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fairfarmhand

Psychologist? (Help me think through my life plan for after homeschooling) PLEASE DON'T QUOTE

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PLEASE DON'T QUOTE

Help me think this through.

I have only a high school degree.

I really would love to (after homeschooling) be a marriage and family therapist.

I'm 40 years old, my youngest is in 6th grade. Also help run our farm along with supporting my dh who works long hours. We don't need any extra money. He's got an excellent job, pay is great, we're frugal, and he has a pension. I feel very strongly that I can't get too deep in my own personal goals until after my son is graduated. I could do a class or two here or there, but going back full time is out until he's graduated. I know several moms in real life who stopped parenting as well when their younger kids are driving age, and I refuse to do that to my youngers. I know they need me just as much at age 16-19 as they ever did. 

In my state, for licensure, one must have a master's degree. I can do the whole associates through a program for adult learners in my state so that wouldn't have to come out of our pockets.

I do not want to work 40 hours a week, even after my kids are grown. With the farm and keeping up with household stuff, that would stink, particularly if we don't need the money.  My dh is 5 years older than me and likes the idea of retiring early. I'm not sure how that will work. I think he'll get bored after a year or two and if we spend too much time together we get on each others nerves. But I don;t think he sees that. I could be wrong....

I want to help people. I enjoy figuring people out and thinking through problems with them. 

Does it really make sense, financially and just with the investment of time for me to pursue the school necessary to be a marriage and family therapist? It's not that we absolutely can't afford it. It's that being wise with money is important too. Am I too old to pursue this, considering I'd be starting from scratch? 

For whatever reason, my dh isn't a fan of me working much after he retires. And yet, there's 10 years almost between when my youngest graduates and when he will be considering retirement.

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Right there with you. I keep wondering if I should pursue being a classroom teacher or a counselor/therapist. Or I can keep with my highly-enjoyable part-time work that I love and spend the rest of my time volunteering in inner-city schools, perhaps, and organizing our lives and helping with the grandkids when they come. So no advice, but I will be paying eager attention to this thread.

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You are NOT too old. At age 40, you can very likely expect at least another 30 productive years at good health. That is longer than your previous adult life! It's absolutely worth pursuing an education towards something that interests you, even without the plan of working full time.

I will be 52 this year, and I a planning to go back to college for an MFA in a few years when I have collected at least 30 undergraduate credits in English to have a shot at admissions (I have a PhD in physics which will be of no use for this). I started taking classes last fall. My grandmothers lived well into their nineties, so I am planning for another forty years of interesting productive life. 50 is way too young to settle for the status quo, and at 40, you're basically a spring chicken.

Edited by regentrude
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I have a sister that went back for an MFT graduate degree after realizing her kids were too social and not academic for anyone to enjoy homeschooling (not psychology, it's a different program).  More than half the people in her program had been out of school for more than ten years.

She chose MFT instead of social work because the programs near her had easier hours to coordinate childcare around the MFT program.  You might look into social work too.  They can do the same therapy that an MFT does but also many other things so there's pretty good job security. 

The question I have is not whether you are too old (you aren't!), are you mentally tough enough to see some really awful stuff?   Even if eventually you work in a practice you own and only take your choice of clients, to get fully licensed you'll have to have a certain number of hours (maybe 2-3 years) supervised, which means taking a job wherever you can get.  Which in many areas means working for the 1-2 agencies in your area that offer court-ordered therapy (and doing all the paperwork that comes with it).  And at least once a month it seems like she has to call the police because a kid with access to a gun described in detail their plan to shoot up their school, or they describe ongoing sexual assault at school that has been dismissed as bullying.  And then there are the parents, who are usually worse than the kids.

We've had a couple of bad foster care situations, where everyone involved, from parents to kids to DHS workers were basically a nightmare. Those were few and far between for us, but my sister deals with those worst of the worst cases more than 30% of every working day. I honestly don't know how she does it and stays sane.  I know she has her own therapist, but it's definitely not something I could do.  She's unusually patient with people, and very good at leading people around to thinking the way she wants them to while they think it was their own idea.

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Agreed with the above. You're not too old. You're talking about a totally doable goal.

I would say too... you don't have to commit to the whole thing. You have a goal. Go do the associates with that goal in mind. It sounds like it's free or close to it. There's little downside to doing that for you and your future prospects. Even if you don't end up working, you will have had an educational experience without spending much. 

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I was 48 when I started on the path to getting two master's degrees over the next five years.  And I'm thinking about getting a second bachelor's degree as well.  You can totally start at 40!

Edited by EKS
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 I agree that you are not too old, but you are right to think about the opportunity-cost of various options. 

Here, to be "psychologist", one requires a Bachelors plus Master or PhD, plus 4 years work experience, plus one year of supervised practice.  That's an 11 years of career training - full-time.

"Psychotherapist" requires membership in one of 6 different professional regulatory colleges, each with a different path to membership (medical doctors, registered nurses, social work among others.) All require at a Bachelors's plus further professional training.  At least 5 years full-time, probably longer for most.

Psychologist and psychiatrist are legally protected titles here, you can't cal yourself one unless properly licensed.

