Are you a mom or a dad raising a family while being an online student? If yes, then you can surely relate to the things you will be reading in this piece. Being a student, parent, and a full-time or part-time worker is never easy. Also, there would be times when you will have assignments to do but you would also want to spend quality time with family. At times you would find yourself in a mental struggle as to what should be given priority – family, work or studies?
Here are ten practical tips that would help you survive your distant or online study program while managing your work, life and family.
1. Be Positive
Positivity can change your life drastically. If you think you are unable to manage your life, you need to reconsider. If you are juggling an online study program, full-time work and family, just realise that this is short-term. After you’re done with your studies, you will have plenty of time to relax. Also, you will be able to spend more time with your family with a better job opportunity and a successful life.
Sit down and analyse your aim in life. What personal or career outcomes are you aiming for? How many units or modules does your course have? Write everything down and then focus on your plan. If you are focused and motivated, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals. Most online programs are flexible, allowing the students the freedom to study as per their availability. Plan your days accordingly. Set deadlines for yourself and prioritize accordingly.
3. Build a Support Network
Having a support network is one of the most significant resources that you possess while you juggle all your responsibilities. It is important that your employer, friends, spouse and other family members support you. If your work is stressing you, discuss with your manager. After communicating your issues, they may be able to reduce the workload or give you some flexibility or leverage.
Ask your family if they can help you with your responsibilities. It would be great if they can look after your children for a few hours. However, if this is not possible then that’s okay. Think about other options. You may engage your children in some activities while you study. Also, you can study while you commute (if you take the train to your work). Another way can be to complete your assignments while the children are sleeping. It is tough but if you are focused and motivated, nothing can stop you.
4. Plan Your Curriculum
Don’t overload your schedule with study work. You can allot one to two hours for your studies per day. There is no need to devote your entire day to study. Don’t leave your assignments to the last minute. It will not only affect the quality of your work but will also put you in a lot of stress.
And what if an emergency arises? What if you are stick because of work load or family issues? Life is very unpredictable! Therefore, it is better to start your work as early as possible. If you plan your curriculum wisely, the chances are that you will be able to give your family enough time without stressing yourself out.
5. Be Prepared for Emergencies
It is very common for children to fall sick. At times, they may just have a cranky day and need your attention more than usual. Include this factor in your plan and be prepared for it. Master the art of completing your work in advance.
6. Maximize Your Time
Plan your tasks on hourly basis. It is important to relax but when it’s time to work, don’t procrastinate. Set up a quiet place at your home for studying to avoid distractions and build focus. It would help you make the most of every day. Maximizing your time would also help you learn to prioritize your work.
Spend quality time with your family and friends on weekend. Treat yourself with things you love – a couple of hours on the weekend to read the book, a cup of coffee at your favorite café with your best friend or a simple phone call to your friend or mum to just talk about things you love.
7. Give yourself Incentives
Incentives are definitely the best way to motivate us. Set daily or weekly goals. On achieving those goals give yourself incentives – treat yourself with your favorite food, spend more time on things you love on the weekends, buy yourself a new book, a new shirt or anything that you love or have a spa-day with your friend.
8. Simplify Your Life
Don’t overload yourself! Your friend who is nagging you to meet can wait for few more days. You can meet your in-laws at a local restaurant rather than inviting them to your home. Cut back things where you can. Don’t cook meals that take a lot of preparation and cooking time. Learn to cook simpler recipes and order inexpensive food on weekends. Save your cooking time on the weekend and spend that time with your family instead.
9. Look Out for a Study Buddy
Look out for mums and dads who are in the same boat. If you are enrolled in an online or distant learning study program, use the forums to find other parents who are studying and working in your area. Many universities support working parents and offer to be a part of a network that supports the working lives of such parents. You will be able to study together while your children play together. Moreover, you may also take turns to watch over the kids. This will also help your children to socialize and spend time with their friends while you study.
10. Take Help from a Professional
If your family life and work life are very demanding and you are finding it hard to take out time for your assignments then you need not worry. You can always take help from an assignment help company instead of compromising on your family time or personal life. These assignment writing services would help you complete your tasks on time without you being stressed.
A Genuine Advice
In short, parenting alone is a tough and relentless job. When combined with other responsibilities such as study and work, it gets tougher. However, with good planning and wise decisions, a balance between work, family and study can be achieved.