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any student parents out there? how do you get homework done?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
my dh and i are both in school . i only go for an hour a day ( 6 credits) and he is full time, plus he works part time. we dont use child care, we just have a very fine tuned schedule (LOL) ....we literally swap the baby on campus alot, so whenever i am in class DH has ds.

weekends are the only time we are really all three together. when DH comes home during the week it is almost bedtime for ds. we do homework then , (but we are usually pretty tired by then ourselves) and then on weekends we fight over who gets to take a break for homeork , who gets to take a break to have alone time, etc. then we end up defaulting into just hanging out together , since we need that too. its really a jam packed life, and i was wondering if anyone else here is doing it, and if you have any breakthroughs about scheduling. we do ok with it but theres alot of stress i wish we didnt have. summer is almost here, so its gonna be easier again, but i dread the fall., when i might have to take 9 credits.
post #2 of 20
dh and I got married during spring break of what was to be our senior year of college. we ended up conceiving our first two months later...both working really hard until i became a sahm and we graduated when our first was three months old....then we decided to go back for our master's degrees each taking one class at a time. we are both finished with coursework now five years later but i have to write my thesis. with three sons I don't know when that will happen, but it was all worth it. whenever we had a new baby dh would come to campus with me so that i could nurse on the class break (in the middle of the three hour night class) it was crazy but we somehow worked it out and i loved the mental stimulation. during the day when it was just one or two babies and i still lived in chicago i would either walk to starbucks with a baby strapped to my back or a stroller with the kids and when they would zonk out i would grab some coffee and study for a couple hours (on a lucky day) other days i would take the bus two hours just to get to the aquarium or a museum and let them play until they would be so exhausted i could study. i would read feminist theory with a baby lingering at the breast. i would read the novels aloud to them. i would take them to the computer lab and they would draw or play a kid game while I wrote a paper. somehow it worked out. i did catch up a lot on weekends when dh and i would swap time in the library. GOOD LUCK hope some suggestions help. IMAGINE I DID ALL OF THAT before i even had a television...if you have a tv use it if you must or wish to
post #3 of 20
Dh and I use to have a system a lot like yours. He finished last Dec though, and now is working full time. I'm taking 12 hours now. This is my last week of class before finals and I am SO happy.
There was a time in this semester where I thought I was going to die from school overload.
Anyway, what we used to do about homework time was I got an hour and he watched ds, and then we switched (this was on the weekends). Also, we tried to get as much hw done on campus or during the day as possible, though I admit I'm bad about this.
I don't have a lot of time, but we've been juggling this since 2000, and will be for a few more years. If you have any questions I might be able to help.
Good luck, brave mama!
post #4 of 20
I go to the park early (so no or few other kids are there) and they will usually play good for a while and I can read.

I read outside while they play.

I suppose at your son's age that means you have to just be resigned to eating lots of grass, sand, ect if you want to study outside

And perhaps in the fall he will be a little better about playing with out so much interference from you (but again mine only really do outside, inside there are to many fights and wanting me to play, and it might get too cold quickly).

Can you take online classes? Still more scheduling problems, but at least its your own schedule.

When mine were around a year, I had the 13 year old across the street come over once a week, so I could get something done. Even a 9 or 10 year old can often keep a toddler entertained if you are sitting at the table doing school work.

I find the textbook websites to be great for studing. Maybe mostly because my boys will let my be on the computer for quite a while if they can nurse, but even if they are not nursing they will usually help me do the quizzes that most websites have.

That said, I do still have a hard time with written work, reading I can do while nursing, sitting near the lego tower, or by the sand box. But if it involves pencils and paper not only is it harder to fit in my schedule, there is even less of a chance that my boys will let me do it with out wanting to mess with my stuff (especially if I am also trying to use a calculator: ).

Good luck
post #5 of 20

After my first was born, I waited until she was 6 months old and then re-entered school with a full (19 credit!) load. The classes were not easy ones (biochemistry, microbiology, anat & phys, etc). I would plan a one-hour break between classes (not between each class - one break a day) and that time would be for sitting down and seriously studying in the library. It is amazing what you can get done in an hour a day if you focus on it.

Every now and then I'd go to my parents' house and have them watch the kids while I did some larger project or something. Probably every other week or so.

Now I have two. I waited until my son was 9 months old before going back to a 17-credit load. That semester was very difficult. DH watches the kids during the day and goes to work at night, usually. We have one car. The problem is that the university is a 40-minute commute, and Tony wasn't ready to be going more than 3 hours or so between nursings, so we ended up driving back and forth, back and forth.

This semester has been a little better because Tony is older, so now I just leave the kids at home with DH during class hours, and can do the one-hour-break inbetween thing again. Still, my classes are real tough this semester and I need extra study time, and find myself at my parents' place a lot. The kids adore their grandparents, though, so I get something done and the kids have a blast.

