Brassey Weddings Masthead

Going back to study: yes, it’s possible

Rebecca Hamerton

Everything changes after having a kid.

You discover how little sleep a person can survive on, become a master of multitasking, and Peppa Pig is your go-to show. This can also be a time when you wonder if your career is going to fit in with your new role.

Maybe your job requires you to work long hours, or you have a long commute. Or maybe you just aren’t as passionate about your job as you once were. These are just a few of the reasons mums think about going back to study. Then the doubt creeps in.

“I will feel guilty if I put the kids in care so I can study”

This is a tough one.

Yes, you might feel the pangs of guilt and think it is selfish to put kids into care while you do something for yourself. But think of it as doing something to better the future for your family. Continually educating yourself can also help inspire your children in the future.

“It will be too expensive”

Everyone’s financial circumstances are different, but there are a few options for paying for your studies. You can apply for HECS-HELP which is a loan scheme for eligible students to pay their student contribution amounts.

Other assistance for childcare is available such as the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Child Care Rebate (CCR).

The best thing you can do is explore the costs and speak with Centrelink to see what other benefits you may be eligible for.

“I won’t have enough time”

You will never have time, but you will always manage to find it.

This is probably the hardest part of returning to study as a parent. You think you barely have time to brush your hair in the morning, but you can manage – you just have to be really organised.

Tips to make the most of your time

  1. Make a realistic study timetable. Factor in time for daycare pickups, drop-offs, buying groceries, work schedule, dog walking – everything.
  2. Take advantage of different study options. The University of Canberra offers a range of study options including online courses to help you study at times that suit your schedule.
  3. Ask for help. Maybe you can allocate time on the weekend where your partner or grandparent can take the kids to give you a few extra hours of study time.
  4. My mum’s advice was “It’s ok to have Weetbix for dinner”. Not every meal has to resemble something from a Donna Hay magazine. Sometimes you have to give yourself a break. Order pizza or sign up for a meal service like YouFoodz or Dinner Ladies and don’t stress the little things.

“I am too old”

Did you know the worlds oldest graduate was 97?

You may think you will be studying with teenagers, but in reality, 48% of Australia’s university population is made up of mature-aged students. You are never too old to learn, plus having more life experience will give you more motivation and focus to get through the course.

At the end of the day, you need to work out what is best for you. If you are thinking about returning to study, start by speaking to a careers advisor or even try this Career Quiz to see what job might suit your interests.

This is a sponsored editorial For more information on sponsored editorials, click here.


Rebecca Hamerton

Rebecca is a designer, mum and newly returned uni student. She spends her weekdays juggling studying, freelance design work and chasing after a two year old; and her weekends exploring her new city of Canberra, after recently relocating from Sydney. A career in travel marketing has taken her around the world, fuelling her passion for travel, design and, of course, food. More about the Author