Most moms are committed to putting their children first. That’s a good thing—but it does mean that some mothers have to put their dreams on hold for a while or work twice as hard to make them happen. If you’re in the process of or thinking about finishing your high school diploma, then you probably already know how hard it can be to do schoolwork while looking after children.
While it’s important to make sure your children are happy, healthy, and loved, it’s also important to realize that getting your high school diploma will help you and your family thrive. You’ll have access to more opportunities, set a good example, and do something amazing for yourself.
Here are some tips for navigating the ups and downs of earning your degree while parenting.
Stay Motivated By Knowing the Value of a High School Diploma
A high school diploma creates a strong foundation for your future educational and career goals. You’ll immediately open up new job possibilities and have the ability to apply for university programs.
Some people argue that getting a GED is just as good as going back to school for your diploma. However, there are several advantages to getting a diploma instead of a GED. Preparing for the GED exam can take 5-8 months, and you won’t have as much flexibility as you will with an online high school program.
In addition to the benefit of earning credits on your own time, getting a diploma means you’ll have a GPA. This will be very helpful if you want to apply to a university program in the future.
Keep a Schedule & Try to Stick to it!
It can be hard to have routines with children around. You can easily become distracted and lose a huge chunk of your day due to the responsibilities of life as a mom. It’s important to anticipate this and be disciplined so that you’re not scrambling to meet deadlines for your classes.
If possible, make a schedule that you can stick to. Carve out some time before the kids get up or after they go to bed to study—and don’t procrastinate! If you plan to work on your assignments well in advance and stick to your schedule, you shouldn’t have to stress about deadlines.
Make Your Mental Health a Priority too!
Being a mom is tough, and it isn’t always easy to practice self-care. When you’re juggling schoolwork and motherhood, it becomes even harder.
It’s important to remember that your health as a mom matters. Not only will you be calmer, more focused, and better able to study, but you’ll be happier and more patient with your children. Your mental health matters for both you and your family, so make it a priority!
Establishing a Clear Family/Life Balance Will Pay Off Later
Many moms feel guilty about taking time away from their families and have trouble finding balance when going back to school. Intentionally making time for the family will help you to feel less guilty and allow you to fully enjoy the time you spend with your children.
Establishing boundaries and creating balance is key. You can’t ignore your schoolwork and expect to get your diploma, but you can’t ignore your family and expect them to be happy with the way things are. Creating boundaries and intentionally making time for both school and family will help reduce friction.
Tech Time: Be Sure to Schedule Daily & Weekly Breaks Away from the Screens!
We use screens all day long, for work, for school, and for relaxation. If you’re working on your high school diploma online, then you’re probably spending many hours each day in front of your computer. Make sure to take breaks!
It’s a good idea to create a screen break schedule and even to block off the occasional screen-free day. Not only is this important for your well-being and focus, but you’ll also be setting a good example for your children. It’s a win-win!
Don’t Feel Guilty!
Getting an education is important. Your children might be your top priority, but it’s still important to think of your own future. Don’t feel guilty about taking the time to study! By going back to school, you’ll be serving as a role model for your children, teaching them that education matters at any age and that persistence is necessary for anything worthwhile.
Going back to school as a mom isn’t easy. But it’s important to keep going when you’re feeling discouraged. It’ll all be worth it when you’re finally holding that diploma and showing it to your kids.