6 tips for new parents going back to school

By Breeana Draper

Going back to school after having a child can be rewarding but very exhausting. Earning your college degree can ensure that you and your child have a bright future. It gets challenging along the way, so here are a few tips to help you through it:

1. Don’t feel guilty: Studying and working means spending a little less time with your baby, and that can make you feel guilty at times. However, when the guilt sets in, just remember why you are doing this in the first place. You’re doing this for them. To make up for it, try to set aside time during the week just for you and your child to bond. In this way, you will both have something to look forward to.

2. Have a support system: Whether it’s your parents or very close friends, have people that you can rely on to help you every, as necessary. When things get busy with school, dishes and laundry may pile up at home, it is okay to ask for help. You can do it all without having to do it all by yourself.

3. Review the syllabus and get ahead: Professors tend to put all due dates for assignments in the syllabus. If there are assignments you can complete before the classes begin, just get it done. When the due dates arrive, you’ll be able to relax instead of scrambling to pull it together. Also, communicate with your professor about your situation. They are more likely to be understanding if something comes up and you miss a deadline.

4. Study during naptime/bedtime: The best time for getting work done is when your child is sleeping. It is no secret that you must keep a watchful eye on small children. If they like to touch all over your laptop and books, it makes it difficult to get work done. Work quickly and quietly at night to make sure you are prepared for class.

5. Prep the night before: Getting yourself and your child ready in the morning may be a race against time. Pack lunches and layout clothes the night before to save time in the morning. This could be helpful if you lose a few hours of sleep while studying at night.

6. Know when you need a break: As a full-time parent and student, you get caught up in what everyone else needs. Always remember that you deserve a break sometimes to clear your head and reenergize. Go for a walk, spend time catching up on your favorite shows, or just sleep in for a change. You’ve earned it.