Do you feel your Degree was wasted by becoming a SAHM?

Elizabeth - posted on 11/16/2012 ( 59 moms have responded )

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I'm trying to get information from moms of all backgrounds and experiences to do independent research. After reading "The Conflict" last year, I became fascinated by American phenomena, such as the obsession our culture seems to have with women staying at home, working, breastfeeding and the like, despite being an American myself. I have found that I can walk down the same street and be told by 3 different people 3 different things about how my baby is either properly dressed, too warm or two cold. Everything is pretty subjective in this country. So, moms (and mums in UK), do you feel that getting your college degree before becoming a mother was a waste of time, resources and energy? What is your experience with employment after becoming a new mom (i.e. did you find it impossible to get a job due to childcare costs?, did you not have anyone to watch baby?, did you find frustration with not being able to get paid what you thought you were worth based on your degree?, do you feel that employers still aren't treating women fairly in terms of preferring to hire men over women (and if this is the same in small vs large businesses)?)? And for those who didn't have a degree before having baby, have you gotten a degree since? If you have ALREADY gotten a degree AFTER having baby, have you found that you can now earn a "livable wage" for your geographical location, or are the same pay rates available for people who don't have a degree? Do you think going back for your degree was truly worth it?



PLEASE share your experiences, frustrations and thoughts!

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Tracy - posted on 11/20/2012

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I had my son at 17. I was single until he was 4 then married my husband whom, 11 years later, I am still married to. I later went to college and graduated in May of 2009 with my Bachelors degree - a few months before my daughter was born. My life has been completely unplanned. Both kids were unplanned (daughter was planned, but appeared unexpectedly 8 years after we started trying) and my husband kind of snuck up on me too (never planned to marry). I am now a SAHM for the last 3 years (working occasionally to boost income). If the question presented is "do you think your degree was a waste when it comes to improving your job prospects and financial stability?" then my answer is a resounding YES. When I do apply for jobs, the only ones I am offered are for around $10-$12/hr which is what I was making before I spent $75,000 on a degree. What's the point in that financially?? However, if the question is "do you think your degree was a waste of time in life?" then my answer is NO. I grew and changed SO much during that time. I am simply much more rounded in my life and mind. I never realized how much it would change ME. That is priceless.



So, if you are going to college to better your financial prospects, choose something cheap and quick to get through - something with a hands on skill when you leave school: accounting, nursing, doctor, lawyer, mechanic, engineer, etc... Don't rely on soft sciences or theory fields to better your job prospects. Employers want to know what you can DO not what you KNOW - this goes for any field. If you are going to college to improve YOU, then choose whatever your heart's desire and learn to grow as a human being - then realize you will be repaying student loans on less than $15/hr while supporting a family.



On a small side note: There is something called social capital. It's the knowledge of the intricacies for a certain social class. Extreme example: low income parents can help their children navigate the world and systems according to their level - how to apply for social services, how to ride the public transportation systems, who to talk to for minimum wage jobs, etc... high income parents know how to help their children navigate preparing for college, managing finances, who to speak to for favors, etc... This is called social capital. I came from a family that barely graduated high school. They didn't know how to help me when I decided to attend college. I was completely on my own and at the mercy of counselors and teachers. But, now I have the social capital to pass to my children of how to navigate a college environment. I can tell them the things that will help them and things to avoid so their experience will be richer and smoother.

Margaret - posted on 11/27/2012

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This IS an interesting question. It looks like you've gotten a wide range of responses. Sometimes I think I wasted my time and other times I don't. I'm a new SAHM; only been at home w/ my two girls ages 3 and 19 mos for a little over 2 months. I have three degrees; a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Science and a law degree. I'm also licensed to practice law. I worked for a short time in the field I got my BS and MS in and a few months as an attorney. I had to switch to a higher paying job not in either field as working at Legal Aid only paid around $25k/year which wasnt' nearly enough to pay off my student loans, which won't be paid off for 9 more years. So, I spent 7 years as a working mom in a field that stressed me out beyond belief and that wasnt' really related to either of my degrees,but if I didn't have a degree, I wouldn't have ever been hired. I recently quit due to the stress this job was causing me,and I will likely have to go back in a few months as we really can't afford me to stay home and change careers and use one of my degrees as I'd hoped. Do I think I wasted my time getting those degrees? definitely not. If I could, I would go back and finish doing the clinical work for my Master's degree and work as an attorney. I don't ever think getting an education is a waste of time. However, I think a combination of practical life skills and formal education are needed nowadays to get a job. I think it will still be difficult for me to get a job even after only being at home for a year. Society looks down on women who stay at home w/ their kids in my opinion when in reality, most women who stay home w/ their kids do a hell of a lot more work than a lot of other people could ever fathom.

Sarah - posted on 11/21/2012

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OK so a llittle flip side for you all. I went to college right after High School and stayed 5 years. I managed to pull a bachelors and masters in social work by the time I graduated. I met my now husband in 1998 and have been with him ever since. I was fortunate that I had a college fund and made it through with no debt. But now I am 33 and a SAHM to 2 children ages 4 and 20 mos. I worked a lilttle here and there after graduating but also moved a lot, which made work hard. I don't think I regret getting my degrees, and I am glad I had the opportunity to get them. I do wish however that I had majored in something else. I miss work and feeling more useful, I am a social person and feel somewhat stunted being home with my children. Don't get me wrong I love them and choose to stay home, but make so little money working, after daycare expenses, it would be pointless for me to go back to work. I am definately not fufilled staying at home, I wish I was. Most of my friends my age all have much older children and I have the youngest. I feel left out because I always have them in tow and they are so young. I do aspire to go back to work one day. But I have another 4-5 years before my boys are in school. Its going to be a long HAUL...I do appreciate having a husband who has financially made it possible for all of this to happen...and he has no college degrees. he makes almost triple what I did at my last job.

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Why, Dee? Because you failed once? Decide what you want, and get it. You are NOT a loser, you simply have obstacles in your path that you must overcome.



Everyone has obstacles. Life doesn't work perfectly for anyone, and it rarely lets us follow the plans we lay out for ourselves, but if you really want something, you can work around what life throws at you. In reading your post, it sounds like you want to get out of your current situation, but you have no specific goal, and you let other people shake your confidence. I mean, you knew you wanted a degree, right? But you weren't confident about what degree you wanted and why you wanted it. Why? What was it that shook your confidence on the teaching degree?



I'm not asking to make you feel bad, but I can see in your post a frustration at having hit a wall, so to speak. You are determined, you want to go forward, but feel like you are at a big wall and don't know how to get around or over it. I think that if you have someone help you put your thoughts and goals in order, you already have the determination to get where you want to go.



Maybe I can help...nothing in my life has ever gone according to plan, but I'm pretty good at making it work. I'm not perfect, I fall on my face, I could probably write a book about all the "bad" stuff that's happened to me, there are days I want to curl up and cry, but I think that describes all of us, everyone. You know? If you look at it that way, it kind of puts us all on equal footing--you may not have had the same struggles as me, but we both struggled.

