Returning to education is something that many parents hope to do, but may feel unable to. Having kids means that your priorities shift and can often mean you have 101 things to do in a day. Without even considering education, you may feel like you have too many irons in the fire. However, going back to education is one of the most valuable things you may ever do, in both the career sense and for yourself.
The first thing to do when considering education after having children is to look for the help of others. Talk to those around you about your plans to go back to college and figure out a list of those who may be able to assist with child care duties, household chores or other responsibilities. Even something as simple as dropping the kids off to school can go a long way.
However, it’s important to maintain a routine when it comes to children. Both you and your kids will benefit from having a good, solid routine. You may even get more done than you were planning to because routines can help with efficiency.
College isn’t just about the hours spent in class. It also requires study and assignment time. This means that you will more than likely have to bring college home with you. In order to ensure that you will get everything you need done, take advantage of “free” time. If your kids are young, your free time may be in the evenings after they go to bed. If you have a baby, naptime might be the perfect time to get some work done.
It’s important to use your actual free time to spend time with your kids. Make sure to play, act silly and have fun. It will not only entertain them and let them know you’re there for them, but it will also relax you and allow you to take a much-needed break.
Make sure to set your limits and stick to them, however. Know what you can and can’t take on in both college and your personal life. Too much college commitments may leave you drowning and eventually, failing. Too much life commitments may spread you out over a number of different things and could lead to disappointment. As well as that, if you’re someone who is easily distracted by being at home, acknowledge this and ask someone to look after the kids while you head to the library or to a coffee shop to get some work done.
Finally, when it comes to going back to education, make sure to focus on what matters most. Don’t try to do it all. Give yourself a break when needed and don’t feel obliged to pile the responsibilities on. It’s important to prioritize family, school and work, and to left go of anything else outside of it if you can. It may even feel great that you have had an opportunity to release your overcommitments and perfection attitude.
Check out our guide here on how to go about returning to education.