There’s no question that parents going to college face some serious challenges. At the same time, many mothers manage to do this. It takes determination and some creative rearranging of your schedule, but it’s definitely possible. Don’t let being a parent stop you from pursuing your dreams of a college degree. Here are several suggestions to help you balance your roles as a mother and a student.
Build a Support Network
Don’t try to do everything yourself. Let people know that you need help while you’re studying. Friends, family, co-workers and neighbors are often glad to help if you ask them. Think of ways you can help others out in exchange. For example, if you have a friend who’s also a mom, you could watch each other’s kids when it’s convenient.
Take Online Courses
Online classes give you much greater flexibility than traditional classes. You can study at home or while you’re on the move during the day. You can find many useful degrees, such as a Master of Science in Nursing, online. There are both part-time and full-time online programs that let you pursue the degree of your choice at your own convenience.
If you are a parent, you are probably already working either full or part time, so if you decide to toss some classes on top of your other responsibilities, you will have to be extremely careful with crafting a realistic schedule.
Develop Time Management Skills
If you’re a mom attending school, you don’t exactly have a surplus of time. You can, however, develop time management skills that make you more efficient. For example, do your major cooking once per week and freeze meals for later use. If you commute to work or school by bus or train, fit in some studying during the commute.
Use Google Calendar and share your schedule with friends or family members so you can sync with them easily. You can also find a number of mobile and computer applications that help you understand how much time you are spending on what so you can maximize your schedule.
Don’t Try to Do Too Much
While it’s great to pursue all of your goals, you also need time to unwind and relax. Don’t pack your schedule so tightly that you burn out. If you’re just starting out in college and already work a full-time job, sign up for one or two classes. You can always take additional classes in future semesters as you get more comfortable with the routine. It’s important to pace yourself and leave yourself some down time.
Exercise is a great way to de-stress and recharge, meaning that the time you spend working will be more effective. Meditation is another great practice to help you stay a great mental place to maximize your productivity.
Balancing college with your responsibilities as a parent isn’t easy. It takes careful planning, requesting the help of friends and family and managing your time efficiently. As you juggle all of your roles, keep your goals in mind. Remember that going to college will ultimately help both you and your child.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. If you are a mother considering enrolling in online higher education, Anica suggests you check out the Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Cincinnati.