Going to School with Small Kids
One of the challenges that women in particular face is the challenge of balancing family life and school work. I've totally been there and done that. When my son was just three months old, I returned to school for my nursing pre-requisites. It wasn't easy, but I did it. After a few short months, I was enrolled in an accelerated BS to MSN program with a deployed spouse and no family nearby. Although it was terribly difficult, it was a learning experience, and I survived. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Please allow me to share a few tips with you if you are like I was, trying to be a supermom and super student.
1. Your daily planner is your life. Seriously, if you do not have a daily planner, then you need to get on the bandwagon and buy one. I recommend and use a Vera Bradley student agenda. It has both the monthly views as well as a two page layout for weekly views. You write everything in that planner. Seriously, EVERYTHING. At the beginning of the semester go through all your syllabi and write down all due dates. About 5 days prior to a deadline, begin to write "Finalize _______" to give yourself a mental kick in the butt to ensure your assignments are completed not only on time but ahead of time. If you're a mom, you cannot plan when you or your child gets sick. Get ahead of the curve by preparing now.
2. Stay hydrated. I know this sounds silly, but carry a water bottle with you at all times. Drink all day long. When your mind is on everything but your own health, you may accidentally neglect yourself. If you don't take good care of yourself, you won't be any good to anyone else. Also bring healthy snacks with you and set an alarm to remind yourself to eat. Failure to do so will result in a mandatory Big Mac via the local drive thru on the way home and a guaranteed bonus 30lbs for the semester.
3. Get into a routine and stick with it. You're not going to school forever, so if it's a little hectic, that's ok. Here was mine:
5:30am get up and get ready.
6am Wake/feed/dress baby.
6:45 Drop baby at daycare.
7:00 Arrive to school.
7:15 study/eat breakfast until 8am.
8am-9:30am Class then snack
12:30-5pm Clinicals or class
5:15pm Pick up baby
5:15pm Pick up baby
5:30-6:30pm Dinner with the baby
6:30-7pm Bath and bed for baby
4. Notice that I have bedtime listed. Sleep is SOOOOO important!!! You need to try to get as much as you can. Normally I'm an 8 hours kind of gal, but during nursing school, I cut back. I know it doesn't sound like enough, but most of my friends were getting 4-6 hours of sleep per night, so my 6 hours was quite luxurious in comparison.
If you have any more questions about time management, please feel free to comment! I look forward to hearing from you!