Bekki: Studying with children… you CAN do it!
Bekki studied a Bachelor of General Studies before transitioning into a Bachelor of Education at USQ. She is now a passionate marketer, blogger and proud mum who loves to write and share her experiences and expertise with others.
Hi! I’m Bekki and I’m a mum to a very precious and demanding daughter, Naomi.
During my studies I also worked full-time and I know how demanding juggling family with study can be. We mums have to stick together and during my four-year Bachelor degree at USQ, I picked up some useful tips that I’d love to share with you. It’s no secret that the balancing act can be a tough one, but I’m hoping this advice will help you to see that it can be done. I’ve also added in some e-cards just for fun, because everything is better with e-cards!
1. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself!
Know your limitations and if that means ordering a pizza (home delivered of course) so that you have extra time to study, do it! It will be like a holiday for your children and it definitely doesn’t make you a bad mother! You can hide extra vegetables in the spaghetti sauce next week.
2. Don’t set yourself up to fail.
Sometimes how you imagined your study schedule would go down is not necessarily how it will play out. Learn to be flexible (as I know most of us mums are) and think on your feet. Be creative with your time-management and if you have a spare second, spend it studying. You will thank yourself later when something last minute comes up and you are already prepared with the extra hour you put in the day before.
3. Never feel guilty for having your own goals.
As mums, we spend so much of our time making sure our children have the best possible start in life, we sometimes sacrifice our own goals and dreams. It’s in our DNA to put everyone else first and ourselves second, but there are so many reasons to start studying and so many outcomes that can benefit both you and your family. Your dreams are just as important as anyone else’s. Take pride in your goals and pursue them with confidence!
4. You need to be a little selfish.
Even with study, work and family going on, it is still important to take time for yourself… you definitely deserve it! I make sure each night to run a nice warm bath, lock the door and listen to at least 3 songs on my iPod before I force myself back to reality. Do something you love once a week – whether you bake cupcakes, work out, sleep in on Sunday or read a magazine for 30 minutes, it’s important to take time out for yourself to recharge.
5. Be kind to yourself.
Your mother-in-law calls and wants to pop in on her way home from the shops… the house looks like a small family of squirrels has nested in the lounge room, the beds aren’t made and you have to scrape what you hope is gravy off the floor in the kitchen. We’ve all been there, so don’t stress! Give yourself a break! You are an incredible mum who is balancing study, work and family and if the house only gets a spray of Glen 20 every couple of days, it’s ok. You have the rest of your life for washing sheets and cleaning little fingerprints off windows.
You don’t have to be super-mum all the time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and if someone offers to help you, always take them up on it.
As mums, we’ve heard it many times before: sleep when the baby sleeps. The same can be said for study: study when the children sleep. You will be surprised by how much you can get done! If you have young children, study during the day when they sleep, or if you have older children, study in the evening when your children’s homework is done. Do whatever works for you and your family.
If I can do it, you can do it! As a USQ student we’re so lucky to have the flexibility of studying online, not to mention the expertise and support of our very own Student Relationship Officer (SRO). I’d also encourage you to network with other studying mums, and to stay in touch with the uni through their online communities on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. We are all in this together and these spaces are a great way to share tips, tricks and offer support throughout our studies together.
And finally, here’s to our futures… I may not be the parent of a teenager just yet, but I know that by following my passions and working hard to achieve my goals, by the time she hits her teens Naomi will definitely have a mum to be proud of!
Our gorgeous Naomi. Isn’t she cute?!
For more honest, helpful advice on combining study with your family routine, check out USQ’s Social Hub!