I’m following the Front-end Enginner Career Path and am currently at 15% complete.
And like you I also my own mini-mes at home with a almost 3 months, 17 month, 2.5 year old and a 9 year old.
With my own little army at home I did realise that i would need help to manage to find the time to make some progress.
And also like you I have some experience in programming but havent yet made the breakthrough of starting an actual career within the field.
I told my wife about what i wanted to do and achieve, and lucky me, she’s supportive of my dreams. Since I work full-time 5-6 days a week, I set a target for myself to at the very least spend an hour each evening studiying and making progress.
So far this has worked for me to make some progress each day.
As a fellow parent I know that kids can be very demanding and that depending on your job you can feel psysically and/or mentally exhausted. My main tip for that is don’t stress that you take a day off to rest from following your dreams.
For me it’s quite easy to stay motivated through my current job as a customer service agent. Before when i started to learn programming, I hadn’t any clear goals what I wanted to do within the field of IT only that i wanted to work within the field of IT, which is quite vague considering how vast the field of IT actually is.
But when I started to work in customerservice I finally got an epithany what I wanted to do: I wanted to make easy to use systems that could make the work and effort of the user easier, effiecient and a lot less of a headache. With the my experience and perspective as a end-user, I on a daily basis feel like i want to be able to do something about it. Which currently is impossible, me and my colleauges rant about our systems on a daily basis.
In short my main motivation is the urge to make a difference and a less frustrating working enviroment.
But a close second motivation is that after seeing my parents eaither constantly complain about their job or talk about what they actually wished they work as/with all the way untill they went on retirement, I understood that that is NOT what i wanted for myself, I don’t my family to see me constantly complain about my job for years nor do I want to long for retirement like it’s an Utopia. I want to go into retirement with a sense of fulfillment and fond memories and not be like Frodo “It’s done, it’s over”.
So regarding motivation, ask what do you actually want to achieve and what do you want for yourself? And more importantly are you still having fun?