Career & Money, Culture, Life, Parenting

How to Juggle Going to Graduate School & Working While Raising A Family

Sometimes within our lives, we begin to take on multiple roles such as being a parent, spouse, doctoral student, and employee. Along with this, there are errands, in-laws, traffic jams, family vacations, doctor’s appointments, and family reunions. For some reason, there will always be a major paper due when there is a big event occurring within the family. There just do not seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that needs to be done. However, when it comes to juggling these multiple roles and wearing these many hats throughout our daily lives, certain strategies can help one to manage it all better. It is possible to remain sane and still be a great parent, have a great relationship with your spouse or mate, excel in your doctoral studies, and do satisfactory work in your job.

Prioritize Your Day

First and foremost, you must begin by prioritizing your day. Make sure that you can accomplish the few tasks that are most important first; therefore, if you run out of time, your day will still be productive. What this might entail is going to work, working on a paper, running a quick errand, and going to get your baby from daycare. If you are like me and tend to try and get too much accomplished in your day, you have to learn to allow yourself some time to rest and relax. You cannot be Superwoman 24/7. Sometimes Superwoman must take off her cape and act like a normal human being. Therefore, instead of rushing off to save the world, go and take a quick nap to recharge your batteries.

Time Management is Your Best Friend

Also, be sure to use time-management wisely. When you are accomplishing great things in life, there is not much time to waste. Therefore, be sure to allow extra time for tasks such as schoolwork. If you can have the opportunity to attend graduate school online and have the dedication to do so, go for it; this will save you time within commuting to school. Begin working on your assignments days or weeks earlier if necessary. You do not want to get overwhelmed with deadlines looming over your head sooner than you expected. If you can complete assignments earlier and submit them, that will also take some of the pressure away from you. Try to make time with your family in the evenings still if possible at least two to three nights a week. It is always helpful if you have an understanding, supportive spouse who can help with the kids.

Keep Your Spouse or Partner A Priority

Your spouse or partner should also be a priority. Be sure to give him or her a few hours per week and make it a point each evening to ask about his or her day. Just a few minutes can make a difference. Once a week, try to spend some time doing an activity together that you both enjoy that is kid-free. You need to be able to interact together as a couple without the children around because one day the kids will be out of the house.

Work Remotely if Possible

If you can, try to work a part-time job while you are juggling so many roles and tasks. You may be able to work two part-time jobs, perhaps one in person and one remotely. This can be especially helpful as a new parent to have a remote position.

Spend Time with Your Children

If you can have your baby at home one to two days a week, this will help you have some quality time with him or her. Of course, this can still be challenging when going to school, managing a household, and working a remote position. However, if you have any grandparents around who are willing to lend a helping hand for a couple of hours, this can make a big difference. Be sure to ask for help when you need it. Occasionally, you may need the grandparents to watch the baby overnight so that you can catch up on some much-needed rest. If you have older kids, then they will be able to do more for themselves. Make sure they are aware of you needing extra time for your studies, but be sure to spend time with them when you can at least once to twice a week.

There Will Be Difficult Days

There will be days when it is so difficult, and you wonder why in the world you are doing everything that you are doing. When you feel this way, take a deep breath and remember that it will not last forever. Eventually, you will graduate from school and be able to obtain a better job. You will then have more time for your spouse, your kids, and yourself. Think about your future goals and what you want to do with your life once you graduate. Keep these goals in mind to keep yourself motivated. Try to cut yourself some slack because there will be days when everything does not work together smoothly and you can begin to get overwhelmed. You may be trying to cook dinner, and the food will burn while the baby is crying. Or you may need to work on an important paper when you partner had a horrible day at work. This will happen from time to time; expect it. But know that it will pass, you will overcome it, and you will be successful in your endeavors.

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