Lady Heather - posted on 11/16/2012

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I started out 30,000 in debt. It is a huge concern. I think definitely you should put a lot of thought into embarking on any education path. Degrees aren't the only way to get a job and these days it seems they are becoming the less practical path to be sure. All I'm thinking is that once you have it, you have it. I spent a couple years regretting my choice because of the cost, but there isn't much point in having regrets so I choose to focus on the positive. Granted, this is easier to do being married to a husband who does very well.

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Jennifer - posted on 01/07/2013

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I got an Associates in Early Childhood Education (2004), got married 8 months later (2005) and had my baby a year later (2006). While I have never used my degree outside of the home I do use it all the time at home :)

After I had our first child we both HAD to work so we worked opposite shifts since there was no way we could afford child care. My husband would go to work from 8-5p and then I would go to work from 6-midnight, sometimes 2a. After I left that job and got a new one, I worked midnight shift and then right after I got home my husband would go to work. I would get to spend less than an hour with my husband before I would have to go to bed for 5 hours and do it all over again.

Tracy - posted on 01/06/2013

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Ana Talie: I told my son pretty much the same thing. He's 16 next week and I have always told him that college isn't a golden ticket. Some people love college and it helps them. However, the world is changing and if you are innovative in your approach to life, you can make a great path for yourself. Look around, see the holes, see what's needed and how to help people and you might find a road special made for you to fill. Basically, I tell him just have a plan. Don't sit your butt on my couch as an alternative to college - get out there and DO something. The rest will find a way of falling into place. I tell him also that despite a plan, be willing to take a new road when it's presented, even if it means disregarding a plan. So many people plan and plan but STILL don't end up where they thought they would. The answer to life is accepting where you "end up" no matter how unexpected it all is! Misery comes from fighting where life wants to put your butt!

Tracy - posted on 01/06/2013

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I graduated in 2009 also. Granted, I didn't study solid stuff to say I am THIS (accountant, engineer, human resources, etc...) but I have been unable to find any job that pays enough to cover daycare costs (for one child) AND still bring home some money at the end of the day. We've done the math over and over again. If I were to accept some of these jobs at $10/hr (or thereabouts), then after $700-$900 in daycare costs depending on who you choose in this area and after taxes, I am only bringing home a few hundred per month. That being the case, is that benefit enough to work full time and even USE daycare? We've been on opposite shifts our whole marriage (the last 10 or so years). I went to school during the day and hubby worked nights to support us while I was in school. We are tired of not seeing each other and want to be on similar shifts. But, what it all boils down to, is that I can easily work a couple nights per week as a waitress and bring home the same amount of money (a few hundred a month) as if I was working full time and using daycare. But now, despite being an experienced waitress from my younger days, people don't want to hire me as a waitress because I have a degree AND small kids. They are afraid I will leave the moment I find something with better pay than a waitress - like a $10/hr job. They don't believe me when I say that I really DO want a waitress job with my degree because it fits my family situation better than a full time job (LOL, unless it paid like $18+/hr, which is unlikely!!)

I've also been out of the workforce, besides here and there jobs or seasonal jobs, for around 10 years. Everyone wants some impossible combination of a fresh face straight from college with no kids and years of experience who can dedicate themselves to nothing but work. Where do you find someone young enough to have no family attachments WITH years of experience? They are hard to find!

Ana - posted on 12/25/2012

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I do have to say that a degree isn't the be all to success. Both my husband and I, my mother and father got really successful without one, and I have friends who have degrees and can't seem to use them to their benefit...

But in my life, I think I can use it as a tool. When I get it, I will make it work for me.

Ana - posted on 12/25/2012

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I don't have a degree, but I have lots of college and work experience/education.

I was in the Military for 8 years and I had my child and got married after I had been in for 5 years. I found it harder to work once I had my daughter for many reasons. I was breast feeding as well, and daycare was an added expense at almost 700.00 a month (glad I could afford it and hubby could too).

Now that I have been out of the Mil for 1 year, I have continued to educate myself. Because from what I can see, I will not be able to make the same amount of pay and benefits that I once had without a degree.

This leaves me with no choice but to finish my degree, because if and when I do decide to get back into the workforce, I sure don't want to start out making what I did 15 years ago as a teenager, even with my experience, I would have to search far and wide to get my foot in the door, specifically because one of the first requirements in many of the job posts I see, is a specialized degree in this or that field.

So, 36 weeks preg now with my 2nd, and am planning on another year of schooling, at least...

Also, going back to work means that I will have 2 daycare bills. So what I make at work needs to be at least 80% more than what I have to pay out in daycare, or it's not worth my time.

I'm a real progressive person, so work for me means goals, and I can't accomplish much just spinning my wheels, and paying the biils, I have done this before, but I am at a different place in my life now and my time is worth wayy more than it used to be, but I have to prove that with a degree, don't I.

Michelle - posted on 12/17/2012

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I have a Bachelor's in Environmental Science with a minor in Fisheries and Wildlife. It took 7 years to get that degree because my student loans didn't cover everything so I had to work various jobs. While I was doing that I was also in the National Guard. Sometimes I feel my degree is wasted because I've been a SaHM for 9 years and still going. But in another sense I don't. I'm not good at school, but did enjoy it once I got to the latter half of college and took classes I was actually interested in. Between school, various jobs, and the military I got life experience that I would've never have had. I know now what I can do.

If I knew I was going to be a SaHM and would eventually go back into the workforce I probably would've gotten another type of degree like in nursing.

College is boring for the first few years. But just like in any job you have to pay your dues before you get to the part you enjoy.

Julie - posted on 12/17/2012

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I believe achieving ANY GOAL or accomplishment is NEVER a waste of time. This would include a college degree. The education, experiences and life lessons learned during that time in life are priceless and life changing. If you choose to use the degree, than even better. If you choose not to and be a stay at home mom, good for you. Your children will respect the fact that they have a college educated mother. They will know it is possible for them to achieve it as well.
I would recommend women who want a college education to do prior to child birth, but that is an ideal not a rule. My grandmother was in college at 74 year of age! You are never to old to learn.
I am a physical therapist who is able to both be at home with my boys and work in the field. To me, this is the ideal balance I try to maintain while my boys are young. Good luck on your paper, great subject too!

Toni - posted on 12/17/2012

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i have a degree in political science and decided to work in a different field after graduating so I never really used it anyway - though I guess formal education does give you a different viewpoint in the workplace at times. Now I have children and am at home I'm pleased I did it - I'm hoping to home school so just the knowledge of a bigger world out there will go a long way with that. I have no regrets, I'm an educated older mother that traveled a lot before having kids so I feel like I got everything out of my system and don't feel my kids are costing me anything.

