When the children reach school age, the demands of working and caring for the kids lessen. It might even seem like a breeze. This is the time you begin to re-examine your career and your ability for career advancement.
Many industries require more than a bachelor’s degree for continued career progression, so pursuing a master’s degree seems like a logical choice. The exciting day comes when you receive the acceptance letter, but then reality sets in. How are you going to juggle a full-time job, the demands of motherhood and the pursuit of a degree?
You can, and here’s how.
1. Go Part-Time
It’s almost impossible to accomplish three demanding roles full-time. You can probably do it, but the stress will be unbelievable. That’s why it’s better to part-time it.
What you can’t do is be a part-time parent, so you’re either going to have to cut your job to part-time hours or attend university part-time.
Likely, you’ll choose the university, unless you have a partner who is willing to make up the slack in income.
Many master’s degree programs offer flexible scheduling for students who work full-time. If your desire is to complete an online master’s in industrial engineering, it’s likely you can still earn your degree in as little as two years.
Once you’ve been accepted, talk with your advisor to see how best to schedule your courses so you can still graduate within your desired time frame. Taking summer courses will likely allow you to stay on track.
2. Enlist the Help of Your Children
Once your children are school age, they’re more than capable of helping with some of the chores around the house. If you offer them an allowance, it’s likely they’ll even be happy to help. Have them unload the dishwasher every evening and make it a habit to pick up the living room before they go to bed.
They can take on caring for the pets and getting the trash to the curb once a week. There are so many little things they can do to lessen your load. Sit down as a family and discuss ways they are willing to help. Explain how pursuit of this degree is temporary, but is ultimately going to benefit them as well.
3. Take Care of You
It’s a given that you’re going to make sure your work goals are met and the children are taken care of, but while you’re taking care of everyone else, how are you taking care of yourself? Your family needs you, but they aren’t going to get the best of you if you aren’t eating properly or tending to your mental health.
other valuable tips:
It can be tempting to reach for the snacks while you’re studying and doing homework. That’s okay as long as you choose healthy snacks. Have items like fruit and nuts on hand for those times you need a nibble, and plan for easy meals so you aren’t tempted to grab fast food on the way home. Eating healthy will provide the energy you need to accomplish all the tasks you have ahead of you each day.
Last, get some time alone. Your life is going to be demanding for a while and you’re going to need those little mental breaks. Whether you meditate in your bedroom or take an extra long hot bath, those are the times that allow you to re-energize and look inwardly for all the positives in your life.
Going back to school is an exciting opportunity. Allow your family to be a part of it, and don’t feel guilty if the house gets a little out of control. The kids aren’t going to do the chores as well as you would, but that’s okay.
If you can accept your situation for what it is you can keep unwanted stress at bay. This situation won’t last forever but the life awaiting you after you complete your degree will make it all worth it.
Image Credit: mom in college by Pixabay
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