Working parents already struggle with the daunting task of raising kids, running the household, and working a full-time job. Adding coursework to their packed schedule might sound insane. According to the survey on American Time Use, parents who are 25-54 years old spend 8.8 hours working, 7.8 hours sleeping, 2.6 hours enjoying leisure activities, and 1.2 hours caring for children. This leaves them less than 4 hours to spend on schoolwork.
However, parenthood doesn’t have to interfere with your career and academic advancement. If you are planning to pursue a post-grad degree such as business analytics in Singapore, these pointers can help you balance your work, parenting duties, and school.
1. Declutter your study space
Reserve a space for your school work and keep it clean and organized. Clutter affects your ability to focus and limit’s your brain’s capacity to process information. So make sure that your study area is free from any clutter that can cause distractions.
2. Maximize your time
Your work and school will consume much of your time, leaving you with fewer hours for your parenting responsibilities. These are some time-saving strategies that you can follow:
- Prepare multiple meals in advance so that you only need to reheat them during mealtime.
- Instead of driving, consider using public transportation so that you have time to answer work emails or study for an exam.
- Hire a professional cleaning service at least twice every month if it’s feasible.
3. Let your professors and classmates know that you are a working parent
Your professors might not be aware that you are busy multitasking your different roles unless you let them know. They are also humans, and they know the struggle of balancing work, family, and studies. Most of them might be willing to extend a deadline or work with you in case something arises that can impact your academic performance.
It is also a great advantage if you find friends in your classes who understand your busy schedule. If they know your situation, they might volunteer to share their notes if you missed a class.
4. Ask for help
Do not take on all the responsibilities at home because you are not superhuman. Doing more than you can handle can sabotage your life and career goals if you get sick because of fatigue and stress. Delegate other tasks to your spouse and your older children. If your parents live nearby, you can ask them to watch your kids occasionally. Even if they don’t ask for a payment, let them know that their help matters a lot.
5. Practice self-care
Stress and exhaustion can take a toll on your mental and physical health if you forget to take care of yourself. Exercise every day and make sure to get enough sleep. Do not give up your social life, your hobbies, and your me-time. If you prioritize your well-being, you will have enough energy to take on household chores, take care of your kids, complete a school project, and study for an exam.
While the demands of coursework are incredibly challenging, remember that the sacrifices you make when pursuing a degree are temporary. Whenever you feel exhausted and overwhelmed, always remind yourself that the rewards of these short-term challenges are lifelong and insurmountable.