Having a child while in school, or returning to school while parenting, presents a unique set of challenges. Balancing time with your children, attending classes, studying for tests, spending time with your friends, and completing homework can be a monumental task. Returning to school can give you a ton of advantages in the job market, making it well worth the time and the struggle. Thankfully, there are things you can do to ease the burden.
Create and Stick to a Schedule…
As a parent, you probably already feel as though there are not enough hours in the day. Once you add school to the mix, it quickly leads to feeling overwhelmed. You can avoid the stress by spending some time at the end of each week scheduling your next. Include things like making supper, spending time with the kids, running them to any playdates or extra-curriculars, and studying.
Related: Studygs time management guide
…But Plan for Distractions
Kids are not predictable. As a result, there may be times when your study time is filled with interruptions. Planning for these kinds of distractions mitigates their impact. For example, if you have a sick child, you can plan out snacks and entertainment to keep them occupied while you learn. Alternatively, you can give them their own “assignment” by asking them to draw a specific picture or fill a page with shapes. This usually keeps children quiet long enough for you to get your work done.
Don’t Struggle with Homework
Obviously, you have to do this work yourself. However, there is no need to spend hours struggling to find the answers to homework questions. Instead, consider using an online homework help service like homework market. Certain services can offer you personalized help with each challenging question from a teacher or tutor who is qualified in that area. All you need to do is create an account, ask your question, and wait to be matched with someone who specializes in that specific area. Contrary to popular belief, it is also possible to find an affordable service.
Make sure you speak with the supportive people in your life, such as your spouse, family, and friends, about your education. Let them know that this is an important step for you and that successfully completing the program can improve the lives of you and your family. You may find that they are eager to do everything they can to help. When offers of assistance come in, always accept. Your education is too important to let yourself feel guilty for letting a friend babysit your children while you study for an exam.
Don’t Forget Self-Care
Parents already focus so much on other people that they often leave their own needs unattended. Once you become a student as well, self-care often falls to the wayside. Unfortunately, while this does save you hours in the day it does nothing good for your mental or physical health. When you are planning out your week, be sure to schedule some “me time” as well. Watch a movie or read a book that has nothing to do with school, take a long bath, or go out for drinks with friends. The key is to do something that makes you happy. This helps you cope with stress better and can even make you a happier person overall. Being Supermom is fantastic; but you are no good to your family if you burn out. Try to plan at least one night a week where you are “off.”
Whether you are thinking about returning to school or have already started classes, the tips above can make it much easier to balance your responsibilities as a mom and your obligations as a student.