I could have gone back to work but after surviving a natural disaster and hearing of some kids that lived locally and were the same age as mine being killed I decided that no amount of money was worth giving up those years for. Because we had waited we were fortunate enough to be able to make that decision and already paid of our home etc. We just miss out on some of the bigger luxuries.

Heather - posted on 12/17/2012

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Elizabeth DeSalvo- YES! You are right about Sallie Mae..I can't afford to work b/c of daycare costs so I run a in home daycare, well with that income can vary depending on how many children come in and go out...Sallie Mae certainly wants their money they call me often! I simply don't have it and there is nothing more we can do! If I worked I'd be be paying someone my entire payck to watch my children! So why not do it myself?! We need a new car and would love to buy a home but then that requires a good credit score well Sallie Mae has sure ruined that! I feel I did what I was supposed to do I graduated high school, went to a four yr. state university, and even worked in my field before having children ( but even this field is NOT high paying) and now here I am unable to get ahead in life the very thing I aimed to do with a college degree, b/c of the amount I owe for receiving that degree. Now, I graduated 2003! Received Pell Grants for all but my senior year when they were first cut! Until my senior year I owed very little less then 5k for that one year I owed more than 11k incredible!
I am a happy sahm running a daycare using my degree this way. I make very little money but being there for my children, well it's priceless!

Heather - posted on 12/17/2012

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I have a BS in Family Life and Human Services..my degree prepared me to be a Mother. I currently run an in-home daycare. I have my daughter with all day she's 3 and my son is in 1st grade. I stayed at home after my babies were born b/c daycare is outrageous and people in my field don't make a lot..but I feel I have found the best way to use my degree and be a good mother. Some day when my daughter is in school I will venture out into the "real world" and hopefully find a decent paying job that utilizes my degree..we'll see. For now I am happily at home, raising my children as well as my communities.

Judy - posted on 12/15/2012

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I don't think higher education makes you a well rounded person. You can enjoy learning and pass that desire for knowledge onto your children no matter what your background is. I do not have a full degree. I left college because I was interested in learning about everything but not enough to make it a career. After changing majors four time in 2 years, I did what I wanted most: got married, and stayed home. Since that decision 21 years ago I have: worked front end management, nurse's aide, teacher's aide, hotel cleaning and a variety of other jobs that all paid well and met a need at the moment. I have also cared for my own children and others, ensuring that they were given the best of care. This care included teaching them about the world around them, nature walks, hikes, crafts, music, educational field trips and the most enjoyable - the ability to just be still and be a child. My grandfather, due to life circumstances, never went past 6th grade. He was the wisest man I know. He was always reading, always learning, always listening.

What frustrates me as a SAHM is the belief that some hold that I do so because I am not capable or smart enough or too lazy to work. HELLO My day consists of: doctoring, psychoanalysis, chauffeuring, teaching, mentoring, personal assistant, chef, money management, laundry service, housekeeping, farming, gardening, food processing, tailoring, .... need I go on. Those are all high quality, high paying positions but I do them for "free" for my family. If I didn't do them would I be able to work a job that pays well enough to pay someone else to do all that well. And would I get as good of service from an employee as I know I do from me?

I have 7 kids and I hope they will make the best career choice for them be it college or highly skilled labor. They are all needed. My oldest is about to go the the state college on a full tuition scholarship and plans on studying abroad one year. My 11 year old has learning problems, we are encouraging him to go into mechanics. What he does with his life will be up to him to make the most of his opportunities. We are choosing to homeschool him. I find that all my life experiences help raise and educate my children.

With all that's going on in the school systems we are considering homeschooling all of the children. Well that opens another whole can of worms. People say my kids will be less educated, unsocialized, uncapable and so on. I say education, socialization and capablility is what you make of it.

Wendy - posted on 12/04/2012

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Let's see...I got a B.A. in Political Science and wound up teaching...that led to a M.A. in Education, Child and Adolescent Literacy. I became a Literacy Coach and a Reading Specialist. Then I got married to my husband who is active duty military. I stopped working after we got married and went back to school for a B.F.A. in Drawing. After I finished that degree we moved from TN to Jerusalem, Israel. My long term plan is to (hopefully) write and illustrate children's books. Because I was teaching I didn't face any problems in terms of gender discrimination, if anything my gender was in my favor. One of the reasons I went back to school for the degree in Art was because my husband was frustrated by my work schedule conflicting with his time off...and I hadn't ever really wanted to be a teacher although I find literacy to be incredibly important to me as well as interesting. I was originally an art major before switching to political science. Art, theoretically, is a very portable career. Anyway after we moved to Jerusalem, we are here for three years, I got pregnant (on purpose) and so I went from being a stay at home wife to a stay at home mom...baby boy is 5 weeks old so I'm not getting much done besides laundry and child care right now. I find this frustrating because I really do want to spend some time drawing and writing. I'm hoping as he gets a little older I'll be able to get into a routine that provides time for that. My husband is also o.k. with putting him into some sort of part time childcare so that I can work on my art. I don't make any money, at least not at this point, so paying for childcare would be a sacrifice. I appreciate that he believes in me! At this point though I'm not thinking that far ahead. I don't feel that any of my degrees were a waste of time. It never hurts to have an education and you never know what opportunities might come your way. In the meantime I know that being well educated can give you a broad perspective on the world. Maybe there isn't a tangible advantage to that and probably it doesn't really matter...but I'm glad that I know the things I know and that they add depth when we travel (for example my background knowledge in art/architecture when we went to Italy) or even living here in Israel. My political science degree focused on Middle East Conflict Resolution. I'm glad that I know a great deal about the Middle East, Conflicts, war, insurgencies, etc. It is also nice for my husband in that I can relate to his experiences in Iraq/Afghanistan in terms of unconventional warfare, etc.

Stacy - posted on 12/03/2012

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I feel like mine is a waste. First off when I got the degree, associates in healthcare reimbursement specialty, no one told me that it would be very hard to find a position entry level. I was blind sighted. I thought you got your degree and then worked in the field you went to school for, well not this. You have to start at the bottom like registration, which I was doing at the time, and work your way to the HIM dept., medical coding, then the position I worked so hard for. There are not alot of openings in this area and ones that are open require 2-3 or more years of experience in that position.Plus the people who do work these position stick to it for practically their entire life. The hospital I was working at the time, the woman in that position (yeah theres only one in the entire hospital) worked their for over 20 yrs.



