Back to School for Mom: Continuing Your Education While Balancing Parenthood

School is back in session for Polk County on Monday, and while many moms will be packing lunches, laying out uniforms and loading little ones onto the bus, other moms will be doing all of that and heading back into the classroom themselves. As we’ve mentioned before, one of the best ways to boost your chances of finding a great job in today’s competitive market is by boosting your resume and furthering your skills with continued education, whether that be a few certification courses or a whole new degree. If you’re already in the throes of parenthood though, it can seem almost impossible to make that happen. After all, how are you supposed to work through your own homework assignments or class schedules when you’re helping your children make it through theirs?

We know the struggle is a real one, but we also know you can do it, and we want to help. Here are some tips to set yourself up for success if you’re facing the juggling act of going back to school as an adult while taking care of your kids’ needs this coming year:

Schedule, schedule, schedule. Having an organized schedule is a key to success for many things in life, but especially when you’re trying to juggle parenting your kids and going back to school at the same time. Time for the things you need to do won’t just magically happen, so you’ll need to block out segments for various tasks that must be completed each day. For example, if you’re home during the day while your kids are at school, write in a couple of hours (or more if needed) to solely focus on completing school assignments. Not only does this give you uninterrupted time to work but will also free you up to help your children with their own homework (and make it through the dinner rush) each evening. Still have young ones at home during the day? Nap time can be your friend, as can getting up before your kids/staying up after they go to bed in order to knock out your list. Really, it comes down to planning out a schedule and sticking to it rather than leaving each day to chance.

Enlist help. This is especially important if you still have very young ones at home, but having extra hands on deck when you’re attempting to complete classes as an adult can be a lifesaver. Perhaps you’re taking night classes a few days a week, or you have a huge term paper due and need extra time to work without your kiddos around? Ask your spouse or partner to take over parent responsibilities, or send out an SOS to family, friends, or a neighbor. Having a support system is vital for many parents who are heading back to school, and your “village” will be vital in helping you get through some of the hard days when things get overwhelming. Referring to the point above, a schedule can be really helpful even when enlisting help. If you know where the hardest part of the day is, that’s when you should focus on asking for assistance. Maybe a neighbor is willing to come over and sit with your kids while they work on homework before bed so you can head to the corner coffee shop and knock out your paper, or a family member can take your toddler a few mornings a week while you go to class. You’ll be surprised at just how many people are willing to help you reach your goals when they see you making the effort to better yourself by starting a career.

Work on independence for your kids. We are all about supporting your kids 100% and nurturing them as they grow and mature, but does your middle schooler really need you to still pack their lunch each morning, or lay out their clothing for school the next day? You just might be pleasantly surprised at what your kids are capable of if you give them the chance, and they themselves can help take some of the load off you at home when you’re heading back into the classroom. Even the youngest children can help with household chores like feeding pets, wiping down surfaces or cleaning up their rooms. Older children can be trusted with throwing in a load of laundry, cleaning their bathroom, or even packing their own lunches at night, or in the morning before school. Teaching your kids independence isn’t just helpful for you, but it also helps them develop into responsible individuals who are ready to work hard and manage their own lives well as they grow into adulthood.

Congratulations if you’re a mom or dad getting ready to go back to school this year. We hope you feel supported and ready for success by everyone around you, including PHR Staffing Solutions. When you’re ready to start looking for the perfect place to launch your career, we’re here waiting to make it happen for you! From resume writing to matching you with the ideal openings in the greater Polk County area, our services serve one main purpose: to support individuals who want to get hired and find a job they love. How can we help you?