Balancing parenting and studying

Are you a studying mum or dad? Well, I salute you because it’s a tough gig. Juggling study with anything else in life is a battle – it’s hard to decide what takes priority and how to give your course the amount of time it deserves.

My story:

Over the years, as someone who has studied multiple degrees, I had to learn how to prioritise areas of my life. I have studied a media degree, criminology and criminal justice and am now completing my masters of secondary education.

One of the common things that I have noticed is that each time I graduate, I am congratulated for achieving the qualification and getting through it with the additional priorities in my life!

I am lucky to have a partner who supports me in what I do. He is a police officer, so he has a lot of spare day-time hours to help out around the house, enabling me to juggle my conflicting priorities – being work, running my own business on the side and of course the little people in my world.

It occurred to me how free my time would be without a study commitment and at the end of my criminology degree I promised myself that I would never study again. After ten years, I was ready to do the things I wanted to do – spend hours with my family and friends, explore different cities, focus on my health and chase other life dreams.

But 12 months of not studying made me miss it (you too will feel like that one day), so hence why I am back!

How did I do it?

Well, I don’t have a magic wand but it took learning how to juggle different things and taking small, simple steps to make it happen.

  • Meals:

I write my weekly dinner menu on the whiteboard pinned to my fridge – there I remove thinking and the need to shop unnecessarily. I ensure all ingredients are in the house prior to the day of cooking.

  • To-do tasks:

I have a diary that I carry everywhere with me and write everything I want to achieve in that day. Assignments, meetings, the gym, shopping, birthdays and of course, things like writing my Charlie blogs.

I tick them off each time I do them and then I work strategically through my list. I never make an excuse to skip anything.

  • Health:

It is easy to skip the gym and do my work instead but it’s not about that. I know what I have to do in a day and therefore, I structure my gym time accordingly. Depending on my schedule, it could be either 5am or 5pm.

  • Ask for help:

I ask for help when I need it and have had to learn to say no. Learning to say no to other people means I am saying yes to myself. Meaning I have time to plan and get everything done.

I guess the best part is – know your limits, enjoy the time you have and devote yourself wholeheartedly to the things you want done!