Student Mammas-- HOW do you study!?!?! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 01-08-2004, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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It seems every time I am reading my book after dd is asleep for the night, she has a terrible night, she is fussy and can't sleep and thrashes about and nurses on and off. Even after I turn off the lights and go to bed. When I color in my anatomy coloring book, I give her crayons and paper, and she starts off having a good time and eventually either has a meltdown (which she doesn't usually do when coloring) or sheonly wants to color my page. She is only13 mos btw. When I want to post to the class email group, there she is whining at my feet. I swear she has a radar, because now, when I am posting, she is sleeping peacefully. I bet if I crack my book she will arise and be cranky. Now I take her for drives until she falls alseeep and sit in the front seat and study and read, and if she starts to wake up I start the car and drive until she is in a deep sleep again. not exactly my ideal study spot, but it is working for now. Any tips?
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#2 of 17 Old 01-08-2004, 09:05 PM
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LOL! Sounds familar I've done the paperwork in the car thing too just so dd will sleep and I get some work done. Is it possible to get a babysitter for an hour or so a couple times a week while you study? Toddlers and studying just dont mix well I sometimes have a friend take dd to the park so she has a blast playing and doesn't even realize mommys gone

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#3 of 17 Old 01-09-2004, 01:44 PM
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Mark and I had a discussion about this last night. He wanted to make
Saturday study day. That is a no go with me because I want to reserve weekends for family only time. So he will go directly from his job at 4:30 and head to the resource library for study and research. I will be studying and doing homework on my breaks between classes. For projects that require study in the community Kailey will stay with Marks mom or aunt, or Mark.
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#4 of 17 Old 01-09-2004, 08:52 PM
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I've been struggling with this for a long time now because I've been in school since before my ds was born. I've tried many different things. The driving thing seems to work but it isn't a very comfortable way to study. And obviously doesnt' work if you need to use the computer unless you have a laptop. I've had a very good friend I trust come over and watch my ds for an hour or so. I would study in one room where I could hear them playing but my ds couldn't see me. When he needed me I would go into the room where he was playing with my friend. I liked this arrangement until my ds had surgery. Now he needs me more than ever and doesn't like when I'm more than an inch away from him unless he's with my dh. He will play with my dh for awhile while I study, but dh doesn't get home until 7pm or so. I start getting too tired to study by then. I left him with dh for an hour recently while I went and studied somewhere else. This worked pretty good except I couldn't stop thinking about how he was doing and called about 5 times to check during that hour. LOL. My best suggestion if your dp is working when you need to study is to maybe find a close friend that you trust who has a ds or dd close in age who can watch your dd nearby, either in the same house as you, or somewhere close, and maybe you could swap and do the same for your friend sometime. Hth. You've probably already thought of these suggestions though.
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#5 of 17 Old 01-09-2004, 09:11 PM
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I do all of my studying after ds is asleep for the night. He's a finicky sleeper, but as long as there is someone in bed with him (ie, dh), he only wakes to nurse every two hours or so (for maybe 10 min). He usually goes down for the night around 9, and I stay up till about midnight.
When I have a big paper due or have procrastinated about an assignment, dh and ds go visit grandma for a few hours on the weekend
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#6 of 17 Old 01-12-2004, 01:58 PM
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I just completed my MBA. DS was 9 mos when I started and is now 26 mos. It has been one lonnnnnnng, hard f'ing haul, but here was my hard, fast rule:

Going to school is the same as working full time.

Ok, so that rule got bent, a LOT, but it really helped. I don't know how you feel about childcare, but I realized that the only way I could push through was to treat school like work and so DS went into care at around 10 1/2 months. He had been home w/ DH before that, so he got a lot of really good one-on-one time. (Financially it wasn't an option for DH to stay home while I was racking up $$$$$ in loans!) We worked hard to find a good place and got recommendations from other parents before we signed him up. I was heartbroken, but DS was so happy there! It has been a really great experience, actually.

Basically, I would get up, get him ready in the morning (so we got lots of cuddle time) and take him to daycare, which was near my school. It was a longish ride, so we got time to sing and talk in the car. Then, when the day was over, I'd pick him up and bring him home. Once we were home, I was done with school for the day. We spent the whole evening focusing on DS and then, when he went to bed, DH and I tried to have a little time. I was still BF'ing, which helped with the connection (although DS self-weaned at around 12 mos. ).

