Now that I’m back in my Master’s program, I’m having to adjust to not only being a student, but a mom as well. During my first trimester of pregnancy, I was a full-time student; taking 4 courses, doing an internship and working the night shift at Amazon. I tried to hang in there as long as I could, but I quickly realized that it just wasn’t going to work. I was nauseous all the time, tired all the time and this effected my ability to be a good student. I went from having A’s in my classes to missing just about every assignment and skipping days of class to rest. I ended up having to drop my courses in the middle of the semester and stopping my internship. I was so distraught because I had worked so hard to get into my Master’s program. I wasn’t sure how life was going to go from that point forward.
Thankfully, I felt a lot better by the time the Winter semester had started and I was able to jump right back into my program. Although I had to take those classes over, I was grateful to just be accepted back in with no hassle whatsoever. I decided that I would return as a part-time student to see how things would go with the remainder of my pregnancy. To my surprise, I was doing a lot better with taking just 2 courses instead of 4. I found myself being more focused in class, being able to grasp concepts more thoroughly and having more time to put in my best effort towards my assignments. That semester, my final grades were an A in one course and a B in the other. I didn’t even do that well during my undergraduate years. I was excited to start my Summer semester.
I had no idea that my baby boy was going to make his entrance early at 37 weeks. The downside was that I wasn’t prepared, but the upside was that he came at the perfect time. I had a week long break in-between my Winter and Summer semesters and that’s the week that he decided to come. I spent the entire week bonding with my baby boy and adjusting to motherhood; waking up through the middle of the night, breastfeeding/pumping and putting myself on a napping schedule during the day. I was nervous by the time the Summer semester started, but I geared up and reminded myself that I’m no longer just doing this for myself; I’m doing this for us now. Part-time was possible and I was going to push through. I found it best to create a schedule and become better at time management; which has led me to another great semester with amazing grades. For all my student moms out there, here’s a possible schedule if you’re in need of a better strategy:
- 8am- 10am: Baby is still sleeping; start on an assignment due for the following week (the key is to stay a week ahead, just in case you need to make adjustments later)
- 10am – 12pm: Baby bonding and care giving
- 12pm – 1pm: Afternoon nap
- 1pm – 3pm: Work on the assignment that was started earlier
- 3pm-4pm; Baby bonding and care giving
- 4pm – 5pm: Evening nap
- 5pm – 7pm: Finish up the assignment
- 7pm – 11pm: FREE TIME!
Keep in mind that this isn’t my everyday schedule. I attend class online and I have class 2 days a week. Typically, this is my schedule for 3 days a week. For example, if I have class on Wednesday and Thursday then I use this schedule Monday, Tuesday and Friday with weekends off. Of course, this means that you’ll have to make this schedule fit with your academic schedule and if you work, that’s a whole other issue; I currently don’t work and with the help of my parents, this schedule works wonders for me. Regardless, I hope that this helps my fellow student moms out there who may feel the weight bearing down on them. Find a strategy that works and push through. We can do this!