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MASTERMINDS BLOG: BENTLEY'S GRAD STUDENTS TELL IT LIKE IT IS
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When Daddy Goes Back to School: 5 Tips for Students Who Are Also Parents
Kids are great. School is great. Combining the two, though, can be challenging, as both are worthwhile endeavors that need all of the attention you can give within a limited pool of time. As the father of a delightful 2-year-old boy, I ran into this friction early on in the BMBA program. Below are some tricks and habits that have helped me maintain some semblance of balance these past several months:
- Schoolwork can wait. Your children can’t. Unless it’s absolutely urgent, try to do your homework and reading when they’re asleep, or better yet on campus. You and your kids will remember spending time with each other 20 years from now. You won’t remember that article about supply-chain dynamics.
- Wake up early. I know it’s no fun, but try getting up between 5:00 or 6:00 a.m. You can drink some coffee, eat some breakfast, work out, and more important, get some schoolwork done while the rest of the family sleeps. You will be less flustered and more productive. Maybe Benjamin Franklin was on to something.
- Bring your family to events. In our program, there have been several events that parents have brought their children to. The ages of children of our cohort range from weeks old to mid-teens. For a lot of dinners and get-together among classmates, as well as school-sponsored events, families are encouraged to participate, so there’s no need to leave the kids at home (unless they don’t want to come).
- When it’s crunch-time and you need a solid chunk of time to get stuff done, as cold as it sounds, stay at school and do it there. Promise your spouse a massage or a dinner or something in exchange for watching your children solo. There will be tension, but do your best to nip it in the bud.
- Your professors will understand. They are human, after all. You may have to duck out because there’s no one to pick up the little ones from daycare. Or a kid may get sick. Or there may be visa or other issues if you’re an international student. Don’t be afraid to bring them up to your instructors, as I can almost guarantee they will understand. As long as you are up-front and willing to put in the effort to keep up with the work, no one will begrudge you taking care of your family.
There are many more issues surrounding being a student who is a parent, but biggest thing is to remember that a lack of sleep is a temporary thing: You’ll be thankful you were a little tired and got to hang out with your awesome family.
The post When Daddy Goes Back to School: 5 Tips for Students Who Are Also Parents appeared first on Bentley Master Minds.
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