Overwhelmed, scared or confused and wondering how you’ll finish your education with a newborn? Our 7 simple tips for studying with a baby are here to help.
For many, children make an appearance before schooling has been finished or careers have been achieved.
However, there have been countless new mamas who have figured out a system that works for studying with a new baby at home and have gone to earn diplomas, degrees and certificates.
Rest assured, mama-to-be, you can do this!
1. Baby Sets the Schedule, Not You
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make is that they expect their baby to work with their schedule, not the other way around.
The new parent chooses their ideal study time, and when baby inevitably interrupts, they become upset and aggravated.
Try approaching the situation with some empathy; your newborn isn’t interrupting you to be a nuisance, they’re simply trying to get your attention when they need it most.
Rather than forcing your baby to conform to your schedule, work within theirs.
By planning your study schedule around the hours when they are napping or happily distracted, you’ll be able to create some peaceful, stress-free time to hit the books.
2. Lean On… Them, When You’re Not Strong
Many new mamas are fortunate to have a supportive family that may offer to watch baby, especially in their earlier days.
If that’s you, take up the offer and plan your study schedule around when they are available.
If not, day homes and play centres may end up being an option that could work for you.
You can try speaking with child monitoring services to ask about pricing and schedules.
Depending on your situation, financing options may also be available.
3. Let’s Get Digital, Digital
This may just be one of our absolute favourite useful tips for studying with a baby!
If you’re unable to put aside significant chunk for uninterrupted study time, try breaking your study schedule into smaller segments.
If half an hour of reading is not possible, what about 10 minutes, multiple times a day?
If you find that reading a course manual is impossible with your schedule and surroundings, look for other methods to acquire the same information.
In today’s modern age, the number of digital resources on a topic are huge.
Try searching audio books apps like Audible for audio recordings of text books or YouTube for lectures or tutorials on the topic you’re trying to learn.
4. Step by Step, Ooh Baby
As with any goal in life, setting small, achievable goals is sometimes the biggest secret to success.
While a huge accomplishment like graduating from high school or completing a University education may seem insurmountable, especially when faced with a challenge like pregnancy, try breaking it up into smaller, simpler goals in order to be successful.
Focus on completing one assignment at a time, one course at a time, one project at a time.
Consider re-evaluating the timeline, or ‘by-when’ you assumed you’d be done by and be sure to give yourself lots of grace.
5. Blissful Baby Wrap
Sometimes, your newborn baby won’t need much else other than just being near their mama.
Find a comfortable, supportive baby wrap and snuggle them in tight, then hit the books!
Baby’s nice and close, and your hands and eyes are free.
6. Nappy Time
When mama and baby’s schedule is all over the place, it may be extra challenging to stick to a schedule and get in the groove.
Try setting a specific napping, eating and activity schedule that creates a routine.
By creating more a regular, set study time for mama and quiet time for baby, you take out the unpredictability and allow for a smoother transition.
7. Know your Limits
While there’s no doubt that your education is important, so is your family and personal time.
If your course is being conducted outside of a classroom, such as home studies, discuss your time frame with the course leaders.
See if there are options to extend your course over a couple of years, rather than a single semester.
While it can be difficult to study with a baby, it is not impossible.
It is important to remember, however, that no two babies are alike. What may work for one parent may not work for another.
Do not get disheartened if another parent seems to be flawlessly managing their course material while you struggle to get through yours.
Every child has their own schedule and needs. It is just a matter of learning what works best with your baby and working within your own means.