"Counselor" is a community college diploma.  3 years full-time.  Counselor is not a protected title here.  (ETA, error- some programs are 2 years, then straight into practice )

Of course it will all be different in your state, but there is likely a similar hierarchy of counseling/therapy/psychotherapy/psychology type career paths.  You have to decide if the cost of longer and more intense training is worth the fancier title/job (and probably better pay)

 

Edited by wathe
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My mother went back to college for a second degree when she was in her forties. I agree with your feeling that your kids still need a lot of your attention when they are teens; when my mom was in school, we were definitely expected to be on our own most of the time and had to pick up responsibility for some things at home that would have been better not left to teenagers (we had to help watch our grandmother with Alzheimer's, who lived with us). So I think you are wise to be looking at the whole picture of your family life and how it would be affected.

At the same time, it's great to have a goal to work towards. In addition to a psychology degree, look into social work. Many counselors have social work degrees, and it might give a different pathway that would work better for you.

The ten years of time between your youngest's graduation and your husband's retirement could be largely taken up with school and licensing work. Four years of undergrad plus two years for master's degree plus internships or whatever is necessary to get a license to practice (just estimating the time). I think that if you want it to financially feasible, you won't want to quit working ten years after your child graduates; that would be only a few years of working after school is finished.

But you definitely would have years to work after your husband retires. I think you should work out with him what his concerns are and work through that together, as part of your decision making process.

Also, call up some counseling places and ask if someone there can speak with you about what it's like to be in that profession and what credentials they look for when hiring (because it doesn't sound like you will want to run your own business). That may help you set a course of action.

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You aren’t too old!!!

If it sings to you, go for it!!!

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14 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

But you definitely would have years to work after your husband retires. I think you should work out with him what his concerns are and work through that together, as part of your decision making process.

I agree. In our home, this would be a big deal to sort out, especially as my DH's schedule is one where he works many evenings, some overnights, and 50% of weekends and holidays. Retirement means a great deal of freedom. We won't do well being home together 24/7, but we will want to be on the same page about how we'd like to decide how we spend our time and how much flexibility we have after years of being out of sync with most people's schedules.

Also, if you think grandkids are likely by the time you're ready to start practicing, you might want to think about how available you'd like to be for them. 

My parents retired borderline early and are in good health. They are extremely busy, just not paid to be. They do not live close to either set of grandkids, and when they worked, they gave up a lot of individual vacation time to see grandkids (they weren't in charge of their own schedules though either). Even now, with eldercare responsibilities and volunteer stuff, they have to work around schedules. 

Health is never a guarantee, but it shouldn't be such a big unknown that it burdens you. But I thought I'd mention that my healthy-as-a-horse dad has some unusual health problems that show up in old age in his family that people just didn't know about (and siblings are close in age, so it's showing up all at once). They aren't completely limiting, but there are travel risks with one, and another is likely to require major surgery in the next few years. 

So, it's not like you can't work and still be available, especially if you are setting your own schedule, but it's something to consider. If you have a family history of weird medical stuff showing up in later adulthood, you might consider how compatible that is with your plans, but don't limit yourself based on what-ifs that aren't likely.

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My brother is turning 44 this year and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in marriage and family therapy ; he will be retiring from the military next year and that is his post-military career plan (not at all related to his current occupation).

It's not super high paying; it does have the advantage of offering flexible, part time work.

You could try getting started with the associates degree and take things a step at a time, nothing wrong with starting down a path without being sure you will go clear to the end of that path.

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The great thing is that you don't have to decide right now! Just get started with a class or two here and there, right? If you take 3-4 classes per year, in four years you'll be about halfway through an associate's degree. You will have plenty of time to learn and ponder. Goals and plans will likely become clearer with time. Just get started and take it one semester at a time. 

Three classes a year is a worthy investment of time and money even if you wind up following a different path. Knowledge is never wasted. 

I recommend starting as soon as you can. Post-homeschooling, I've plowed through several things that have helped me discover what I don't want to do 😂 

and I've been surprised at aspects of work that I have and haven't liked. For instance, I was pretty sure I'd want to be out in the world after 20 years of homeschooling and working (part-time) at home. As it turns out, I apparently prefer the outside world in fairly small doses. I will probably wind up working mostly from home, just making sure that I plan to get out into the world periodically (I have a tendency to hibernate at home, so I have to plan going out or it doesn't happen). I'm grateful I've had the luxury of trying things and going, hmm, not this, lol. My youngest is a sophomore in college and I'm still working things out. 

Schoolwise, I paid for a private investigator's course and exam a few years ago, simply because it was something that had always interested me and dh.  I was open to the idea of actually getting a license but decided not to (after scoping the job market). But I have no regrets about paying for the class! It was interesting and I met interesting people. It's okay to head down a path that winds up being short or circular; it can still be a wonderful path. 

Sidenote: totally agree about parents who quit parenting teens! You might see the finish line but you aren't there yet. 

 

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Not too old, but you do need to look at cost vs. end game.

I had planned to pursue my school psych years ago.  It would only take me about a full year becasue the pre-req classes were all taken during my school counseling MA.  Anyway, I looked at going back now and it isn't worth the effort.  I would need to take at least a year off to do an internship, maybe two to finish, and I would only be working another 6-8 years or so after that (at most!)   The degree will be about $10k out of pocket cost and the additional amount of money I make per year will be about $4k, minus taxes......

