Being a working mother means you take on two full-time jobs and triple the responsibility. Just because your plate is overloaded does not mean that you should ever allow your needs, desires, or goals to fall to the wayside, significantly if those goals will, in the end, help your family. If you have career aspirations and want further training or education, you deserve to do it. Yes, it will be hard to add on a degree when you are already a working parent, but it is doable.
From Stress to Mess: How to Manage an Online Degree When You Are a Working Mother
It is especially possible when you consider taking on an online degree. Not only can you be a great role model for your kids, but you can actually bond and spend time together by studying and learning simultaneously. You will, of course, need to wait until your children are moderately self-sufficient, but don’t wait for them to move out before you finally get on with your personal goals.
You can do it all. You can be a parent. You can work. You can finish that online degree. It will require the right approach and a few nifty tips and tricks to help you succeed:
What Type of Training and Education Do You Need?
What type of education you should aim for will depend entirely on what training and skills you need and what role you want for yourself. You may find that short courses, workshops, and certificates are more than enough to help you achieve your goals. These are shorter and far less demanding than a full degree.
On the other hand, you may need that degree before you can legally progress in your career. For example, if you are an RN, you must learn an MSN program before advancing. To future-proof your career by putting you at the top of your field in terms of training, you will even want to consider a DNP. The good news is that there are many ways that you can even earn a doctor of nursing practice online, with several BSN to DNP options that allow you to make consistent and steady progress towards your goal.
These are just a few examples to showcase how important it is to understand what you need and the options that will help you get there. From fast-tracking to breaking up the skills into individual courses or certificates, you can find something that fits your goals and situation.
Preparing Your Home
It can be very tiring to be a working mother. Trying to add on a degree can feel like a disaster. To achieve your dreams, you will need all the support you can get, starting with your home. You should have a space where you can work peacefully in. This should be out-of-limits of your kids, and somewhere that is ideally quiet and peaceful. You will want a desk, a second monitor, and other support tools as necessary (for example, a keyboard or Bluetooth mouse). Ensure that this space has a strong internet connection so that you can work seamlessly.
You will also want to look into the software tools that can help upgrade your setup. In most cases, the tools you will need should be cloud-based. This will make it easy to switch devices and keep working on what you were doing, but more importantly, it means all your work is backed up and safe no matter what.
Finally, always consider the furniture. The desk should be the right height. You should have a comfortable chair, you need a bright lamp, and you should even have a laptop stand if necessary. The good news is that if you have already been working from home, you should already have a WFH space that you have perfected over the years, so use that.
In addition to WFH space, you may consider displaying your certificates on the wall behind you. This will serve as a reminder of your accomplishments and help you feel more confident in your abilities. Nowadays, there are a lot of tips for how to display your certificates on the wall, you can easily find them by quick research.”
Have Out-of-House Places to Study
Sometimes, you need to work and study somewhere else. If you are on a tight budget, there are cafes and your local library. Never underestimate local libraries’ importance, especially when needing a quiet place to study. Not only will you have everything you need, but you will even be within easy reach of personal study resources.
If you have some money in your budget for a hot desk, this can be another great way to get out of the house for work and your degree. Look for options that offer coffee, tea, and snacks to keep you fueled up while you work.
Preparing Your Routine
Success will always come in the form of a routine. Just a little bit every day will eventually help you reach your goal. Not only will it help keep you going, but it can also be beneficial for kids. If they know when mom is working, they know when to stay away or play something quietly because it has become part of their routine.
Setting New Ground Rules
Ground rules will also need to be established. These rules should be simple, with the consequences laid out. Part of these rules can include what your children should do while you are studying instead of what they shouldn’t do. What this means for you will depend entirely on your kids’ ages and your needs.
You cannot do it alone. The adage “it takes a village to raise a child” is accurate and should be your mantra when asking for help. If you have a partner, they need to be in with you 100%. You should also see what type of help you can expect from family and friends. Having just one weekend a month where your kids go for a sleepover at their grandparents can be a huge relief and chance for you to either work on your degree or relax and reset.