At least, this is my plan. I'm still waiting for my high school transcripts to get over to the college and to hear the final word on whether I've been accepted into the program I've applied to. Once I hear back from that, financial aid should all fall into place as well. I have applied for the IT: Network Systems Administration program at the local technical college. It's a two year degree but after that, I should be able to find a job that will pay at least a decent wage (close to living wage if not above living wage at any rate). Looking for work wasn't really going anywhere and I suspect that 9 years out of the workforce with no recent job training is a good part of the reason for that. Rather than seeking out a full-time job at just slightly over minimum wage, I figured it would be better to take the time now to go back to school and get that degree. I can still look for part time work to contribute to our income but ultimately, going back to school is going to be the best bet at this time.
I've done my research. I was originally looking into the Administrative Professional program but after some consideration and research, decided that Information Technology was a better plan. The potential job growth is higher, the wage is higher, and I will be learning skills that can be used in a variety of places (even self-employment if I'm so inclined). I feel good about the decision I've made and I'm looking forward to the classes I plan to take. It will be a mentally challenging field for me to go into but not so challenging that I will feel overwhelmed and want to give up.
It will mean some changes. John has found a job working at a hotel overnights. He, obviously, will be home more with the girls during the day while I'm in classes (though most of them will be in the later afternoons and evenings). This may mean changes with homeschooling among other responsibilities but I think these will be changes for the good. I spent 9 years putting my full focus on our family and while that will be changing a little, I really do feel that it will help with my self-esteem and ultimately, improve our family situation.
I have struggled with the idea of going back to school for a long time. I was about the same age as my oldest (actually a year younger) when my mom decided to go back to school. It was hard for me because she ended up having to commute 50 miles and therefore wasn't there when I came home from school. Even after we moved, she still wasn't around as much and wasn't at many of the school events I had. She took longer to finish her degree though and was still in college when I started in 1999. I'm planning to get my associate's degree and go directly into the workforce. I have come to realize too that my situation now is much different that the situation I grew up in. It's not the same at all and both girls have had a lot of time with us and will continue to get time with us, it just won't be all the time.
It will be a challenge but I'm looking forward to it, looking forward to the needed changes and to feeling like I'm accomplishing something in my life.