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the mommyhood memos: mom hat, student hat: important tips for studying moms

Friday, September 24, 2010

mom hat, student hat: important tips for studying moms

By Queenie, author of The Planet Pink

{This post is part of the Moms Who Work series.}

{queenie with her hubs and all four princesses}

When I decided about 6 months ago that I wanted to get my certification at a childbirth educator, I didn't really fully consider the implications behind that.  My 10 year college reunion is this fall, so it's been a LONG time since I was in school and I have zero experience with being in school while managing a house full of kids.  So when the stack of books arrived in the mail that first day, I sorta freaked out.  I sat and stared at them for a full month before deciding what to do.

But recently I've started easing myself into a rhythm.  It's not fool proof and I still need to do some tweaking.  I'm not getting as much study time during the day as I'd like yet.  But I'm getting closer.  And there are a few things I've discovered along the way that I think will help make my life as a student easier, and hopefully yours too.

1.  Get a calendar, and USE IT.  There is no earthly way you will be able to keep track of all the assignments, tests and projects assigned to you in the midst of keeping track of when to pay bills, helping kids with homework, making grocery lists and other random household tasks that fall under your domain.  You might think that there's no way you'd forget that major term paper, but have you ever had life sneak up on you?  Yeah, it'll do just that.  You'll wake up one morning and realize you have one day to get it written.  And that's not going to be a good day for mama or anyone else in mama's family.  Which brings me to #2....

2.  Schedule yourself.  No, it's not always fun to be a slave to a schedule, but being a student is just a season in your life and I promise it will be easier if you give in to a little structure for awhile.  If you've got a test looming or a paper to write, spread out the preparation over time, give yourself plenty of time to fit it all in.  Schedule out a few weeks in advance so you can see how to fit in life in the midst of school.  And definitely make sure to allow some time in that schedule to just breathe.

3.  Get hubby and the kids on board.  This is a family effort, sending mama to school.  The kids need to understand how important this is - it's a Big Deal!  They learn that by seeing daddy help out during the day, doing chores, running errands, picking up slack.  If they see daddy go out of his way to make life easier for mama while she's studying, then maybe (hopefully!) the kids will too.

4.  Be proud of your accomplishments!  Like I said, it's a Big Deal for mama to go to school, whether you're going back for a second degree or trying to finish off your first.  You should be proud of your efforts because it's hard work.  We all know that parenting doesn't end when the kids go to bed.  Regardless of tests or papers hanging over your head, there will still be laundry to do and meals to plan.  It is no small feat, so as you drag your worn out body to bed, be proud of what you managed to do that day, even if it was just get the kids out the door to school.  There's always tomorrow.

Bottom line, going to school and being a mama at the same time is a tough job.  And if you happen to have an out of the home job on top of all that, my hat is off to you!  Do your best, work hard, be proud of your accomplishments and cut yourself slack when necessary.  The time will pass whether you push yourself or not, and in the long run I think you'll be much happier to look back on this time and know that you've done all you can do.

Happy studying!

Bio: When Queenie is not busy changing diapers and planning meals for her crew of 4 princesses, she can be found sneaking in study breaks and reading up on all things related to childbirth.  She calls The Planet Pink her home on the web, where she chronicles her life as mama, wife and someone slightly obsessed with coffee.  She lives Somewhere in the Middle with her hubs, 4 princesses and her only boy, a pug named Max.

Further reading in this series:

Dear mommy-friends, are you a studying mom? If so, I salute you! It's no small task to balance motherhood with student life. How are you coping? And what do you do to thrive in your many roles? Which of Queenie's tips do you need to take to heart for this season?

    in awe of moms who study,

    adriel booker | the mommyhood memos | 2010 
    do not reproduce without written permission

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    At September 24, 2010 at 3:39 AM , Blogger Casey Martinez said...

    Queenie is so inspiring. 4 girls and going to school, homework, tests etc. I feel bogged down with one kiddo. Thanks for the tips Queenie and good luck with the classes!

    At September 24, 2010 at 4:07 AM , Blogger cooperl788 said...

    This is truly an inspiring story. Going back to school is never easy, but doing it with kids? My hat's off to you Queenie!

    At September 27, 2010 at 11:18 AM , Blogger adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

    You inspire me Queenie! I love that you've found something you're passionate about and that you're making a way to be able to pursue that dream. (And love that your hubs and fam is supportive too - so important!) Thanks for this wonderful post!

    At October 5, 2010 at 11:53 AM , Blogger Cameron said...

    I love Queenie! I have loved talking to her about birth experiences & I think it's so awesome that she's going back to school for something she's really passionate about!! School with kids is tough, but I'm sure she'll do great!!


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