I get asked all the time how I manage to study full time at University with 2 young children who aren’t in full time childcare or school yet and still work. So, I thought I would a blog post with my top tips and some things that I have found work for me.
Tip One: Create a dedicated study area.
I made the decision to put my boys in the one bedroom so that I could set up the other room as a home office to use as my study space. The reason a study area is so important as many mums will know that have books, paper and pens if they aren’t pack away your children will destroy them, lol. You also need a space that really concentrate on your work, for us it also helps that when hubby is home I can close the door in there and the boys think I have gone out, so they don’t look for me.
Tip Two: Have a diary and the real key is to actually use it!!
This is so important especially if you are studying multiple units every semester like I am. I always make sure at the start of each semester I write all the important dates in, so things like assignment due dates or any collaboration sessions that I need to attend and of course when the semester starts and finishes. There is a saying “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail” and I have found this to be accurate when it comes to juggling work, being a mum and trying to get my degree. You need to have a plan and to write important dates otherwise studying is going to be even more difficult for you. You don’t have to get an expensive diary or orgainiser either I picked my one up for under $20 from Kmart.
Tip Three: Make sure you still make time for yourself!
Studying takes up a lot of time, especially if you are planning on doing a fulltime study load as well as work and being a mum. You have to make sure you take a little time to reward yourself for all your hard work, it will help keep you motivated. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant like a day at a spa, It can be a simple as reading a book you’ve been wanting to that isn’t on your university reading list or having a relaxing bubble bath (with the door locked if you have children, lol). It’s just taking a little time out to refocus and remind yourself
Tip Four: Have quality family time!
For me this is the most important tip, there are times because of my degree and the study commitments it requires that I have to sacrifice time with my boys on the weekends. My hubby usually takes them to see there Grandparents up the coast for the day. He will always text me pictures so I can see what they are all up to. So on the weekends that I don’t have an assignment due or studying to do we always try to make the most of that weekend by doing something fun for the boys. Its these moments and weekends with my boys that remind me why I am doing this, that I am making these sacrifices for not just my future career but for my family’s future. There are going to be plenty of times when you might doubt if you are making the right decision and if the sacrifices are worth it, so I personally find that planning fun family times with my boys helps to keep me focused in the hard times.
Tip Five: Create your support network!!!
It is really important to have people around you who support you and believe in what you are trying to achieve. For me my biggest supporter is my husband, he encouraged me to start this degree as it is something I have always wanted to do. Not only that he will take the boys out all day so that I can have the house to myself to get my assignments done. When I am doubting my ability to complete this degree he is always the first person to tell me that I can do this. I’m also lucky enough to have his parents there if I need them to watch the boys (although I have yet to take them up on this offer, lol) and my sister who is always there to give me a kick in the ass when I’m complaining. You need to have people around you that believe in you because they are going to help motivate you to push through when you feel like everything is just too hard and you should just give up.
My final piece of advice to anyone thinking of studying would be to choose something you are interested in and have a passion for. If you have a passion for the career you studying for it is going to be easier to find that drive to get those assignments in on time and to complete the required reading tasks. Studying is boring at the best of times and if you are studying something that you have zero interest in then its going to be more of a chore to do. You need to have that passion that is going to make you want to finish your degree and it is going to be that much more rewarding when you do.
Thanks for reading and as always if there are any requested topics you want me to write about or you have any questions you can comment on latest Instagram post or DM me @studymummysteph.