Self-improvement via Education: Parents Returning to School
Guest Blogger: Harper Mac
The road to self-improvement never comes to an end, but traveling it can get mighty rough. And it can be an especially difficult path for parents who decide to return to school while raising children—making time to study and to give your children the attention they need is sometimes impossible, especially if you’re also working for a living.
Finding balance between the various areas of your life is vital if you’re attending school and raising a family. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, but there are ways to make your daily routine a little less hectic and a little more joyful.
Take care of yourself
This should be near the top of your list, no matter how hectic your life is—and it’s the one thing that most parents forget. Raising a family while attending school is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do, and it’s one of the hardest. So, carve a few minutes out of every day to do something just for you: go to a quiet room and meditate, take a leisurely walk, or read a chapter of a good book. What’s important is that you give yourself a time to relax. The time you spend pampering yourself can be the calm in the storm that helps you recharge and face another long and busy day.
Juggling school, work and kids requires serious time management skills, but there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all. And trying to fit everything into one day can lead to frustration and, sometimes, feeling like a failure. It’s okay if you take a day off to study for an exam or if you take a weekend day trip with your children instead of studying. Giving yourself some slack every now and then can help you become more discipline, and even if your schedule is insane, making yourself and your children happy is your highest priority.
On the days when you have to manage a busy schedule, do what you can to be adaptable: ask for a flextime schedule at work, so that you can attend classes during the workday and still be home in time to help your kids with their homework. Or consider enrolling in an online degree program so you can study from anywhere and work at your own pace. Finally, you can fit studying into quality time with your children: you and your kids can talk about the assignments you’re working on, and you can both learn from each other as you study together.
Celebrate your victories
For parents returning to school, getting through classes can seem like a long slog. So, concentrate on your small successes in school, as well as the successes of your children. Praise your kids when they bring home an A on a test or an assignment, and encourage them when they show interest in extracurricular activities. And maintaining a positive attitude will rub off on your kids: the more you encourage them, the more they’ll encourage and praise you as you progress in your degree program.
Returning to school while raising a family is bound to be overwhelming at times, but learning your strengths and weaknesses can help you overcome every obstacle you face throughout your education. Be kind to yourself and your family, recognize your successes, and remember that your work will pay off in more ways than you can imagine.
About the Author
Harper Mac loves to write about education. Making time to study and play with her children can be difficult to balance. She feels as if finding the balance is very important to personal health. She loves to learn more about eco-friendly living in her spare time.