Last updated on December 21st, 2021 at 06:59 pm
Having a baby and earning a degree are two of the biggest and most financially demanding things you’ll ever do in life. Both are wonderful achievements that will change life as you know it, but balancing school and parenthood at the same time is a challenge. Between feedings, changings, and much-needed naps, moms in college have a lot on their plates to say the least. To help you get the most out of your studies while still bonding with your new baby, here are four tips for success for student moms.
Eliminate as Much Personal Stress as Possible
It’s impossible to focus on school when you’re being pulled in five different directions. Worrying about the baby, dealing with housework, family, a job, and any other real-life drama is a distraction at the very last–and can even affect your experience as a new mother. Set some boundaries about what’s allowed in your life at this point. Make a list if you have to. These are the things you’ll willingly allow and deal with for the time being.
If something doesn’t make the list, don’t worry about it. Some issues are more long-term, so you can’t simply eliminate them. Financial hardship, for example, may need some long-term solutions. Since you are a student, there are options. One is taking out a student loan from a private lender, which can give your family the added security of knowing you will have the funds to pay for college and reach your goals.
Let the Family Help Out
When a new baby arrives, there are likely to be eager grandparents and relatives who can’t get enough of the new addition to the family. Don’t hesitate to let them come over and pitch in! It’s perfectly fine to let grandma spend the afternoon with the baby while you study. If you’re lucky enough to have family close by, maybe this can become a standing date, so that you always know you have that time away from the kiddos to focus on your studies.
The key is to let people know that you’re actively in school and need an extra pair of hands sometimes. When people know you need help, many will be happy to pitch in with occasional babysitting. Don’t feel bad about asking for favors!
And, of course, enlist your partner. For example, when you have an exam, paper, or project coming up, let them know that you may need them to take care of chores this week.4 Helpful Tips for New Moms in College | #moms #college #selfcare Click To Tweet
Talk to a Therapist if You Need To
Postpartum depression is real, and it affects a lot of new moms in various ways. You don’t have to be completely despondent for your experience to count. Symptoms and early warning signs of postpartum depression you might not be aware of include:
- Feeling angrier and more irritable lately for no reason
- Crying or being tearful
- Feeling on edge and having random mood swings
- Restlessness, difficulty sleeping, or sleeping way more than usual
- Unwanted thoughts, anxiety, and feeling depressed or low
It can be incredibly helpful to talk to a therapist about the stress, fears, and worries all new moms have. On top of school, you have a lot going on at any given moment, and there’s nothing wrong with having a dedicated space for you to release what you’re feeling to a well-intentioned (and well-trained) ear.
Make Time for Yourself
You still need self-care being a mom, student, partner, daughter–fill-in-the-blank. As we assume more roles in adulthood, we can often begin to lose sight of what it means to just be ourselves. Make sure you schedule times to be alone with yourself. Hobbies are not just for single, childless adults. They bring richness and anticipation into our daily lives, and they make it easier for us to enjoy our free time. This can help you avoid overworking yourself simply because you don’t know what else to do.
Are you, or have you been a new mother while in college or do you know any moms in college? What are your tips for juggling it all? Leave a comment below.