So to sum it up I def. have not used my degree after searching for a long time even for positions below it. And in the midst of my searching I got pregnant so that will ensure me that my thousands of dollars were put to waste, because I am staying with my baby and plan on stayin homewith any more children we have

[deleted account]

I have been poor all my life, then went to an expensive private college on scholarships, grants, and loans thinking I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life, which would have been a very lucrative career. Halfway through I realized that was NOT what I wanted to do, but felt starting over at a state school would set me back and end up costing more. Not knowing exactly what I wanted to do, I changed my major to psychology with the thought that at least I could finish school and have a degree that would help me better understand, communicate, and relate to people in general which would come in handy in any field. After college I worked mostly in retail and restaurant settings for a while trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted something along the lines of social or community type work, but none of that seemed to offer a decent wage. At least what I could find that accepted only a Bachelor's degree, and I sure didn't have any money to go back and get a higher degree, nor did I WANT to without first pinning down exactly what I planned to do with it if I got it. I had a child unexpectedly and continued to work parttime at first, working my schedule around my husband's since we have no family or friends who are available to babysit and couldn't afford daycare. The business where I worked shut down and my husband decided that he would rather get a second job and have me home with the baby all the time than have to work full time AND, in turn, be Mr. Mom during the time that I worked. This works well for us since he makes more at either one of his jobs than I was ever making at any job I've had, so with both combined we're much better off than when I was working. It is a little ironic, and I catch a LOT of flak from certain friends and family for the fact that I'm the one with a degree supposedly "sitting home doing nothing" while my GED-educated husband works two jobs with us still struggling at times financially. I just have to remind myself that no matter what anyone else says, I shouldn't feel guilty, because I know what they don't- that that degree doesn't guarantee me anything, and had never gotten me anywhere anyway. It does, at times, make me just sick to look at my loan statements that I feel will never be paid off and I think how I am contributing very little financially (I do have a regular babysitting job, but it's not much) to our situation and have an $80,000 degree just sitting there. HOWEVER, I learned more about life, love, religion, politics, social issues, etc, etc, etc! in my four years at college than I probably have in the other 26 years of my life all combined. So that "unused" degree is bittersweet for me. I do not regret my experience, therefore I can't truly say I wish I hadn't done it or even that I had gone somewhere cheaper. I might not be who I am today without that four years in that exact place. And ultimately, I use my psychology degree every single day, though I don't get paid for it. I used it every day that I worked in retail, every day that I waited tables, and more than ever now as a SAHM! It has helped me be a better friend, it helps me in my marriage, it helps with my daily challenges as a parent, it helps in my ongoing struggles as a stepmom to a very spoiled, coddled little stepdaughter who needs healthy discipline and humbling boundaries, and most definitely has helped in our struggles with her bitter, vindictive, and HIGHLY manipulative mother who probably would have bled my husband dry, ruined our relationship, and then some long ago had I not had that psychology degree to bring to the dynamic! ;) Whenever I start feeling like I have a wasted degree or that I'm not a contributing member of society for not using that degree, I just try to remind myself of all of this and the fact that no matter what, I can't change the choices I made anyway. It is what it is, and now I just want to continue making the most out of the education and experiences I had. After being a SAHM for a while, I really feel that THIS is exactly where I need to be at this time in my life, regardless of having the qualifications to get paid to do something else. There will be time when my kids are older for me to find a new calling in life, but for now I'm confident that this is exactly what I needed that psych degree for! :)

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Elizabeth, I didn't really think about the funding issue, though it is an important issue. Sounds like you had a raw deal. I was lucky when I went to college. I went to my hometown college that my dad went to and they were very good at getting me financial aid. My dad wasn't well paid at the time so half of my fees were paid by grants, a quarter by loans and the rest we had to pay. I worked two jobs during term time, one at the college and one at a fast-food restruant (a job I had had since 16). Then over the summers, I had internships (as well as the fast-food job). All the work, I felt it did reflect on how well I did. If I had worked less I may have felt more confident when I had finished, but I still managed to graduate cum laude. This was 1998 and I had £20,000 worth of college loans to pay off but they were deferred while I went to grad school which was paid for partly out of all my wages and help from my dad. While at grad school in the UK, I couldn't work but we paid outright at the beginning. I was also fortunate that at this time my dad got a better job. It proved to be short lived in the scheme of things, but when I got married in 2000, as a wedding present he sold some stock options and paid off my college debt. As we paid for the wedding ourselves (I was working by then and we married on the cheap) I guess he felt he could do that. It was one of the best gifts a father could give his daughter. So I am very fotunate not to have any debt. My husband was one of the last years at univesity in the UK that did not have to pay fees so we are both debt free. He also went to university in his home city so he could save on living costs by staying at home. We've always been careful with money, never spending for what we don't have money in the bank for (except for the mortgage) so we've done well, but I must admit if it hadn't been for a supportive family and the ability to work I would never have done it. I am glad that I had to work for my education but that is only half of the story. Having a dad that appreciates the importance of an education has been the other half. So I do feel a bit guilty for not having used my degrees as such. However, my dad loves his two grandkids and wants them to both have the best start. He's happier that I am home with them (my mom was a SAHM). I hope I can teach my children the importance of education but I also hope I can support them in whatever they want to do. I will be happy if they are happy.

Jessica - posted on 11/28/2012

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Wow, what a crazy ride you've had. It's insanity.



I haven't had as many issues as you, but I have experienced the "you need at least 2 years experience". I couldn't afford to work for free...who the heck can??? That is today's major issue, after taking out loans, which I had a and still have a lot of, you can't pay them off due to lack of jobs. Most people want to get a job to pay off loans, and most the time it is impossible. My luck came when my husband got a great job right out of school. We are both well educated with advanced degrees, but I'm riding off his job and being a stay at home mom. I do want to be a stay at home mom but I also would like to know I could have a job in a heartbeat if his job goes bust. It's scary. I don't know what the future holds for our kids, but you just do your best and tell them your experiences. I really hope my kids won't have to take out a million loans and stay at home to work for free and then get a not so great job. It's scary.

Jessica - posted on 11/28/2012

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I feel that I am more well-rounded and had wonderful experiences in college. I got a BA in History and while at college, met my husband and wonderful friends. I got a Masters in Library Science and have yet to get a true librarian job. However, I am pregnant, so I will be a stay at home mom since my job was not worth my time or effort or gas money, low pay and boring! I do wish I had thought long and hard about the Masters, I really thought I would get a job right away, but employers never seemed to believe I am a librarian, perhaps they have a limited view as to what a librarian looks like. I didn't get enough experience while going to school, so I think that was the biggest mistake I made. I am settled in Sacramento so I can't really move to find a job, which I probably would find if I could move or live somewhere out of California. So, in hindsight, I wish I waiting for further education, gained real world work experience, and see if librarianship was really for me. I love books and love research, but at least I can use that in real life!

Victoria - posted on 11/28/2012

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Elizabeth, that seems so unjust that you didn't qualify for any funding. I graduated in 2003, I did have some loans, the last year and a half I didn't qualify for anything bc I was living with my husband but prior to that I was lucky and got scholarships and grants. I was lucky enough to land a full time job right after graduation but had already been working in my field prior to finishing school. I think the most important thing I learned from your post was to keep my education savings up for my girls. I am hoping to be able to fund at least 4 yr degrees for each. We started saving when each was born, and often ask for contributions to their educational funds in lieu of bday gifts and Christmas gifts. And yes here in CA too they check your credit history when applying for many jobs.