Too little return for my investment FOR ME.   Now, if it were a huge passion of mine, I might be more apt to do it anyway, but it was just a thought and dream years ago, not as realistic now.

 

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3 hours ago, Katy said:

I have a sister that went back for an MFT graduate degree after realizing her kids were too social and not academic for anyone to enjoy homeschooling (not psychology, it's a different program).  More than half the people in her program had been out of school for more than ten years.

She chose MFT instead of social work because the programs near her had easier hours to coordinate childcare around the MFT program.  You might look into social work too.  They can do the same therapy that an MFT does but also many other things so there's pretty good job security. 

The question I have is not whether you are too old (you aren't!), are you mentally tough enough to see some really awful stuff?   Even if eventually you work in a practice you own and only take your choice of clients, to get fully licensed you'll have to have a certain number of hours (maybe 2-3 years) supervised, which means taking a job wherever you can get.  Which in many areas means working for the 1-2 agencies in your area that offer court-ordered therapy (and doing all the paperwork that comes with it).  And at least once a month it seems like she has to call the police because a kid with access to a gun described in detail their plan to shoot up their school, or they describe ongoing sexual assault at school that has been dismissed as bullying.  And then there are the parents, who are usually worse than the kids.

We've had a couple of bad foster care situations, where everyone involved, from parents to kids to DHS workers were basically a nightmare. Those were few and far between for us, but my sister deals with those worst of the worst cases more than 30% of every working day. I honestly don't know how she does it and stays sane.  I know she has her own therapist, but it's definitely not something I could do.  She's unusually patient with people, and very good at leading people around to thinking the way she wants them to while they think it was their own idea.

You know this is one reason I want to do it.  I grew up in a horrible area. 2 best friends removed from their home for abuse. My own family is littered with trauma. Even my immediate family...yeah. This feels like it could be one way to put to good use the hurt I’ve experienced and things I’ve been through. I am a person of very strong faith and oddly...I’m not much of a worrier. Pretty good at figuring out what’s my problem and something I can change and what’s not.

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35 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

You know this is one reason I want to do it.  I grew up in a horrible area. 2 best friends removed from their home for abuse. My own family is littered with trauma. Even my immediate family...yeah. This feels like it could be one way to put to good use the hurt I’ve experienced and things I’ve been through. I am a person of very strong faith and oddly...I’m not much of a worrier. Pretty good at figuring out what’s my problem and something I can change and what’s not.

Not too old at all. However, have you thought about offering short'term trauma reduction? You do not need to be a therapist to offer Traumatic Incident Reduction. I can put you in touch w my dear friend who is a LCSW with her Master's, but offers the training for this. Just pm me if you want more info. 

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Fwiw, I think you might consider some other degrees or approaches too. You can do career testing at your local community college. They'll have LOTS of experience helping adults who are going back for 2nd degrees! I know people who've gone back for 4 year degrees (often a 2nd, in a new field) after finishing homeschooling, sure. I know other people who've done 2 year degrees to redefine themselves in their 40s.

Just given what you've said, you might also consider looking at:

-RBT training--This can be an AMAZING springboard, and you're immediately hirable. You can do it online for under $200 and it gets you experience helping people. If you enjoy the field, you could then pursue an undergrad and go for your BCBA, a GREAT way to help people.

-begin working on a bachelors, just doing gen ed classes one at a time. That will let you see how it goes.

-consider something that combines the skills you already have (1:1 teaching, management, etc.) and see where you could be employable with a small amount of training. Paras in the ps are quite in demand, and they're more driven by personality/character than particular degrees. Again, that's a field you might find personally rewarding, and the experience there can let you know if you'd like to pursue the field further with a degree. 

-look for a technical college near you to see what 2 year programs they offer. They may be personally rewarding, have good benefits, and reasonable pay. Ultrasound tech, various health care assistant fields, that kind of thing. I know adults who've retrained to go into these fields and found it very workable. Even classes they wouldn't have thought they were good at in high school (physics!), they were able to get through as adult learners. You can *shadow* the fields to see which one might suit you.

The other advantage of this type of two year program is low cost, good return on investment. Even a 1-2 year program could bump your earning potential (in a personally rewarding field!) enough to help your dh retire early or to allow you to begin traveling together a couple times a year. One of the big perks of empty nesting is being able to travel, so having the finances to do that can be nice.

Edited by PeterPan
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I started back at school many years ago. I took online classes though our local community college, 2-3 per semester. It was very manageable, and the kids didn’t really notice a difference in my time other than I did homework at night sometimes. This past year I started at PLNU in their adult degree completion program. I go to class 1 night per week and the rest is done online. Honestly, there’s not reason to wait until your son graduates. I also have a 6th grader, and I think it’s been good for him to see me study and work toward my degree. 

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2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

Fwiw, I think you might consider some other degrees or approaches too. You can do career testing at your local community college. They'll have LOTS of experience helping adults who are going back for 2nd degrees! I know people who've gone back for 4 year degrees (often a 2nd, in a new field) after finishing homeschooling, sure. I know other people who've done 2 year degrees to redefine themselves in their 40s.

