Two things: expectation management, and scheduling/planning ahead. Those are my secrets! Sounds easy enough, right? Well let me break it down a little bit…
First of all, as moms, we all know our days often do not go as according to plan. For those days, you have to be willing to let go of what you cannot control, and adjust your day accordingly. You planned on studying early in the morning before your little one wakes up but they decided to wake up before 5 am? A good nap and a few tweaks to your schedule will definitely be necessary! And coffee…lots of coffee.
I raised my daughter on the “Babywise” scheduling method since she was born, and having a daily schedule, or even just a guideline to follow, has saved my sanity! It’s been a lifesaver, not just for me, but for my 2 year old as well. Children actually thrive on schedules and knowing what to expect in their day, so it is a win-win for everyone. 🙂
If you know when you child naps and for how long they nap, then you can plan your study time accordingly. My daughter sleeps about 2-hours now, so I take one of those hours to nap (especially now that I am pregnant with my second and get tired pretty quickly) and the other hour to study.
I also take advantage of the mornings when she is more sleepy and like to lay on the couch, or play quietly with her toys. She will either watch a cartoon, or have independent playtime for an hour while I study.
On the days that I have more study work than normal to do, I chose a simple dinner (or let my husband make his own when he comes home! He doesn’t mind), 😉 and do a little more school-work while he plays with our toddler.
The weekends are when I catch up and accomplish my tests, quizzes, and finish my papers. Saturday mornings, my husband plays with our daughter (and catches up on his football!) while I complete quizzes and extra homework in my room with the door locked. Bless our children’s needy little hearts. 😉
Sunday afternoon and evening are for finishing papers. I will usually do this while my little one naps and then work on it some more in the evening.
With this kind of schedule, we still have pretty full weekends to spend time as a family and relax–online college has been such a blessing!
So again, just remember that not every day goes as planned and that is okay, but the weekends can be used to catch up, and a daily planner (filled out a week advance before each class) is your best friend!
College as a SAHM is totally doable! Find your support system, the people that will cheer you on and have your back and encourage you on the tough days. As with everything, this is but a season of life and I know you can do it!