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by Abigail Van Buren

Procrastination Derails Single Parent's Return to School

DEAR ABBY: I am a single parent of four children ages 5 to 13. I want to go back to school to better myself and make a better life for them because I am raising them on my own. I keep putting off going back because something always comes up. I'm afraid if I keep this up, then I'll never do it and will live with regret for the rest of my life.

I don't have a stable support system, and I work full time, so I'm also worried about having no time for my children, although I hardly have any now. Most days I feel like a bad parent and want to cry. What would you recommend I do? Can you help me push myself? -- WANTS NO REGRETS

DEAR WANTS NO REGRETS: Set goals for yourself. Explore career counseling at your nearest community college and ask for guidance about child care options. When you do, ask if you can take one or two classes a semester, rather than a full course load, and if any of the classes you need are held online. That way, you won't be spending a lot of time away from your children, and at the same time you'll be setting an example for them to follow about the importance of education.

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