I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed, i need advice/tips on how to manage family time and my schooling. For those of you who don't already know, I start first year of nursing in 5 days. I'm feeling so much pressure, I feel like I'm no capable of doing everything that is required and I expect from myself.
I wanted to make sure you knew that there is a little "edit" button the bottom of every post. It looks like a pencil. I know because I am a terrible typist and I have to use it constantly!!!!
I have heard that nursing school can be pretty intense, at least at first. I am assuming since you got accepted, that the school believes you have the capability to manage this program!
Personally, I think the big secret to managing everything is "routines." It took me a long while to learn this and I can't say I get it right all the time. I have to have routines to get the basics done--on autopilot. So, there needs to be a morning routine for getting everything done--this might include things like emptying the dishwasher or dishdrain, making a lunch, putting everything by the door, figuring out in the a.m. what is for dinner. An afternoon/evening routine might include opening mail and sorting it right away, getting dinner started, doing homework, cleaning up, spending time with the babies, getting partner to help, then doing more homework. Getting everything ready on the 'launch pad' for the next day. Cleaning would need to be done on a bit of a schedule with partner's help. A lot could be let go while you are in nursing school. I'm sure your family won't get sick from a little bit of a lapse in housecleaning!
You are obviously doing this for you and your family and routines might help you be successful. One day at a time!
2. Have a plan for when you will do homework. You need some childfree time to work, so your partner watching the kids, babysitters, friends/family, etc.
3. Get into a good routine of getting ready each night and day to maximize efficiency. Get everything ready you can the night before and get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning so you won't have to rush (as much at least).
4. Plan some special family time each week, probably on the weekend, where you just chill as a family doing something you can all enjoy. There will be spontaneous family time too, but create a special time if you can.
5. Let go of some things, your house doesn't have to be MIL clean all the time. Your kids can skip a bath here and there. That sort of thing.
6. Multi-task as you can. Make calls from your car during your commute if possible. Run errands on your lunch or other breaks. I find checking my work e-mails at night or in the morning before work (like when I'm using the bathroom or nursing) can be helpful to start making my mental plan for the day.
7. Make lists (task lists, shopping lists, etc.) to help you keep track of everything. Can be paper, electronic, or a combo, whatever works for you.
8. Keep a master calendar with appointments, birthdays, trips, etc. Again, paper, electronic or combo.
9. Declutter. I know you don't have a lot of time right now, but if your home is starting to get cluttered up, take some time to donate/trash/recycle/reorganize stuff. Cleaning goes faster when you have less stuff and I know it helps my stress levels to have a tidy home. I find it helpful to always have a bag/box around that is the donation pile, once I fill it, I take it in. That lets you work on it over lots of small bits of time which is probably all you have right now. I also try donate/trash/recycle at least one item for every item I bring in. So if I get new clothes, I donate the same number of old clothes, that sort of thing. I'm not 100% on this, but it is something I keep in mind.
I am about to start the term again too, it is great to hear different ideas on how to make life smoother. I went back to school last fall, so have been through 2 terms. This is what I have found helpful:
- critical to get everything together the night before for my self and the kids, luches, backpacks, anything else.
- lists of morning chores that have to be done, although I still find I have to nag at everyone to get ready. There is no TV and no playing until you are ready to go.
- Take homework or reading while you are at kids activites
- The only way I get in dedicated time to work on school is by using childcare for my youngest while the older 2 are at school. It is virtually impossible to study with kids around in the evenings. I do work after they go to bed, but I am so tired, that if it is heavy reading, I am not learning much, so I tend to do less onerous school work then, and try to finish at a reasonable time otherwise I an useless the next day.
- Have good routines about what happens after school, for the kids homework, music practise, suppertime, etc. I find there is a lot less griping from them it is is almost the same everyday
- I use a big fridge calendar, but my husband never reads it, so anything that he needs to know I use google calendar for him. I read all kids school notes as soon as they are home and write anything I need to remember/return/ bring on the fridge calendar immediately, otherwise I will forget about it.
- Once I get the schedule for the term for my school, I plan out when I am going to have to do things by, and book in any extra childcare I might need on weeks when things are due. I plan all my job work (casual work) around when things are due as well. I work at my job the minimum I am required to, then pick up extra during summer, school breaks.
I am still not very good at organizing meals and using my slow cooker, hope to get better at that this fall.