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Whenever your spouse wants to go back to school, it’s not an isolated decision – it affects your whole family. My husband has not only gone back to school for a Master’s Degree, but is currently working on a PhD, and it has definitely affected our lives. I mean, we are living in Texas now, a state neither my husband or I had ever really wanted to live. And of course, the decision to pursue more education has affected our finances, the time we spend together, and our future.
As hard as your husband’s decision to go back to school is difficult on you and your children, it’s also challenging for him. The time commitment, the dedication, and focus required of him can be immense, and yet he still is a husband and a father, and often misses time with you and the kids. That’s why it’s important to be your husband’s support system and his biggest cheerleader!
Remember that you are a team. Your husband is sacrificing and working hard at school and work so that your family will be better off financially down the road. And that may mean that you need to sacrifice during this time too as you work to support him. The following are ways to support your husband going back to school as a stay at home mom.
5 Ways to Support Your Husband Going Back to School
1. Run the Show at Home
Cleaning, cooking, meal planning, doing the laundry, running errands, paying bills, going grocery shopping, and packing lunches for the whole family will make things a lot less stressful for your husband. I know my husband likes coming home to a clean home. It helps him relax, and allows him to more easily make or cook dinner for himself or the family (my husband is the chef in the relationship). Keeping the ship running smoothly around the home will help him focus on you and kids when he’s home, and less on things that need to be done. So, get a cleaning schedule in order, give the kids chores, and organize your days; be the most efficient homemaker ever.
And if a child wakes at night, try to take care of that, and let your husband get some sleep so he can focus better during school. Hopefully, he’ll let you sleep in on the weekends then, or take a nap.
2. Be Frugal
Going back to school can be hard financially, so be smart with your income. Take the time to sit down and create a budget together with your husband. (You can download a free Excel budget spreadsheet here.) Analyze your finances and see where you can make do without certain amenities. Look at ways you can cut down on your food bill, by using money saving phone apps, couponing, going without eating out, packing lunches, or other ways.
Use cash back sites when shopping online. Buy things secondhand. Learn how to drive smarter to save money on fuel costs and how to save money on moving expenses. Make it your hobby to figure out how to save money during college in order to make life more affordable. You don’t want your husband to quit school because he feels like it’s too taxing on your family financially.
One way we’ve learned to save money as my husband’s gone back to school is by switching our cell phone services over to Walmart Family Mobile. Walmart Family Mobile service is only $29.88/month (for the first line) for Unlimited Talk, Text & Data which includes up to 1G of 4G LTE data through T-Mobile’s network. Plus, the phones are as low as $19.88 for a ZTE Zinger. Even for an LG Leon LTE, it’s only $79.82 on rollback. Using Walmart Family Mobile has made it very affordable for both my husband and I to have smart phones without too much extra expense during college.
3. Generate a Little Extra Income
Chances are, with a spouse in school, you may need extra cash. Now may be the time to figure out a way to generate a little extra income to help pay for tuition, books, and those parking fees. It may be as simple as occasionally selling some extra items you no longer need or want, like your children’s outgrown clothes and toys. Or it may mean doing a little part-time work in or outside your home. That could be through offering childcare, dog sitting, cleaning homes, selling a homemade product on Etsy, or by working as a virtual assistant. I have, thankfully, been able to help support my husband going back to school through blogging. It’s been a great source of income for us and helps make life and school more affordable for our family.
4. Stay Connected
With long hours at school, doing homework, going to work, studying, and attending class, you may not see a lot of your husband during his time at University. It’s important to stay connected during these years as your marriage is more important than an advanced degree.
Despite time and budget constraints, you need to make time for date nights. They don’t have to be extravagant, and they don’t even have to be outside of your own home! I loved our Year of Dates gift that I put together for my husband. It made date nights easy and fun because they were already planned out. But, between date nights, it’s important to communicate regularly, which is why I’m glad we have our cell phones.
My husband and I often like to message each other on Facebook, keeping each other abreast of things going on, but also just to check in and say hi. We’ll sometimes call each other, and when one of us is running to the store, send a text to see if the other needs anything special while we’re there. A really cute thing you can do is send your husband a love text everyday! The Dating Divas have 365 Love Text Messages already put together for you to make it easy for you to do.
My husband will also take one or both of our twin five year old daughters to school with him occasionally as well in order to stay connected with them. They love the special daddy-daughter time, and helps them understand more what he’s doing.
5. Keep Positive
It can be easy to get discouraged while pursuing degrees. Help your husband stay positive about your decision to go back to school. Tell him how proud you are of him when he does well on an exam, scores a fellowship, or makes headway with his research. Tell him he can do it! Praise him for his hard work and efforts in all aspects of his life. And try not to bemoan the extra load you may have on your shoulders during this time. Lastly, be sure to pray for your husband, especially at stressful times during his degree.
What things do you do you support your husband going back to school?
Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to https://cbi.as/l8hy or your local Walmart for current pricing.
Great tips! My husband and I have taken turns being parents who go to college. He finished his degree first and now I’m *almost* done with mine. It’s hard work but worth it in the end!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Love this post Katelyn – these are some awesome tips! I don’t have a husband – but if I ever do, I hope I am as supportive as you are! Good luck to him – and you!
My husband isn’t going back to school, but he does work out of town sometimes. Due to this, I pay all of our bills, take care of scheduling appointments, take care of car maintenance and do almost everything in our house. It makes it easier on him and when he is home, it saves time for us to be together. .
I think all of these things are so important, especially generating a schedule and keeping organized.
Jen Walshaw says
Such important reminders. Thank you for linking up with my Back to School Resources this year. I have pinned this
i was just thinking , how to send my husband back to school to develop his positive attitude. luckily, i ended up here. now, i have a confidence that i can send back to school. thank you for this post