If you think you don’t have time for higher education, think again! Here’s a few tricks to fit online schooling into your busy Mom schedule.
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While I wasn’t a Mom when I attended school, I did work full-time and completed grad school online. It wasn’t easy. And I’m sure adding ‘Mom’ to that mix would’ve made it even harder. But, with a little scheduling savvy, you, too, can further your higher education.
If You’re a Working Mom
Wake Up Early
I hate waking up early, so in order to give myself the drive to roll out of bed, I’ve got to have some sort of reason or plan.
In this case, your plan would be school. Even knocking out one reading assignment or short paper before your children wake up or you have to head off to work, can definitely lighten your load when deadlines approach.
On the contrary, you could stay up late, but I don’t recommend that. Silly, I know, but sleep is important and if you’re running on fumes at the end of the day, you’re not going to accomplish much anyway.
So rest when you can, and work when you’re rested. You’ll get more out of your higher education that way.
Work Through Your Lunch Break
Nobody wants to take break time to do more work. I get that. But, to get everything done in one day, you just might have to pour over some lecture notes or reading assignments while you’re devouring that salad.
If you really want to have some time to relax during your lunch break, set 15-minutes aside to eat in peace, and spend the other 15-45 minutes doing school work.
Flex Your Hours
Depending on your type of work, you may be able to flex your hours. Meaning, you’ll work more on Monday and less on Friday, or something along those lines.
Speak with your boss to figure out what works best for everyone. But, if you’ve got scheduled class times at night, make sure that’s expressed to the powers that be so you can always get home in time for online class to start.
I know in my field of recreation, Summer’s are always busier and Winter’s are slower. Use that to your advantage. Work extra in the Summer so you can take those hours off in the Winter without it hurting your pay.
Use Your Sick Days & Vacation Time
If worse comes to worse and you just can’t get everything done when you need to, use your sick days or vacation time. Being stuck in the house studying or writing all day, means no one will know you weren’t really sick.
If You’re a Stay-At-Home Mom
Wake Up Early
Yes, I already said this, but it goes for SAHMs, too.
Just make sure you set up shop in an area where your activity won’t wake your children. There’s nothing worse than waking up early to tackle an assignment, only to have your child stirred awake not more than 10 minutes later.
Work Through Nap Time
Some days I like to take naps when #1 does. Other days, I like to clean the house, or shower. But, if I want to get something accomplished, like a paper written (or a blog post), I do it when #1 is napping.
I can usually get a solid two-hours of uninterrupted working time and you can, too.
Some days #1 skips his nap and I feel helpless in getting things tackled. But, with the right quiet activities, I can still get some things accomplished. Some quiet activities I recommend, include:
- Screen time (gasp!)
- Independent play
Hire a Sitter or Drop The Kids at Childcare
When all else fails, call in someone to help. Whether you have a sitter come to the house, or you take the kids to childcare. Do what you have to do to make sure they’re entertained and watched, and you can tackle your other responsibilities.
We are regulars at the YMCA and coincidentally, they also have WiFi. So, if I’m ever strapped for time to get things done, I’ll take #1 to Child Watch and sit in their lobby area to write.
This could also mean asking Hubs to take over the responsibilities or bringing Grandma into the mix. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to do this alone.
There’s always time to learn more, and even if you can’t swing the cost of online school right now, head to your local library. Browse the non-fiction section and find a topic that interests you. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn just by reading 20 minutes a day.
Alternatively, check out your local recreation center for Extended Learning programs.
Go Get ‘Em!
Now that you’ve figured out how to make higher education fit into your schedule, you tackle that degree! Let me know in the comments where you’re going to school and what you’re studying, too. Bonus points if you go to Clemson!
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