How To Balance Parenting & Your Online Classes

Heading back to college as an adult when you’ve got a family is a big decision, but it’s also one of the most beneficial and exciting life changes you can make. In fact, because adults today have so many more flexible options to help them achieve their dreams without attending in-person class every day, more and more people just like you are headed back to school to earn their certificate or degree. No one trick exists to successfully navigate school and parenting, but here are some tips to help your journey go a bit smoother.

Set Up A Calendar Or To-Do List

Your best friend during busy times can end up being an up-to-date calendar or to-do lists. Taking the time to make sure your calendar is scheduled as far in advance as possible and that you’ve added and balanced your to-do list so that you can achieve each goal is going to help you feel confident and in control over your schedule. Even though it takes a little bit of time to either create a shared digital calendar and set your reminders or to sit down and write our your to-do list for the semester, month, or week, you’ll be glad you did when you have a clearer picture of the tasks you need to accomplish. 

When those tasks are roaming around in your head without being written down, they can start to feel overwhelming; sometimes they grow to be much larger than they actually are. When you write them down, you can figure out what’s the most important and what can wait (sometimes indefinitely). You end up being in control of them, and they start to shrink. Besides, it feels really great to see how much you’ve accomplished as you check those items off your to-do or cross each day off the calendar. 

Take Online Classes

One of the best solutions for a busy schedule is to sign up for online programs. Online classes give you flexibility that in-person classes simply can’t offer. You can still keep your regular schedule and fit classes in around that. In-person classes are great because you get to meet other people with similar interests, but online classes allow you to pursue your dreams while you also meet the needs of your youngest family members! You don’t have to feel torn: you can have both a family and a great education.

Set Up Schoolwork Time

Setting aside a specific part of each day as time to work on school is one way to make sure you get the time you need to focus on your own academics. Your kids might have questions if they’re young, but once you help them and they’re working, you can read, take notes, organize your notes, or review. Not only is that a good way to get your work done, but you’re also setting an amazing example for your children. They’ll remember the time you spent sitting with them, all of you learning about something different.

Ask For Help

As much as we’d like to tell you that the road is going to be easy, you would know it isn’t the truth. You’re going to have rough patches, but don’t give up. Instead, ask for help from friends, family members, your instructor, neighbors, or online support groups. One thing is for certain, you won’t get the help you need if you don’t let anyone know you need it. Your goals are important; your future is important. You and your goals are worthy of reaching out for help when you feel like you can’t do it on your own. 

Meal Prep

Many parents swear by meal prep to keep their weeks sane. If you’re responsible for cooking for your family, taking the time one morning or evening a week to chop, grate, and pre-cook ingredients can save your sanity on busy days. This is also a great time to delegate. Whether your kids are younger or older, there’s bound to be some task they can pitch in and help with to make meal prep faster and more efficient. 

If you are really determined to make sure meals are done in advance, a single search for “how to meal prep for a month” will give you an abundance of resources explaining how to save money and time by prepping a month’s worth of meals in a single day. Now, that’s a great way to plan ahead!

Be Kind To Yourself

Finally, realize that you are doing something amazing, and even though it might not always go perfectly, you’re doing it, so be kind to yourself! Every single accomplishment should be met by kind words that you give yourself. You will inevitably mess up sometimes or get discouraged; meet your slips and failures with grace, too, knowing every single human who has ever lived has made mistakes and faced challenges – both big and small. You’re doing the best you can, and your goals are worth getting up and trying again. 

To avoid burnout, take some time each day to reflect on your goals and envision yourself as you reach the finish line. How will that feel? Be sure you’re giving yourself time to breath, to relax, or to have some fun. You might find through this process that your boundaries become a bit stronger and your sense of priorities shrink as you work toward your goals, and that’s a normal experience for parents heading back to school. All your hard work will be worth it in the end, and making sure you’re taking care of yourself along the way will make the journey a much more pleasant experience.

Washington Technical Institute

Washington Technical Institute’s fully online certificates can be completed in a matter of months, with daily or bi-weekly start dates. Such flexible start dates make these programs unique and much more accessible for our students. Most of our certificates can be earned as a self-paced program, meaning that you can work at your own pace to complete your work, even finishing early if you have the time and motivation to do so. An additional benefit of WTI’s programs is that we offer affordable pricing and monthly payments to help our students leave school without debt. 

Although our goal is to help our students graduate their programs with little to no debt, we also recognize that some students might need to utilize a loan for their educational investment. We are excited to announce our partnerships with Climb Credit or Ascent, student lending companies focused on financing career-building programs. 

If you’re ready to enroll and start working on a plan for the personal and professional benefit of professional development, you can register for your program online through our website. Still have questions about our programs? Feel free to call us at 800-371-5581 or text us at 952-465-3702 to speak with an admissions specialist.

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Washington Technical Institute is Regionally accredited by the Middle States Association CESS, and licensed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education as an institution of higher learning