Studying with a baby isn’t as easy as some make it out to be, but it is doable. I’m a young momma of one, a little boy who was 8 weeks old when I started studying my full time bachelors degree. At first many people told me that I wouldn’t be able to do it, I’d fail classes and most of all I’d be leaving my baby with someone who I didn’t know. Well, at least one of those was true.
I had my son when I was 20 years old and began studying just after my 21st birthday. Throughout society I’ve realized there’s a stigma that exists associated with young parents. A stigma that suggests because you’ve had a baby before the “usual” age of 25, that your career and life is offically over. Well, I try my best everyday to defy this stigma and show people how it can be done. It involves time management, patience and a lot of help from either your partner, a family member or just your community daycare.
For me, I use a daycare and my Fiancé helps out here and there when he can. I attend University 4 days out of the 5. I usually begin my days around 8am, and have my son at his daycare by 9.30am the latest. Afterwards I head to University to begin my study.
Now, I usually have a goal in my diary everyday for a certain amount of study to be completed and aim to have all study and classwork completed by Friday Afternoon so I can use the weekend appropriately.
I attend University and usually leave from either 2pm onwards, and pick my son up on the way home. Once I get home, I begin my afternoon routine which goes as follows:
1. Empty Keanu’s bag out and clean his bottles, and fill his bag up for the following day.
2. Feed Keanu and have some play time, which may include reading a book, playing with toys, or just singing to him and talking to one another (even though its baby gibberish)
3. I usually say hello to my dog and give her a cuddle while feeding Keanu
4. Get Keanu to have his afternoon nap and while he’s doing this I finish cleaning the house
5. Begin studying and prepare myself for the evening study session.
Now, on the days that Keanu is sick or is at home with me, my study routine is a little bit different. What I tend to do when studying is feeding my baby before hand, making sure his tummy is full before moving onto the next task. Then I usually place a mat on the ground with a few toys for him to play with, by doing this it gives him a distraction other than wanting to be on my hip. Essentially, he begins to fall asleep after his “milkies” because he becomes, what Mother’s like to call it “Milk drunk”.
Now, I always try my best to use my study time wisely. This may include structuring an assignment, reading over course work, or even going through my textbooks and highlighting relevant information. I aim for 3 hours of studying in the morning- midday and 1-2 hours at night, in the late evening when Keanu (my Son) is asleep. This benefits me as I also have some alone time for myself, which is very much needed when you’re trying to study, look after a young baby & make sure the house jobs are completed.
I always prepare a weekly schedule of all the things that are to be completed and begin my assessments as soon as I get them so it’s important for me to make use of my time wisely.
Now, as I mentioned before I use a daycare which helps me a lot! If you’re looking at beginning to study I would suggest placing your baby in a daycare or even getting someone to help out where they can so not only can you have your ‘alone time’ but also have some study time so you can focus and only focus on your university work.
I’m due to receive my marks for University within the next week or two and I’m hoping I get some good grades. In my experience, it has been difficult. Especially at the beginning of my study as I was unable to prepare a structure but I have found what works for my son and I and it seems to be working quite well.
If there are any parents who wish to begin studying, although people tell you that you can’t I say GO FOR IT and to make yourself happy. I realised there is a stigma in society associated with young parents that suggests they can’t achieve anything but we are just like people without a baby, except we’re just 10x busier. I say if you put your heart to it, you can achieve anything.
“The future depends on what you do today”
Article written by McKeillor.
McKeillor, owner of Life Of A Young Mumma is a mum of one at just 21 years of age. She is currently enrolled at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia studying a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education. She wishes to become a qualified high school teacher, majoring in Physical Education and history and also wishes to study a PhD in hopes to become a Professor. She is a lover of nature, and stationary and also ventures around Brisbane hunting for cafe’s with a little bit of personality! She enjoys studying at Cafe’s in Brisbane, her University Library and also in nature such as the beach, or the local park with her dog. McKeillor owns an Instagram page; lifeofayoungmumma_ along with a Youtube channel; as well as her blogging site: lifeofayoungmumma.com where she loves to give tips on pregnancy, postpartum journey, fitness and study!