10 Helpful Tips for the Mom Who Is a Student


I’ll be honest with you, I never really took school seriously when I was growing up. I struggled with a learning disability that made school extra difficult for me. Therefore I was always content with barely passing grades, and when I started college, it was the same thing. I was fine with B’s and C’s or even the occasional D+ (if it meant I technically passed the class). It was like that for a long time until I became pregnant with my oldest child halfway through my bachelor’s degree.

All of a sudden, I had more of a purpose than before. And I knew that it was in the best interest of my growing family that I finally finish the degree that I had half-heartedly begun.

However, even with this newfound motivation, I found myself struggling. My education had never truly been a priority for me, so there were a few patterns that I needed to get rid of in order to succeed in school. It was definitely easier said than done, but I can now proudly say that I completed my bachelor’s degree and I am also almost done with graduate school. Believe me when I say it feels strange for me to say that, but there are a few things I did that have really helped me along the way.

» » » » » » » » »  RELATED READ: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help, Mamas  « « « « « « « « « «

Here are some tips that have helped me as a busy mom who is also a student.

1. Find the right school.

First and foremost, finding the right school is more important than you know. Pursuing an education can be very demanding, but by doing your research, you can find the perfect fit for your lifestyle and busy schedule.

2. Don’t procrastinate. Give yourself time to complete coursework.

It makes a big difference in the quality of your work when you take your time. You’d be surprised how much better a research paper will turn out when you’re not trying to finish it last minute.

3. Take advantage of nap time.

Taking advantage of my kid’s nap time has been a game-changer. I use this time to complete small school-related tasks like reading and weekly quizzes. It may not seem like much, but this will help you get ahead little by little.

4. Set reminders on your phone.

As someone who uses her phone for everything, I have found that setting reminders for due dates has saved me many times. As soon as I get a new assignment or task, I plug it into my phone’s calendar just in case it later slips my mind. It’s hard enough to keep track of everything for my family, and this makes it easier to manage my schoolwork.

5. Lean on your support system.

You will need support from your loved ones especially when you feel like quitting. I personally have found that my husband’s supportive and kind words make the biggest difference. He encourages me often and congratulates me whenever I complete a course and it honestly keeps me going. Without him, I would be a mess.

6. Communicate with your professors.

Having open communication with my professors has helped me immensely. It has made me feel more comfortable asking for help or advice when needed. I usually start off with an introductory email and set up appointments with them when I feel overwhelmed.

7. Discipline, discipline, discipline!

If you are not willing to do what is necessary to succeed in school, then just save your money and your time. If you do not have the desire or the drive to do what is required of you as a student, you will not get far. I had many failed attempts in school prior to getting pregnant with my daughter. It wasn’t until I had the desire to make my child proud that I actually took school seriously and achieved my goal.

8. Be practical and realistic about school.

Although many people opt for attending school the traditional way, it may be beneficial for you and your family to look into other options. For me, I personally found that online schooling is much more practical. I am able to complete my coursework at home instead of traveling to a campus every day. This has made school much more manageable for me.

9. Manage your stress.

Motherhood is stressful enough, and adding school to the mix can easily increase your stress level. Although your education matters, dealing with stress is just as important. Take time for yourself to practice self-care or to take a break. You will do better in both motherhood and school when you have a clear mind.

10. Be kind to yourself.

It is impossible to excel in everything you do. Burnout is real, especially in motherhood and in school, so it is important to be gentle with yourself. Show yourself some grace. Remember that as long as you are trying your best, you are doing more than enough.

I hope these tips will be as beneficial to you as they have been to me. Getting an education is challenging, but balancing motherhood at the same time is something else. Believe in yourself, and I promise you there’s nothing you can’t achieve.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of El Paso Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

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Carla Arzate
Carla is a dedicated wife and mother born and raised in El Paso, TX. She and her husband Sonny met as employees at Southwest University at El Paso in 2018 and have been inseparable ever since. They have two beautiful daughters together and hope to continue to add to their family in the near future. Carla is a Disney College Program alumna and she is currently a business graduate student. Her hobbies include ghost tours, crafting, Harry Potter movie marathons and iced coffee dates. She hopes to bring El Paso mamas together by inspiring them through her words and experiences. Follow her on Instagram here.


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