Thoughts of a Student Parent: Juggle Study with Family Commitments
October 31, 2017 / Sharnie Carter
Alongside my day job at the Open Study College, I am also a student parent; I have three children between the ages of seven and ten and I am going into my second year of a BSc in Business Management, which I study via distance learning. This allows me to empathise with our students as I know how challenging it can be to juggle your studies alongside your work and family commitments.
One of the biggest concerns I had when beginning my studies was that of time constraints. You cannot begin to see how you will fit in the extra time required for your studies, alongside your already busy schedule.
Let me share the things that have helped me;
Make every moment count
Where ever I am and whatever I am doing, I am always looking to maximise my output. If I’m waiting for the kettle to boil, I load the dishwasher. If I arrive at an appointment 10 minutes early, I read a few pages of my books. When I cook dinner, I prepare the kids lunches.
Making these moments super productive, means my time is freed up to study in the evening.
Study every day – no matter what
I know this sounds hard going, because we all have those days where we wonder how we even made it through, but commit now to study every day. Even if you can only manage a page of reading, or a small exercise online, keep moving forward, because like anything that is carrying a large weight, it is easier to keep rolling forwards, than stop and find the huge motivation to start again.
Remember even a tiny step, is still a step forward.
Dedicate time to family time only
To allow me to juggle the physical and emotional burden of trying to do it all, I set aside time for study, but I also set aside time to spend with my children. I’ve tried multitasking and there are just some moments that my kids need me more. From dinner till bedtime it’s family time only, no work, no emails, no study.
I can tuck them up in bed at night knowing that I was 100% there for them.
You’re a parent, so you’ve got over the fact you can’t just quit, and oh my, there are days that are sent to test you, but always know that tomorrow or the day after will be easier, keep taking those tiny steps forward and don’t give up on yourself.
I promise it will be worth it in the end.