Many people ask me how I handled going back to college while having so many kids at home (bounce-back kids with their kids). They wonder if they can do it and my answer is always the same… for everyone; Yes, but there are some things you’ll need to do differently with your home time management.
Following are some tips related to managing your time at home so that you’ll have time to study, research, and write. This… in turn… will greatly increase the likelihood of your being able to handle going back to college when you have kids.
Warning: These are beginner steps, i.e., if you can’t fathom being able to take these steps you will likely really struggle.
1.) Ask For Help with Your Home Time Management
Your college education will be benefiting your family too. There’s no reason why they couldn’t/shouldn’t pitch in and help around the house.
Everyone, from toddlers to teens to spouses or roommates, can (potentially) be a big help. Sometimes all it takes is asking, sometimes you may need to spell out what’s needed and why, and sometimes you’ve got to get serious and have some serious consequences.
You can tell a 6 year-old you need them to put up their clothes so that you can study so your teacher won’t be mad at you. You can tell a 16 year-old that, sure, they can go to the mall… right after they’ve done what needs to be done.
Don’t laugh, it’s true. And it’s in a language they both can understand.
Not to mention, these kids need to learn all about home time management. What better time than now.
2.) Expect Help with Home Time Management
Does this sound familiar: You sit the family down, tell them why things can’t go on like they’ve been, tell them the things that need to change (and that that they are going to change), and basically put them on notice that their lives are getting ready to be drastically different.
You spell out what’s going to be required of them, assign chores, lists and schedules, and then…
Why? What happened?
You didn’t expect the change. You were basically blowing off steam.
Hey, we’ve all been there (still go there occasionally). But, real change is going to require…well, real change; on your part and theirs. And part of that change is laying out the changes needed and then following through by making sure they happen.
You have to have a vision of how life will be and then figure out how to make that dream come to fruition.
If you’ve set consequences (which you absolutely should), then follow through on those consequences.
I remember going up to the skating rink and telling them I needed to pick up my daughter—a regular there—and take her home because I just realized that she hadn’t finished her chores before she left home. The teen in charge actually said over the loudspeaker, “Harmony, your mom is here to pick you up because you need to go home and finish your chores.”
She was horrified but—it worked—she never did that again.
I followed through because I expected change. It was a Saturday which was always a heavy study day for me and I wasn’t playing around with a 10 year-old who was perfectly capable of doing her chores.
Note: I did let her go back after she’d finished.
3.) Accept Help with Home Time Management
Many women have a problem accepting help.
I don’t know why… I sure never had that problem.
Learn to accept help when it’s offered… whether by a friend or family member. I’ve been lucky enough to have help all these years from my best friend who’d offer to help with my youngest who had just turned 7 when I started back to college. He’d take her to the movies or to the park or just to his house to watch cartoons. He’d also take the older kids camping or to the movies. He helped free up a lot of time that I then spent uninterrupted on studying.
As she got older, it wasn’t so much of a concern. But I think everyone can attest to the fact that a younger kid needs more careful watching than an older one. And some more than others.
If I hadn’t accepted his help I’d have missed out on a lot of seriously focused studying.
As she got older it turned into skating and the mall and such.
If you follow these tips you’ll gain help with your home time management tasks which will free up time to devote to your new role—as a student.
So, can you handle going back to college when you have kids? Yes, you can.
And if you need help getting started, staying motivated, or figuring out what’s next then check out the variety of training programs I’ve created.
To Your Success…
Mary Segers BS, MSW
Your Home Time Management Expert and Coach
Helping You Reach Your Home Time Management Goals
… One Step at a Time