Having a child and going to school can be a difficult challenge. There may be days where you are running on little to no sleep, the baby may get sick, or your babysitter may back out on you at the last minute. It helps to have outside help readily available whether it is a spouse, family members, or daycare.
A negative impact of having a child and attending college is not having enough time to complete homework or study properly. You have to make good use of your time. Since classes don’t usually run back-to-back you may have some time in between classes to get some homework done or to study. It’s much easier to focus while you are away from any distractions a baby may bring. Another option would be to have someone help you watch your child while you study or do homework. It helps to have a hands-on spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend that can help you, but this is not always the case. Outside help, such as a babysitter or daycare, may be needed to help you succeed in college. Do some research first on whom you would want to watch your child. Maybe you could enroll your child part-time for a few hours a week in a daycare so that you may study. It would be a good time for you to get caught up or even ahead on your school work while your child gets to develop social skills by being with other children!
You may find taking online courses is a better fit for your lifestyle. This will give you more time at home with your child so you might not feel like you are neglecting your duties as a mother/father. If this is the case, the best time to work on your course would be during the baby’s nap-time or after the child goes to bed at night. If you have an online course, and you only have a specific time to take a test, you may wish to have someone watch your child for you so you can focus solely on the test.
Sometimes children get ill or an emergency comes up. In that case you should contact your professor as soon as you can. Let the teacher know what is going on and see what you can do to make up the work. You should at least look at what was covered before the next class and familiarize yourself with the material. It would also be helpful to have a classmate who could provide notes for the missed class. Keeping your teacher advised and making a plan together is always the best route.
Another issue a student-parent may have is running on little sleep. Some nights you may be up several times with your little one and then have an early class the next morning. It would be easy to skip just one class here or there, but don’t! It will only make it harder to stay on track with homework and studying. Remember – you are finishing school to provide for a better life for your child! Try to catch a 15 minute rest in between classes to help reenergize yourself.
In the end, you are going to school to better yourself and to provide a better lifestyle for your child. It’s sometimes hard to keep that focus and it would be easy to give up – but don’t! Getting a college degree is the best thing you can ever do for your child..