Many parents who have done it would say that studying along with parenting is a tight-rope walk requiring much balancing, negotiating, some letting-go and a lot of keeping your vision ahead of you.
The following tips have been gleaned from conversations with parents in this situation and may be of help to you.
1. Plan for the best and prepare for the worst. Be as organised as you can but the ‘human’ factor can often cause things to change quickly. Have a detailed calendar of your lectures and study commitments and include any regular commitments of others in the household. Include a list of relevant phone contacts needed for yourself or your children.
2. Know your support people. These could include your partner, family, a neighbour, friend. You may need help on the occasions when, for example, an exam is on at the time your child needs to be collected from Day Care. It’s good to have discussed your needs and expectations with these people before you need to call on them. You also need support people for your study – even if you only chat over the internet. Such peer support, if used wisely, can help keep you on track and motivated without taking up too much time.
3. Look ahead for upcoming commitments. If during the next semester you have important family events or other significant things occurring, adjust your study load to avoid increased stress or burnout.
4. Identify when your best time to study is. It is what works best for your family situation that will determine this as everyone is different.
5. Make time to have fun with the children and some time with each individual child. Remember it is quality not quantity that is the key.
6. When you cook a meal, make enough for two meals and put one in the freezer for busy times such as exams or placement.
7. Don’t forget a little self-care, however that is good for you. It may be a simple as walking the dog.
8. Know that people will help if asked so don’t be too shy to reach out if necessary.
Education is a key focus at Angel’s Paradise where we encourage children to become lifelong learners.