Is It possible to study fulltime, be a mum to 2 small children and have time with my family?

Stacey - posted on 06/26/2013 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Hi, I'm looking into fulltime study next year, altogether its going to take 5 yrs. My first born is 2 in October and my youngest is almost 7 weeks but will be 10 months when i study. I'm worried that I wont be able to balance study, have time with my family and I also go to church tuesdays and sunday, I'm not good and time management which is why i"m so worried. Please help!!

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Cherisse - posted on 06/29/2013

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I am almost finished with my doctorate after six years of full-time parenting, full-time working, and full-time school. My children were 3 and 8 when I started. The key for me was getting up early. I could rarely do anything after they were down (I've always been a morning person). I also learned to make the most of time, such as while they were at ballet and soccer practice. While other parents were chatting up or playing on their phones, I was in my car reading.

One thing that I am proud of though ~ I made a commitment that whenever they got up in the morning, I would physically put down, close my computer, and greet them like they were the most special creatures in the world, which they are. There were plenty of times when they probably wanted my attention and I didn't give it to them, but that was one of my goals.

I had to travel for my school, which was so hard on my family at first. I would be gone several times a year for five days. It was especially tough on my little one at first. But I will say that my husband was awesome, and he had to learn both roles. He had to know their school needs, after-school shuffle, where their socks were, why my little one is such a pill about her shoes, etc. He now cherishes those memories, and is a better father because of it.

Good luck!

Cassandra - posted on 06/28/2013

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Hi I agree that with children that are young part-time study is the way to go, I'm currently in my second year and have a three year old and a seven year old and an older teenager who is quite Independent. I have to say although studying for something worthwhile is thoroughly enjoyable it is extremely hard work and brings with it feelings of guilt, panic and exhaustion along with others. Time management is key and something I would try and master before you start your studies. I study mornings when my son is at nursery and evenings when they are in bed and one day at the wknd. Ideally I would like more study time but my time with my children is precious and so I base my studies majorativly around them. However with young children as I'm sure you will or may have encountered, there are occasions where they are more demanding possibly due to illness or anxieties that may arise with new circumstances or night terrors and so when these occur you will be prone to more distractions from studies and that is why I think part-time is the way forward as the pressure is there but not as intense... Trying to write a paper when you've been up most of the night with a teething or sick baby is extremely hard... If studying part time you can have the occasional day off for emergencies... Plus I think it's hard to give 100% of your effort to lots of things at the same time whereas as studying part time gives you a good and more equal balance of attention. Another thing that helps too is that in semesters I hire a cleaner once a wk just to help me keep on top of the house work... I love studying.. But I love my children more and would not sacrifice their welfare for my ambition... When my son starts school which will be next September I will then switch to full time to complete my degree quicker... Good luck :)

Mary - posted on 06/29/2013

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Good News!!! It is possible. When the economy took a dive in 2008 my husband and I both found ourselves laid off with 4 small kids at home to take care of. We came up with the idea to both got to nursing school, but no idea of how hard it would actually be. We sold everything that we owned including one of our cars and we moved our large family into a single wide trailer. We both enrolled full-time and prayed every step of the way.

It's all about sacrifice and commitment. You can do it, but you can't do it all. There will be days when the dishes are not done, when the laundry will pile up, and when you just want to give up. My youngest daughter came to us half way through our studies and asked "mommy, are we poor now", It was devastating. Days like that make you work even harder.

Put a support system in place, friends, family, and neighbors. Have a plan A, plan B, and plan, C. Sit with them and get commitments. Early on we spoke in depth with our friends and family about how they could help. My in-laws committed to picking the children up from school if they were sick and they even took over after school activities. My parents sent $200 a every month, sometimes more. Our neighbor committed to cutting our grass every week. And our church family did more than I can even begin to tell you. We attended bible study every Wednesday and Praise and Worship service faithfully every Sunday, and we were blessed for it.

Do not worry about your time management skills or the lack there of, if you are determined you will figure it out, just like I did. I wish you the best.

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2013

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There's only one way to get good at time management, and that is lots of practice. However, I will say that studying at home with two such young children would be very difficult. I spent years working at home, and by the time my daughter was 3, I had to put her in daycare twice a week just so I could get my work done, and also found I had to get things done after she was in bed at night. I could still get SOME things done during her waking hours, but it wasn't consistent.

If it is at all possible, I would consider taking it on part time initially and see how you go.

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19 Comments

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Holly - posted on 07/02/2013

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It will change your family dynamic. I am in nursing school (just completed 1st year), work and have 2 young children. Although it reduces family time, you can make some studying family oriented. My kids provide good practice for "landmark" finding (apical pulse or greater trochanter). They enjoy playing with a stethoscope, listening to lung & bowel sounds, etc. Kids love learning so share what you are learning with them. You will have family time, but it has to be creative. Sometimes mine just get on the bed while I am reading, snuggle & watch a video (I can tune out the distracting shows). Good luck!

Holly - posted on 07/02/2013

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I am a a mother of a two year old and pregnant again with number two, my husband also has two children as well. I have been studying full time since shortly after my son was born and it has its ups and downs but for the most part has been great. Most colleges have very flexible schedules and online classes for you to take. I have usually opted to take a combination of online and on campus classes so I can spend time with my family. It will be rough at first because you will need to establish a routine for your school work and discipline yourself to study but with support from your family you will do great!

Alvilda - posted on 07/02/2013

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It is really hard. I'm not saying it can't be done, but if your not in a rush I would hold off until they are both school age. I have 3 ages 8,7, and 5. Now that they are all in school I started back at work and school. It is great because it is something I love. Still, I've had many sleepless nights with my husband begging me to come to bed. I'd say be careful, because you don't want to be a cranky mom all the time, dropping off kids and picking them up without having time to enjoy them. Kids need relaxed down time with you. My prayers are with you that you make the best decision for yourself and your family.

