Going back to college can be daunting for anyone, but especially so for a single parent. It can be difficult to balance these two precious parts of your life, but different tips can help you accomplish both of your goals. Heed the following suggestions.
Use time management skills
Proper time management can help you get more done. No matter what you are working on, try to minimize distractions. For instance, if you are studying for a test, you should not answer the phone or check your e-mail unless it is an emergency. Try to pick times to work when you know you are efficient.
You may be able to multitask. For instance, let’s say you need to study for a big test but you do not want your child to just watch television the entire time. You can set your child up with a craft instead. Use innovative techniques to meet the needs of your schooling and kids.
Carefully choose the times for your classes. Think about when your child may need you and when they can be occupied. For instance, if your child is in school during the day, then you may want to schedule your classes for then.
It is important not to procrastinate as a single parent in college. You want to start studying for tests and working on projects well in advance. You never know when your child might get sick or need you, and you may not have the time that you were counting on at the end.
Do not be afraid to ask for help
Single parents do a lot alone, but that does not mean that there is no one there to help at all. It is okay to ask for help in a variety of ways. If you are having trouble with your schooling, then do not be afraid to go to the teacher to get extra assistance. Most college teachers have office hours and what you may spend hours on trying to figure out at home may be solved very quickly.
You may need some extra help with your children. You can hire a babysitter. You may be able to switch babysitting duties with another parent and sometimes watch her child while she watches yours sometimes. This may free up some time without costing you any money.
Keep yourself emotionally together
It is difficult to be a college student and a single parent. Do not overload yourself with classes. It might sound great to try to get everything done quickly, but if you get burned out then it will be a problem. Also, try to get a little time to yourself if possible.
You can also try relaxation techniques. For instance, if you get nervous after dealing with your children and then with a big upcoming test, consider a ten minute mediation from a CD. This may be enough to calm you down.
You should also let go of the dreaded “mommy guilt.” You are doing the best that you can, but there are only so many hours in the day. Remember that you will not be in college forever and are probably doing it partly for your child anyways.
Going back to college can be difficult for a single parent, but the rewards can be great. The above tips can help you with this endeavor.