Tips to help you find time to study as a busy mom in college
How do you find time to study when you are a mom in college? How do working moms find time to study? How do you find time to study with a baby? These are some of the tough questions many moms are asking themselves.
Finding time to study is a big challenge for many students. Lots of college students work or are parents, and many of them have lots of other responsibilities besides going to school. This makes it very difficult to balance everything, and as a result, many adult students or student parents end up dropping out of college.
Now, I know there are many moms out there struggling to balance it all. These moms have invested a lot of time and money into their education and I want to see them succeed. That’s why in this post we are going to look at some ways busy college moms can find time to study so they don’t fail out of college or become discouraged.
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1. HOW TO FIND MOM STUDY TIME? MAKE IT A PRIORITY
Finding time to study as a mom in college is probably one of the biggest challenges you could ever face. So, if you are constantly asking “how do you find time to study?” then, know that you are in good company.
Now, to answer your question. The easiest way to make out time to study is to make studying a priority. What do I mean by that? I mean studying shouldn’t be an afterthought or something you do after you finish doing everything else. Your study time is a priority and that’s the way you should treat it.
Sadly, a lot of moms don’t prioritize their study time, no wonder they always seem to be playing catchup or trying to get their study in at the last minute.
While it’s true that you have other responsibilities as a mom, it’s also true that if you don’t give your schoolwork the attention that it requires, you will struggle in school and may find yourself failing.
Life as a mom can get very busy and your study time often takes a backseat, but the problem is, if you keep doing this, you are going to run into trouble in school.
So, you have to find a way to make your study time a priority no matter what is going on around you. If you are in a program that requires a lot of reading (i.e nursing), it is not a good idea to let your reading pile up because it will be difficult to read and retain a lot of information in a short period of time.
That’s why it’s important to read daily and make it a habit, if you really want to succeed in college.
2. STRUGGLING TO FIND TIME TO STUDY? SCHEDULE IT IN YOUR PLANNER
Along the same lines as above, one way you can ensure that you study every day is to schedule your study time. You can schedule it in your planner, a calendar, or just write it down on your daily to-do list.
While you may have good intentions and a plan to study every day, life has a way of interfering with your plans. So, the only way to make sure mom study time happens is to actually schedule it.
Now, you may not be able to schedule your study time at a particular hour because you don’t know if your kids will need your attention at that time. That’s okay. It’s okay to be flexible or to change your study time daily if that works better for you.
Not knowing what time you can study shouldn’t stop you from making it a part of your daily routine. Once you prioritize your study time and you schedule it, then it becomes easier to do it because you know it is something that needs to be done, whenever you have an opportunity to sit down and study.
You can use the Weekly Planner for Moms in College to schedule your study time for the week. With this planner, you can set study goals each week, plan what to read/study and when to study. It’s a set of printables to help you plan your week as a busy college mom. Check it out below.
It takes discipline and commitment to study every day especially when you are tired after a long day.
It’s easy to make excuses or rationalize why you can’t study, but at the end of the day, not studying will have some bitter and unwelcome consequences, so you don’t want to put yourself in that situation.
Yes, there will be days when you are going to feel beat up, and it’s okay to get some rest (because burnout is real), however, you have to ensure this doesn’t become a regular thing.
You need self-discipline to study daily and to keep pushing yourself. So, work on becoming more disciplined if this is an area you struggle with.
At the end of the day, you have to keep reminding yourself why you are in college and what life would look like once you are done. That’s how you stay motivated and keep pressing on.
If you are struggling with motivation right now, the post below has some great tips on what to do if you are losing motivation in college.
Related: How to Get Back on Track for Moms Losing Motivation in College
4. STOP WAITING FOR THE PERFECT TIME
When it comes to finding time to study, the first thing you have to remember is that there’s no perfect time to study. The best time to study is whatever time you can find during the day. So, instead of waiting for everything to be perfect or aligned before you sit down to study, take advantage of whatever slice of time you can find.
Start by finding the best time that works for you and see if you can schedule that into your routine. Whether it’s early morning or late at night, find the best time, then sit down, pick up your books, and start studying.
Some moms fall into the trap of waiting for a perfect time to start studying. Well, that may not happen. So, instead of putting off your study time until everywhere is quiet, or your kids go to bed, or after dinner time, it’s better to make some adjustments and get right to studying.
Many moms end up tired at the end of the day and skip studying after waiting the whole day for everything to be right. If this has become a pattern with you, you have to make some changes.
Yes, you might need some noise-canceling headphones or something, or you may have to ask your husband to watch the kids for a while or let the kids play with some quiet toys while you study. Just do whatever you need to do.
In my experience, the more you keep making excuses or putting off your study time, the harder it is to actually study. So, just do it, mama!
5. PRACTICE GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT
First, let me say that being a mom, student, and probably a full or part-time employee is very hard to juggle, so you are always going to be pressed for time. However, you can do a better job of managing your time, so you can carve out more time to study.
The first thing you should do if you have a problem with time management is to keep track of your time, so you can see how you spend your time.
Start by creating a daily schedule or to-do list. Add how much time you think each task will take, then track how long it actually takes and how much of your to-do list you manage to check off each day.