I made sure that any group project I was involved in was scheduled well in advance so that if there was no way around it and we had to meet in the evenings or weekends, I could make arrangements w/ DH and pull some time w/ DS from another part of the week. Since it was easy to tell when I'd be really busy (finals, etc.), DH and I worked out an schedule where he really took on a lot. If I just had to spend a Saturday studying, DH would take DS for the day and I would head off to school. Then, the next day, I would take DS for the whole day and really work on quality time.

Ladies, what we are doing is probably the hardest thing in the world. To be in school with a partner and child(ren) is a testament to how strong we all are! Kudos to all of us!!

ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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#7 of 17 Old 01-12-2004, 03:12 PM
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Well, my kids are a little older (3 1/2 and 1 1/2), so this may change with the new baby next fall. I would study at the table (or the computer, when needed) while they were playing or watching a video. They helped entertain each other. I made sure they were fed (or had snacks handy) and had a drink. I would get interrupted here and there, but overall- it went fine. If they started interrupting too much, I just called it quits for a while and went back to study later. I had 4 classes, but they were only on Tues-Wed-Thurs, and 3 were once a week classes, so I had all weekend to get in my homework/study time. I never allowed myself to wait until the last minute (which I normally do for EVERYTHING) b/c everything took me much longer than it should. (Sometimes reading one chapter took me 4 hours!!)

It is actually harder for me to study w/dh around than just the kids. He's a much bigger distraction most of the time!!

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#8 of 17 Old 01-22-2004, 10:00 AM
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It is hard, sometimes I get an hour here a half an hour there, but it is so worth every bit of it. Right now my almost 4 year old goes to preschool and loves it. I wake up early and study, then I get her up and we do breakfast and snuggling and off to school for her. Elias usually wakes up and nurses and on the way back from taking Journey usually falls asleep and when I get home I study, periodically through his naps. Sometimes I read to him, he does not mind biology as long as a vary the tone of my voice and stop to smile and return his coos. I pick Journey up at like 3 or 4 and then we come home and play and she helps me do dinner and we do our night time routine and when the kids are asleep, i get up and study somemore, if I can tear myself away from my beautifully sleeping children. I do some of my reading in bed at night too.
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#9 of 17 Old 01-31-2004, 04:05 AM
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Disclaimer: I just started going back to school this semester, so I've only been doing it for a few weeks. Also, my daughter is 19 months. She also sleeps for hours at a time (2 hour naps in the afternoon so I can cook, clean, study, etc.), so I get most of my studying done while she's sleeping.

That being said, the thing that helps me the most is having her "help" me. She loves to be a part of whatever I'm doing, even if she isn't really helping! For example, if we're putting on her shoes and she wants to grab at them, I ask her if she wants to help me put them on and she says "Yeah" and then holds it out and tries to put it on. Then when I put it on I thank her for helping me. So with studying, I ask her if she wants to help me and then help her find something to play with near me. I then periodically will thank her for helping me so well! It sounds like you are trying to give your daughter activities near you already, so it just might not work for you... but verbally acknowledging her assistance might make a difference. :

Also, I often have to read 1 paragraph at a time! As soon as I sit down AND SHE NOTICES, she's all over my book. Sometimes I can sneak a peak at 1 paragraph at a time before she notices!

Good luck.
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#10 of 17 Old 01-31-2004, 09:36 PM
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i have been searching for others in my situation for a long time now. I was so excited to read that there are other women and families in school with young children! I have been feeling very isolated for a long time. I have 2 kids, olivia is 5 and malcolm is 2.5 I am a full time student in my senior year of my bachelors degree in anthropology and the pre-med class block completed ( there is no actual pre-med program at my university) finding the time to study with my children can be absolutely frustrating. I also sent my children to montessori school full days 9-430, and studied around my classes and they also go with their father some and I can grab some of that time to myself. Knowing that I still have so far to go is frustrating too! Glad to hear I am not the only one! katie
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#11 of 17 Old 02-01-2004, 05:51 PM
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I started college through distance learning 9 days after Rain was born, and graduated a few weeks before she turned 5 (went part time at first and took one semester off). I did only distance learning until she was a year old, and then did a semester of half and half, and then went "in person" from there on out.

