The pandemic encouraged more people to enrol in distance learning programs because they’re more secure and effective than traditional pedagogy. But juggling studies and caregiving together isn’t an easy feat when you’re a mother with kids at home. Some women find it difficult to concentrate on learning with their children playing around. But you don’t need to postpone your academic goals for domestic responsibilities. So, here are eight methods to pursue education and caregiving for the little ones simultaneously.
Show some patience
Pursuing education during an ongoing pandemic together with raising your children can be an extraordinary experience. Adjusting to this exhausting lifestyle requires patience and endurance. Things won’t go smoothly at first, you should remember. That’s why you must allow yourself and your family some time to become accustomed to these circumstances. It’s essential to be considerate to people around you while maintaining a steady line of communication with them.
Make a schedule
You can’t focus without creating a schedule that helps you regulate studies with caregiving. If your children are older, you can encourage them to follow the schedule. Otherwise, you can employ a babysitter’s services to take care of the toddlers for a few hours. You can concentrate on learning during this free time. Ensure that this schedule matches your kids’ needs and desires. So, if your next lecture is scheduled for 11:00 AM, the children can watch their favorite television show at that time. Similarly, if your toddler takes a nap around 03:00 PM, you can schedule a study session while the kid rests. The main objective of timetable-making is to reduce conflict and create a time vacuum.
Embrace the technology
Technology allows you to seek education online. Why shouldn’t it help you out keeping the little ones distracted for a while? In the modern world, moms going back to school should rely on technology to encounter every challenge. A strong woman knows how much of the internet is healthy for kids. Though too much screen time isn’t good for children, some of it does help capture their attention. There’s a plethora of educational and entertainment stuff (apps, games, and videos) available on the internet. Or you can ask your parents to FaceTime the children and read a storybook. Playing Baby Shark in a loop will also keep toddlers busy while you focus your attention on education.
Create a study room
Try designating a specific room solely for your academic pursuits. This can be a kids-free zone where your educational endeavors will not be disturbed. If your house can’t accommodate such an addition, then you can seek some time outside to escape domestic interruptions. Or you can arrange for your kids to spend an hour or two at a daycare facility while you’re engaged in learning at home. Nowadays, people use closets, corners, and even hallways to find seclusion for work/studies. Finding the perfect spot for studying enables you to concentrate on your lessons. Since packing & unpacking your laptop and study material will just disrupt your academic progress.
Set some boundaries
What’s the best method for allowing your studies and children to coexist? Setting some boundaries. However, it isn’t easy making toddlers understand this concept. But it’s possible to discipline 8-month-old kids. Children can follow specific rules and principles if taught in simple forms. So, you can paste a paper on the door of your study room that says “Stop” or “Busy.”
Similarly, when you’re busy studying or attending an online lecture, you can post such a sign on the back of your chair. That’s how you create boundaries and control your distance learning schedule. This technique will prevent children from interrupting your learning progress on their own.
Connect with others
You aren’t the only parent trying your best to balance children with education. This experience becomes more daunting for single mothers. That’s why it’s essential reaching out to fellow parents facing a similar situation. Contact people in your course/program and try networking with neighbours who have previously encountered such predicaments. Networking may enable you to share these challenges and suggest ways to navigate parenting with academics. Moreover, speaking about your busy life normalizes the situation and gives you access to potential mentors. You can find/create Facebook groups too for communicating with single mothers studying with toddlers at home.
Protect study times
Protect your study time by spending it wisely. When your children are occupied by another family member, try making this opportunity useful for your education. Ensure that everyone knows your study cycle, so nobody disturbs you when you’re engaged in learning. Also, don’t squander your time occupied in unnecessary activities since it’s essential to stick to the schedule. So, prevent yourself from getting involved in anything that interrupts your agenda and distracts you from education. But it’s equally necessary to create a realistic timeline after considering what’s achievable with children at home. Your focus must be maximizing productivity and academic progress during study time.
Family might help
Finally, don’t forget that you can always turn to your family for assistance. They realize that you’ve to dedicate your attention to education as well. It would be best if you asked your partner to look after the kids while you’re taking an online lecture or preparing for an upcoming assessment. If you have an older child, you can discuss how he/she can help around the house. It’s imperative to have these conversations now. As family members are the people you can trust while trying to survive going back to school.
Many parents have faced the problem of working/studying alongside children. This concern has become a headache for some during the pandemic since adults are trying hard to balance these two vehement responsibilities. The situation has affected women more disproportionately than men. A survey from last year reveals that the pandemic has forced more women to abandon their distance learning plans. Since females are engaged in caregiving duties that don’t allow them much time for academic endeavors. But it isn’t impossible for ladies out there to pursue educational expertise while raising kids at the time same time. With sheer determination, a woman can survive this challenge (almost) effortlessly.
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