Rebecca - posted on 07/01/2013

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Hello from sunny Australia! I started my 3 year degree 10 years ago. I'm about to graduate at the end of this year. During this time I have lost 4 babies during pregnancy, broken my back after having my youngest, worked full-time, run not one but 3 businesses, worked as a mystery shoppers, filled in surveys (in my spare time), gone through a marriage breakdown, suffered depression and had 3 nervous breakdowns and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm pleased to say that I top my class nearly every semester, won a scholarship and a monetary prize for being the top of the class for two years running. I have every faith that you already have the skills to succeed. You are a mum...you don't know how to fail!

Desiree - posted on 07/01/2013

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If you want that degree, certification or what ever you desire...you will find a way. I am the mother of 5. I recently earned my BAS in less than 2 years (already had an AA.) I studied late at night, wrote papers with my then 2 year old on my lap because she didn't want dad. You will succeed!! I have every confidence in you!!!!

Kristy - posted on 06/30/2013

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It's sooo hard. I work full time, school part time nights (2 classes) and have my 4 year old at home. I wouldn't recommend full-time, but if you stay at home during the day it's a possibility.

Erin - posted on 06/30/2013

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I am in a very similar position. I have a 4 year old and a 6 month old and I start my last year of my masters next week. I also volunteer at hospice and will probably intern. I went to school with my 4 year old and interned i but will find out what it's like with 2 kids soon. I believe it is possible. Mostly because it has to be possible. It is amazing what one can accomplish when they must. Just accept perfection is impossible and what is important is you love your kids and are doing your very best for them and yourself. Also it helps if a messy house doesn't bother you as much. I am working on that. Good luck and breathe.

DEEDRA - posted on 06/30/2013

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Absolutely!!! It's rough while your doing it, but it is WELL WORTH IT in the end!!!
I myself am a single mom of 2 wonderful children. Back in 2005 I was waitressing F/T, going to college for nursing F/T and raising my children by myself F/T. In the midst of all that I also spent many days in and out of hospital with chest pains, and ended up getting a heart cath. done!! You'd figure that would slow me down a bit, but no it made me push even harder to succeed in my studies, work and being the best mom I could. Women are stronger than we realize, just keep your chin up kiddo!! If I can do it so can you..... :-)

Stacey - posted on 06/30/2013

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Aw gosh ladies you are all such strong women, I've read all of your stories and I'm almost in tears. Inspiration is whats struck me right now. Positive is what I need to be as I get down in to study. I'm so thankful that you all have given your time to help me see that If I'm determined enough then I can do anything while also giving my family quality time :)

Kristin - posted on 06/29/2013

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Of course it's possible! You just have to have a good mind set about it. My son is 2, and I only have one, but i go to school full time, work two jobs and take care of my son and fiance, as well as our house. As long as you stay positive you will be able to do it. Don't EVER give up on yourself!

Adriane - posted on 06/28/2013

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I did it with a 2 yr old and a baby, but it wasn't easy. Online and night classes helped so I was only away 2 or 3 nights a week. But it was really difficult to juggle study time with the baby especially. I am very academic oriented so really put myself into my studies. I graduated with a 4.0 but had a guilt complex for years after because there were times my children wanted my attention and I felt I had to get my homework done or study for a test and didn't give them that time. They are only little once! I wish I would have done things a little differently.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/28/2013

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I am a mom of 2 (a 4 year old and a 6 month old). I have been going to school full time for the past 2 years. I also work full-time. It is definitely possible to do all this and still have time for family. I try my best to get all my studying done during the week, so my weekends can be devoted to family. If my kids need my attention during what would normally be study time, I give it to them. If I have to study extra, I stay up later to do it. By the end of the semester, I am often exhausted, but it's worth it because my family wasn't neglected. I also have a supportive husband. He picks up the slack with the cooking and cleaning during the school year, which helps immensely. I couldn't do it without his support. If you have the will to accomplish school and family life, you will find a way to do that works for your family.

Stacey - posted on 06/27/2013

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Thats great advice, thank you! My eldest daughter is very active and always wants attention, so If I get alot of my work done in class and while studying then Ill hopefully be able to spend time with her and my youngest baby :)

Sarah - posted on 06/27/2013

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I am not the best time manager, but I have been going to school for several years- both without and with kids. I now have 3 children, and 1 more on the way, and I am finally finishing up my degree (graduate spring 2014!). I have been able to keep going, while maintaining a good GPA, but it has been hard. There have been nights when all I can think about is when the kids are gonna be in bed so that I can get to a paper I need to write, or an article I need to read, and that has always left me feeling like a distracted, not so good mommy. Here is what I have found to help me out, maybe it will be helpful to you too. I first had to figure out when I get the best work done, and for me it is in the morning. I get up early, and I work until the kids get up. Then, I take a break, get them all ready for daycare, and then I spend my day in class or studying. I get as much done as I can, because I know as soon as the kids are home it is mommy time. I spend the evening with them, hanging out and playing, and I don't worry about school at all. This is their time! When they go to bed, I do some housework, or relax, but then I go to bed too so that I can start all over the next day fresh. Time commitments can be overwhelming, so I take it one step at a time. I only worry about the work that is due the soonest. When I am finished with it, I go on to the next project. I chunk away a bit at a time, and at the end of the semester I get the grades, and I still feel like an attentive mommy. Good luck!

Stacey - posted on 06/26/2013

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Oh I forgot to add that my girls will be in daycare 5 days a week when i start studying and my partner is very supportive which is good but I still don't have good time management skills but taking what you've said about practicing time management, itll take me awhile to become good at but nothings impossible. I think I will consider If part time is the way to go as well.

Thank u so much for your help!

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