Being a Mother, and Fashion School Student

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

November 3, 2006

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What special challenges do moms in clothing design school face? Much of the same ones all moms with professional aspirations do -- juggling their many hats. Here are some tips to ease the burden.

Clothing design school, like any professional preparatory undertaking, requires a level of commitment. You must attend classes, study, and complete assignments. But there are some measures you can take to make it more manageable.

Fashion School Mom Tip #1
Seek out clothing design programs that allow you a more flexible schedule. Most moms will likely have an easier time attending school in the evenings, when a spouse, partner, or family member can care for the children. More and more programs offer classes in the evenings or on weekends to help those with careers and families more easily manage their obligations while pursuing a degree.

Fashion School Mom Tip #2
Make sure you have child care you can rely on. You'll find it exceedingly difficult to concentrate on your class work if you don't have full faith in your child care provider. Ask friends for referrals to trusted babysitters and nannies.

Fashion School Mom Tip #3
Find a schedule that works and stick to it. Have the kids go to bed early, and at the same time every night. The routine will give you extra time before bed to study, or just take some time to restore yourself.

Fashion School Mom Tip #4
Learn to prioritize. Everyone says this, but it really does work. Decide what really matters, and put your energy into that. Every design assignment doesn't have to wow your professor. Focus on what's really important, such as slowly building up a strong portfolio of work that can lead to a design job.

Remember, pursuing a career in fashion as a mom may be tough, but your experience managing a busy household can prepare you for the many challenges you'll face as a designer. Knowing how to quickly adapt to a situation, "to make it work," as famed design educator Tim Gunn says, can become a valuable asset. Your career in fashion is within reach; it just takes a bit of planning and a lot of fearlessness to get there.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

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