How To Ease Back Into School: A Single Moms Survival Guide
Being a single mom juggling work and motherhood is challenging enough. Adding school to the mix makes our job even harder. Read on for my survival guide for single moms going back to school.
The Challenges of single Motherhood
Alright so here's a little history about me. I graduated high school then received a music scholarship and attended South Carolina State University for 2 years. In the spring of 2010, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Kymora, who is now 6 years old.
I then moved back home to Lithonia and took some online courses to make it easier on myself. Kymora was born in the fall of 2010, then I got right back into the swing of things in the spring. All I have to say is too soon! Having a newborn while taking a few courses was rough. Like seriously, why didn't anyone tell me that was an extremely bad idea.
living with depression
I didn't fail my courses just got a dose of postpartum depression which prevented me from doing my best, or much of anything so I withdrew. Took a little break until I got my shit together then went back again in 2013. I was then the mother of 2; Kymora now ages 3 and Blake the newbie. I didn't have the proper support I needed to multitask from mother to employee, to student.
One had to give, and I bet you can guess which one. Things proceed to get worse from there, but that's a whole other blog post (stay tuned guys). I've been in denial about my depression diagnoses for quite some time. Learning you have a mental illness is not an easy pill to swallow and it was prevented from finishing something I really wanted.
single mom back to school
Since I've going back to school I have been scheduling all my family's meals with a meal planner and it helps me determine what food to make and what nights to cook on. Using a meal planner has helped me be more organized and I love planning ahead. Create your weekly meal plan for your family to stay ahead and worry about one lest things, instead of last minute drive through meals.
emotional support for single mothers
So, I sought out help and made some lifestyle changes like talk therapy, yoga, and made some new friends. I did therapy for a little and that helped. I love talking to people who make unbiased comments, plus family gets way too emotional. I wanted to sit out until I fully got myself together and able to juggle the demands of motherhood and work. Well here I am now a full-time single mother of 3, attending Georgia State University and boy that is work.
Without the emotional support of my family I don't think I would be able to do this. Being able to work from home helps a ton too. I never could've imaged that one day I would be able to cook dinner, put the kids to bed and type up a discussion for class while being on the clock.
I'm not going to lie, it's hard as hell. Finding the right times to sit down and outline a few chapters then type up a discussion and post it before the deadline is a tad overwhelming. I usually have to wait until the kids are either down for a nap or gone to bed.
I've become accustomed to late nights and coffee. Like seriously, I wouldn't be able to make it without my Keurig and Starbucks. I know what the reward will be for all my hard work so I'm more than willing to deal.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN COLLEGE AS A SINGLE MOM
My advice for any moms or parents in general who want to go back to school is to have support and get organized. I'm very visual and more likely to remember things if I write them down so I bought a planner. I have a separate planner that I use for my everyday life for doctor appointments, kids' homework due dates, field trips and bill due dates. I wanted this planner to be primarily for school so I wouldn't miss a thing. I also have huge dry erase calendar on my wall so it can be in my face. I purchased mine from Marshalls for $8 and my planner from Walmart was $9.
IT'S OKAY TO LET THE HOUSE GO
Now I'm not saying be a total slob, but it is okay to not be on top of household chores everyday. There's never enough time in the day when you have work, help kids with homework, get dinner set, laundry, and your own homework, if you're taking classes. When you just think about that to-do list, you can get discouraged and overwhelmed. Break up your chore list in sections to keep yourself from crashing.
single mother overwhelmed
Single moms need a stockpile of ways to distress, like doing things to regain our balance and focus. In the hectic pace of our lives, taking naps can be the first thing pushed aside for laundry, dishes, homework, or any of our daily task.Before I lose it with my children, even when I'm trying not to, I try to get at least an hour of downtime for myself.
Having children and our jobs involves nonstop demands on our mental, physical, even emotional energy. Now you're adding school into the mix. Taking the time and space we need to recharge helps us be better moms. No matter how full your day is, I promise to at least take an hour to yourself to take a breath and relax. Then resume your course load for the day.
So much of what I've learned has been from my own experience. Of course, every mom has to find her own balance and find out what exactly works for her. For those who haven't found your balance yet, just keep pushing. Remember this is the one thing you can truly do just for you! For more support and accountability join my Rockin' Single Motherhood Facebook community. Hope to see you in there!
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I'm Daisha Renee; single mama, foodie, and lover of yoga. Here on my blog I write about the challenges navigating life as a single mother while suffering from depression. I also provide tips to help with overwhelm and practical solutions for single parenting.