grad school

Grad School Parent? Stay Stress-Free With These Tips

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Are you a parent that wants to apply to grad school? If so, the very thought can be overwhelming. You’re thinking of schedules, carpools, homework, and eating dinner. And not just for your kids anymore! You have your own school and scheduling details to work out now as well. 

Remember why you are doing this. This is a stressful time, but there’s an end game in sight.

A key reason you are feeling overwhelmed right now has everything to do with uncertainty, and not having a plan yet. The only plan that you have right now is that you want to do this. Figuring out how is going to eliminate a lot of the stress that you are feeling right now. 

Use these tips on how to manage it all and stay stress-free as you prepare for grad school as a parent.

Choose a Family-Friendly School

One way that you can feel better about grad school as a parent is through your school selection. Pick a family-friendly school. Start with a list of schools that meet your family’s needs when it comes to child care, commute time, and parent resources.

Every school in America knows that there are parents out there working towards the American dream. Select the school that is the most family-oriented and you will release some of those burdens.

Show Off Your Beast-Mode Scheduler

When you are adding your own school schedule into the family plan, every minute matters. Find ways to get creative about this. You are the expert here. Take the skills you earned when working out your children’s schedules, and apply them to your own now. 

Plan your class time, commute time, dinner planning and preparation, and even schedule when you are going to make lunches.

You won’t have to do this the entire time. You’ll become a grad school parent beast-mode scheduler in time as you find the ways this will work for you. You may want to consider online courses, for example, so that you can save some commute time and use that for other family matters. 

Think of how many minutes a week you would spend in commute time, for example. When you see that number, you’ll know what you want to do with that time instead.  

Use some time to bring your kids and partner to school events and functions, or academic socials. You can do all things at once. Become a master scheduler and show other grad school parents that this can be a cakewalk if you plan it right.

Bring the Mom or Dad Voice to the Table

Starting grad school at any point in life can be intimidating. You feel smaller as a person before you even begin. Remember that when you start this as a parent, you are starting this process with more accomplishments under your belt than many of your classmates.

Bring that mom or dad voice to the table when you are planning your registrations, schedules, seminar discussions, presentations, essays and reports, and planning. Bring that mom or dad voice to the table at home to delegate the tasks that need to get done when you can’t be there. 

That parent voice gets it done, or makes sure someone does. You are the boss here. Bring it to win it. You’ll feel less stress when you do.

Take Care of You

Being a parent is stressful and going to grad school is stressful. Doing both of those things at the same time is a significant accomplishment, but a painfully stressful one at that. So, schedule some you time. It’s okay if you do. Even if you can only squeeze in a 15-minute facial mask on occasion, do it. You have to do you once in while in order to feel a sense of balance.

Get your social on. Find a way to release some stress with friends, family, and fellow students so that you have some time where you aren’t thinking about the stress of planning your every minute. It’s okay to have some fun, and if you want a balanced and stress-free time in grad school, some scheduled relaxation is in order.

Choose How You Balance Grad School and Parenting

If you are stressed out about balancing grad school and parenting, use these tips to start feeling less uncertain and more in charge of your life and your children’s lives. 

Get your beast-mode scheduler on, pick the right school, bring your parent voice to the table, and then find the time to take care of you at the end of the day or week. 

You deserve this. Remember why you are doing this. You decide how you win this, and you will.

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