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Strategies for Going Back to College After Having a Baby
Obviously, having a baby changes things. It alters your schedule, impacts your habits and upends your priorities—not to mention temporarily disrupts your sleep patterns. For many new moms and dads, though, the arrival of baby brings more than lifestyle changes. A new baby can change how you feel about your future, making you rethink work and career choices, and amplifying your desire to finish your college degree. Is it crazy to even think about going back to college after baby arrives? Hardly. Plenty of new moms and dads go back to school after baby and find more success than ever. Here’s a round up of some of the best back-to-college strategies for new parents.
- Enlist the help of others. Raising a baby is hard work, whether you’re in school or not. You may be a two-parent household or a single-parent one, but either way you’ll need love, support and help from family and friends. Share your back-to-college plans with those closest to you, then line up willing partners to help with child care duties, household chores or other responsibilities.
- Set a routine. Baby needs a routine anyway, so create one that works for both of you. With a good, solid routine, many moms and dads find they actually get more done than before baby, simply because they’re forced to become efficiency experts.
- Take advantage of “free” time. Truthfully, you may not have a lot of free time with a newborn. If baby is a good daytime sleeper, though, you can use naptime for online learning or studying. Make bedtime for baby extra early and grab another couple of hours for studying.
- Know your limitations. If going back to school full time is too much for your life, take fewer classes. If you’re easily distracted by house and baby, leave your spouse, partner or sitter in charge while you head to the campus library or local coffee shop for your designated study time. Identify your obstacles, accept them for what they are and then find a workaround you can live with.
- Focus on what matters most. Many parents say that when a new baby comes along they give up obsessive cleaning rituals and the dream of a pristine household. Give yourself a break and stop trying to “do it all.” Prioritize family, school and work, then let go of anything else that’s secondary. You just may find it downright liberating to let go of all that perfection and overcommitment.
- Play. Babies provide a great excuse to act silly and have fun. A little bit of downtime is good for baby—and for you. Indulge in it every day.
Still need help making the transition from bottles to books? Let Franklin University help:
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