Any working stay-at-home mom or mom in school knows how difficult it can be to work or study while at home with your kids. Luckily my son is only 4 months old so he is easily entertained, but he is a total momma’s boy (not that he has a choice!) that likes attention.
I am currently a full time student taking 4 classes at my local community college, 3 of those classes are online. My son is on a few waiting lists for daycare at the moment so I stay home with him 3 days a week and usually take about 2-3 hours on those days to work on homework and study.
Sometimes it is a little difficult because I’ll have tests online that are timed that I really have to focus on. If I know an assignment is going to take me more than 30 minutes to finish and is important, I’ll wait until after Ronan is put to bed since I can guarantee he will be down for a couple hours before waking again. He only takes a few 20 minute naps during the day, so I normally use that short time to clean up and catch up on chores and use his bed time for important assignments.
One thing that has really helped me is to take frequent breaks. I know in most normal people, taking breaks can make you lose your train of thought and is less productive, but I tend to get overwhelmed and frustrated with too much going on around me.
Since Ronan has an obsession with my papers and my books instead of his toys while I am studying, I’ve found that pulling out my old books and letting him play keeps him distracted and happy. You should see the huge smile when I bring out my Microbiology book. What’s the worst that can happen? He learns to read and becomes a microbiologist?
I also find that talking out loud and reading what I’m studying to Ronan helps us both! It’s a perfect way to show him I’m paying attention to him while taking the time to understand what I am reading.
As Ronan grows there are new quirks and different methods I find to entertain him, but this is what is currently working for us. I’m sure it will change again in a month or two but I am maintaining all A’s and it’s working for us!
Being a single mom, a full time student, and working can be very overwhelming but planning, organizing, and figuring out what works for you, your sanity, and your baby makes it all so much easier.