Oh, and the kids LOVE the bath, so I'll toss them in there and sit on the floor to read my textbook. Sure, the book has splash-marks, but I get a lot of reading done in the 40-minutes or so they usually spend in the bath.
post #6 of 20
19 hours? 17 hours with 2 children?! How many classes is that? Commuting 40 minutes?!
Nicole, you are officially my hero!
post #7 of 20
Originally posted by mamaley
19 hours? 17 hours with 2 children?! How many classes is that? Commuting 40 minutes?!
19 hours was 6 classes, I think. The regular lecture-style classes aren't a big deal, it is the labs that kill you - 4 hours for one credit!

The commute sucks, but we've got it down to once a day now so it isn't so bad. DH has a 30 minute commute to and from work, though, so that car of ours sure is packing on miles! And we waste a LOT of time in transit.
post #8 of 20
Moving this to the Working Mamas forum....it includes student mamas too!
post #9 of 20
I am currently working toward my BSN. I go to the University of Phoenix. this has worked for me, because even though by the end of the year i have 30 credits, i go only one night a week. do not let this fool you, i have tons of papers due and i read about 350 pages a week. not to mention all the other crap. i also work parttime in an ER. i do that sat & sun. with the three kids, i just squeeze in study time when i can, often after everyones in bed. i do my papers during the day. my husbnad works all week, leaves the house before 6:30 and often doesnt come home till after 6pm. still i am committed and will graduate in 2 years, just in time to start paying for college for my oldest child. my salary will literally double when i graduate. i will do the same thing in the same ER and get double the pay.

i am exhausted though and drink about 6 cups of coffee a day! oh, the crock pot is by best friend!

post #10 of 20
My last day at my day job is Friday. After then I think that I may never work 9-5 again for the rest of my life. Yay!

I have waaaay too much on my plate this summer. I am taking 12 hours of online classes in preparation for graduate school (midwifery), 6 intensive hours to finish up my undergrad (linguistics, which has only come in handy because I am multilingual now), working very part-time as a doula (I am slowing my practice down for the summer) working as an assistant in a homebirth practice, and freelancing 10 hours a week or so for my current employer! Too much!

A few things that have worked for me re: studying -- to build an hour or two into my day when I am at school for studying, to take the bus to school so that I can study on the bus, and to study at 5am before everybody gets up.

I am lucky in that I have flexible, affordable, full-time child care. I plan on pulling my three-year-old out whenever I can this summer, but if I need to take him there five days a week, the option is there.

Good luck everyone!
post #11 of 20
When I was studying and working while dd was an infant, I had childcare, and tried to make sure to do all my studying while our nanny was here. This didn't always work, of course, so I'd also study or write after dd went to sleep (the office is right near the bedroom, so I could tend to dd when she'd wake up and want to nurse). Dh would also sometimes take dd to the grocery store and other errands on weekends, so I'd have a couple hours then, as well. Even now, at nearly 24 months, it's unlikely that I'd be able to get enough FOCUSED time to study properly while dd played at the park or something.

Perhaps there is another mom you know who's in a similar position with whom you could trade childcare? Any sympatica mamas on campus?
post #12 of 20
I am a full-time nursing student with 2 toddlers I went part-time through both my pregnancies and brought young ones right to class with me (LOL)
This year has been tough, I have a pretty crazy work load and not a lot of free time. We have a nanny who comes 2 mornings and 1 afternoon while i'm in class. I try to get things done after they go to bed (tho hard cuz i'm really tired) and on the weekends. DH is really great about hanging with the kiddos if I really need to get things done and I go to the library. We live very close to campus so I can come home and nurse ds whenever he needs.
Basically I just get what I can done, next semester I start clinicals in the hospital, it's going to be hard to be away for 8 hours, but it's in the evenings and dh will be with them. I guess I think of it as bonding time for the three of them.
Hope this helps some...
post #13 of 20
I finished law school this week!!!

I had dd during my second year and continued with a 60 percent courseload (3 classes) the semester I had her and the one following, although by the latter I was also working 10 hours a week as a research assistant. Then in the summer I worked full-time, and returned to a full courseload for my 3rd year. She's 18 months now.

My dh is a fulltime stay-at-home dad, although he has also been doing his darndest to finish his thesis for a MA in Education (I think he's sending it off this weekend, yippee!). We've done all this on basically no $$, of course: it's been tough managing one SAH parent on a (non-existent) student income.

I have no idea how we've done it: mostly by being frantically busy a lot, cutting corners, and procrastinating enough that we still have time for each other even when we should really be studying.

A week and a bit ago, we moved across the continent for my new job. When we got here, dh looked after dd for a few days straight and I wrote one last 40-page paper. I think all you can do is accept that you're not going to spend as much time on your studying as students without children, and decide that it's a plus: the suckers, they all think that you actually NEED to study that much -- we who have children know better! Later, you can sell your time management skills to an employer...