Elizabeth - posted on 11/28/2012

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Wow, there have been a lot of great responses and I've enjoyed reading all of them. One thing that I didn't really see were a lot of responses from moms who graduated recently, in the past 3 years who are new moms during the "Sallie Mae Crisis". The cost of college has increased 400% since 1990.



I personally put myself through college with no help and found that college is NOT for poor people, despite the lies told by the loan officers and companies like Sallie Mae. I was on my own since 14 since my parents lost custody of me and I survived serious childhood abuse. I never got ANY minority scholarships or any special treatment (and that's fine), but I had to rely on loans while working 2 jobs at all times full time since high school to support myself (also didn't get any support). I didn't get the Pell grant until I was a junior because my counselors were THAT terrible and told us it was OUR responsibility as the student to find our own financial aid, not the financial aid counselor! (The blind wandering a dark cave). I applied to scholarships every single day and got enough to cover what I was doing, but I made the foolish mistake of moving and transferring across country to "get to know my dad" because he "wanted to be in my life."



That lasted about 3 months and I was back on my own. He lost interest. I had a LOT of problems to get over, primarily financial and then a health condition that made me almost not graduate, but I was able to finally pull myself through and even completed my dream of studying abroad one semester. Unfortunately, there were no jobs in 2009 when I graduated in October. I applied to over 300 positions (here in NY) and went on over 100 interviews. It was all the same- "Not enough experience, we want 10 years" or "You have to work for FREE first and then you get a paid position." For someone who has to rely on themselves to pay for living in the most expensive state, you can imagine how a job is necessary. I took the WORST job ever at Toys R Us, did freelance work and lived in a tiny studio in terrible conditions eating a lot of ramen.



So I eventually met my husband, got married, had a baby, etc. Finally found a full time job. Then that place closed due to the owner having problems, etc. But Aunt Sallie Mae doesn't care I had a high risk pregnancy or lost my jobs or broke my hip and couldn't work. I had been making payments, but soon had no way to. In fact, because in 2009, we all had to sign an "amendment" to our original loans, the interest rate and payment can change at any time. I agreed in 2005 when I enrolled to pay $119 a month after college for 10 years. Now, Sallie claims because I HAD to take out loans and signed their documents, that I owe over $800 a month. I cannot pay that. I also can't pay their "discounted" rate to pay the interest. In fact, when it's all said and done, I will owe SIX TIMES what I borrowed because of fees and interest, etc. I can't pay less because it's "not allowed." Falling into default is the ONLY way to bring my credit back up which is now totally gone. And, the kicker? Jobs in NY are now using CREDIT SCORES to deny employment in Ny. So, if your credit was destroyed by Sallie Mae refusing to accept less than $800 + a month, you can't even get a job to pay them back!



My own personal experience leads me to question just how many new moms are experiencing this as a recent documentary on the Sallie Mae crisis is being released soon (if it hasn't already) and how 15 MILLION were affected. What will this do to the economy? Is this is burst of the Education Bubble?



Many here have said they did it because they "like learning." Now you can get FREE education and get certificates to show you completed courses at corsera.org. So, if education is now available without the debt we can never pay off and the situation is as I described for so many more, what does this mean for new moms today? What will this mean for our kids? How can we work and make money without leaving the home?

[deleted account]

Yes and no. I grew up in America but came to the UK for grad school and stayed (marrying a Brit). I think I only went to university because it was expected. I went to grad school because my dad agreed to part-fund it. However, he drew the line at funding a phd. That's what let me down because without a phd, you can't go far in archaeology. In the end, I got married and worked as a secretary so my husband could finish his schooling. Then we had kids. I gave up work before having the second and it was the best decision I could have made. While at home, I wasn't idle. I spend the next few years qualifying as a bookkeeper so that I could work from home once the kids were in school full-time (which was this past September). I'm not doing anything related to my degrees, but I'm happy I had the education. My bachelor's degree was at a liberal arts college so I was able to take a range of courses. This means I have a smattering of several different subjects. This also means that as my children start asking about the world around them I can respond knowledgeably. Whenever something comes up, we try to make it a learning experience. Like when my 6-year old son watched a tv show where something became visible because of UV lights, we tried to explain about the light spectrum so he understood what UV light is. He may not understand it perfectly, but hopefully some of the stuff we tell him (and our younger daughter) start to sink in.



So I'm glad I went to university, but sometimes I feel bad that so much money was spent on an education that wasn't used. But then again, just because I'm not an archaeologist doesn't mean that I haven't used my education. I'm happy where I am and I try not to have regrets.

Stephanie - posted on 11/27/2012

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I'm from Canada and am thankful I got my degree before becoming a mom. Now I can focus on my family. At times' it think it would be nice to be working and earning money, but I am thankful for the opportunity I have to stay at home with my babies. I feel like my degree is a safety net. If anything was to happen to my husband I have a degree and a career to fall back on to support my family with. I worked for a few years before my first baby. I am ver satisfied with my career and look forward to returning when my kids are in school.

Stephanie - posted on 11/27/2012

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I'm from Canada and am thankful I got my degree before becoming a mom. Now I can focus on my family. At times' it think it would be nice to be working and earning money, but I am thankful for the opportunity I have to stay at home with my babies. I feel like my degree is a safety net. If anything was to happen to my husband I have a degree and a career to fall back on to support my family with. I worked for a few years before my first baby. I am ver satisfied with my career and look forward to returning when my kids are in school.

Anna - posted on 11/27/2012

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I have a degree in Physics, which I have never used. I had a hard time finding a job after graduation, and ended up as a stay at home mom. I do plan on going to work when both of my kids are old enough for preschool/school. I don't however plan on using my degree as it was originally intended.

Even though that degree cost me and my family a lot of money, time, and extra stress, I do not feel like it was a waste. I learned a lot from the experience and I apply that knowledge everyday. Because of what I learned in the process of acquiring that degree, I have confidence that I can do well in any field that will eventually be working in.

Love Being A - posted on 11/27/2012

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Educating yourself is never a waste of time, resources or money! It doesn't matter if your a single 18 year old or a married mother of five. There is always time- thanks to a wonderful invention called Internet! I have a business degree, and almost finished with a marriage and family counseling degree. I also plan on obtaining my RN, after all I can't stay home forever... I would go nuts! Lol

I have found that my business degree has allowed me to manage my home, multitask and teach my children responsibility. My counseling comes in handy daily... Preteen drama and all that.

I am an EMT so super excited about being to start nursing.... I have planned on doing this for years! Waiting for my children to be old enough... Then I got pregnant again so I am doing my best, saving what money I can to pay cash for my classes... Hence the reason I am not quite finished with BRE in counseling, lol. Kids are expensive...

Is it frustrating? Yes, in a way it is... I want to contribute in the monetary aspect of the home. I want to not have the guilt of buying a pair a pants or a new top. Maybe that is why I still wear clothes from ten plus years ago. I still have all my skinny girl clothes, just incase I will ever fit into them again! They are designer and still brand new!

