8 Simple Ways to Juggle Being a Student and a Mom

How to balance college and being a mom. Some ways to survive being a mom and student

Are you wondering how you can juggle being a mother and a student at the same time? Do you feel overwhelmed just thinking about studying and also being a mom? Believe me when I say I know that feeling very well and it will pass.

So, the first thing I want you to do is to breathe, then tell yourself you’ve got this. Now, I am not going to make empty promises or deceive you into thinking this is going to be an easy ride. No, it isn’t, especially if you’re a single mom. What I will tell you is that you can make the process easier if you are intentional and come up with some practical solutions. In other words, you need a plan and you need to be prepared to work the plan.

So, here’s how to balance college and being a mom.



I am convinced the first step for juggling motherhood and your education successfully is deciding to believe in yourself and giving it your best shot.

Far too often, many college moms quit on themselves as soon as things get a bit tough. They convince themselves they don’t have what it takes or they are unwilling to put up with some stress. Being persistent and willing to give this your best shot when others decide to quit is what’s going to ensure your success.

Yes, there are days when you will feel overwhelmed and discouraged because of all the things you have to do. Some days, your body will ache from lack of sleep, but you have to take solace in the fact that you’re pursuing your dream and trying to create a better life for yourself and your family.

So don’t quit. Continue to persist and believe in yourself. Never stay down for too long, no matter how many beatings you receive. Cry if you need to, then pick yourself back up and keep working towards your dream.


When I went to college, I didn’t have any family or close friends around, but you know what I had? I had good childcare and a great church family. There’s absolutely no way I could have done this without these incredible people helping me.

My youngest child was only a few weeks old when I started dropping her off at the child care center. As a mom, you can imagine how hard that was. But, I trusted the lady who ran the center and I knew she’d look after my little girl since she had been looking after my son.

So my advice to you is to create a reliable support network. You need people who can come to your assistance at short notice (but you have to let them know in advance that you have an unpredictable schedule).

Whether it’s your husband, babysitter, family, or friends, you need a team of people you can rely on and people that are willing and able to care for your kids when necessary.

If you’re working and studying, make some people in your workplace a part of your support network. For example, you could trade shifts or have them cover for you during exams or busy periods.

Of course, you have to be willing to reciprocate or support others too whenever you can. So think of ways you can help the people in your support network so they don’t think you are taking advantage of them.

Sharing the load with others will make being a student and a mom less overwhelming and more enjoyable. Also, it’s nice to know you have a safety net you can depend on when you need it.


Being a mother and a student isn’t something you can put into a neat box and expect it to stay that way. What I am trying to say is that you don’t need to have all the answers.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You can’t just wake up one morning and decide to go back to school without doing some research or creating a plan. Lack of planning often leads to frustration and failure, so be mindful of that. All I am saying is that you can figure things out as you go along.

Not having all the answers means you will remain curious and keep looking for answers and solutions. This is a good thing in my opinion. Acknowledging that you don’t have all the answers makes it possible for you to become more creative and to ask for help when you are stuck.

So, don’t think you need to have everything figured out before you embark on this journey. Yes, you can have a general idea of what you want to study, how you will pay for college, what college to attend, and things like that. But, everything else can be worked on as they arise.

One of the reasons many people think going to school as a mom is impossible is because they want all the answers before they take the first step. Unfortunately, that isn’t realistic because life is full of curveballs no matter how hard you plan or prepare.

So, do the best that you can, make some smart decisions, then figure out the rest throughout your journey.


Want to know what I tell moms when they ask me how to balance college and being a mom? Among many other things, I tell them to get and stay organized.

There’s something about being organized that makes a whole lot of difference to your life and mood. I have always been an organized person and I can tell you that really helped me a lot because I am also a procrastinator (I admit, I much better now).

To achieve college success, you need to be organized. Being organized will help you to complete tasks like course assignments on time and help you stay on top of things to be done.

Staying organized means you don’t wait until the last minute before you do something. Which in turn means you are not overwhelmed because you have too much to do at any given time.

Here are some ideas of things you can organize in advance.

  • Classes to take each semester
  • Transportation
  • Housing (if applicable)
  • Babysitter or childcare
  • Important dates and deadlines
  • Finances
  • Assignment due dates
  • Textbook purchase

A good way to stay organized is to create a list of all the things you need to do and when you need to do them. You can use a calendar to keep track of important dates and deadlines so you don’t miss out on opportunities, financial aid, or scholarships. You can also use a to-do list you can check off as you complete each task.

