Helen Tsing/Romper
10 Student Moms Share Why They Chose To Go Back To School After Having A Kid

There are multiple reasons why people choose to go back to school and finish a degree or tackle a new one, but having a kid can either make that choice easier, or harder. For some mothers, the motivation is simple: They want to build a better, more financially stable environment for their child or children to grow up in. They want to be able to afford college for their child, trips for the family, a larger house with more room, and anything their kid might maybe could possibly need.

Some mothers go back to school simply because they're interesting in continuing to learn, or because they want something just for them that gives them a sense of self and purpose that isn't attached to their families, and maybe not even attached to their current careers. Others still go back to school to set an example for their children, showing them that it's never too late to learn new things, or to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve.

Regardless of why, the decision to go back to school is more complicated when you're a mom. Trying to find a balance between raising your kid and doing well in school can be, well, really damn difficult. Many mothers hesitate to enroll back in class because the mom guilt is real and can spark that evil voice in your head that says "you can't do this" or "you shouldn't do this." The fact that more mothers are feeling empowered, comfortable, and capable enough to go back to school after having a baby is pretty amazing on its own. The social tides are changing and the idea that a woman must stay home (forever) after she has a baby is old, aged and laughably false.

So, in celebration of a woman's right to continue evolving, growing, and challenging herself as a whole person well beyond the point at which she becomes a mom, here are ten women on the reason why they decided to do kids and school at the same time.

Alison, 22

I decided to go back to school after realizing that my dream job could be a reality if I went back. I saw that once I get my degree I will be able to better provide for my children. I want them to look back one day and be proud of me for what I did.

Kayla, 26

I wasn't in the military anymore but had my GI bill and for my dignity needed to being doing something other than raising the kids. Plus the plan was for me to always go back to work once they were all in school — but [for] that, I would need a degree of some sorts!

Jessica, 28

The money! I could support myself just fine on my income, and my husband and I live very comfortably now, but looking forward to things like buying a house, paying for braces, helping with their college tuition someday, and being able to take nice family vacations... I want to give my baby the same comforts and luxuries my parents gave me growing up. And that's going to take a degree, no doubt about it.

Katelyn, 28

I chose to go back to school after realizing my then-husband was choosing a life of drugs and abuse instead of his family. I did it because I knew I needed to support the two little boys who were looking up to me wondering what was next.

Jordin, 29

I went back to school while pregnant/[when I had] a baby because of timing. I didn't think I was going to be accepted to the grad program to which I applied, so we decided to have a baby. Then, right after I found out I was pregnant, I got accepted. I wasn't going to let opportunity pass me by! I didn't know if I would have a spot the next year.

Nicole, 34

School was something I had put on the back burner for so long and had always intended to complete my higher education. I also wanted to be able to stay home with my baby, so I found an online program in my desired field and was able to be with my daughter while completing my program for almost two years!

Shannon, 37

I decided to go back to school because I felt like I started something and I needed to finish. I wanted to set an example for my son that it's never too late (but also, it would probably be easier to do it when you're younger).

Jessica, 33

When I got divorced, I knew I needed a career that would be stable and flexible which required going back to school, and being a full-time grad student also gave me some time to figure out single motherhood. I specifically started when I did because I knew getting divorced was going to f*ck up my finances (as does going back to school) so I just decided we'd jump all-in to being broke at once.

Samantha, 32

I chose to go back to school after becoming single. I know that it's solely up to me to ensure my son has a good, stable life and to show him that even when life knocks you down, you can always get back up and reach your goals. It's important to me for him to see me overcome hardships so that he will feel capable of overcoming his.

Jackie, 26

I wanted a better source of income for my family. I didn't want to struggle day-to-day working two jobs, never getting to see my daughter. Two years in school and not getting time vs her whole childhood spent working two jobs.