The following is a guest contribution.
Attending college is stressful enough, but adding parenting into the mix will mean that you’ll have to learn what balancing priorities really means. Despite the trials and tribulations associated with this admirable feat, many mothers are out there doing it (and doing it well). Sometimes, they just need a little bit of help though. So if this all sounds familiar, here are some great tips for busy moms.
Lighten the Workload
Generally, when individuals go to college right from high school, they take 15 credits per semester. Five classes is a lot of work and means time away from home for moms, so give yourself a break. Drop down to 12 credits, or even consider taking only one class. With winter and summer classes, you can still keep up a pretty good pace. Be alert though, because if you go below a certain number of credits, you’ll often not be entitled to financial aid.
Take Classes with Your Kids
Little children might wonder why you are always off at school, so let them become a part of your learning experience. Finding a local cooking, ceramics, baking or sewing class that the two of you can take together that you might be able to get transfer elective credit for can be very helpful. Not only will you be learning together, you’ll also have some quality time together. What if your children are actually attending college at the same time you are? Consider enrolling in one of the same classes. You might wind up learning a lot about one another, and you can help each other prepare for exams and the like.
Ask Others for Help
Some moms insist that they must do everything by themselves, but this idea is usually not a very realistic one. Do not be afraid to hire a nanny or babysitter for a few hours per day, so you can go to the library to get work done. If you can’t afford this, try finding someone in your neighborhood that you can reciprocate the favor for. Another suggestion is to hire a mother’s helper. You can still be at home with your children, but someone else will be watching them. Maybe having a babysitter or mother’s helper is not your style? If that’s the case, at least consider hiring a housekeeper or a cook to keep the house tidy and prepare some of the meals. Literally taking care of everything by yourself is going to be near impossible, often bringing in someone only once a week for an hour or so can be very affordable. If you get financial aid, part of it could go toward this expense.
Build Friendships with Other Moms in School
It’s hard to add another factor into the mix, but sometimes, simply speaking with people who are going through the same situation as you is comforting. Try to scout out some other mothers in your class, and ask if they would like to meet for coffee and a study session. As a mom, you have unique struggles that other students might not understand, and as a student, you have certain struggles that your current mommy friends might not quite grasp. When you chat with other people who are in the same situation, you can start working toward building unity, strength and success together. They might also have some pro-tips that could change your life.
Indeed, being a full-time mom and attending school is challenging, whether you are taking night classes to finish your GED to going for your doctoral degree. Whatever the case may be, the aforementioned tips can certainly help to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety you feel.
Vanessa Rodriguez writes about motherhood, education and career development. Her most recent work focuses on helping mothers find the best Master of Finance Degrees in the US.
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Trackback URL for this post: http://www.bizchickblogs.com/2012/12/how-to-balance-education-with-motherhood.html/trackback/