Staying organized is essential for your health, wellbeing, and academic success so take the time to get organized. If you struggle with planning or staying organized, I have something that will help. The Weekly Planner for Moms in College will help you organize the important areas of your life. Check it out below.


The only way to make being a student and a mom successful is to prepare to make sacrifices. I don’t know any other way you can pull this off. The step to going back to school is hard work, but after that, you have even more work to do to achieve your college dream.

When I was in college, I didn’t get as much sleep as I would have liked. My social life was non-existent. It was very hard for me because I was a single mom who couldn’t afford to take a day off because I had to be there for my very young kids.

If you’re married, things may not be quite as hard, but you will still need to make some sacrifices, no matter how small. Whether it’s waking up hours before your kids wake up, studying late into the night, or saying no to girls’ night out, be prepared to make some sacrifices.

Juggling motherhood and your academics require some flexibility and a willingness to make some tough decisions. Keep in mind that there’s an end date and things won’t always be like this. That’s what I used to tell myself when things got a little bit too much.

Being a student and a mom is hard work, but as long as you prepare yourself for the challenges ahead, you’ll do just fine.


As a mom, I bet you often find yourself being creative to stay ahead of your kids. Some kids are very creative and will run rings around you if you don’t watch out.

The same thing applies to being a mom and going to school. Always be looking for ways to improve how you manage being a student and a mom. Understand that you don’t know everything and be open to new ideas and suggestions.

Don’t think there’s only one way to get things done. Find what works for you and your family and run with that. Don’t let anyone pigeonhole you or tell you to follow a particular blueprint or formula to succeed.

Since every family is different, your approach will be different from mine and that’s okay. All I will say is, try new things and be willing to give up anything that isn’t working.


I believe in focusing on whatever is important in each season of my life.

When I decided to go back to school as a mom, my only goal was to graduate in the shortest possible time. Nothing else mattered. Everything else took a back seat and I am happy to say that attitude paid off.

I know things don’t always work the way we want, but staying focused on your goals will increase your chances of success. When you’re juggling motherhood and college, your focus should be on these two things and nothing else.

Just because you enrolled in college doesn’t mean that everything is going to pan out. You still have a lot of work to do from the time you enroll until you graduate.

So stay focused on achieving your short-term and long-term goals. Get rid of distractions and things that use up your time and energy so you can have enough gas in the tank for the job you need to do.

Without being focused and determined, I wouldn’t have completed college with all the hurdles I had to jump over. My single-minded focus is what allowed me to succeed.

Be realistic with yourself and how many other hats you can wear while being a student and a mom. There will be plenty of time later to pursue other interests if you choose to, so no need to spread yourself thin.


Planning is something we all know is good and important, but we never seem to do it. Planning helps you to lay out the steps you need to take to achieve your goals.

It’s very important as a mom and student for you to have an effective plan if you want to juggle your responsibilities successfully. The best way to manage being a student and a mom effectively is through effective planning.

Whether it’s coming up with a back-up plan for your babysitter, arranging for someone else to pick up your kids from school or child care center when you can’t make it, or for someone to cover your shift at work, or making arrangements for summer holidays if you plan to attend summer semesters. You need to come up with a plan and strategy to help you balance college and motherhood.

I have learned that the best way to avoid disruptions and emergencies is to have a plan and a back-up plan. While you can’t plan for every single emergency, you can anticipate a few of them and prepare yourself.

Yes, you can attend college without a plan, but I assure you that things would run more smoothly if you take the time to plan and cut down on unnecessary distractions.

A plan will allow you to stay focused and increase your efficiency, so don’t skip this very important step. If you need help with planning, the Weekly Planner for Moms in College is a simple and effective way to plan for each week. Check it out below.

Closing thoughts on 8 simple ways to juggle being a student and a mom

Being a mother and a student is a thrilling experience and I encourage you to go for it if you’re still on the fence. It’s possible to balance college and being a mom if you know how to plan, create a support network, get organized, and make sacrifices.

While the ride isn’t always smooth, it’s certainly very fulfilling and rewarding. So, do the best you can and keep believing in yourself.

Do you struggle with being a mom and going to school?

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8 Simple Ways to Juggle Being a Student and a Mom

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