Whether you’ve had your first child or two and are still working on school or took a break and decided that it’s time to go back, balancing motherhood with being a student can be hard. Between getting kids off to school or down for naps and making dinner, you can try to get the history homework help you need, and you can try to fit in some time to study for your upcoming math test, but it may often feel like you’ll never be able to get everything done that you need to. Little things like eChecks, which let you send and receive checks over email almost instantly, to pay for tuition or books without having to worry if the check will arrive in time, can help ease some of the stresses that come with motherhood and student life. Still, it can still be hard to strike a good balance.
You don’t have to give up and succumb to the stresses of mom and student life, though. As hard as it may be at times, if you remember your ultimate goal, you’ll be able to make it. But in the meantime, here are some actionable tips that you can use to balance motherhood and student life without going insane:
Take it Slow
You likely want to get through school and earn your degree as quickly as possible, but when you’re a mom, that can’t always happen. Between taking care of your kids, being a good partner (if applicable), and working, fitting in a full school schedule can be hard. Instead of trying to do it all at once, remember that it’s okay to take it slow and if it takes you another eight years to earn your four-year degree, that’s okay. You should take the time you need to take.
Use Daycare and Babysitting Resources
Many universities and colleges will offer daycare or babysitting for mothers who have class. If your school does, don’t be afraid to take advantage of that! While you may not want to leave your child there all day, taking them with you and letting them play while you attend a class or two will help relieve a burden off of you and can even save you some money if the childcare is subsidized or free.
Schedule Quality Time in Your Free Time
It may be tempting to use holidays and days off school and work to catch up on homework and housework, but if possible, try getting all of that done during your regular days so on those days off you can spend quality time with your family. Whether you go to the zoo, the movies, out to lunch or dinner, or enjoy a picnic at the park, it’s important to have that quality time to spend together when you otherwise have such a busy schedule.
Do Prep Work the Night Before
There’s so much to do in the morning to get ready before you can go. Pack the kids’ lunches, feed them breakfast, eat breakfast yourself, get everyone dressed, send them off to school, get your things, and head to school. Instead of rushing to get it all done in the morning, try doing the prep work the night before. Make the kids’ lunches and set them aside, put out bowls and cereal so that the kids can help themselves to breakfast when they get up, and make sure all of their homework is done by dinner.
Use Tech to Stay Connected
It’s easy to feel like you’re falling short as a mom when you don’t spend as much time with your kids as you would like. While a busy schedule doesn’t make you any less of a good mother, it’s natural to feel some guilt. Instead of worrying and guilting yourself through the day, though, try using tech to stay connected and give your kids the attention that they need, even if you can’t be physically there all the time. By Facetiming, texting, calling, and messaging throughout the day, you’ll still be able to be present and available for your kids, even if you can’t see them until later.
Remember That Your Grades Don’t Have to be As
People tend to put a lot of pressure on themselves, and when it comes to school, you may be pressuring yourself to get A grades. While it’s a good goal to have, it may not always be doable with everything you have going on as a mom. Instead of stressing a B or a C, take a deep breath and remember that your ultimate goal is to pass and earn your degree—your grades don’t have to be As, and it’s okay if they aren’t.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
It seems like between everything you have going on, you’ll never find time for yourself, but even if you set your alarm for 15 minutes later or take a bubble bath after the kids have gone to bed, making sure that you set aside time for yourself to take care of yourself is important. When you feel better and like yourself, you’ll be able to handle the responsibilities of being a mom and a student, too.
What other tips do you have for balancing mom and student life?