How To Ease Back Into School: Survival Guide
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Being a single mom juggling work and motherhood is challenging enough. Adding school to the mix makes our job even harder. As this is a very important achievement, we quickly have to learn to delegate our task wisely, set deadlines, reminders, and get organized.
Did you know that 36.4% of single moms have yet to graduate from college and 15% have not graduated high school? With a lack of emotional and physical support, lack of ways to manage mental illnesses, and the overwhelm that comes with motherhood, can make going back to school stressful. Read on for my survival guide for single moms going back to school.
living with depression
I 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 myself together then went back again. I was then the mother of 2; My daughter now ages 3 and son 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. 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 preventing me from finishing something I really wanted. After some lifestyle changes like proper time management, delegating my most important tasks, time blocking, getting super organized, involving my family in my plans, setting hours I can work on assignments helped.
Depression can take control of your life, but you don't have to let it, especially if finishing school is something that is very important to you. Learn ways to cope with depression and everything else will fall into place. Start by 10 minutes of meditation in the morning, a gratitude list, and some fresh air to regroup.
meal planning mommies
Since I've going back to school I have been scheduling all my family's meals with a weekly 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. Yes, the drive thru is quicker, but you're also spending more money you probably don't really have. Plan ahead of time, store what you can by freezing it. Having your meals scheduled in advanced is a huge time saver, thus allowing you to focus more on your studies and saving money in the bank.
emotional support for single mothers
Here I am now a full-time single mother of three, 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.
Talk to your family about helping out with the kids when you need a few hours to study. Create a list of your most important assignments and time block in. Tackle the items you are least excited about working on and get it off the list. When it's time to get back home and your a little more distracted, it will be easier to multitask because you've already tacked all the hard stuff.
single mom going back to school
My advice for any moms or parents in general who want to go back to school is to 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 Marshall's for $8 and my planner from Walmart was $9.
Being a single a single mom and going back to school means who you'll need some good time management. Not just with school, but your home life as well. Like with school, list you're most important task, the ones you have no interest in doing at all and get those out the way. Doing this will free up more time for your studies. When you're feeling overwhelmed refer to your planner, break up task throughout the week to keep from getting burnt out.
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.
help for single mothers
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!
I'm Daisha Renee; single mama, foodie, and lover of yoga. Here on the blog, I love providing powerful solutions for overwhelmed single moms who struggle with balancing all the components of single motherhood.