Going to college and seeking a degree, or continuing your education is never an easy task. It can be an especially difficult feat for those returning to college who are pregnant or currently raising children. Oftentimes parents are already busy and overwhelmed by their parenting responsibilities and work outside the home that they cannot imagine adding one more commitment to their plate.
However, for whatever reason, some parents do choose to return to college and seek a degree while their children are young. It may be out of necessity, or it may be because the parent wants to further him or herself, take part in something they enjoy that is just for them, or because they want to change their career. If you have decided to take the leap and venture out into the college world while parenting young children or while pregnant here are some tips to make your efforts more productive and easier on both you and your child.
Stick to a Schedule
Busy families need schedules. Everyone will be happier and more successful when they know what to expect and what needs done when. This will help you to be more organized and to have more time to complete your studies and homework. Sit down with your spouse and children and find a workable schedule that will help your family be productive, yet still enjoy each other.
Admit You Cannot Do It All
We live in a very driven and self-sufficient society. When taking on such a major task and investment as going back to college, it is very important to admit you cannot do it all. It is extremely difficult to go back to school, maintain the household, and raise your children all by yourself at the same time. Be realistic in your expectations as to what you can and cannot do as a student, parent, and an adult. Not being realistic will set you up for disappointment and failure.
Before returning to school, discover what resources you have to help you with your children and household tasks. It may be as simple as having a discussion with your spouse to enlist their help, or as complicated as hiring a nanny or a housekeeper. You can also check to see if your school provides any type of childcare. If you have family that live nearby, find out what ways they may be able to help you out as you take on this big endeavor.
Getting help for even simple tasks, such as helping kids with homework or picking kids up from school can take a big weight off of your shoulders and allow you to be a more successful student. If you have older children, enlist their help as well in the form of helping or watching younger children or even picking up more household chores.
Eliminate the Unnecessary
When taking on tasks, such as returning to school, that are important it is often necessary to eliminate other commitments in life. You may need to make a list of priority activities you are involved in and decrease your commitments in order to make school more of a priority. This may include less involvement in the PTA, church, or other volunteer organizations. Do not feel guilty for putting yourself and your family first at this point in your life.
Continuing your education while raising a family is not easy. It takes dedication, commitment, and sacrifice; but can be well worth it in the end. By realizing your limitations, recognizing where you need help, and acting on those things, you can be a successful parent and a successful student at the same time.
Sarah Daren is a writer who creates articles in the field of health. In this article, she offers tips to parents wishing to continue their education and aims to encourage further study with a sonography bachelors degree