5 Tips for Pursuing an Education as a New Mom
Having a new baby is one of the greatest gifts life can grant to two people. Not only does your new child represent the love you have for one another, but he or she is a part of you that will continue on when you can no longer move forward.
However, something so beautiful and unique can't possibly be easy, especially when the timing didn't fit your plans. If your dream was to pursue a degree, but then a baby happened, that doesn't mean the dream has to end. Many women before you have completed their education while caring for a tiny tot. Read on to learn how.
- Streamline What You Can
Before jumping back into school, it's important to streamline what you can. Basically, everything that can distract you from school and your baby needs to be put on auto-pilot. You can do this by placing monthly bills on auto-pay. You can also combine credit card payments and loans so there are fewer to track. A student loan refinance can simplify as well life as save money in the long run.
- Take It One Step at a Time
It can be tempting to jump into your classes full throttle, but it's important to go easy. Get back into things on a part-time basis, maybe taking one or two classes a semester. If you find it's easy to juggle being a mom with one or two classes, then you can consider adding one more.
It's important to not put more on your plate than you can handle. New moms don't need the added stress, and if something is causing you to have feelings of overwhelm, then it's okay to say you can't do something right now. Most things, such as planning a vacation or taking up a new hobby, can be saved for a later date.
- Never Fear Asking for Help
While all babies are demanding, babies who have experienced birth trauma are in the most need of a new mom's attention. Look for resources in your community that can help alleviate some of the struggles the extra care requires.
It might also benefit you to join support groups. While school and baby might take up the majority of your time, there is plenty of support that can be found online if you don't have the time to travel.
Also, look for resources within your university. Many universities offer mental health counseling and many more are getting on board.
- Have a Backup Mom
Not all moms are open to institutional childcare. It works for some families, but no two families are alike. If you choose to keep the baby at home, make sure Dad gets his fair share of baby time. If that isn't possible, consider asking a grandma, aunt, or close friend to donate a few hours a week to watch over your tiny tot.
Never discount the happiness people in your inner circle experience just from spending time with an adorable bundle of joy.
- Keep a Routine
The most important thing you can do for yourself while raising a child and attending college is to establish a routine. Moms like routines and babies like routines. It's one of the few areas where moms and babies are in complete agreement.
When you establish a routine, everyone knows how the day is supposed to go. Baby knows lunch time is coming soon and Mom knows nap time is around the corner. With nap time comes study time, which is the greatest benefit you'll receive when you establish a routine. It sounds pretty easy, and it actually is.
Moms from decades before you have pathed a path to raising a family and receiving an education. Everything needed to succeed is there for the taking. You just need to go after it. Before you do, there's one last thing you should remember. Enjoy this time in your life. It goes by faster than you might think.