How to Manage Grad School and Family at the Same Time
I knew I wanted to get my Master’s degree in Higher Educational Leadership, while working as a Teaching Assistant at Johnson & Wales University. Why? I fell in love with teaching, while I was a student and working at the University. I looked up to all my chef instructors, Dean, Directors, and the Administration. I knew I wanted to do it, but I just didn’t know when. After I earned my Bachelor’s degree, I started working again out in the industry-long hours, long days, long nights, cuts, burns, sore feet, sweating, showering in my own sweat, stress, working holidays (see the things that the Food Network doesn’t tell you)–and yes I miss it!
Well, this past year I turned 30! 30! Seriously, where did the time go? We just moved up to Massachusetts, Victor was and is working at a great place, and I have two beautiful girls! The thought of my Master’s degree was on my brain. Something I hadn’t thought of since 2008- go back to school.
I decided to work on my Master’s in Higher Education Administration and I was going to do everything online due to the girls and Victor’s work. I applied and got into Southern New Hampshire University! Yeah!! Wait, I am back in school now-how do I do this again?
I am taking one class at a time, which is perfect for me. I am working with things I never used before. I apply my culinary background into the higher education aspect as much as I can.
So How do I manage taking care of my girls and see my family and working on my degree?
Before my class starts- I print out everything I need.
I have a one week break and then my new class starts. During that one week “break” I go through things for my next class and print out everything I need. I staple and label when things are due for each module to have a roadmap. I save the documents as well, on my computer and place them in a folder with the class name. I am a visual person, I need to see things and write things down.
I will even take post it notes and write what chapters are for what weeks and stick them accordingly in the books.
Plan your weeks accordingly
If you have a light week on when things are do-go outside with your kids! Go play! Leave the computer alone and give them your attention! Turn off the TV! This past week, I took my kids to the beach twice, strawberry picking, and played outside in the backyard. This week I have a heavy load week, so for a few days I go outside and play with them, but towards the end of the week I have the girls playing without me. They will be coloring by themselves, yes there is TV involved, and playing by themselves. Of course during this time I go check on them, especially when crying, yelling, or too much silence is involved. Be sure during those light weeks, you are with your kids as much as you can. For me personally, I have tried working on school work late at night and I can’t! By the end of the day, my brain is fried.
Plan Special Outings
When you have light weeks with school do something special! This is great for both you and your kids! Get outside!
Take Things One Day at a Time
Do not look all over assignments for the entire semester in the first few weeks. You will stress yourself out and your kids will feel that. Take assignments and discussion boards one week at a time. If you feel that your going to explode-close down your computer (after saving everything) close the books and go outside, do something to distract you away from school. I actually had to this last week–I felt that I wasn’t understanding my class, I emailed my professor for help and went out with my girls for a few days. After I spoke with my instructor, read over the rubric, and open up my computer, I was on a roll–Yes I got a 100% on the assignment!!!
Honestly, things are all about time management. Make the days special with your kids, let them see you–really see you put away the computer, the phone, and the tablet.
Ask for Help!
It is ok to ask for help. When Victor is home and after we spend time together as a family. I will say hey I need help I have a lot of work to do this week or hey if the house is not super clean this is why.