For example, preparing dinner-30 minutes, feeding the baby – 30 minutes, cleaning the kitchen – 20 minutes, completing biology assignments – 1 hour, and so on.
Do this for a couple of days or a week to get a clear picture of how you actually spend your time. At the end of the week assess how much your reality matches up with your schedule. Is there a big discrepancy? Do you leave many tasks uncompleted because you ran out of time?
If there’s a big discrepancy between your to-do list and how much time you actually spend, then you will need to take a step back and reassess how you spend your time. So, for example, maybe you are spending too much time on a particular task or you have too much on your plate at one time.
Tracking your time will allow you to identify time wasters in your life, where you spend most of your energy and time, and what adjustments you need to make.
You can use a daily to-do list like this one to write out your daily tasks, plan your days, and track your time for a week.
6. MAKE USE OF SMALL CHUNKS OF TIME
Finding time to study is all about making use of small chunks of time. If you work and you are wondering how to find time to study while working, my advice is for you to use small chunks of time throughout the day. This advice also applies to you if you are wondering how to find time to study with a toddler.
Small chunks of time add up and can save you a lot of frustration. Instead of waiting until you have a free hour or two before you can study, look for little opportunities throughout your day. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through your phone on your lunch break, you can use that time to study something.
You can also listen to audiobooks or lectures while driving, cleaning, preparing a meal, or waiting for your kids to finish an activity.
Now, for moms with babies wondering how to find time to study with a baby (especially a clingy one), you have a few options to make this work. For example, you can babywear at home while you study. The key is to always have something close at hand, that you can open up whenever you have a free moment. Whether it’s a book, a handout, or some flashcards.
While these options are not the most convenient ways to study and you might struggle to retain some information, this way, you can at least get familiar with your course material and save some time in the process.
Finding time to study as a mom is all about being creative and working with what you have got.
7. HOW TO STUDY WITH A BABY? BE WILLING TO MAKE SACRIFICES
I started my second semester in college with a three-year-old and six-week-old baby, so I know how challenging it’s to have a baby while in college. So, if you are still trying to figure out how to study with a baby, my number one tip for you is to be willing to make sacrifices.
That’s it. It doesn’t matter what else I tell you. If you are not willing to make sacrifices and accept that you are going to be uncomfortable for a while, then you are going to keep struggling to find time to study.
Finding mom study time with a baby at home may involve changing your sleeping patterns, when you go to bed, how much sleep you get each night, studying when the kids are napping instead of cleaning your home, or learning how to study with a little bit of noise.
If someone had told me I could study with kids playing around me, I would have said it was impossible. Because I was one of those people who needed everywhere to be quiet before I could study.
But, having kids changed all that and now, noise doesn’t bother me so much unless it’s pretty loud or excessive. So, get used to having kids or a baby around while you study. Invest in some quiet toys like Foam blocks for toddlers or regular building blocks, Soft activity books, or Magnetic sketch pads, and let your kids play while you study.
A willingness to make sacrifices means you no longer have to worry about how to study with a baby or if you will ever have enough time to complete all your assignments.
I have seen a few moms drop out of college because they couldn’t figure out how to study with a baby at home. While this is challenging, I also know it’s possible if you are willing to make some changes.
So, go ahead and implement some changes in your life.
8. HOW TO FIND TIME TO STUDY AS A MOM: INVEST IN SOME TOOLS, RESOURCES, OR HELP
If you are losing motivation or have problems studying because you are always tired due to your parenting responsibilities, you should consider asking for help or investing in some tools or resources.
I hear from moms who say their kids drain a lot of their energy because they demand a lot of their time, refuse to sleep without them, or some other problem.
When my daughter was a baby, she’d refuse to sleep in her crib and wouldn’t go to sleep unless I was laying down with her. Well, guess what happened when I did that? I fell asleep and ended up not studying or completing some of the assignments I wanted or needed to complete.
So, if you are facing this challenge, I know exactly what you are going through. The problem is if you keep doing this, you will fall behind on your schoolwork which would only compound the problem.
Since you don’t want that to happen, one solution is to consider paying for a babysitter during the day (if you can afford it) or asking your husband or other family members for help. Or you can invest in things like a portable crib or playard or a rocker you can place next to you while you study.
You can also invest in some quiet toys or a playmat your kids can play on even at night. I know it’s nice for your kids to have a scheduled bedtime or routine, but if that doesn’t work and is causing you to fall behind or lose motivation, you will just have to be a bit more creative and more flexible.
Investing in sleep training for your kids is also an option if you think it’s something that would be beneficial. Hang in there mama and remember this too shall pass.
Final words on how to find time to study as a college mom
Finding time to study as a mom in college is probably one of the biggest challenges you could ever face. If you have ever said “I can’t find time to study,” I know exactly how you feel and countless moms in college feel the same way.
But, I want you to know that there’s hope and there are ways to carve out some study time no matter how busy or hectic your life is. In this post, I have shared lots of ideas for things you can do to find time to study.
It starts with prioritizing your study time, scheduling it, using small chunks of time, making sacrifices, and asking for help or investing in some toys/resources to help you manage your study time.
Hopefully, the ideas in this post will ease some of your stress and help you figure out how to study with children, so you can keep making progress in college.
Do you find it hard to find time to study? What do you think the reason is?
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