How To Survive College While Married With Children

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mom graduating
Ten tips for married moms looking to thrive through grad school.

6. Get help. If you can afford it, pay for childcare, house cleaning, and anything else that will free up your schedule. I couldn't afford any of that, but I learned to ask for and accept help from friends and relatives. I asked a lot, way more than I was used to asking. You know what? I don't think it made anyone think any less of me. People actually want to help others.

7. Schedule couple time. Yep, that old saw about keeping the romantic spark alive in your marriage. We stupidly ignored this advice early on in our parenting days, and when I noticed that grad school was causing us to drift again, we decided that date night was an essential expense, in both time and money. Does Parenthood Mean You're Grounded?

 

8. Balance is overrated. Achieving something difficult and worthwhile may mean going at it full tilt, and jettisoning other areas of your life. It's okay. It's not forever. Life will go on; accept the craziness. Small things will continue to go wrong. Your husband's company picnic will conflict with your mentor conference. A kid will spike a fever the week you must revise your research paper. Big things may happen, too. My father died during my first semester. When I needed to edit my final thesis, my mother had a heart attack. Yes, I took a break from schoolwork, but only a short one. I reminded myself that derailing my progress would not serve anyone. At those times, the other things on this list got me through. Plus massive amounts of dark chocolate, tissues, a husband who kept saying, "I'll handle that," and two sons who told people, "Mom can't talk now, she's doing homework." How To Find Balance In This Modern World

9. Have Bring Your Family to School Day. If they are old enough, bring your kids—and your spouse, too—to campus. Introduce them around and let them see where you go, who you talk to, how the energy makes you light up.

10. Finally, celebrate. Brag along the way when you score a good grade or get a thumbs-up from a tough professor and, once you complete your degree, throw a party, even if it's only for you, your kids and your husband. You'll all deserve it.