Student Life

The Student-Parent Balancing Act

Sophie Goodarzi, Library & Communications Coordinator

Student studying with toddler playing on desk

Being an undergraduate or graduate student can be stressful. Adding children to the mixture creates a whole new equation. Parenting on its own is a full-time job. Simultaneously being a student can be overwhelming. This is especially the case with young children. This blog post will give tips and tricks on balancing your studies and parenting while maintaining as much peace of mind as possible.

Plan a routine.
Creating as much of a routine as possible will help with time management. Review your course schedule and syllabi to plan ahead. You may want to read when your child is napping or study when they’re doing extracurricular activities. Establishing a schedule will let you know where to allocate your time and will make your life less chaotic when dealing with unforeseen circumstances.

Prepare your meals in advance.
You don’t always have time to cook dinner for yourself and your family after a long day. As tempting as a quick ready-made meal is, it’s not the most nutritious choice. Meal prepping may seem daunting, but it will save you time and money in the long run while benefitting both you and your child’s health. Taking a few hours out of a weekend to plan and cook your meals will help sustain you and your children on even the busiest days. But if a ready-made meal is what puts food on the table on a busy day, don’t sweat it!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Surround yourself with a reliable support system. If you have a partner, you can share responsibilities. Similarly, family members that can take care of the kids when you don’t have the time to do so will help immensely. In university, chosen family is especially important. A circle of friends who also have children can allow you to share responsibilities too. Remember that your support system cares for you and will help you in stressful times, so don’t be afraid to ask your loved ones for help.

Take time for yourself.
Sometimes following your routine and doing everything as planned isn’t enough. Whether it’s midterms or finals season or your child requires extra care, there are many things you cannot control that might throw you off balance. To avoid burnout, take time for yourself.

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