Being a student can be mentally, physically, and emotionally tasking. When you add motherhood or parenting to the picture, it is a different ball game. It takes more self-motivation and commitment to thrive as a student-mom.
Over the past few years, I have completed graduate studies as a pregnant student and I am currently a working student-mom. The tips presented in this post have been personally tested. My hope is that these tips would help you thrive, not merely survive as you begin a new school term.
8 Tips for thriving as a student-mom
1. Let God help you: God is sovereign but He would not force himself into areas of our lives we do not surrender to him. Asking God for help takes away writing anxiety, exam anxiety and other anxieties that come with student life. This is because God will order your steps to the resources you need, give you peace, and wisdom to know just what to do. When I feel overwhelmed by deadlines and assignments, I simply ask God for wisdom to deal with the situation. It has worked and still works for me. I trust God for good health throughout the semester and favor with my instructors.
2. Live like social media does not exist: Start by turning off social media notifications on your phone. Then decide not to spend more than 15 to 20 minutes on social media per day. Instagram has a feature that allows you to set how much time you would like to spend on Instagram per day. You would receive an alert once you reach your set time limit. One of my favorite things to say is Face your book instead of Facebook.
3. Read the syllabus: You will avoid a lot of heartache and “I did not know” by reading the syllabus. The syllabus is an important resource, you get to know your instructor’s flexibility and level of tolerance for late assignments. Reading assignments, paper due dates and exam dates are available on the syllabus, use them to develop a weekly or monthly academic plan.
4. Prioritize your assignments: You can prioritize based on due dates or the length of time it would take to complete each assignment. With this, you may never miss a deadline.
5. Plan grocery shopping and cooking days: This would save you the mental task of thinking about daily meals for you and your family. It would also prevent unhealthy eating habits which students are notorious for. Remember, you and your little one(s) need to be in good health in order for you to focus on your studies. Eating healthy is one way to stay healthy and promote good brain functioning.
6. Ask for a deadline extension when you have an emergency: Do not quit when you cannot meet deadlines. Communicate with your instructors, they are humans just like you. I requested deadline extensions several times during my pregnancy. My instructors were very understanding and kind to grant my requests.
7. Take a break and play with your child(ren): When you take a mental break from school work, do not spend time on social media. Play with you children. You will find it refreshing and fulfilling.
8. Ask for help: When you need to meet an assignment deadline, consider asking your spouse, friends, relatives, and other trusted individuals to help you take care of your children. Save this for the week of finals. Tell them ahead of time and you would be glad you did.
Have a great semester!