Beth - posted on 11/26/2012

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My degree is in English, so I've had some mild success as a freelance writer while also being a SAHM. I guess technically that makes me a WAHM, but I don't take all that many jobs. I don't fee like my education was a waste of time or money, it was a very worthwhile endeavor, college was amazing and I never wanted it to end! (Not just for the partying, I really enjoyed learning!) It's okay to want a career and earn a degree, but to change your mind when you have children and become a SAHM. Why do we have to choose one path or the other when we are so young? That's ridiculous! And not to mention, the children aren't little forever. Plenty of moms return to the workforce when their children enter grade school. A degree doesn't expire, you can use it in the future too.

Amrit - posted on 11/25/2012

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I rushed right into college after highschool and never thought anything of it, until about 4 years later when I still didn't have nearly the right credits for my degree (lol what degree program, I thought I was just here because I liked learning different things). I decided that I was experiencing burn out and that I needed time off from school, and that I deserved it because I hadn't taken a year off before diving in. So I traveled the US and went to India, where I met my future husband. We got engaged in Borneo and then I flew home and traveled the west coast some more. Then I planned on returning to school, however being back home at -40F without my fiancee or a job was not very appealing, and I also didn't have a job again yet, so I hightailed it back to India and got married instead. Five months later I was back in the US and determined to go back to school in the fall. I did, but I no longer had any passion for it, especially because I had taken all of the interesting and "fun" classes already and now had to trudge through the "core". I struggled thru the semester and made it out with average marks. Then I went back to India over the break to be with my husband. Then once again I returned to go back to school, but it was even worse than the previous semester, and I barely passed my classes. My heart was half a world away, and my mind could care less about math 103x. Then came summer and the joy of my husband getting his US visa. After a wonderful summer, the fall semester loomed once more. I spoke to an adviser and found that I still had a year and a half worth of study (full time) remaining. Discouraged and dismayed, I took part time classes because I was pregnant and working full time. Worst idea. I failed two out of three classes and have morning sickness and migraines to blame. The first trimester lasted half of the school year and by Christmas break I was tapped out. I had to quit my job as a small restaurant manager (food smells and morning sickness clash) and I swore I would not take classes in the spring because I was not about to be studying for finals with a newborn. Best choice I ever made. Which brings us to today. I still have a year and a half left of my degree, and I have a 7mo girl who I can't see spending hours away from every day. I still do not have my passion for school back yet, and I just figure I will wait until I am stir crazy at home and then I will really be able to appreciate it. My husband keeps asking when I am going to finish my degree but I just say I don't know. Truth is, I never went to college to get one in the first place, and if I had one I don't think I would be doing anything different than I am doing right now. My daughter doesn't ask what my qualifications are for being her mother, and my husband is happy to be the provider for the family. I am not afraid of being helpless if for some reason I needed to take care of my family, so I just don't see the rush for that piece of paper. That being said I have been warned by elder women that I never know what could happen and a degree is a tool and a useful one at that for getting around in this modern world. I have given myself another 7 years to finish it. So that's my story...

Charlotte - posted on 11/25/2012

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I'm a sahm in UK. I've got a 3/12 year old and a 5 month old. I've got. Im 25 and have a Degree in Accounting and Business Management. I finished my degree when my first was a years I failed my final year exams trying to juggle 3 3 hr hours exams a day for 4 days while breastfeeding a 2month old and a FTM. I finally went back and added more debt to complete my degree I haven't yet used it in an actual job but I help my husband in his business with budgeting and money related things unofficially. I am so happy I have that degree although I can afford to be a stay at home mum I like to know if push came to shove I could provide for my kids myself and be a good role model. I plan to go to work part time when my kids are at school as I still love business and accounting. I don't mind the debts as we don't have to pay it back until I'm working.



In this economy u need a degree and anything can happen in the future when my kids are much older and don't need thier mum so much I would be bored and need to focus on career again. I'm still quite young and have the best of both worlds. I haven't had high wages to miss so don't mind being a stay at home mum and living modestly. I can enjoy my children without having to pay for ridiculously expensive childcare. I have no regrets and am proud to be an educated mum and expect the same from my children. I'm happy my kids are happy and I can follow a career when I'm ready to pick up my proffesional qualifications again. Hope this helps ur research

Linda - posted on 11/25/2012

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But yes if you have a degree already most degrees last forever some you might need to fine tune update your skills and it would be fine so no i dont think those moms wasted their money.......

Linda - posted on 11/25/2012

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I feel that trying to do online school is a waste they cost so much higher stealing pell grant money and making moms go into debt by saying you have to take stanford loan then if you pick the choice of them keeping the money you think they return it they dont they sit on it and you are still stuck with the bill......as i could not pass algebra I could not finish my degree with that school well its nice too know nothing I accomplished transfers .....so i am stuck with a 13000 bill and no degree

Sherri - posted on 11/24/2012

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Yup and I am perfectly 100% okay with that. I have now been a SAHM for going on 13yrs and my degree is so antiquated it would mean just about nothing.

Elizabeth - posted on 11/22/2012

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This is an interesting questions. I am a SAHM of 16 years. I married late in life (33) and was working as a computer programmer 10 years before I met my husband. I did not have a degree but had taken lots of classes in programming and business. I was able to work, buy a house and live comfortable. After I had my first child I quit working to stay home. Now my sons are in high school and I am considering going back to work. I am now considered a bad hire because I have all this knowledge but no degree. I do not really want to go back to school. I have two sons heading to college and the money is best spent for their future. I am happy that my sons accept that college is in their future. But I hate that we have gone down the road that our value is based on that piece of paper. My husband had to quit college three years in because his father was sick with cancer and his mother could not take care of him alone. He then went on to work as an engineer and worked 18 years as the boss before a corporation bought the company and told him he would lose his job without a degree. He went back to school and got the degree when the kids were little. It did not make his paycheck fatter but it did give him some job security. Corporate mentality.... I just wish we would stop trying to make the same box fit everyone.

Sarah - posted on 11/21/2012

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This post is for Sarah Van Benthem......Sorry I did not know of any other way then posting on this thread. So I hope you do get a chance to read this. I too have a social work degree (only bachelor's level). I also have a 1yr old...plus two older ones, so kind of in the middle with knowing about the older kid stuff but can relate to the younger kid life of dirty diapers, naps, and being needed hands on more. I also stay home, but work for an adoption agency doing home studies. I thought I would mention this to you as maybe an idea of being able to work a little but also stay home. Usually I have a couple meetings a month, so it allows me to get out but does not over take my wanting to be at home. I then do my typing during naps or when the kids are in bed. This way I don't have to get a sitter. Anyway, not sure if this type of work would interest you or not but thought I would put it out there. If it is I would check with agencies lis. in your state and then send out resumes. Just because they are not located in your town does not mean they would not hire you. The agency I work for has workers based out of their homes throughout the state. That way when a client comes from a certain part of the state they have a worker available to them that is not too far away.

