Good evening, mamas and friends!
Welcome to Part 2 of 13 Strategies for Moms Who Are In School. Today, I want to share the remaining six strategies with you in hopes that they will offer support for moms who are balancing school, family, marriage, and other responsibilities. Again, I want to reiterate that this is not a “Do More,” “Be Better,” or “Do Better” list. These are merely suggestions that may be helpful for moms who are in school.
Please read 13 Strategies for Moms Who Are In School (Part 1) if you missed it yesterday.
8. Do homework on your smart phone- I haven’t always had a smart phone. When I started working full-time again, I saved and invested in one. I am currently taking an online class, so whenever I am riding in the car or I am in a place where I can’t access my laptop, I log into my online portal and do homework on my phone. I research on my phone, take notes, and even write small papers. It’s all about maximizing your time.
9. Put your children to bed early- I have a two-year-old, so we are still able to put her to bed fairly early. Grace typically goes to sleep between 7:00-7:30pm. This gives me ample time to complete course work, blog, prepare dinner, and/or clean my home. Somehow, I still end up going to bed extremely late, but I’m able to get things done while my daughter is asleep.
10. Communicate with your professors and support group when you start to feel overwhelmed- I have already needed to send out an email to one of my professors who was very gracious and understanding. When you don’t say anything, your professor will assume you are not actively participating in class. If you get behind and communicate that right away, your professor will more than likely extend grace. Even if professors say that they will not accept late work, ask them for an extension anyway if you need it. You’d be surprised at how gracious professors are if you take the time to communicate.
11. Start counseling – I recently started counseling just to have a safe space to share. I attend counseling twice a month. There will be days when I feel overwhelmed, when marriage is hard, or when I feel incapable of keeping up with everything. It’s good to have unbiased feedback and for someone to help you sort out your thoughts when you can’t. Unfortunately, my insurance does not cover counseling services, but I did a little research and found an amazing counseling center in the South Loop of Chicago. I pay $30 instead of $140 per session.
12. Eliminate Facebook- I recently mapped out my top 6 priorities: grad school, family, faith, friends, self-care, and blogging. Where does Facebook fit into this picture? It doesn’t, yet it literally consumed 80% of my time. If I wasn’t actively on Facebook, I was thinking about being on Facebook. When I wasn’t thinking about being on Facebook, I was thinking of what I had recently read on the site, or what I was going to post next. As hard as it was, I decided to step away from Facebook cold turkey. Now that it’s been almost a month, I don’t think twice about Facebook. Eliminating it has been so freeing and has provided me with more time to focus on what’s really important. Minimize distractions.
13. Pray Scripture- Pray scriptures that will encourage you to persevere. Pray scripture that will exhort you, strengthen you, and remind you of God’s power to sustain you. Here are just a few of my favorites!
- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Phil. 4:13
- “Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7
- “If any man lacks wisdom, let him come to the one who gives generously without finding fault and it shall be given to him.” – James 1:5
- “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matt. 6:33-34
- “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Col. 3:17
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” –Phil. 4:6-7
- “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” – Phil. 1:6
- “Do not become weary in well doing for at the proper time, if you faint not, you will reap a harvest.” – Gal. 6:9
Mamas, you’d truly be surprised at your inner strength and capacity when life and school demands hard work and commitment from you. I have been blown away by the strength and grace that God has given me thus far.
You can do this! You can go to school, pursue your dreams, and manage your household. Again, it may require staying up late, waking up early, and maxamizing all of your time, but you can do it. I believe in you and I am proud of you for returning to school, even when it seems overwhelming at times.
I’d love to hear from you. What strategies have worked well for you? What would you add or take away from this list?
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