Just given what you've said, you might also consider looking at:

-RBT training--This can be an AMAZING springboard, and you're immediately hirable. You can do it online for under $200 and it gets you experience helping people. If you enjoy the field, you could then pursue an undergrad and go for your BCBA, a GREAT way to help people.

-begin working on a bachelors, just doing gen ed classes one at a time. That will let you see how it goes.

-consider something that combines the skills you already have (1:1 teaching, management, etc.) and see where you could be employable with a small amount of training. Paras in the ps are quite in demand, and they're more driven by personality/character than particular degrees. Again, that's a field you might find personally rewarding, and the experience there can let you know if you'd like to pursue the field further with a degree. 

-look for a technical college near you to see what 2 year programs they offer. They may be personally rewarding, have good benefits, and reasonable pay. Ultrasound tech, various health care assistant fields, that kind of thing. I know adults who've retrained to go into these fields and found it very workable. Even classes they wouldn't have thought they were good at in high school (physics!), they were able to get through as adult learners. You can *shadow* the fields to see which one might suit you.

The other advantage of this type of two year program is low cost, good return on investment. Even a 1-2 year program could bump your earning potential (in a personally rewarding field!) enough to help your dh retire early or to allow you to begin traveling together a couple times a year. One of the big perks of empty nesting is being able to travel, so having the finances to do that can be nice.

Thanks for this. This Is the kind of feedback I was hoping for.

Edited by fairfarmhand
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As for the age, agreed that you are not too old. I STARTED my undergraduate at 46 and will finish my master's this spring at 52. I'm possibly continuing onto the PhD next fall, waiting to hear all the funding details. I am not the oldest person in my program either. 

Also agree with doing some more research on cost-benefit before deciding. It requires some outside the box thinking when it comes to jobs & training. For instance, my career expectations are much different than they would be if I were 30 or even 35. It's important to find a program or training that fits and understands your needs. 

 

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10 hours ago, elegantlion said:

As for the age, agreed that you are not too old. I STARTED my undergraduate at 46 and will finish my master's this spring at 52. I'm possibly continuing onto the PhD next fall, waiting to hear all the funding details. I am not the oldest person in my program either.

Fwiw, the issue is not the age but the personal sacrifice. I have multiple friends who have finished or are working on their phds, and to a person it has involved extreme sacrifice of body, time, etc. It's something the other person in the relationship will have feelings about. Op has said her dh is already feeling like he wants more time with her. I mean, do anything, but that would have to be a mutually agreed on path. 

My friends whose kids are growing up or grown find themselves wanting to travel. Even at 40 my bug to travel wasn't as strong as it is now. Op could talk with her dh about his expectations, what he wanted to do. Something where she complements that, where they have a mutual shared vision of what those years look like and what they want to accomplish can be good.

Also fwiw, many of my friends went into fields based on giving to the world, doing good, etc. (missions, education, etc.). After 20 years in those fields, those people are, to a person, burnt out and changing to fields that make MONEY. It's nice to say work is esoteric and fulfilling and all that junk, but in reality when op has grandkids in a few years (which she doubtless will!) and wants to travel or do things for/with her grandkids (which she doubtless will!), $$$ will be what she wants. If she does the math, her life is likely to change radically over the next 5 years, as her children marry and move on. What does she see herself doing with her family then? With that many kids, I think *boredom* will be the least of her worries. She might find herself babysitting grands or wanting to take them to Disney on trips. That's what my friends with grands are doing. So positioning yourself well to be ABLE to do those fun things and enjoy your family could be rewarding.

Remember, you can always always volunteer. You don't have to have a phd to give to the world. You can volunteer now if you're feeling like you're wanting something else in your life! I'm a little stretched thin now, but that's on my list of how to use my time and high up on the list because it's the most *flexible* way to do good. I try to separate out in my mind what I'm doing because I'm bored, what I'd be doing for money, etc. I've hit the empty nest thing TWICE now because my dc are 10 years apart. It's stuff to think through. 

I do agree with starting classes btw. I think once you have that itch, you should scratch it, just for personal fulfillment. Take gen ed classes that would work with any degree program. Cross the 2 year and 4 year programs and see what are required for *both* and focus on those classes.

Edited by PeterPan
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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Fwiw, the issue is not the age but the personal sacrifice. I have multiple friends who have finished or are working on their phds, and to a person it has involved extreme sacrifice of body, time, etc. It's something the other person in the relationship will have feelings about. Op has said her dh is already feeling like he wants more time with her. I mean, do anything, but that would have to be a mutually agreed on path. 

 

Absolutely, I agree. I added the part about the PhD simply to show that it IS a possibility. These are questions I am also considering for my own life. Any job, however, is going to require time and sacrifice. You're right, you don't need a PhD to give to the world, it's probably not the right decision for most people. 

Regardless, I think the options for mothers at age 40+ has become more plentiful. There is great worthiness in being available for grandchildren, my parents were that when ds was little (although they were in their 60s by that time). There is also great fulfillment for me to focus on something for myself at this point in my life and to know that I am supported (emotionally) by my family and significant other. 