Charity - posted on 11/21/2012

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dee...i haven't worked in 5 years and feels guilty everyday! My husband works and i stay home with our 2 kids. I have a AA degree. We are in need, badly, of a second income but it seems that noone wants to hire someone who haven't worked in 5yrs. I don't no what else to do.

Linda - posted on 11/21/2012

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My parents didn't want me to go to college. They thought it was a waste of money and that I should spend the time looking for a husband and save my money. They never did or could understand me. But, no regrets. My degrees are part of my life. Those experiences helped mold me to who and what I am today. They were the most stressful and rewarding years of my single life. I just hope my kids get to experience college life. If not, it's okay. It's their life to make happy.

Emma - posted on 11/20/2012

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Hi Elizabeth, this is such an interesting topic :) I have a law degree and followed this up by going to law school, but have never actually used either qualification. Instead, I got into modelling, met my husband and had my baby :) to be honest, I'm more than happy to have children now while I'm healthy and young, and while my husband and I are comfortable financially. I would like to do my Masters in law at some point, and look forward to using my degree once my child(ren) are older - that's the plan anyway!! When I was modelling I also really got into fitness and nutrition, so if I don't pursue a legal route later, would like to retrain as a personal trainer and nutritionist, particularly child nutrition. Hope this helps?! :)

Bethany - posted on 11/19/2012

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I'm in Australia. I finished High School completely, when I was 16, in '91. I worked menial jobs did a missionry course and travelled the world until '97. During that time I completed a Horticultural Certificate at college. My boyfriend at the time and his mother were very pro Uni. and encouraged me to go to Uni. so I did. I started a B.Arts, with no particular major, but interest in Behavioural Science and Marketing. I ended with a double degree: B.Arts in Behavioural Science and a B.Bus in Marketing after 4 and a half years. I will never pay for my degrees, in Australia we don't have to pay up front, and defer the payment until we are earning good money. There is an income threshold that needs to be met and then the payments come out of our tax as a percentage each year, like about 6% once you are earning over about 50G. I never met that threshold and never will. There's about $27000 the gov't will never see.



I worked as an office assistant for a year and by that time split up with the guy, (during Uni actually). I then ran back to Horticulture, worked for myself, with private gardening clients, and then got work in high-end garden maintenance with a company. There, I met my husband, left gardening professionally, got married, and worked in another office, an inbound call centre caring for shipping exporters. We then finally got pregnant after trying for 2 years, and I havn't worked for money since.



My degrees were so vague, they didn't really have any set purpose. Like nursing or teaching or law, etc. I gained the ability to research, to know what is really being asked, and what kind of answer people want or expect. Howto hone down a question, and understand what is the motive behind the question before choosing an answer. I taught me that I can stick to something for a long time, even when the motivation is long gone and it just needs to be finished. It taught me about child and developmental phychology and development and I have applied that knowledge, and furthered it, to my family's benfit. I can market more than products, I can market playgroup, myself, stuff on ebay, our house to sell, anything.



I havn't ever waived my degrees in anyone's face to get a job, I don't even know where they are, in a file somewhere. but I know how to do things because of them. I know how to study something, like infant and child nutrition, instead of asking for anecdotal advice on this and other subjects, I can read and interpret medical, etc, papers and journals confidently. I am confident in my ability to educate myself in anything on which there has been publication.



Uni, like travelling, puffs my chest up and gives me confidence and that is transferable to any part of my present life. I can't remember most of what I learned at Uni to pass an exam or write a paper, but the personal growth can not be lost. I have no intention of ever working again, I'm going to deliver my kid's academia at home which will keep me busy until I'm in my 50's. We have an affordable mortgage, and an affordable lifestyle on my husband's quite mediocre wage and we like it that way. I think we are actually considered lower-middle class with regards to income, but it doesn't seem that way for us, we're not techy people, and both love renovating and gardening and camping. I've never experienced a gender difference regarding wages, as I've never known other people's wage where I've worked and don't care to know.



As for subjectivity? that's a survival mechanism.

D. - posted on 11/19/2012

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A lot of jobs require a college degree. I know that without mine, I would not have been able to get into the industry that was my career before becoming a SAHM.



My daughter wants to be a vetrinarian. Guess what she has to do? Go to college.

[deleted account]

I wanted desperately to go to college--having spent 9 years of my childhood homeless, I thought college was the ticket out. I knew it wasn't easy, it was expensive, and I had to work HARD. I earned over $80k in scholarships, and was confident loans would cover the difference if I chose a public, in-state college. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with cancer during my senior year in high school and would spend the next 4 years fighting that off while the deadlines for my scholarships floated by. 2 years in, I no longer had any scholarships and student loans were out of the question due to the massive medical debt I had accumulated.



Still determined to own a home and drowning in debt, I started a web based business from my hospital bed that matched up printing & product vendors to professional photographers. As I could afford them, I took classes online through a community college. I had to pick and choose classes that taught what I needed to know at the time over those that would earn a degree because I could only afford a few at a time, and I needed specific info to grow my business. I worked hard, grew my little business, and eventually got healthy again. By my 24th birthday, I had earned my first million and paid off almost all of my medical debt. A lot of people said that all this work I put into creating my company was pointless--it would be wasted effort if I didn't survive cancer, but I think it gave me something to live for. If I hadn't worked, what would I have to look forward to once I left the hospital? I'd just be homeless again.



So, I didn't need the degree after all, but even though I am now a SAHM, I would still like to have gotten it. I wanted to be a graphic designer--I know I will never be qualified for that position, and that stings a little. I do love my jobs--I've since sold that business and started 4 others, all but one have been successful-- but none were my dream job. The only jobs I am qualified for are jobs I create for myself. I doubt anyone would ever hire me, as I have never actually held a job as an employee--even as a teen, I worked for myself taking trash out for a string of restaurants. Now it would be described as an independent contractor job, but I was kid hauling trash for $5 a trip.





I do want my son to go to college. He wants to be an architect, and that requires a college degree. He knows it's expensive (I have the funds set aside for him, but I stress that college is an investment not to be wasted), and he knows not everyone gets in--he has to work hard, be at the top of his class, and ALWAYS do his best, no matter what. Just because he gets sick, or gets tired, or fails once, twice, one hundred times, that is no reason to slack off and settle for less a than perfect performance.



I think that if a person knows what they want to do, and their chosen career requires a certain degree, they should definitely go to college. That said, if they are not committed 100%, I think it's alright to skip it. If you are going to do something, put everything you have into it, and you will succeed.



Also, I totally agree with Sally about starting your own business--that is the only option I had to earn enough to eventually buy my house--but a lot of people underestimate how much determination it takes to make a business thrive. I see a lot of people fail because they think they only have to work 50 or 60 hours a week, they refuse to invest more funds into their business because they want to spend their earnings on luxuries too soon, or they fail a couple of times and give up. It's harder than that.

