Parenting is a full-time job. If you combine it with studying, it will take the concept of discipline to a whole new level. You will have to juggle a lot of time- and energy-consuming responsibilities, and while you will most likely have the needed motivation, spare time will be challenging to find.
Don’t let it discourage you. Everything is possible, especially now that there are plenty of long-distance education programs. While on EasyToBeMom we discuss keys to a successful balance between parenting and studying in more detail, in this post, we will boil the issue down to 5 handy tips for student parents.
1. Set up Your Study Schedule
Your kid will take up most of your time, that’s a given. Therefore, it’s important to set up your study schedule in detail, as well as plan ahead most of your parenting responsibilities. You need this to make sure you sort out your homework in a quiet environment (e.g. when your kid is in the kindergarten or sleeping) and don’t leave your studies to the last minute.
2. Make Your Wellbeing a Priority
Balancing your parental responsibilities and studies doesn’t mean you have to give up on your wellbeing. If you overburden yourself, you may just end up burnt out. You need to have enough energy to live a happy life and spend quality time with your family. Thus, always ensure you get enough sleep and avoid feeling guilty about wanting some time for yourself.
3. Always Stay Flexible
Planning ahead is crucial when it’s about juggling parenting and studying, but always do that with some flexibility in mind. Don’t get attached to your schedule way too rigidly. It’s ok if you skip an evening of study for an urgent parenting issue. No worries, it will not throw you off your track for good. Staying flexible will assist you in reaching all your goals stress-free (well, almost stress-free).
4. Reach out for Support
Ask your family and friends for help whenever necessary. When you get too overwhelmed, turn to your loved ones and ask them to do some chores or assist you with your parenting responsibilities. In the meantime, you can go to a cafe or to the library and focus on your studies. Don’t forget to let your professors know that you’re a parent. They will most likely occasionally extend your deadlines.
5. Prepare Family Meals at the Weekend
If you want to save some time for studying, prepare multiple meals at once and then just reheat them when it’s dinner time. Preparing meals at the weekend will give you the possibility to free up plenty of study time. Just establish your family’s menu for the entire week and prepare the meals in advance. If your children are grown enough to help you prep the food, don’t hesitate to involve them in the process.
You Can Do It (and You Can Do It Right)
Education is one of the best empowerment tools in your life. Benjamin Franklin used to say “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. We cannot but agree here. If you have a detailed plan in place and if you follow it with flexibility in mind, while getting your family’s support and assistance, you will definitely succeed in balancing parenting and studying.