How to Stay Sane as a Working Mom and Student

Sanity saving tips for working moms and college students

How do you stay sane as a working mom and student?

Going to school as a mom is hard enough, but for working moms, it often feels like they are about to lose their minds because of all the pressure they have to put up with. So, how do you deal with the stress of being a full time working mom and student?

That’s what we are going to look at in this post. How you can juggle work, school, and family without sacrificing your health or sanity.

Here are some sanity saving tips for working student moms who are at their wits end.

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1. BE REALISTIC ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU CAN TAKE ON

Lots of moms in college make the mistake of taking on too much work at the same time. This can lead to frustration or overwhelm after a few weeks or months.

Many moms have unrealistic expectations and they fail to acknowledge their limits for one reason or the other. This can create an unnecessary problem for you as a busy mom in college.

If you want to stay sane as a working mom and college student, you have to know your limits and be realistic about how much you can handle at one time.

You can always ratchet things up if you discover you can handle more than you expected. This is way better than having to drop out of some classes because you can’t cope with the demands of college and motherhood.

So, be honest with yourself. Know your limits and use that to make decisions about your school and work.

2. WAKE UP EARLIER TO STAY SANE AS A WORKING MOM AND STUDENT

If you constantly feel behind or like you never have enough time to get things done, an easy solution is to wake up earlier.

When I start my day earlier, I always feel like I have more time to get things done (as long as I don’t fritter away time). It’s pointless waking up at 5 am if I am going to spend the next two or three hours on Facebook or Instagram.

While I can’t tell you what time to wake up, in my experience, starting your day at least one or two hours before the rest of your family wakes up is a great way to find more time for all the things you have to do.

There’s power in getting up early and knocking a few things off your to-do list. The key is to have a plan before you wake up, so you can jump right into things as soon as you wake up.

So consider changing your routine if you want to remain sane at the end of each day. The extra hours you will add to your day can be used to stay ahead on your schoolwork (especially if you are behind and need to catch up).

Waking up earlier will take a bit of practice if you are used to starting your day late, so don’t worry if you fail a few times.

3. BE FLEXIBLE AND TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME

When I say be flexible, I don’t mean you shouldn’t have a plan or create some kind of schedule or routine.

As a full time working mom and student, you need some kind of structure in your life unless you enjoy feeling stressed all the time. With that said, you have to allow for some flexibility if you want to remain sane.

Don’t try to micromanage every single minute or hour of your life. Instead, try to find some balance by taking things as they come, taking one step at a time, and doing the best you can with what you have got.

For example, let’s say you always study at 4 pm but today that isn’t possible. Does that mean you should give up on studying for the day? Absolutely not! What it means is that you have to find some other time during the day to get in some study.

When you are flexible, it’s easy to adapt to situations, and you don’t feel like the world is crumbling around you.

So, go ahead. Have a plan, create a schedule, have your usual routine but understand things don’t always go according to plan and be willing to pivot if necessary.

3. GET ORGANIZED TO STAY AHEAD

Being disorganized will only make life more stressful for you. As a working student mom, one of the best things you can do to stay sane is to find ways to stay ahead in college. Getting and staying organized will allow you to do just that.

So, how do you get organized so you can stay ahead?

Start by creating a priority list, then create some kind of system for your priority tasks. Your priority tasks are the most important things in your life. They are the things you must do even if you can’t get to anything else.

As a working mom and student, some of your priority tasks may include:

  • Getting to work on time and doing everything to keep your job.
  • Studying and keeping up with deadlines.
  • Spending time with your family.
  • Managing your finances well.

Once you identify your priorities, the next step is to organize your life to ensure the things on your priority list get done.

Some steps you can take to organize your life include:

  • Having a system for keeping up with due dates. You can use a planner or a calendar.
  • Eliminating time wasters so you can free up some time to spend with your family.
  • Creating a study schedule and keeping an organized study space.
  • Using a budget to help you manage your finances.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to stay organized as a full time mom and student. You just have to find what works for you.

Staying organized will keep you sane and save you a lot of time. If you struggle with disorganization, commit to getting organized. You can start small or get some help if you need it.