Wish I had some magical tips for you...
post #14 of 20
Mamastar, Congrats!!!! That's awesome--can't imagine how great that must feel.
post #15 of 20
all of you ladies are amazing. i have one response regarding the comment that parents as students are going to devote less time to their studies than non-parents. Because my first was three months old when i got my first degree i remember what it was like before and after kids very well. i can tell you that school meant so much more for me once i gave birth. as an undergrad i pushed to just get through and i spent less time than i should on everything i did even when i enjoyed it. once my children were born and i began grad school i realized that, man, i was PAYING to come to school (as i always had been) and that if school did not matter i would not take that time aways from my dear children. i finished my course work for my masters with a 4.0 because no matter how difficult it was to carve out the time i WAS NOT GOING TO WASTE MY CHILDREN'S TIME pursuing something half-heartedly and SETTLING FOR MEDIOCRITY. I wish i felt the same way about housework LOL. I can't say every paper I wrote was my personal best, and I definitely missed out on some of the extras, but like I did when i was a younger student, all of the under twenties HATED me because i HAD ACTUALLY PREPARED for class. Preparing might have meant thinking about the book i had finished twenty minutes before class while i nursed a cranky baby or it might have meant that I was distracted at the park while i pushed a toddler on a swing. THERE IS A PRICE STUDENT PARENTS PAY, and that is probably a QUALITY of time spent issue, but my kids were with me and doing things they loved and they knew that i was working hard to accomplish my goals, which i think will make them better people, particularly better mutitaskers which DH is not LOL. Good luck to all of you, but remember that even without the "free time" the under-twenties and the like have YOU HAVE THE ADVANTAGE because you can make mature decisions that benefit your whole family and do the best not to waste the time of you, your families, your classmates and your professors. (now if i would only put that energy into my thesis...)
post #16 of 20
Oh, I didn't mean to imply that you need to do poorer work, or let your education slide! Hey, my grades have gone up since I had babelet (usually I let my dh brag for me while I look suitably modest, but I got a super-awesome position as a judicial clerk that starts in Sept!).

I think that having children while you're in school means that when you actually DO have time to work, you have to knuckle down and focus far more than most childless students could ever understand. Conversely, though, I found I just didn't have the time for extended stretches of worrying about exams, hanging around the library looking pained, or going to useless study groups where everyone spends all their time complaining about what they don't understand...I just had to get on with it! And if I was going to spend time procrastinating, well then I was going to do it while spending time with my partner and our daughter, not kvetching about my workload in the lounge at the law school with other students...
post #17 of 20
I totally agree that after you have children, school is much more important to you. well, at least it was to me. I really made sure that I didn't skip classes, thought more about papers ect...basically what everyone else has already said.

it has been really hard going to school with little ones. i always have to study while they are asleep. which is sometimes at 2 in the morning...(ok, well most of the time). now that I have a three month old i have been taking distance learning classes and only have to go in to class to take midterms and finals, and I have to say, my professors have been awesome. Even letting me bring the little one with me, sleeping sweetly in the sling.
I actually had to drop 2 of my classes this week, because the kids were totally sick and it was midterms (of course) and i couldn't leave them. sigh...so school is slow going, but worth it, and we're moving to Hawaii in august. (parents are doing a research project there) so we're tagging along because it's HAWAII! I'm going to take a year off , get my residency and then go to University of Hawaii. i'm happy that i get to take a year off, but dreading the fact that I have to put school off for another year.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble...how do I study?
Drink lots of coffee
Take advantage of grandparents, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers,ect...Usually I don't even have to leave. My kids seem to ignore me in the presence of my family.
trade off with dh
study while they are sleeping.

happy to know there are other moms like me
post #18 of 20
congtrats mammastar, you awesome mamma!!!!!!!
post #19 of 20
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
well, as far as time for each other, there is definately way less of that during school. one thing i had to accept is that we have to take light class loads so that we dont kill each other during the semester, and only one of us can go to summer school so it still kinda feels like a break. if youre not both in school in the summer it might be ok, somehow we find time to hang out but it most often comes in the form of blowing off housework or something else we "need" to do. keeping my house up is important to me but enjoying my life is more important, so i usually let that slide when i am feeling stressed. but the nice thing about college is that there are breaks between semesters and if you dont take summer classes you can kind of "catch up" on quality time then.

thats how it is for us, and it isnt the ideal for a marriage, ther is alot of strain, but we adapt. we always get in fights around finals and midterms ! but we are coming to realize that will hapen and take it in stride without blasming it on our marriage...i mean we just blame it on stress not our relatrionship . thats been good for us to realize, cuz there have been times where i have felt like our marriage was falling apart. once i saw the pattern in our fighting i could see we were just reacting to stress.

anyway good for you for going to school! ultamately i am very happy to be in school, i love it. and ds hasnt been watched by anyone but us yet.
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