6 Things I Learned While Going to School With Kids

This weekend my husband, Griffin, finally graduated medical school and officially became a doctor! We have been together through 8 years of schooling so far and are now getting ready for the final 6-7 years! It ain’t easy to become a general surgeon! And it is even harder to be in school when you add kids into the mix. With so many priorities it can feel overwhelming and nearly impossible at times. My husband and I had our oldest at the end of our freshman year of college. Then we had our second daughter while my husband was in his third year of medical school and I was halfway through my Montessori Infant/Toddler training. Here are our top 6 things we learned while going to school with kids:

1. Write it all down.

Write EVERYTHING down. You may think you will remember it, but you are a parent and are going to have a lot going on. You are juggling classes, kids, a home, and sometimes a job too. Save yourself the pain of the nagging feeling that you are forgetting something important and just write it down. Keep a calendar for kids school events, assignment due dates, doctor appointments, everything, either on your phone or in a planner. Have somewhere to jot notes down and make lists, a planner, a bullet journal, post-it notes, the notes app on your phone, whatever is easy and works best for you.

Getting some “studying” in with Cadence back in 2010.

2. Prioritize your time.

While juggling going to school, raising children, and sometimes also working you will need to prioritize your time. Your top priorities will obviously be your family and homework. You might have to miss your child’s soccer game or forget to send in cookies for the school bake sale, but you have to let go of that mom guilt. Temporarily cut out extra activities like hobbies, after school clubs, sports, volunteering, etc. Let your house be messy, let your meals be fast, easy, and not super healthy, and let your kids skip a bath. This is temporary and will not be forever. Steal kid-free moments to sneak in school work. Keep your kids at daycare/school an hour later to give yourself some extra time to get homework done.

3. Work together.

You have to work as a team with your partner and children! Divide the essential house chores (such as laundry, dishes, groceries, making meals, and kid care) with your partner. Your kids can even help with chores around the house too. They can dust, they can swifter the floors, they can sort the laundry and help put it away, they can pack their own lunch, load the dishwasher, the possibilities are endless!

Griffin and I graduating from the University of Delaware in May 2013 with Cadence (almost 3).

4. Communicate with your teachers.

At the beginning of the semester, be sure to let your teachers know that you have kids. This way if you have to miss a class or leave early because of a sick kid, they know of the situation ahead of time and are more understanding. I have found that teachers always appreciate you being upfront with them and then are more willing to compromise.

5. Be flexible.

Remember each semester is a season and comes to an end. Just take it a day at a time when things are tough. Each semester will be different, different schedules and workloads, and will take some time for not only you but your whole family to adapt to. On really hard days, think about your life after your degree. Think about how many more opportunities will be open to you and what you will be able to provide your family.

6. Keep it simple.

Finally keep everything as simple as possible. Your expectations, the kids’ lunches, dinner, after school activities, your weekend plans, house cleaning, etc. The simpler things are the more manageable things will be.

So whatever you are going to school for remember you can do and it will be over before you know it!

Griffin graduating from medical school, June 2017.

11 Comments

  1. Sarah

    June 7, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    I applaud anyone going to school as a parent. That’s got to be 10 times harder than a regular college student. Pat yourself on the back because you are amazing!

    1. Shelby @ Blooming Beckers'

      June 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM

      Thanks Sarah!

  2. Catie

    June 7, 2017 at 1:54 PM

    These are all great tips. I went to college as a single mother with no family nearby and it was tough! We just had to do the best we could on our own

    1. Shelby @ Blooming Beckers'

      June 7, 2017 at 7:32 PM

      Wow! You go Mama! It is not easy!

  3. Devon

    June 8, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    I love this! You two are inspiring. You’re showing your little ones that anything is possible.

  4. Ashley @ Reining in Mom

    June 8, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    Love it. My husband just graduated with his Masters in Education so this really resonated with me. It was a tough 18m but we’re through it and made it through using many of these tips. Giving each other the benefit of the doubt and a little grace was a huge one!

    1. Shelby @ Blooming Beckers'

      June 8, 2017 at 10:14 PM

      Yes!! Exactly! It must feel so much better being done with it!

  5. Ashley

    June 8, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    Love it. My husband just graduated with his Masters in Education so this really resonated with me. It was a tough 18m but we’re through it and made it through using many of these tips. Giving each other the benefit of the doubt and a little grace was a huge one!

  6. Amanda @ Kandy Apple Mama

    June 8, 2017 at 11:12 PM

    Good for you two! That’s wonderful that you’re able to go to school and still have and take care of kids. Bravo! My fiance wants to go back for his Masters this fall and I am so worried about never seeing him, how he’s going to have time to study, etc. It’s definitely going to be a challenge!

  7. Clair

    June 9, 2017 at 1:03 PM

    Great job balancing kids and school! The team work is a must when kids are involved, definitely makes things run a little more smoothly 🙂

  8. Bailey

    June 9, 2017 at 4:46 PM

    Amazing Family! I admire anyone who is successful at finishing school while having children. It shows real dedication and commitment

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