Related: How to be an Organized Mom in College

4. GET USED TO MORE WORK AND LONGER HOURS

You know something you can do to take away some of the stress of being a working mom and college student? Acknowledge this journey isn’t going to be easy and you have to get used to more work.

Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for ways to improve your life as a student mom, or you shouldn’t try to make things easier. Acknowledging the change simply means that you are ready for the challenge ahead and you are willing to do what it takes to succeed.

Some moms find it hard to adjust to this new pace, that’s why they end up dropping out of college. If you know what you are up against and you prepare yourself mentally and physically, then you will be ready for the tough road ahead, and be willing to stick it out.

There are times when you will have to do with very little sleep. At times, you may have to go from work to school with very little downtime. That’s what makes this journey so hard and why it’s important to stay healthy and practice as much self-care as you can.

This is how you stay sane and survive life as a full time working mom and student.

5. REMIND YOURSELF THIS IS TEMPORARY

Now, I know this is easier said than done especially if you still have quite a ways to go. I know some of you are probably wondering how you could possibly survive one, two, or maybe three more years of this without going crazy.

Let me tell you something. You can, and you will!

Have you ever been so tired that you had to focus on putting one foot in front of the other until you made it home? That’s exactly how you need to think about this.

Focus on taking one step after the other and keep reminding yourself you are almost there.

Even if you plan to go from one program to another, remember it is temporary, and one day this will all be over, and you can relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

When I was in nursing school, I had to keep telling myself that. When things got very hard, I reminded myself it was temporary and that the benefits far outweighed the pain.

If you are really struggling, tell yourself that, and try to focus on the reward. Trust me, one day you will wake up and this period will be a distant memory. Hang in there!

6. MAKE TIME FOR FUN

When you work, go to school, come home to be a mom, you have little or no time for fun. But, it’s very important to add some fun to your life no matter how busy you are. A little fun will make your life less tedious and is a great way for you to rest and refuel.

If you have to schedule “fun time” in your planner for it to happen, go ahead and schedule it. Schedule time with your family. Have play dates with your kids and husband (if you are married). Go do something fun with them or alone if you want.

Don’t think you have to spend every waking minute working or doing schoolwork. We all need some fun in our lives and it’s up to us to make it happen.

Lastly, the fun doesn’t need to be expensive or even cost money. If it helps you relax and makes you happy, that’s good enough.

7. DON’T NEGLECT YOURSELF

Raising a family while working and going to school can be exhausting both mentally and physically. No wonder many moms end up neglecting themselves.

As a mom, you can’t afford to neglect your wellbeing without running into some trouble. The stress of working, going to school, and being a mom will eventually take a toll on you if you neglect yourself for too long.

So, what can you do to ensure you don’t neglect yourself?

Here are some suggestions for you.

  • Exercise regularly and drink lots of water. Carry a water bottle with you.
  • Don’t neglect your basic needs by skipping meals, losing sleep regularly (and living on coffee. Yes, I know that’s a thing).
  • Don’t spend all your free time doing things for other people. Get some alone time as well.
  • Take care of your appearance. Shower regularly, fix your hair, use makeup (if it’s your thing), pretty up. Get a manicure or pedicure if you need one.
  • Invest in a nice and practical wardrobe, but please don’t go overboard. Even if you feel you don’t have anyone to pretty up for, do it for you!
  • Start a journal to keep a record of your thoughts and feelings.
  • Address any health issue you might have.

There are lots of ways you can take care of yourself, so there’s really no excuse to neglect yourself.

Now, if you are thinking you don’t have the time to do any of these things, well, it’s up to you to find the time. Neglecting yourself isn’t really an option if you want to stay happy and sane as a full time mom and student.

Wrapping up how to stay sane as a working mom and student

Staying sane is so easy but yet so hard to do. I have given you a lot of tips in this post and I hope you will actually implement some of them.

It’s easy to run yourself ragged when you work and go to college, that’s why you have to be proactive about taking care of yourself and getting organized.

Remember to be flexible and that this season of your life is only temporary. Keep your spirits up, don’t neglect yourself, and have lots of fun along the way.

Are you a working student mom? Do you struggle to stay sane?

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How to Stay Sane as a Working Mom and Student

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