Today, a lot of parents are going back to school. It is not strange to see adults going to attend classes.
There are a number of reasons that parents are going back to school. Some failed to continue with their education because of financial issues, while some just have the ambition to aim higher as the saying goes, the sky is the limit.
As much as personal progress is recommended, family members also have individual needs. What effects does studying have on the family?
For Esmie, who is studying for her degree at the University of Malawi (Unima)’s the Polytechnic, it is not easy coping up with both worlds.
“Besides family, studying affects society relationships. There are times when I have to attend funerals and miss classes as people would not understand if you failed to attend. As for family, my husband is very understanding when it comes to compromising the two; It is all about time management.
“I make sure that I cook for my husband over the weekend because that is the only time I can do it as I often knock off from school late during the week. So, if you plan your time well, everything will work out for you,” she said.
What is the situation like when both parents are studying? What happens to the family?
Andrew from Blantyre recalls the time he was studying at the University of Malawi while his wife was also at a boarding school.
“We had to send our two sons to my parents’. It is generally not easy. At least I know my parents will raise them well, but it could also spoil them.
“On the other hand, it could also be a source of encouragement to the children so they finish their education and not have to go back to school after starting a family,” he said.
While some are only studying, others have to juggle family, school and work. Thandi Msodola, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the Malawi College of Accountancy (MCA) in Lilongwe, is one such parent.
“It is a challenge, but in all, I manage my time. Monday to Friday, I go to work. Saturday and Sundays, I go to school. We are living in a world where everyone has to have an ambition. I know what I want to do so I have to balance family, work and school.
“I take out things such as bridal showers so I have enough time for everyone and everything. If I go to church on Sunday, it has to be the 6 am mass,” she said.
Studying parents might affect the family in a positive, sometimes negative way. The key issue remains managing time to keep up with various responsibilities. n