How Trish mastered the struggles of raising 2 children, studying part-time and working a full-time job
Have you ever met those people who seem to achieve anything and everything? Trish may be one of them. Her life seems so fulfilling and no signs of any struggles. Speaking with her, we find out there’s a lot more to her and where she is in life today.
Today’s post has been written by Trish and she takes us through her struggles of raising 2 smart daughters on her own, completing her first university degree at a later stage in life and now preparing for a career change.
Today’s post is encouragement for anyone who is thinking about making a change in their life. It’s never too late to start something new!
“I’d convinced myself that I didn’t have it in me to become academically qualified for anything and that university degrees were for “them” and not “me”. I’d left school with no enthusiasm to study and started working literally the Monday after school finished.
Studying at 37
What seemed to be a decision to finally take the plunge and start studying psychology part-time at 37 years of age, and over 10 years ago, was actually more like stepping onto a vehicle and into a never ending journey. I couldn’t have known that when I started studying as a working mother of two young girls, how rewarding the experience was going to be, on every level. I knew that I’d be spending my weekends and even some holiday time in my books, working on assignments or preparing for exams, but the confidence, self-esteem, and knowledge about myself was well worth it. I found it comforting to know that my children had their homework to do at the same time and that for most of my study they too were doing their own.
After moving country, job, familiar surroundings and support groups, we settled into a new life and I took a year off from my study plan. After a period of adjustment, divorce and all the complications that come with it, I completed my Bachelor’s degree and I really missed the feeling of learning and challenging myself.
My children soon grew up and moved away to university and I thought it was perfect timing for me to take on something new. I began an online Master’s Degree in Organisation and Business Psychology which was way more demanding than my previous study experience and involved weekly assignments and many hours shut away from social activities.
My stress went through the roof, I really felt the pressure to keep up, sleep enough, manage my relationship with my new partner, plan my holiday time, etc. I found it difficult to find the necessary mental energy after work to then hit my books for another 5-6 hours a night. It eventually became routine and with the support of my partner, I went through to the end.
My weekends once again became my own and I was looking for something else to keep me interested and mentally stimulated. I found a great course with the Open University on Performance Coaching, which had been covered in my Master’s but wasn’t a separate, standalone qualification. It was far less challenging. It was a lot more fun and I enjoyed working on it. It helped me in my daily work and with my friends and family. It has contributed to my “self-employment plan” for when I’m older and less dependent on a regular monthly salary.
Looking back over my journey, I really can’t believe that I’ve studied and achieved what I have, having told myself that I wasn’t one of “them”, those academically recognised people walking in and out of my life.
I can only be grateful for having had people in my life along the way who respected my choice to study throughout the years and to understand my lack of availability. This meant that there was near to no pressure for me to be doing anything other than what I wanted to do.
Myers-Briggs will have me know that I’m 73% introvert which helped me to stay at home, indoors while the weather went from sunny to hot to warm, to cool to rainy and back to warm and hot again over the years.
My children relied on friends to entertain them. We’d plan weekends in advance so that I could either drop them off early or collect a friend early. Once they were sorted, I could focus on my work. They did their homework alongside me, sometimes late into the night and early into the morning. They saw me stressed, tired, grumpy, elated and humble.
I now can confirm that my opportunity to study online as a part-time student, with children and a full-time job, move countries, find new jobs, make new friends was the most enriching experience I could ever have imagined.
My coaching qualification has helped me to now consider my own business. At the ripe old age of 52, I recently attended a 9-day-long school in Germany, one of the most inspirational life coaching sessions I could have possibly found. My interest in people’s behaviour, my own behaviour and thinking and the way to end all suffering (which believe it or not IS possible) has completely opened up my world to knowledge, people, experiences and love.
A new career
Since the German summer school, I’ve been working on my website where I plan to centralise my services and blogs and where I can build a future doing exactly what I’ve been planning since I was 37 years old. It’s a great feeling! My existing clients are word of mouth and are all excited with me about my project. That is even a greater feeling!
WE did it
I don’t remember a time when it was difficult to juggle between mothering, working, studying, and home-life however, I do believe that I’ve been blessed with the people in my life who support me as much as they do. Without that support, I would have done it anyway, but alone. This way, I feel that they were with me every step of the way.
When my eldest daughter passed her final Baccalaureate exams, I felt that WE had passed our exams and she tells me it was the same for her when it was my turn for my finals.
When she entered university back home in France, WE entered university in our minds with her.
When my youngest daughter followed in her footsteps with a wonderful Baccalaureate score, found her passion and followed it in France, WE felt the rewards.
We support each other, we respect each other and we get out of the necessary space for each of us to do what we need to do. We love each other and that means loving what the other wants for themselves and not standing in the way.”
We’ve found Trish’s story, her attitude towards the daily challenges and her motivation to enrich her life fascinating and thank her so much for sharing it with the Organised Life and Mind community.
How are you changing your life to live the life you want? Share your story in a comment below or contact us for a guest article.
Until next time,