The secrets of balancing a family with online studies
Being a parent or caregiver while juggling other responsibilities like full-time work and busy social calendar may sound like you're going to soon need super-human powers. While it’s far from a piece of cake, hundreds of our graduates stand testament that it can be done. Here’s how they made it work.
Face your feelings
It might seem a little impractical, but start by acknowledging your feelings and know that being apprehensive is normal. According to our students, the quicker you switch gears to achieving what you’ve set out to achieve, the more likely you are to stay motivated and invest in creating practical plans to achieve your goals.
Be on the front foot
Allow yourself a grace period to find your study rhythm. Our students tell us that while planning is essential, it’ll still take a bit of refinement once classes commence. Allocate some time to review your study plan and make any necessary tweaks right in the first week of classes. If you leave it later than that or skip this step altogether, you’ll always be on the backfoot and it will be hard to regain control of your time.
It takes a village
It’s a saying that you’ve probably heard a million times before, and for good reason. Using existing support networks is one of the ways that your peers have managed to make study a reality. Lean on your “village” and find ways that your partner, parents, extended family, friends or co-workers can help lighten your load or assist with non-study related commitments.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Arranging playdates or enrolling younger kids in activities during key study blocks
- Sharing evening or weekend study sessions at home with teenage children
- Swapping or relinquishing responsibilities and chores for less taxing ones with partner
- Negotiating a flexible or shorter working week with employers during each course
- Involving kids and partners in designing a new 6-week family schedule
- Planning for the unexpected or impromptu by proactively creating a list of trusted carers or babysitters who can be available on short notice
- Decide in advance which lectures you are going attend live and when you are going to listen to a recording
No matter which options you explore and settle on, you can be safe in the knowledge that one of the rewards of being part of a family is that they are also likely to be invested in your success and self-improvement. Many of our students report that their children start to see them as a great role model too and admire how they continue to strive towards long term goals.
You don’t have to work it all out on your own either. Your Student Support Advisor will be right by your side to find practical, academic, administrative and emotional support to help you through your studies.