Dear Barb – To Learn or Not to Learn

Dear Barb:

I am a single mother of three young sons. I am working at a dead end job and am considering taking courses at Athabasca and ultimately obtaining a degree. I don’t know what I am interested in taking yet; I just know I have no future where I’m at. I was wondering if there are other moms at Athabasca who are in a similar situation and how long does it take for most of them to complete a course. Also how difficult is it to manage family life and school. I know you can take up to six months, but how long is the average someone in my situation takes to complete a course and how many courses do most moms take. So I guess I am hoping some of your readers can help me. I don’t want my family life to suffer too much. Thanks Fiona

Hi Fiona:

Good for you, it’s always good to try to better yourself and I appreciate your concern for your family life. Obviously you realize it will be a delicate balance with working full time, plus managing family and household responsibilities. As you know, your boys will be grown and gone before you know it. There are a lot of resources on Athabasca’s website, as you may have already checked out. Also Facebook is a good resource to connect with other students. Hopefully other moms will write in with some information that would be helpful for you. Thanks for writing Fiona.

Dear Barb:

My brother passed away last year after a brief illness. I am fairly close to his two sons who are now adults. Before my brother married his wife, he had a brief relationship with a girl who was well known to the family. She became pregnant but they broke up. This girl continued to visit my grandmother and, when her son was born, she brought him to see my grandmother and told her this was my brother’s son. She was a very nice girl and there was no reason to doubt this was my brother’s son, as well my grandmother said that he looked just like my brother! I am not sure if she ever told my brother about his son. She eventually gave the child to her sister and husband to raise, because she didn’t feel she could do it alone. This issue has faded into the background and no one in our family has ever talked about it again. Now that my brother is gone I feel I should tell his sons about their half-brother, as I’m assuming they don’t know about this sibling. I would be interested in hearing your opinion. Thanks, Sue.

Hey Sue:

Interesting situation! You did the right thing by waiting until your brother had passed before you decided to do anything. Your nephews may already know about their half sibling. This is a difficult situation, but I agree that these boys should know about a brother and possibly other relatives they may have. I would suggest telling the boys together and perhaps with no one else present so they would be able to digest this information alone and then they can decide what they want to do and with whom they want to disclose this information. Thanks for sharing Sue.

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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