Having It All – Can You Really Run A Part-Time Business And Study For A Degree While Looking After A Young Child?

If you spend a lot of time on the web, you may see plenty of advice for mothers who want to stay at home with their kids but also make use of some of that time to do things that make money for the family, or help them in their careers later on when the kids are in school and they want to return to work.

Business, Study, or Both?

Running a home business is one thing that a lot of parents decide to do and there are plenty of options from working as a freelancer from home to starting your own e-commerce site, as well as other options like network sales or affiliate marketing, which can also be run part-time from home.

Another thing often suggested for women who want to use their time at home with their baby to help them in the future, is to do an online degree. Lots of good universities such as the University of Cincinnati have a huge range of bachelors and masters degrees you can study from home in your own time, from things that can directly feed into a future career like a masters in criminal justice (or online CJ degree if you don’t have a bachelor degree yet), to things that can help you move up in the corporate world if you return to your old career, like an MBA.

But is it possible, or indeed advisable, to try and do both? The short answer is yes, but how easy you’ll find this will depend a lot on how supported you are and how well you can manage your time.

How Much Time Do You Actually Have?

The first thing to consider if you are thinking of taking the plunge and studying and running a small business while you look after your baby at home is how many hours in a typical day you have that could be devoted to these things. This will depend a lot on whether you have help with childcare from your partner or family, how old your children are (and how many you have), and what your daily schedule is like. You may find you have time during the day when you could work on your business, and time in the evening when you could study, but be careful not to commit every spare moment – this will be too much pressure and you need some time to have fun and relax too!

Do You Mind if It Takes A While?

Of course, even if you don’t have much time at home when you could be studying on top of your business and baby, then you could still get some benefits by studying just a few hours a week if you don’t mind it taking a few years longer to complete your course. If this fits with your long term goals, then studying on a very part time basis is still getting you further forward than not studying at all.

It may not be easy, and whether it is possible at all will depend on your own schedule, but if you want to and aren’t too strict on how fast you want to complete an online course, you can indeed have it all and come out of your stay-at-home mom period with both a business and a qualification!

Photo: Maura24

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