Studying and raising a family at the same time used to be two things that didn’t go side by side. However, with the fast-paced world nowadays, it is gradually becoming more feasible and common at the same time. A lot of parents of today seriously consider going back to school to finish their degree or to further their education. Surely, the stress levels can get quite high, but knowing how to balance the two will ensure having a happy family and satisfying career goals. Here are some tips on how parents can efficiently balance studying and parenting.
Talk with your Partner
If you have plans to return to school, it is crucial to thoroughly discuss these plans with your partner. It won’t do any good if he or she will not be supportive of your decision. In that way, you can plan together how to handle family life and activities. You can share house chores or schedule picking up the children from school. When your partner has your back, it in a way ensures having a strong support system to complete your objectives.
Setting a Goal
It is important to know your goals and objectives. In that way, you can concentrate on setting the right plans to achieve without having to unnecessarily veer off to different directions that may complicate your situation. This will also allow you to better manage family activities and school work so that they don’t conflict with one another. Make plans and stick to them as much as possible! When you know where you are going and what you want, it is easier to juggle responsibilities both at home and in school.
Managing Your Time
For those who are working, or to whom physical distance presents a stronger obstacle, an online degree might be the best option, as many of the online university programs are perfect for parents who cannot attend courses on campus. Most distance learning degrees today, like for example those offered by NC IUL, are equally as accredited and accepted as the traditional ones.
Let Your Professors Know Your Situation
A lot of professors or teachers are parents themselves and in many cases, they have gone through the same situation you are in. As such, they are bound to be more understanding of your state-of-affairs and can therefore help you in realizing your goals. When they know you have young children at home, they can allow you to complete schoolwork without having to jeopardize your time with your kids. Some schools even offer programs to help parents who are studying in the form of subsidies. Make sure you have thoroughly looked into these options before making the final decision.
Asking for help doesn’t mean you are weak or that you are incapable of being a parent and studying at the same time. Your partner, siblings, other family members and friends can babysit for you, for example, while you complete projects and meet deadlines. It doesn’t hurt to ask for help especially when it means making your family feel important without letting go of your personal dreams. Your loved ones will be quite happy to show support when you reach out to them, especially if they realize you need it.
However difficult it might be, or how stressed you might become, never give up until you have exhausted all your capabilities to make it all work out. Quitters never win. Nobody said raising a family while studying is going to be a walk in the park. You can get overwhelmed, feel inadequate, or get too tired; this is the scenario to expect. However, once you surrender, you give up on yourself and your goals and dreams. Your family should be the inspiration to keep you going.
*In collaboration with Mary D