Welcome to our 3 Part series on Parents who are studying.
Parenting requires 100% effort; study requires 100% commitment. When you are a parent and studying how does this add up to a sane person at the end? Committing to study while being a parent is not unusual in our communities today and yet it is a big undertaking and requires some thought and preparation.
Perhaps the first thing to ask yourself is Why am I studying with children? For some parents it is because they have no choice if they wish to secure work and provide for the family; for others it may be that they enjoy learning but it is not essential to provide the basics of life. Once you are clear on your reasons, it helps with such further decisions as how many units of study to undertake at once; and you can begin to prioritise your needs.
Parenting and studying both require commitment, organisation and motivation. It is a good time to reflect on what are your ‘bottom line’ values for parenting as these need to be taken into consideration when looking at courses: Does the program allow for flexibility? Can lectures also be accessed online? Does the course provide offer any assistance for parents who study – for example is there child care or a support group?
Good on you for studying! The long term benefits far outweigh the short term busy-ness and stress of juggling your commitments. One great thing you are modelling for your children is that learning is lifelong.
A worthwhile read on this subject is My Mum Studies – Just Like Me! by Dr Bailey Bosch. The book explores the experience of combining motherhood with higher education from the perspectives of both mother and child. Aside from being an enjoyable read, one of the objectives of this book is to start the conversation between Mum and her children about why she does this, what it means for her family and what are some of the changes in the family dynamic that result from this endeavour.
The book can be accessed at http://www.mumswhostudy.com.au/#!blank/srq5t/6c425e31-9f8a-65cd-4777-eb40690ed96c
At Angel’s Paradise Early Education Childcare Centres, we support lifelong learning and provide children with a quality learning program.