Dear Barb

Dear Barb:

I am a 35 year old man with a wife and two young kids. I’ve been out of school since high school, working at dead end jobs. My wife works part time and is quite busy with the kids. I have mentioned to my wife that I would like to return to school and she was not very receptive to the idea. I know she is concerned about how we will manage financially while I am in school. I’ve tried to reassure her that we’ll get through it, but she doesn’t think I should do this right now.

I am considering Athabasca because of the flexibility they offer. I could do it on a part time basis while maintaining my job. My plan is to get my accounting degree and some day open my own accounting business. I really don’t want to upset the family dynamics, but I know I won’t be happy working in these low paying jobs. I don’t know how I can reassure my wife that things will be okay. I know we will be better off financially if I return to school and get a better paying job and I will be a happier person. I love my wife and children very much and I want them to be happy. How can I reassure my wife that this is the best thing for our family?
Jay

Hey, Jay, thanks for your question.

I think your wife is just scared of the change you are proposing. She has her routine with her job and the children and is probably quite comfortable. You will have to show her that it is possible for you to return to school and still have a family life. Of course, you will be busy, but you can try to schedule your studies around your family activities. Perhaps when the children go to bed you can spend time on your schoolwork. Another option would be to enrol them in a half day program, which they would enjoy and thus giving you time to work on your school work. Also, you may be able to obtain some financial assistance through the university/college that you attend. Athabasca is a good choice, as you probably already know, since you have found your way to The Voice and are writing me. Athabasca caters to individuals in situations similar to yours. Where most university courses must be completed in one semester, approximately four months, whereas courses taken through Athabasca can be completed in up to six months. Athabasca offers various services for students, you can find this information on the website under prospective students. I did a little research and discovered AU offers three different accounting programs depending on what you are hoping to accomplish. As well, if you are not sure what path you should pursue counselors are available to get you started.

I would suggest you take baby steps with your wife. Perhaps you can start out with just one course so you both can see how this is going to affect your lives. Then decide together whether this is something you can do as a family, without adding too much stress to your lives. It is important that you spend your life doing something that is rewarding, thus you will be a happier husband, father, and person. I believe your wife will see this if you give her the time she needs to adjust.

Good luck with your studies Jay.

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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