your life are just not going to be the very best in existence :)  BUT the end result is so worth it.  


Good luck!

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I'm a mom to three boys, 7, 5 and 2.  I have been enrolled in an undergraduate program full time (taking 18 hours this semester) since my youngest was 4 months old.  My husband has consistently worked 50+ hours a week.  In addition, I am actively involved in student organizations and am a lead experimenter on a longitudinal research project.  There are days that I see my kids for 20 minutes before I leave in the morning.  My husband works for his family, so we are blessed in that he can have some job flexibility, which has required him to go to work later this semester so he can drop the boys off at school.  We also have very supportive parents who help with the kids when we can't make our schedules work for something and we have a nanny who keeps our two year old.  Without being able to have the flexibility in his schedule, a reliable child care provider and a supportive extended family, I would not have been able to successfully complete undergraduate, much less be able to consider a full time MSW program.  If you feel confident in your support system and have flexibility and reliability, I would say a program is definitely do-able.  However, bear in mind that you will likely be assigned a course schedule and internships that may not work within your traditional schedule, so you need to be certain that you can make arrangements that will allow you to meet the demands of the program.


Best of luck to you!  I commend you!

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