Going to school as a parent may seem impossible, but if armed with the right tips, tricks, and tools can actually be quite successful for the whole family.
Ask for Help
Raising a child takes a village. Adding school to the mix only adds to the need for assistance. (If you are a military spouse, enlist the help of peers and friends on or around base. Trade off who watches the kids on different afternoons so that each parent can get some alone time to take care of the priorities in their household.)
Set a Schedule
If you’re a new parent, then your baby will have quite the schedule… they’ll sleep and eat pretty much at set times. Take advantage of that routine and schedule your “class time” or “study time” while your child naps. Another reason to have a schedule and stick to it is so that you can schedule in some down time for yourself. Being a parent, student, and spouse all at once is sure to be exhausting and rewarding all at the same time. Make sure to take some time to decompress as well whether that means taking a walk, meditating, or reading a book for leisure.
The truth is, no one can do it all, all the time. While you are taking classes, make sure to name the priorities in your life at that time. For example: Family, school & work. If those are your priorities, then everything else doesn’t matter. Stressing over a dirty house? It’s not a priority at this time in your life, so forget it. As long as everyone in your family is happy, healthy, & fed and school and work are getting the attention they demand, then all is well. Don’t expect yourself to do the impossible and stretch yourself too thin.
Seek out Scholarships
Parents know more than anyone, just how expensive children are. That said, there might not be a whole lot of extra money around for you and the expenses that come along with your education. (Some might even prioritize saving for their children’s’ education instead of spending money on their own.) Regardless, there are scholarship opportunities out there, especially for military & military spouses. (Here are a few resources of different scholarships.)
Are you a parent with experience of going back to school? We’d love to know your tips and tricks!