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Being a working mom with young children and juggling studies is not easy (aka mom juggling), but not impossible either. The key is to make the right adjustments in life and remain committed and dedicated. There will always be days when things don’t go smoothly, or you feel overwhelmed but remember, this is a transient phase in your life. Being a student and a mom is doable, let’s look at some ways to make it work.
Here are some tips on how you can juggle studies and kids while working full-time:
The Right Course(s)
Pursuing a course of study may seem an impossible feat for working moms with young kids. But it could actually be the ideal time to complete studies.
- If you didn’t go to university after school, you could now tackle an undergraduate degree. It is never too late to pursue your dreams. If you didn’t get the opportunity before, this might be the right time to do it.
- The important thing is to select the right course or degree so that you can benefit from it in the long run and will also allow you to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- If you’re taking time off work for a year or two to raise kids, you can use the time to pursue further studies, like a Master’s degree, which will help make you more employable when you are ready to return to the workforce. For example, if you worked in PR or communications, a degree in communication or leadership can open doors to a more senior position.
- Select a course that has practical applications. It can support your goal to start a home business (e.g. become a consultant). For example, you may want to complete a course as a practical nurse, something in digital communications, accounting or mobile marketing, etc.
- Engaging in studies can also provide you with mental stimulation in between diaper changes and baby talk.
- It can help retain your identity as a multidimensional person (and not just as a mom), enhance your self-esteem and boost your confidence.
How to Be a Successful Working Mom and Student
- Take an online course. In-class studies may not be feasible unless your kids attend daycare. Today, most colleges offer online courses which can be done in your own time.
- Structure your day. If your baby naps at the same time every day on your days off, that may be a good time to open the books. Or nighttime, after everyone has gone to bed, may be the best time for you to focus.
- Create a study area that is free from the hustle and bustle at home, whether you’re working from home or just done for the day. This will allow you to devote time to your studies.
- Encourage cooperation from your kids. Let them know that when you are studying, you need them to be on their best behavior. You’ll need to repeat this often until they get used to it.
- Get creative. Find creative activities to keep the kids busy after the workday while you study. For example, puzzles, building with Lego, arts and crafts, etc., can keep them engaged for longer periods.
- Tap into your support system. Ask your partner to look after the kids while you’re busy after work. If you have extended family members, request them to spend some time with your kids while you study for exams. Establish connections and arrange playdates when you are struggling to focus or have a project/paper deadline.
- Make time for yourself. Spreading yourself too thin doesn’t benefit your family or your studies. Take breaks to replenish your energy. Also, keep in mind that being a parent while studying and working will not leave you with much spare time. Know your priorities and do not overcommit.
Make Family Chores More Efficient
- Meal prep can be a lifesaver. Cook most of your meals over the weekend so that they only need to be thawed and warmed as needed. This can save you a lot of time.
- Engage in physical activity. Taking care of kids and studying can be very stressful. Stay active. Go for walks and take your kids with you for a stroll in the park if they are little. Outdoor activities can help rejuvenate your spirits and relieve stress.
- Ensure you get adequate sleep: It will keep you refreshed and help maintain your concentration the next day.
- Eat a healthy diet. Just because you are busy all day does not mean you should eat junk food. Proper nutrition is essential as it will help your mind and body both.
In conclusion, being a student and a mom is not easy. It takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. However, it is possible to do both successfully with the right support system. If you are a student and a mom, reach out to your campus resources and ask for help. You are not alone.
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