Sally - posted on 11/19/2012

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I don't have a degree or intend to get one either. College was boring and much more focused on bureaucracy than on actually learning anything. I've learned a lot more on my own at the library than I did at any level of school and most of that was a lot more useful. Besides I was already making more money (and having more control over my life) as a fast food manager than my freshly graduated friends were in their "better" jobs. My husband did suck it up and get the degree. I always had easier jobs with higher pay than he did until I became a professional mom. :) I've never once regretted dropping out. (Though I do occasionally regret not joining the Marines. That would have been a lot more useful in the real world.)

The idea that you NEED a college education is one of the biggest hoaxes we've got right now. 50 years ago when only the best and brightest went to college, the jobs that required a college degree were the best jobs to get. Unfortunately, people thought you got those jobs simply because you went to school for a few more years instead of realizing you got them from being the best and brightest. Suddenly, everyone thought they needed that extra school regardless of whether they were capable of it or what they would actually do with it. When everyone has one it's not a big deal anymore so you need more and more to get even the most entry level jobs and when everyone wants one the people handing them out can make the hoops you jump through to get it more ridiculous.

Now we're spending tens of thousands of dollars for 4-6 years of drinking and screwing around to make less money and have a less fulfilling life than the average skilled tradesman. To make it worse, because skilled tradesmen are now considered "lower" than college graduates, we don't have enough of them. And a lot of people are in college who really aren't equipped to handle it. I have no interest in wasting my time and money to jump through bureaucratic hoops when I can have a much better life without it. Besides, history has shown that the way most of the happy rich people in the world got that way was to take a dream and a work ethic into their parents garage while they were still in high school. That's what I'll try to get for my kids.

Charity - posted on 11/18/2012

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I'm still contiplating that myself. I have a 4 yr old and a 1 yr old and haven't worked since '07. I have an AA in business and trying to decide if its worth getting a loan to go back. My husband had a bad experience with that and to this day is still paying for it now so i would like to know the answer to tha too?!?

D. - posted on 11/18/2012

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My degree is in Performing Arts, and I use it recreationally within performance groups as well as teaching dance as a volunteer at my daughter's school.



My career before choosing to be a SAHM was not related to my degree. I worked in the insurance industry. I did work for about a year after becoming a mom, I quit working once we became financially stable on one income. Childcare cost was not an issue while I worked, I made good enough money that I wasn't working to pay for daycare. The problem was my not trusting any daycare provider and feeling I was the best for the job. (Or my husband, of course.)



I worked in what was once a male-dominated field, but it has been more equal as far as women working with the men. I didi not find a gender gap in pay.



I don't feel my degree is a waste. I found that in order for me to get through college, I needed to get into a program that I enjoyed rather than being driven by what would make me the most money. The experience of going to college was great for me, and I encourage the same for my daughter.

Victoria - posted on 11/18/2012

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I have a degree in education. I worked prior to having children and am now a SAHM. Do I think my degree was wasted? Absolutely not. I am the person I am because of the experiences of my life, college was a huge part of that. It shaped a lot of my beliefs and made me infinitely a better, open minded person. Plus, my degree is applicable to my everyday life, I teach my children daily, I understand different aspects of how they learn, the effectiveness of different approaches, have the knowledge of various schools of thoughts in the educational field. I was lucky and worked for several years prior to having children so I was able to.pay back most of my loans. I feel complete, whole because I had the opportunity to go to school, to travel abroad and work. Had I not had those opportunities I might have resented the mundaness of everyday child rearing, and not have been able to enjoy it. Plus, I set a good example for my daughters, I want them to go to college. I want them to experience life before they have children, I want them to be able to give 100% of themselves to child rearing when the time comes. A degree is never wasted, the process of obtaining one is priceless.

DEE - posted on 11/17/2012

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I wasted my 20's and 30's on trying to get a degree. I could write a novel on that journey. The comedian Chris Rock had a very good saying: "When you're poor (as I was )...then you get one ticket, one chance". I had low confidence and switched my major from teaching to something else. That was the biggest mistake in my life. I'm 39 now. Anyway...I wasted that time chasing a piece of paper instead of having a family. I had my first and only daughter at 35. I have no degree now and it's not from lack of trying. Sometimes, I didn't have enough money to finish a class and I tried LPN at a really bad school which was the final nail on the coffin of my pathetic career journey !!! Half of my class dropped out of the nursing program because it was bad. You can't take an autodidactic approach to nursing...you can't teach yourself. Uggggh ! So now I sit here trying to think of some 2nd shift job I can do. My high functioning autistic child needs me during the day. I think you also be allowed to explain on your resume that you were a sahm. I mean...an employer is just gonna gasp when he/she sees that I haven't worked in 6 years. I've just all about given up. I'm volunteering at a hosp. now so maybe that will lead to a job. Thank you pathetic student loan system !!!!

Jodi - posted on 11/17/2012

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I did my degree in Psychology & Sociology many years ago, and have just this year gone back (now at age 43) and turned that into an Education degree, so I am now a teacher and heading back to full time work next year. A degree is never a waste of time. Just remember, there IS life after being a SAHM. One day, your kids will be at school, or leave home, and you may want to go back to work. Those skills you learned will always be with you. Sure, you may need to brush up on it a little, but you don't lose the skills.

Sarah - posted on 11/17/2012

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I don't think a degree is ever a waste of time no matter if you go onto having a job in that degree or not. You have gained knowledge and knowledge is power. You have learned many life experiences getting that degree and those experiences both good and bad teach you for what tomorrow brings. Can you have experiences without getting a degree....yes, but that does not mean the experiences you experienced while getting that degree make that degree a waste of time. I also feel that you also role model to your kids that education is important. There are lots of people that have high paying jobs without having a degree, but there are also many high paying jobs that require a 4 yr degree....sometimes it is in a certain area and sometimes it is just a 4 yr degree.



My degree is in social work, I have a job that allows me to work from home doing social work. Do I feel I get paid differently beacause I am a female.....no I feel I get paid differently because I work with children. Your teachers, your social workers do not go into getting their degree so they can make lots of money. They go in to it because they love working with kids. Did I have debt getting my degree...Oh yes! Lots of it! I went to a private out-of-state college, so it made it even more expensive. But college is also an investment. I feel there are three types of debt that I am ok with having in my life.....college, home, and vehicle. I think you have to be wise in spending your money in all three of those debts. You should buy a house that is within your means, as the same with the vehicle. College is the same.....apply for grants and be serious about learning. Mine and my husband's loans were both paid off in 10 years after graduating.

Keren - posted on 11/16/2012

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I think we all wish we had a child psychology degree to help us understand our crazy children.

Elizabeth - posted on 11/16/2012

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This is an excellent point: a formal education does help a person become a more well rounded individual and teach children. But how about moms who went to school, took out loans because of no other way to pay for school? What happens to them and are they ever really able to pay off their debt with unemployment so high in recent years?

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