Studying and working at the same time is a big deal and a lot of responsibility to juggle. When parents take up this challenge, it is an even bigger task. However, being a parent doesn’t disqualify you from getting a college degree. There is a way to balance parenting and working while returning to school.
What To Consider When Studying And Working
Working parents face different potential challenges when considering going back to school. Firstly, parents are naturally busy providing support for their kids. This makes adding another serious full-time commitment seem daunting. Furthermore, the financial implications of going back to school might be heavy, especially if you have young dependants. Regardless of the challenges, the potential rewards of getting an education will make your sacrifice worth it. Here are some things you must consider when planning to go back to school as a working parent.
- Learn to delegate and prioritize: when you’re studying and working, 24 hours in a day seems so short. Although some of your hobbies and social activities will have to wait, family and friends will be available to help you bear the burdens of multitasking.
- Start small: one sure way to certain disaster is trying to accomplish too much within little time. If you don’t have enough time to complete a full semesters coursework, enroll for a few classes at a time.
- Be realistic about time requirements: don’t be unrealistic about the time and energy required to complete a college degree. You can opt for the part-time study if full time is too tasking. However, note that it takes more years to complete a part-time study than it does full time.
- Other ways to earn credit: if you have military service, work experience, or volunteer time, you may be able to gain extra credit for college. This will save you money and also help you finish your degree on time.
- Organization is crucial: you must plot a semester calendar and align it with your other responsibilities. Don’t let procrastination deter you from achieving your goals. Get organized so you can balance your life.
How To Balance Studying And Working As A Parent
Remember that any sacrifice you make during your time at school is temporary. The benefits of education are lifelong but the rigors of coursework will be over after some time. With the following tips, you can balance studying and working with your parenting duties.
1. Appoint schoolwork time
Dedicate two or more hours in the day for your kids to finish homework while you study. This multitasking move will ensure everyone gets some work done. Schoolwork time can also be used to help your kids with their homework so they can get better grades.
2. Schedule a time to update your calendar
If your calendar is outdated with wrong timing and tasks, it is essentially useless to you. Because of this, you have to schedule a calendar refreshing time so your days can run smoothly.
3. Seek help
When balancing work, school, and parenting, don’t fall for the lie that you can do it all alone. Divide up your tasks to get a clear view and ask for help or pay for delegable tasks like babysitting and house cleaning.
4. Make friends out of course mates
You’re very likely to find like-minded people in your class that will help you during your time in college. You can get tips from them and exchange ideas on how to balance studying and working as a parent.
5. Organize your study space
Reserve a space in your home dedicated to schoolwork. Keep it organized and clutter-free so you can get the most out of your study time without distractions.
6. Prepare meals ahead of time
Meal preparations can be time-consuming and eat into your study time. As a result, we advise parents to prepare many meals at once and only reheat later for consumption. You can try designating a cooking day, planning all meals for a full week or month in advance, and pre-dicing vegetables for quick future use.
7. Write realistic goals
You should consider and write down realistic objectives for your studies. Likewise, your family and work should also have clear goals defined. Clear realistic goals will help keep you on track.
8. Review your curriculum and plan forward
Every course you take will have a pre-planned syllabus. With this, you can schedule important events like presentations, tests, and exams ahead of time. This advanced preparation will give you ample time to prepare for and not miss milestones.
9. Schedule a time to relax
As you juggle many responsibilities, you need to consider time for refreshing and relaxation. try devoting a day for yoga or a massage to help you rejuvenate from very busy days.
10. Let your professors be aware you’re busy
Your lecturers also have obligations outside of college and are understanding human beings. Many reasonable professors understand and even respect parents who take on the challenge to study and work. You can get extended deadlines and extra tutoring time if your professors know you’re busy.
Time Management Tips
Like we mentioned earlier, organization is crucial to achieving your goals when studying and working as a parent. Therefore, you must take time management very seriously. When adding study to your already busy work and parenting schedule, start by evaluating your current situation. The following time management will help you organize your activities more efficiently and spend your time wisely.
- Outline tasks beforehand: unexpected events are great distractors. So, you should have a daily plan to account for them. Make sure to stick to your plans and not allocate excessive time to single tasks.
- Group similar tasks together: fish out similar tasks on your daily plan an get them done simultaneously. You can make that important phone call while doing the laundry and cross two things off your to-do list at the same time.
- Get rid of downtime: forced downtime is different from relaxation. The first is a time-waster while the other is necessary. Inevitably, you will have to wait for some things but maximize that time waiting by carrying on with other tasks as you wait.
Students who work a full or part-time job and are also parents can find college challenging. The need to juggle multiple responsibilities demands a lot of time and energy. As a result, working parents need special assistance to pull through college successfully. Share this post with a working parent who’s considering going back to school. Similarly, do well to take our advice if you’re a working parent in college. If you work from home, consider the following work from home tips and best practices.