A surefire way to descend into a life of poverty, financial and mental, is to neglect your education. Education is extremely important. Furthering your education will ensure that you can continue to provide a good living for your babies. Most importantly, however- you will provide a good example to your children by doing so. Since their birth, I have conditioned my kids to believe that furthering their educations is the norm. I don’t allow mediocrity; I expect and require good academic performance. But I set the example by going to school myself. My children always see me reading books and newspapers, studying, watching educational material on TV, etc. (I won’t sit here and lie- I watch silly stuff like Phineas and Ferb, Hey! Arnold, and Seinfeld. The Golden Girls!!). But I also make sure that they watch stuff that is educational for them.
Furthering your education certainly doesn’t mean you have to earn your PhD (unless you want to!) It just means that you should always strive to be better than you already are. Some people do not find joy in formal education, or are not cut out to go on and receive degrees after high school; that’s perfectly OK. What I’m getting at is, always make an effort to learn something. This will benefit you and your children in the long run. If you’re happy being a secretary, or a nurse, or a day laborer, or a doctor/lawyer, or a stay-at-home mom, that’s great! But always do yourself one better… take a cooking class, take a parenting class, learn sign language, learn how to do nails, whatever! Just learn something. Your babies will follow your example.
My oldest son saw me struggle through high school (I was 15 when he was born), college, graduate school, and study for exams required for my job in finance. Many times, I was exhausted, because I had to do a lot of my work after he went to sleep. But- I understood that my primary job to make sure HE makes it in life OK. This meant many sleepless nights- I had to work full-time to provide for him, help him with homework and be involved in his education, then pull all-nighters. I can’t tell you how many times I ate coffee grinds and Mountain Dew to stay awake studying for finals while he slept, then going to work, then getting home and playing with him. But I did it- and you can do it, too. I’m more than halfway through my MBA right now, and I can tell you that the day I finally graduate, I will be the happiest girl on the planet.
You can do or learn absolutely anything you want to- and in the long run, anything you learn or any formal education that you earn will help you get back on your feet quickly if you ever find yourself without a job. Always remember, you can do anything you decide you want to do, as long as your heart is in it.