 

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@LarlaB 's appearance here just reminded me, massage therapy might be another good direction to look! Two year program (yes?), reasonable money, hands on (which it sounds like is a common thread in what op enjoys), personally rewarding (conversations, making people feel better), and very flexible hours. And hey, you'd get massages from your classmates while you're going through the school. :biggrin:

But again, this is stuff good career testing helps you sort out. The Strong Interest Inventory testing has breakdowns across attributes or work, so it can kick out ideas that weren't even on your radar. 

We did a career test with dd that was hilarious, because the two top options were high school english teacher and prison guard. No irony there, lol.

Edited by PeterPan
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1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Fwiw, the issue is not the age but the personal sacrifice. I have multiple friends who have finished or are working on their phds, and to a person it has involved extreme sacrifice of body, time, etc. It's something the other person in the relationship will have feelings about. Op has said her dh is already feeling like he wants more time with her. I mean, do anything, but that would have to be a mutually agreed on path. 

My friends whose kids are growing up or grown find themselves wanting to travel. Even at 40 my bug to travel wasn't as strong as it is now. Op could talk with her dh about his expectations, what he wanted to do. Something where she complements that, where they have a mutual shared vision of what those years look like and what they want to accomplish can be good.

Also fwiw, many of my friends went into fields based on giving to the world, doing good, etc. (missions, education, etc.). After 20 years in those fields, those people are, to a person, burnt out and changing to fields that make MONEY. It's nice to say work is esoteric and fulfilling and all that junk, but in reality when op has grandkids in a few years (which she doubtless will!) and wants to travel or do things for/with her grandkids (which she doubtless will!), $$$ will be what she wants. If she does the math, her life is likely to change radically over the next 5 years, as her children marry and move on. What does she see herself doing with her family then? With that many kids, I think *boredom* will be the least of her worries. She might find herself babysitting grands or wanting to take them to Disney on trips. That's what my friends with grands are doing. So positioning yourself well to be ABLE to do those fun things and enjoy your family could be rewarding.

Remember, you can always always volunteer. You don't have to have a phd to give to the world. You can volunteer now if you're feeling like you're wanting something else in your life! I'm a little stretched thin now, but that's on my list of how to use my time and high up on the list because it's the most *flexible* way to do good. I try to separate out in my mind what I'm doing because I'm bored, what I'd be doing for money, etc. I've hit the empty nest thing TWICE now because my dc are 10 years apart. It's stuff to think through. 

I do agree with starting classes btw. I think once you have that itch, you should scratch it, just for personal fulfillment. Take gen ed classes that would work with any degree program. Cross the 2 year and 4 year programs and see what are required for *both* and focus on those classes.

I'd love to travel, but my dh hates it. I mean HATES it. So we won't be doing a ton of travel. 

It's hard to figure it all out. Some if it is that we don't know what the next 15-20 years will look like with our kids and our health. 

And we definitely won't need money. I'm serious when I say that's not going to be an issue. 

As far as grandkids, I have done babies and toddlers since I was 18 (I was a young mom). So the idea of providing childcare for grandkids really doesn't appeal to me. The idea of grandkids just seems so foreign to me, so I guess it is hard to picture that. But for various reasons, I don't want to (at least right now) be the designated childcare provider for my kids. Just not interested in that. While I loved my babies and toddlers, those are not my favorite years for kids, and those are the years that most offspring want/need help from their parents with childcare. (Does this make me a horrible person? Sounds very cold when I type it all out that way)

Maybe that desire will change in the future, but it would really surprise me. My oldest is married now, age 22 and yes, I could be a grandma in the next 2-3 years, and I have literally no feelings about that at all. Very ambivalent. I sound like the worst potential Grandparent ever.

Really I guess what I want to make sure of is that I have things going on to keep my life interesting apart from my kids. We know people who never developed any interests apart from their kids and when the kids grew up and moved away and had their own things going on, the parent was sort of at a loss as to what to do with themselves. I think they had the assumption that grandkids would fill the cracks and it didn't work that way, particularly when the grands got old enough to be in school. 

 

Edited by fairfarmhand
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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

@LarlaB 's appearance here just reminded me, massage therapy might be another good direction to look! Two year program (yes?), reasonable money, hands on (which it sounds like is a common thread in what op enjoys), personally rewarding (conversations, making people feel better), and very flexible hours. And hey, you'd get massages from your classmates while you're going through the school. :biggrin:

Oh goodness, I have a personal space thing going on. Seriously, I don't like touching people. If I initiate hug you are a very special person and you mustve had a tragedy happen. So while that's a nice thought, I'm pretty sure massage therapy wouldn't be a good fit. I mean, I guess you actually have to (gasp) *touch* a person to do that! 

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1 minute ago, fairfarmhand said:

I'd love to travel, but my dh hates it.

So what does your dh seem himself doing when he retires? Fwiw, I travel alone and I know multiple other women who do also. Nuts, on my last cruise I met tons of women traveling with their girlfriends. 

2 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Really I guess what I want to make sure of is that I have things going on to keep my life interesting apart from my kids.

Hmm, well that's back to career testing. You're nailing why you want this. You can't go wrong with gen ed classes (the basic classes everyone has to take to get any degree), and you get your foot in the door to get career counseling. They may even do the career testing for you before you start classes. 

