10 Practical Tips for Moms Juggling Kids and Studying
As parents, keeping our kids happy and healthy is our number one concern. To give your children the best start in life, you may decide to go back into education. Whether it’s to boost your earning potential, learn new skills, or increase confidence and self-esteem, gaining qualifications can only benefit your family unit in the long run.
However, finding the right balance between committing time to your course and looking after the kids can be overwhelming. So, here are some practical tips on how you can organize your day better and ensure you get the best of both worlds.
Pick the Right Course
With so much of your time being spent looking after the kids and putting their health and wellbeing before your own, you must choose a course that captures your interests and keeps you motivated. For example, if you’re passionate about new moms and their babies, there are online neonatal nurse practitioner programs from institutions like Baylor University that you can check out. For those who are interested in a business career, you can embark on an MBA (Master of Business Administration) program. Whatever you choose, ultimately, your course needs to fulfill your needs and give you purpose.
Create a Calendar
Once you’ve found the right course and know what is required of you, creating a calendar should be your next step. If you decide to study online, while you will have the freedom and flexibility to learn at your own pace and leisure, you must allocate time to dedicate towards studying, alongside keeping your kids happy. Children need routine, so getting organized will help you stay in control and find the right balance between the two.
Find a Study Space
Due to COVID-19, many of us are spending more time at home than ever before. If you’re studying online, you may not have the option to head to your local library or coffee shop to get stuck into your course. Therefore, you need to find an area in your home that can be used for learning. If your children are old enough to understand, you must explain that your study space is private and out of bounds.
Prep Meals in Advance
As part of keeping your kids happy and healthy, encouraging healthy eating and cooking tasty meals is key for their development. However, if you’ve gone back into education and find a lot of your time is being taken up by studying, finding the time to cook hearty meals can be challenging. One of the best ways to ensure you and your family are eating well while being focused on your learning is by prepping meals in advance. For example, getting up an hour earlier and cooking batch meals that can be stored in the freezer will mean your children don’t miss out on nutritious food.
Set Realistic Goals
As parents, you will wear all kinds of hats on a typical day. Whether it’s cooking, cleaning the house, exercising with your kids, or studying, you need to set realistic goals that you can achieve. While you may try to be a superhero, combining all the tasks listed, you shouldn’t set goals that are out of reach. Doing so will only bring disappointment. So, work out your short- and long-term goals so you have something to work towards and keep you focused.
Ask for Help
One of the main mistakes studying moms make during their education is not asking for help. If you live with your partner, don’t be afraid to go to them for help and support. You will need quiet time to focus on your studies. So, having them help out and take the kids out for a couple of hours can benefit you enormously. If you’re having difficulty with a particular module, don’t hesitate to ask your professor for help. No one can get everything right, but asking for help and learning from your mistakes will help you going forward.
Have Time for Yourself
To get the grades you want and to keep your kids happy, you need to find some time for yourself. Whether it’s by going for a walk, running a hot bath, or practicing relaxation techniques like meditation, having some time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life can do wonders for your mental and physical wellbeing. You need to be in the right mindset to perform at your best. So, make sure you prioritize your health and wellbeing too.
When you have children, interruptions are inevitable when learning. Your kids won't fully understand why you need time away to study. So, instead of losing your temper and getting frustrated, try and be flexible with your learning. If you’ve allocated some time for coursework and an emergency strikes, simply rework your schedule to cram additional learning in.
Study with Your Kids
A great way to bond with your kids as well as stay committed to your course is by studying with them. If your children are of school age, they may have homework that they need to complete. Rather than leaving them to their own devices, you can all sit around the table as a family and use this time to learn. Many children learn best from their parents, and therefore practicing what you preach and showing them the importance of education can help boost their grades at school and learn the value of learning.
Don’t Give Up
During your course, there may be obstacles that are tough to get through along the way. However, how you handle the situation is what matters. If things are getting too much, make sure you take regular breaks. Juggling looking after the kids, maintaining a household, studying, and working can be incredibly stressful. So, rather than giving up at the first hurdle, make sure you have some time away from your learning which can be a good opportunity to clear your mind.
Going back into education and obtaining qualifications can bring invaluable benefits for your personal and professional endeavors. To strike the right balance between keeping your kids happy and getting the most out of your course, all the tips above can help.