What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up??

Updated on August 10, 2011
L.S. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
13 answers

I'm a SAHM, have been for 5 years and will be for another 5. At the time I will be re-entering the workforce I'll be 34 years old and have no post-secondary education to speak of. I'd like to get into a semi-professional career (to avoid working when my kids are home from school, evenings and weekends), but don't *really* want to start a 4 year degree program at 34.

So, what do you working mamas do for a living? How much schooling was required and do you love it?

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answers from Portland on

My dad went back to school, he's 46. He is doing Computer Science and is doing spring, summer, and fall so he is done in 2 1/2 years (4 years of spring and fall is 8 semesters which would be 2 1/2 years if you do spring, summer, and fall semesters). Apparently his degree is in the top 13 jobs in the nation with the biggest salaries and most promise :)

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answers from Dayton on

I'm a nurse. It can be done in 2 years (or 2 1/2 ish - somewhere in there). It's flexible, can be part time, and can pay well. I was working at my last job on an as needed basis at the hospital when they needed me and when I wanted making $25/hr before shift differential. Offices pay less, but the schedule and pace suit some better. I didn't realize at the time how much I would miss taking care of patients, but I really do.

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answers from Portland on

I am 32 and currently going through school to be a nurse. The nursing school is 2 years but it took me 2 years to get all of my pre-reqs done in order to apply to the nursing program. By the time I finish I will be 34. The nursing field is a wide open field, you have so many options between working in a hospital or clinic and what kind of hours you want. In my area, nurses start at the hospital around $30/hr but within a couple of years that increases to $35-$42/hr depending on what you do and any extra certifications you get.

If you think you will be headed back to school in 5 years you may want to consider taking an online course or two each quarter or semester now so you can get some of your pre-reqs out of the way before you get into the meat of what ever program you decide.

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answers from Seattle on

I'm a teacher - love the kids. So, I'll always be off summers with my daughter. The only problem with that is that there is A LOT of outside the classroom time spent on "work," especially when you first start. Also, it requires a 4-year degree and is moving in the direction of more than that. My husband is a nurse. He loves it so far. He started nursing school at 33! :) You can get your RN certification with an Associate's Degree. Nursing can be nice and flexible! I have severally mommy friends that are nurses. You could go to school for phlebotomy and finish up pretty quickly... I'm not sure what that pays.

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answers from Detroit on

You can still be working toward a degree now, on a part-time basis. My cousin started with an associates in nursing and eventually became a registered nurse, then a certified nurse practitioner, with her own clinic with a partner. All while raising 2 kids.

I am a veterinarian, which takes 7 to 8 years of schooling - undergrad/bachelor's, followed by 4 years of veterinary school. I went straight to college after high school and got my education first before getting married, but there were many students in my vet school class who were married with young kids. One was 44 when she started vet school with a 12 year old son! She had already been a lab technician for several years before that so her undergrad education was already out of the way. Becoming a veterinary technician is another option and it takes less time to complete the program.

A friend of mine that I grew up is a mostly SAHM with 5 daughters (including twins and a newborn!) and she works part-time as a yoga and fitness instructor.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I have been home for twelve yrs next year my youngest will be entering first grade then I plan o getting a job. I will be fourty four. I plan on getting some type of job at the local hospital. I am excited and anxious at the same time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

You can take a few courses a week while the kids are your main priority.
I went to the university on Tues. and Thurs. only. Other classes I took covered an entire weekend for two or three credits. (That is what Daddy is for) If you go for a few years this way you might have your degree by age 35.

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answers from Seattle on

Hi Lesley,

You mentioned wanting to be home when your kiddos are out of school...You may consider looking into working for the school district. There are paraprofessionals who work one-on-one with students who have special needs, office workers who have clerical duties, etc. I think there is some education required for these types of positions, but it would be less intensive than a 4-year degree. Positions (and paycheck, depending on the district) may not be year round, but depending on your financial needs, you might appreciate having the same schedule as your kiddos.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Start going to a Community College now. They have Counseling Centers where they can help identify your job interests. You can also go to the Workforce centers for this help too.

But go now so you can be ready then.

PS, it is never, ever too late to go back to school to get an education and a career started.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Be a nurse! You can't beat the flexible schedules. I did the 4 yr BSN program but many places still hire Associate degree nurses, so you could start there. I LOVE my job.

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answers from Seattle on

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answers from Seattle on

This is such a great question for many reason.

When I graduated I decided to go do the CC thing.....Then after a few eh quarters and no direction I quit and just worked....After marriage and babies I was pretty determined I wanted to become a mid wife...

Since we have stumbled into our current Political chaos I have thought about getting involved with Activism, and/or some more serious Politics...but from the every day people side. I dont want to be a Politician just yet...Although....maybe later down the road...

I have no clue how much schooling I will need...I have left all the tough choice up to a closer date for enrolling in College again....I still have at least three years until I have all three kiddo's in school full time....This three years will sorta help mold me and lead me in the right direction...I have to say I am glad I didnt waste time and money on what I was gonna go to school for.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I realize this is a few days late, I have also been looking into going to school for something (I have no idea what for) and I noticed that a lot of people suggested nursing. A friend of mine was a career counsler/enrollment counsler for a major online university and they cautioned me against the nursing field unless you truely and honestly have a passion for it and are planing to go to a community college/local major university. It is apparently a great field if your prepared for the schooling and are dedicated. Its a VERY competitive field. And While there is a HIGH demand for nurses, it isnt easy to "get your foot in the door" There is a Serious shortage of good programs so besure to do research about the graduates of any program you look into. Also LPN's are no longer getting hired by hospitals.
That friend also advised me to avoid Private and Online schools at all costs, get into a community college, the private/online schools cost more and while they are accredited, employers and other schools look down apon people who get their main education from these types of schools. There are alot of online classes you can take from local community colleges.
Sorry this was so long :)
I'm not trying to sound pushy or anything like that I just thought I'd pass along info from someone who had an upclose and personal experiance with people who were misinformed about nursing programs and online/private schools. (This person quit once they realized they were basically tricking people into paying more for a less useful education)

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