It's a little more challenging to get an intellectually stimulating path without a degree.You can get certified in something. The RBT certification, for instance, would land you an instant job, have some stimulation, and would be entry level. Some certifications, like say OG tutoring, would assume a bachelor's first. 

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If you pursued the 4 year degree and decided you didn't enjoy working, would you still be glad you did the degree? 

I enjoyed college, but I don't really enjoy *working*. Like not that I'm not a hard worker, but I don't thrive on the whole office, have a job, etc. thing. I'm not a team player either, lol. It would be tricky to find a job for me that I'd actually *enjoy*. It's why I continue to think I'd do volunteer work, because you skip some of those issues.

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Just now, PeterPan said:

If you pursued the 4 year degree and decided you didn't enjoy working, would you still be glad you did the degree? 

I think so. I like school and enjoy learning. 

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1 minute ago, fairfarmhand said:

I think so. I like school and enjoy learning. 

I added a little bit, lol.

2 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I enjoyed college, but I don't really enjoy *working*. Like not that I'm not a hard worker, but I don't thrive on the whole office, have a job, etc. thing. I'm not a team player either, lol. It would be tricky to find a job for me that I'd actually *enjoy*. It's why I continue to think I'd do volunteer work, because you skip some of those issues.

 

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1 minute ago, fairfarmhand said:

I think so. I like school and enjoy learning. 

Well you're at a good place, sounds like, to start into some gen ed classes, get some career counseling, see what happens. :smile:

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3 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

So what does your dh seem himself doing when he retires? Fwiw, I travel alone and I know multiple other women who do also. Nuts, on my last cruise I met tons of women traveling with their girlfriends. 

Hmm, well that's back to career testing. You're nailing why you want this. You can't go wrong with gen ed classes (the basic classes everyone has to take to get any degree), and you get your foot in the door to get career counseling. They may even do the career testing for you before you start classes. 

It's a little more challenging to get an intellectually stimulating path without a degree.You can get certified in something. The RBT certification, for instance, would land you an instant job, have some stimulation, and would be entry level. Some certifications, like say OG tutoring, would assume a bachelor's first. 

He wants to sit on the porch. Have no schedule. Plant trees, cut grass, and enjoy the farm. Sleep on the couch. Watch football. Which sounds okay to me for a weekend. But I don't think I can do that day after day.

The have no schedule part absolutely boggles my mind. I do not do well without structure. He despises structure. I know myself and without some sort of structure to my day, I tend toward depression. When my kids were small and there really was very little structure to the day, I really had a hard time. But he hates having to be places at certain times and do things at particular times. We're totally opposite in that respect and I don't think he sees that structure for me is a NEED.

 

 

 

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One thing that appeals to me with a psychology degree is that I could offer online therapy or have a private practice, and have more control over my schedule.

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Just a few thoughts, because I've been rolling the idea of "helping professions" around in my own head for the past several months. Some are obvious and others are less obvious, but when people are in crisis situations, gaining help in a wide range of areas can be just as meaningful and often in much more concrete ways than the typical psychologist or therapist. While there is definitely a time and place for traditional therapy, most approaches to mental health seem to be progressing towards a multi-faceted approach that involve all or some of the following:  medications, psychological therapy, diet, exercise, relaxation, stable housing, stable job, financial/debt control, substance abuse reduction/elimination, etc.  

I would certainly do some research into what "piece of the pie" you would be working with when you complete your post-secondary education. 

Other "helping professions" that are a little less obvious include:

- financial advisor

- nutritionist

- recreation and/or social programs (for all ages)

- play therapy for children and parents

- legal advisor

- housing assistance/realtor

- mindfulness instructor

- yoga instructor

- career counseling

- substance abuse programs (including smoking)

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11 minutes ago, wintermom said:

Just a few thoughts, because I've been rolling the idea of "helping professions" around in my own head for the past several months. Some are obvious and others are less obvious, but when people are in crisis situations, gaining help in a wide range of areas can be just as meaningful and often in much more concrete ways than the typical psychologist or therapist. While there is definitely a time and place for traditional therapy, most approaches to mental health seem to be progressing towards a multi-faceted approach that involve all or some of the following:  medications, psychological therapy, diet, exercise, relaxation, stable housing, stable job, financial/debt control, substance abuse reduction/elimination, etc.  

I would certainly do some research into what "piece of the pie" you would be working with when you complete your post-secondary education. 

Other "helping professions" that are a little less obvious include:

- financial advisor

- nutritionist

- recreation and/or social programs (for all ages)

- play therapy for children and parents

- legal advisor

- housing assistance/realtor

- mindfulness instructor

- yoga instructor

- career counseling

- substance abuse programs (including smoking)

Thank you! This is very helpful!

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OKay. On the list that @wintermom just posted, the idea of a nutritionist actually sounds appealing. Anyone know anything about that? from my google search I can see it takes less schooling.

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28 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

OKay. On the list that @wintermom just posted, the idea of a nutritionist actually sounds appealing. Anyone know anything about that? from my google search I can see it takes less schooling.

