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.
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!
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!