Learning is actually a core need for psychological well being and is vital for continual growth and development. But learning something new can be challenging, even for those of us who don’t have a family or children to look after and so trying to go back to school as a busy parent may seem near impossible. So how can you balance learning something new with life as a busy parent?
Understand your reason why
Balancing learning and family life can be tough, but you can make it easier by having a clear reason why you want to learn something new. Having a clear why will help you push through the tougher times and will motivate you to work towards a clear goal. Sit down and think about what this new skill or thing is going to bring to your life. Perhaps it will provide you with better job prospects, or put you in a position to get a salary raise. Or maybe it’s going to help you support your children through school. Whatever your reason why is, write it down and put it somewhere you can go back to when you need a little motivational boost.
Analyse your routine and find support
The next thing to do is to analyse your daily routine and see what support you have. What will need to change for you to be able to learn this new thing? Do you have pockets of time throughout the day or will your learning need to be done in the evenings once your family has gone to bed? Do you have a friend or relative that can take on some of your daily tasks to allow you to learn or are you able to hire in help to relieve the pressure of chores such as cleaning and cooking? We all wish for more hours in the day but the truth is that it’s not the number of hours that matters but the quality of what you do within them
Decide how you want to learn
Nowadays there are a number of different learning options available including entirely online virtual courses, evening face to face classes and blended learning options, you can even get a masters in accounting online. Decide how you want to learn, will you benefit from face to face contact or will the travel eat into your valuable learning time? Will you be held accountable for a virtual course or would a combination of virtual and face to face learning be more suited to you?
Show up and be consistent
The last thing you need to do is show up and be consistent. As a busy parent, things will crop up unannounced but it’s important to try and prioritize your learnings over other family dramas. Remember, new skills aren’t learnt overnight, and these things will take time. Learning is often a long game, so be consistent, show up every day or week you have to and chip away at your workload slowly. If you find yourself losing motivation then return to your reason why you are doing this.