Being a mum can be tough, being a working mum can be even tougher, being a working / studying mum – now that’s just crazy! How can we ever find that perfect balance of work, study, life and being a mum? Well 3 months have past since I began my Online Business Diploma with Business Mamas and at the moment I am really struggling to find the time to fit it all in! I have one more week left to finish my first major assignment and so I thought I would take a break and share some tips that may help you to make the decision whether working and studying is best for you and your family.
#1 Weigh up the pros and cons of work and study
It’s important before you make any commitment with work and study to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages for you and your family.
- Is this the right time for you or should you postpone your work or study?
- Think about your reasons for wanting to take on more work or study and use this to help decide.
- If it is purely financial, sit down and work out if you will really be that much better off financially once you add up the extra costs for travel, work clothes, food etc.? How important is it for you to be financially better off?
- Are you stretching your time too thinly with work, the kids, your relationship and study?
- Do you have a supportive partner or family?
- Where is the fun? If you embark in work and study and find there is no joy in what you are doing or that you are doing too much then it may be time to think about a change.
#2 Prioritise and set mini goals
It’s important to make a list of things that need to be done and then work through it. It never ceases to amaze me how much time I can waste ‘pretending’ to work or study online and then find myself surfing the net to read what the Kardashians are up to or who caught the world’s biggest shark!
If you are like me and get caught up in the business of poor time management, a list can really help. One of the first Business Mamas tasks was to set yourself some mini goals for the week and then see how well you went keeping to the tasks at hand and how many items you checked off your list.
#3 Make fun time for the kids
Schedule in some one-on-one time with the kids or plan a fun activity for the weekend or afternoon. I have found that sometimes it can be as simple as being present for a while playing a game at home, going on a picnic or spending some time talking to your kids about how they are. When you are busy working and studying it’s easy to forget to have fun. My kids love it when we just act silly and have a laugh together.
#4 Learn to accept that some mess in your life is okay
One of my close friends once said to me that she purposely left mess in her house so that she wouldn’t be tempted to try and achieve the ‘perfect clean house’. Her motto was always that it is more important to spend time with your kids than spend time cleaning house. As women we seem to find so much of our identity in how well our house is presented and how clean our kitchen is. It’s easy to get caught up with work, and then by the time you arrive home you find yourself making meals then cleaning up and then making the mad scramble for bath and bed that you find the day is over and all you did were chores and barely spoke to your family! If you are trying to juggle work, study and family then give yourself a break from too many unnecessary chores.
#5 Look after yourself
If you are tired and unhealthy you will inevitably find that it’s harder to concentrate on your studies, your productivity slows down at work and you are not much use at home either. Be disciplined … drink lots of water during the day and get lost of sleep at night. Try and make sure a few nights a week that you shut the computer off before 9pm (or earlier) and have an early night. This also may lead into point #6.
#6 Make time for your parnter
Finally, sometimes it’s easy for us to let our partners fall last on our priority list. They say ‘Happy Wife = Happy Life”, well I think this saying goes both ways … although I struggle to find the rhyming words for ‘Happy Partner’ I think you will get the gist. It’s a lot easier to juggle life, work and family when you have a supportive loving partner so try not to neglect them along the way.
With a few changes and disciplines, you can find joy and fulfilment in completing some studies online.
One thing I have found really helpful studying with Business Mamas is knowing that my Business Angel Maree is going to call me up every 2 weeks to check in and see how I am going. I always make a joke at work that I can’t work unsupervised and Business Mama’s certainly has the answer for me to keep me on track with my studies.
Stay tuned for my next post where I will hopefully be celebrating the completion of my first assignment for my Business Diploma.
Until next time … Kate – Business Mama Wannabe
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