However impossible it seems at present, you can go back to school and be a good mom by keeping some important things in mind.
- Step 1: Toss together simple but nutritious meals, putting the emphasis on interaction with the child. Children are forgiving about the time parents spend away as long as mom and dad pay attention to them when they're around.
- TIP: Don't spoil the children out of guilt for not spending enough time with them. Being consistent is a lot more important, and your going back to school is for them as much as it is for you.
- Step 2: Learn to let cleaning and other routines go if school or your children needs demand it. The process of juggling motherhood with school will be uneven, imperfect, and frustrating, but some day it will all seem a small, brief, worthy sacrifice.
- FACT: According to a 2006 Census Bureau report on children 5 and under in day care, almost 2/3 of mothers were employed.
- Step 3: Combine work with relaxing activities to maintain your quality of life. Both parents can walk the baby while talking, or eat dinner together while the baby plays.
- Step 4: Accept any help offered by your children's father, other family members, friends, and neighbors. Share responsibilities and chores to lighten the load.
- TIP: Time management is the key to success -- develop good study habits and pace yourself.
- Step 5: Evaluate the family budget and nest egg in order to cut back on work hours while school is in session. Look into working from home.
- Step 6: Take online classes at home to allow you the flexibility to work around home duties, feedings and naps, and study demands.
- Step 7: Prioritize time spent on tasks at work and home to accommodate the busier schedule. Manage money the same way -- by prioritizing child care over dinner out, books instead of trips, and exercise instead of sweets.