 

The person I knew well enough to ask said it was a five year bachelor's program for her, but I have no idea if it's that way for everyone or if it worked out that way because of changing majors, transferring schools, or because she was unlucky enough to not get into a required class early enough.  I'm pretty sure (at least in the Midwest area I lived in when I had a foster child that needed a custom mix calculated for tube feeding) they work internships at hospitals before they graduate.  In our child's case an intern would calculate (based on weight) how much protein and what sort of calorie intake our child needed, figure out a recipe for tube feeding, and then a registered dietician would verify the calculations.

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43 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

@LarlaB 's appearance here just reminded me, massage therapy might be another good direction to look! Two year program (yes?), reasonable money, hands on (which it sounds like is a common thread in what op enjoys), personally rewarding (conversations, making people feel better), and very flexible hours. And hey, you'd get massages from your classmates while you're going through the school. :biggrin:

But again, this is stuff good career testing helps you sort out. The Strong Interest Inventory testing has breakdowns across attributes or work, so it can kick out ideas that weren't even on your radar. 

We did a career test with dd that was hilarious, because the two top options were high school english teacher and prison guard. No irony there, lol.



Yep!  OP, I saw your comments on massage therapy and had to laugh-  I am NOT NOT NOT a physical touch person at all.  At all.  Ask my family.  And frankly, I don't know many massage therapists who are touchy types- quite the contrary.  A lot of us are highly intuitive, healer/empath types and that  (plus a love of health and interest in the human body) is what draws us to the field.   

But that proves a large point that many times jobs and careers really aren't based on or built around what we think they are.  So OP, ask questions about the jobs and fields you are interested in!  Especially here on WTM, there is so much variety!

I have 2 MA degrees (non clinical counseling and Divinity)- earned by the age of 27 and I have only mildly used them.  My end goal was to earn a PhD (Psychology- specifically trauma) or work in Hospice or Hospital chaplaincy.  Given life events that upset the apple cart (my DH's job loss 5 years ago that almost destroyed us financially and now my brain injury and subsequent related significant chronic illnesses) everything has changed.    I mention all of that to say about predicting a future that is still far off....  its a tricky business.   Especially when spouses don't want the same things.   It can create a lot of stress.  So OP, I would say you probably need to hone in a bit more on what life could/might look like in the future for you and your husband.  You can't predict it, but I would lean in to exploring that a bit more and talking about it.

I'd say start with small steps with the big picture in mind.   Yes a lot of women embark on such journeys at this age.   I am close to 3 who have done the exact same thing (headed for MA in counseling) in their 40's, 2 of them after homeschooling.   I see the inclination to go from full on stay a home mom, not working for 15 years and kind of sequestered, to a full on school/work goal.....its a HUGE leap!   For my one friend, she found a great job after earning her BA degree in psychology.... but still wanted her MA so eventually quit the job and went onward.  She is now finishing her 2nd year of supervision.   So if you make the big goal, know that if played right there will be many opportunities along the way and thats a wonderful thing. 🙂


 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, LarlaB said:



Yep!  OP, I saw your comments on massage therapy and had to laugh-  I am NOT NOT NOT a physical touch person at all.  At all.  Ask my family.  And frankly, I don't know many massage therapists who are touchy types- quite the contrary.  A lot of us are highly intuitive, healer/empath types and that  (plus a love of health and interest in the human body) is what draws us to the field.   

But that proves a large point that many times jobs and careers really aren't based on or built around what we think they are.  So OP, ask questions about the jobs and fields you are interested in!  Especially here on WTM, there is so much variety!

I have 2 MA degrees (non clinical counseling and Divinity)- earned by the age of 27 and I have only mildly used them.  My end goal was to earn a PhD (Psychology- specifically trauma) or work in Hospice or Hospital chaplaincy.  Given life events that upset the apple cart (my DH's job loss 5 years ago that almost destroyed us financially and now my brain injury and subsequent related significant chronic illnesses) everything has changed.    I mention all of that to say about predicting a future that is still far off....  its a tricky business.   Especially when spouses don't want the same things.   It can create a lot of stress.  So OP, I would say you probably need to hone in a bit more on what life could/might look like in the future for you and your husband.  You can't predict it, but I would lean in to exploring that a bit more and talking about it.

I'd say start with small steps with the big picture in mind.   Yes a lot of women embark on such journeys at this age.   I am close to 3 who have done the exact same thing (headed for MA in counseling) in their 40's, 2 of them after homeschooling.   I see the inclination to go from full on stay a home mom, not working for 15 years and kind of sequestered, to a full on school/work goal.....its a HUGE leap!   For my one friend, she found a great job after earning her BA degree in psychology.... but still wanted her MA so eventually quit the job and went onward.  She is now finishing her 2nd year of supervision.   So if you make the big goal, know that if played right there will be many opportunities along the way and thats a wonderful thing. 🙂


 

 

 

Goodness, I know myself well enough to know that I wouldnt be okay working outside the house all day every day. But I could manage quite a few hours working from home. I do love my house. 

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Sure! You have the money for an education and nothing obvious from your post that is holding you back from getting it. (No long term special needs child, or disabled parent moving in). If time and cost are not an issue, then go for it! 

