Many of us have been raised to believe we can have it all. Previous generations only worked or studied until they got married. After marriage, motherhood was the only vocation they desired, so jobs and educational aspirations were pushed aside. Of course, there were exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, it was not until recent times that women’s roles changed.
Today’s woman is likely to hold down a job whilst raising a family and studying for further qualifications. It is now acceptable for women to return to work after having a baby, or to sign up for an online business administration degree despite the fact she has a family to take care of.
The problem is, ‘having it all’ can be a tough act to carry off successfully. If you are not careful, you will end up losing the plot completely, so here are a few tips to help you juggle multiple balls at once.
It is impossible to hold down a job, study in your spare time and have a family life. There are simply not enough hours in the day. Some women do manage to keep going, but they generally have a lot of help – usually in the form of nannies, au pairs and housekeeping staff. Since you are unlikely to have that kind of budget at your disposal, you need to be ruthlessly organized.
Keep a notice board in the kitchen and make a note of every appointment, deadline and family commitment. That way you will always know who’s doing what and when.
Now is not the time to become OCD about the ironing. Try to see the bigger picture and don’t sweat the small stuff. Your family won’t suffer if they have to eat take-out two or three evenings a week. Life will not end if you don’t spend two hours ironing and the house won’t fall apart if nobody scrubs the shower clean twice a week.
Ask for Help
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Studying for an online business degree is time consuming, so you will need help to hold everything else together. Let your employer know you are studying in your spare time and ask for their support. Perhaps they can let you leave early one afternoon per week so you can catch up on extra study time. You should also ask your family for extra help. Insist that everyone does his or her fair share of the chores so you are able to study.
Try Not to Be Superwoman
You are not superwoman so don’t try to be. Everyone has his or her personal limits and it is essential that you do not push yourself to the point of breakdown. Take a break from time to time and if it all gets too much, take a step back and relax. A day away from studying will help you recharge the batteries and reconnect with family and friends.
Combining study with work and family is not an easy option, but it will be worth it in the long-term, so stick with it.