In the beginning, I could lay down on the bed, latch her on, put a math book behind her, and work over her head while she nursed. By the time she was 6 or 8 months, though, that didn't work so well :-) I did most of my studying while she slept, although sometimes she'd be sleeping on my lap while I read a textbook. If I were doing it again, I'd *really* try hard to get a laptop somehow, even a really old one, just to word process. Sometimes, if she was having a hard time settling, I'd set an alarm for a few hours later and sleep with her for a while and then wake at 2 and work, or else I'd set it for a couple hours earlier than she usually woke and work then...

Nine months to about 21 months was the hardest time for me, because she was so into everything and growing and changing so quickly, but she wouldn't focus on anything for more than 30 seconds. When she was a little older, then I could set up something for her and gain 10 minutes to study, at least most of the time.

Oh, when she was a toddler I'd also pay a couple neighbors to watch her and play with her while I was there but studying. One was an 8 yr old boy with 3 younger siblings (sometimes he brought one of them along), and the other was a moderately developmentally delayed teenager who was mostly non-verbal but Rain loved her. I didn't pay them a lot - a dollar or two, although this was 10 years ago - but for Rain, these were friends, not caregivers, so she was willing to go with them. Mostly they'd play in her room and make huge messes, but I'd get an hour or so to sit at the kitchen table or at the computer, and if she got tired or cranky they'd bring her to me, or I'd hear and go to her.


fambedsingle1.gifSingle mom to Rain (1/93) , grad student, and world traveler earth.gif


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#12 of 17 Old 02-02-2004, 03:34 AM
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I've given up trying to get anything done when dd (13 mo.s tomorrow) is awake. She does not play independently and wants everything I have, and everytime I try to do something it ends in a meltdown.

So I only study after she has gone to bed or is napping, and I try to catch up on my sleep during the weekend.

Another tactic is I use is studying/writing standing up. We have a dresser thingie in our living room and I lay my book on it and stand at the dresser, so she cant' see what's up there and can't crawl/climb on me. She's pretty content to play at my feet for a while.

I'm single, so I don't have this option, but if I did have a partner, I would try to have him get her out of the house for an hour or two each day to the park or something too.

Student mamas rock!!!!! It is so hard to be where we are........
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#13 of 17 Old 02-03-2004, 05:34 PM
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I guess I'm the lucky one. In addition to going to school full time, I work part time at the college. The position I'm in allows me time to study. I work 5 hour shifts, and do less than an hours worth of actual work. My main job is to make sure everything's running smoothly and to just be there in case it doesn't. So, my boss lets me do my homework at work, and I'm paid! It works out great since I need the money, and I need the study time.
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#14 of 17 Old 02-03-2004, 09:31 PM
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I have a 4 month old and a 3.5 year old, and am a student too. I also do everything after everyone's in bed...well, dd doesn't lay down without me (she's the baby) so I hold her and read/type at the same time.

Good luck to you all this semester
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#15 of 17 Old 02-04-2004, 12:34 AM
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Originally posted by shelbean91
I never allowed myself to wait until the last minute (which I normally do for EVERYTHING) b/c everything took me much longer than it should. (Sometimes reading one chapter took me 4 hours!!)
ITA. Don't put anything off. Start right away, no matter how much time you have. The time will fill up.
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#16 of 17 Old 02-14-2004, 03:05 AM
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I do all studying at night, when Sophie is sleeping. She goes down about 7, and wakes about 7. If Dh or I have big assignments or extra work, we watch her while the other studies.

Mom to 5 wonderful kids (9, 6, 4, 2 and 0), 1 adopted through foster care.
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#17 of 17 Old 02-18-2004, 01:33 AM
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i don't study :LOL

... actually when i need to study i try to do it in between classes, while he's still in his daycare.

at night... hopefully your dd is just going through a phase. otherwise i don't know what to tell you. if it were me, i'd probably invite someone over to watch my little one for awhile while i work. i guess i'm blessed ~ my son goes to bed and usually will sleep at least most of the night without waking up and being upset (although this is a fairly recent development ).....
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