 

But then, you also say you don't want to be away from the house all day (school/training/clinicals etc) will likely require that. If you son graduates in 5 years and your husband may consider retiring 10 year after that, that leaves you 15 years to complete this dream and get what ever benefit you want out of it. Sure you may continue working after he retires, but it sounds like he may not want you to. So, when you consider the cost of education, and that  you only want to work very part time after you get your degree....will there be enough time of earning money, to make the money part worth it? If you don't mind paying more for your degree that you may earn from it.....then this point is moot too. LOL I have two friends working their masters in social work. They have class a few times per week and about 20 hours of homework.  

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24 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Goodness, I know myself well enough to know that I wouldnt be okay working outside the house all day every day. But I could manage quite a few hours working from home. I do love my house. 


I didn’t say working full time...I said full work/school goal.   😜

I was making the point that it’s a huge change and was challenging for my friends who went from years of an open/self guided schedule, to a massive unrelenting workload.  That’s not a negative thing or a critique.  It just is a realistic factor to consider.

 

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I say go for it! I am almost 40 (but my baby is 9 months) and I am considering becoming an IBCLC. Who knows how or when, but it's been a little idea burning in the back of my mind.

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I read something recently in the news about Medicaid paying for certified Peer Counselors in some states. That's something you could possibly do PT while finishing up degrees for MFT or another mental health profession. https://www.mhanational.org/national-certified-peer-specialist-ncps-approved-trainings

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4 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

He wants to sit on the porch.

He might get into that stage and find something else he wants to do, like starting a side business. 

Sounds like he's figuring himself out and you're figuring yourself out, lol.

2 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

Goodness, I know myself well enough to know that I wouldnt be okay working outside the house all day every day. But I could manage quite a few hours working from home. I do love my house. 

Have you thought about teaching english online? Or look at how people are earning money online and see what qualifications you need to get jobs you might enjoy. 

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29 minutes ago, Crimson Wife said:

I read something recently in the news about Medicaid paying for certified Peer Counselors in some states. That's something you could possibly do PT while finishing up degrees for MFT or another mental health profession. https://www.mhanational.org/national-certified-peer-specialist-ncps-approved-trainings

OOOOOHHHH! I like this.

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4 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

As far as grandkids, I have done babies and toddlers since I was 18 (I was a young mom). So the idea of providing childcare for grandkids really doesn't appeal to me. The idea of grandkids just seems so foreign to me, so I guess it is hard to picture that. But for various reasons, I don't want to (at least right now) be the designated childcare provider for my kids. Just not interested in that. While I loved my babies and toddlers, those are not my favorite years for kids, and those are the years that most offspring want/need help from their parents with childcare. (Does this make me a horrible person? Sounds very cold when I type it all out that way)

Maybe that desire will change in the future, but it would really surprise me. My oldest is married now, age 22 and yes, I could be a grandma in the next 2-3 years, and I have literally no feelings about that at all. Very ambivalent. I sound like the worst potential Grandparent ever.

Really I guess what I want to make sure of is that I have things going on to keep my life interesting apart from my kids. We know people who never developed any interests apart from their kids and when the kids grew up and moved away and had their own things going on, the parent was sort of at a loss as to what to do with themselves. I think they had the assumption that grandkids would fill the cracks and it didn't work that way, particularly when the grands got old enough to be in school. 

It doesn't make you horrible, cold, or the worst potential grandparent ever, lol! It makes you sound like someone who started their family really early and wants a change of pace. Or maybe someone that will enjoy their adult grandchildren better--in that case, you might ready for babies again when they have theirs, lol! My grandmother started her family early as well, had a sort of caboose baby (big age separation but not that old when her youngest was born). So, she has two grandkids that are intertwined with her great-grandkids and can still enjoy them all. When I was little, she was still a full-time parent. 

She was not a touchy-feely grandmother when I was little, but I always felt loved. Now, she's always game for a hug or other touch. 

4 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

He wants to sit on the porch. Have no schedule. Plant trees, cut grass, and enjoy the farm. Sleep on the couch. Watch football. Which sounds okay to me for a weekend. But I don't think I can do that day after day.

The have no schedule part absolutely boggles my mind. I do not do well without structure. He despises structure. I know myself and without some sort of structure to my day, I tend toward depression. When my kids were small and there really was very little structure to the day, I really had a hard time. But he hates having to be places at certain times and do things at particular times. We're totally opposite in that respect and I don't think he sees that structure for me is a NEED.

Do you need a schedule or a purpose? Just curious--it's similar, but not exactly the same kind of structure. I need a purpose and a general plan, but I don't necessarily need a schedule or to follow my original plan.

DH, sigh. Maybe I can send him to hang out with yours later in life, lol! I enjoy plenty of leisure time, but I structure that too to some extent.

I like the idea of trying some career assessments and maybe personality stuff--Meyers-Briggs for personality and Strengths Finder or DISC for more a roles/responsibilities/work profile. I have seen people use DISC for personality and felt like it was terrible for that, but used for work relationships, it makes more sense. In that context, I have seen the same M-B type have different DISC profiles, but the type fit both and the DISC profiles were really accurate. Anyway, different assessments hint at different things.

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Ok, I did not read the responses!

I want to encouraged to do it!!!  My husband is a therapist at a practice where there are part-timers working into their 80's as family/marriage therapist, before officially retiring!!

GO for IT when you are ready and enjoy a long career (part time if you want) doing it 🙂

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