Student Mamas - finding time to study w/young toddler? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-24-2010, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm going back to school next week for my Nursing Pre-Reqs. I have a very active (and very much a Mama's girl) 17-month-old. DH works evenings, so he will be watching her while I'm in class. There will be be anywhere from 4-6 hours where both of us are home with her, and other days were both of us are with her (at the same time) for even longer. DH is not able to calm her down when she is really upset, though.

I sometimes have a tough time being able to get housework done while she's awake, because she is constantly "Mamamamamamama!" at me for me to pick her up, grab something for her, turn a fan or light on (one of her latest obsessions), etc. She's WAY too heavy for me to comfortably wear her anymore - probably about 35lbs, and I know there are people who wear their toddlers, but I just cannot physically do it anymore, especially for chores.

To get anything done, I usually have to distract her with food, ice in a mesh feeder (if teething is the issue), a toy, music on her CD player, asking her where the cat is, etc. She will sometimes play on her own for a short time, but not when I really need her to LOL. I try to involve her in things like laundry, cleaning the floor, etc, but dishes are too dangerous obviously, and taking out the trash is definitely not child-friendly.

We cosleep, but I like to nurse her down first, and then try to stay up to get cleaning done, read a book, hang out with DH, etc. Lately she hasn't gone to bed for the night until 1am (ugh), and that is going to be a serious issue since I have 8am classes. She usually naps twice a day, but sometimes only once, and only 45mins - 2 hours (half of which she naps on ME b/c she won't let me put her back down after she rouses to nurse the second time).

So, IDK when I'm going to study, and I'm taking Human Anatomy & Physiology, and Public Speaking! HELP!

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#2 of 8 Old 08-24-2010, 11:17 PM
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Sorry I don't have any real help for you just commiseration. I have three children 4 and under, taking 15 credits. My DH works long hours and he is going out of the country for the entire month of October. So yep, I feel your pain. I just plan on getting less sleep, a lot less sleep LOL. Oh and studying at the gym while I am on the bike. Yeah, it will be a very strenuous bike ride - haha.
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#3 of 8 Old 08-25-2010, 10:18 AM
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Hi Luna! We were in the March DDC together. I am taking my nursing pre-reqs as well. I can totally relate! I am in my second year - been taking things slow since Melora was so little when I started back - and up until yesterday (when dh lost his job), I was totally alone M-F trying to juggle all the parental duties and study. I am taking A&P, Chem plus 2 Chem labs, and Nutrition this semester. It's going to be a tough one.

I would suggest you schedule time, preferably outside the house, to get studying done. Add an extra couple hours to your school schedule where you go to the library or something to study. I haven't done this as of yet and if I am home, even if it is my "study time", I will end up taking care of the kids or being distracted by them. Having a little one this age and trying to study is hard because they need so much attention. Melora also isn't comforted as well by anyone other than me but I know if I am out of the picture when she does, she will eventually be fine and learn to be comforted by them. Also, in my experience, at this age is when they start to be more attentive to their dads. Next thing you know, he will be her "best bud" as my kids call my dh in their toddler years. Good luck! Maybe soon we cam commiserate on how hard A&P was and be happy we got As!

~Lanie mom to Layne, Liam, Maren, Meridian, and Melora
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#4 of 8 Old 08-25-2010, 10:24 AM
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I know this is an attachment parenting website, but I think its probably time for her to attach to daddy. Truly.

Since he will be with her during the day, she will most likely adjust to him being the one to do the comforting a little more. You should also set aside other days that you will be together for him to take her out, or for you to go out to the library to study. Not being in the house will help tremendously.

You can also start gently encouraging her to play by herself, with some of her fave toys, so that you can get a few things done (this works well for readings that don't require full attention, etc).

I'm a single mama law student with a 19mo, and I'm starting my semester this week - its not so fun!
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#5 of 8 Old 08-25-2010, 02:14 PM
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I'm wondering about this as well. I'm a SAHM taking three classes- one of which is an honors seminar, one of which is a foreign language, and the last (and most concerning) an algebra&trig. This is my second year of college and so far it's been fairly easy-peasy, but I have a feeling that's about to change. I read something by one of the others mom saying that they try to wear their kiddos out earlier in the day- I think I am going to try to really emphasize being out and about and super active for the first half of the day (which we really do already) and save the home stuff/toys/games for home. It's going to mean I can't give her my 100% attention, and I'm sure it'll be an adjustment for both of us. But I don't see it as necessarily a bad thing. One other thing- I am one of those mamas who feels guilty putting a show/movie on, even though the content is always more than fine. I just feel like it's cheating. But come school, especially as the crappy weather of winter hits, I'm going to have to let that guilt trip go ...

forever following the lead of a colorful active little monkey
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#6 of 8 Old 08-26-2010, 10:12 AM
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With multiple kids, I found that I had to schedule time outside the house in order to truly study. 1 hour at the library = 2-3 at home unless everyone is napping.

With anatomy, if you have a lab component, you may have to spend additional time in the lab (more than just your scheduled lab time). I found that I needed to actually sit down with the models multiple times in order to really get to know them for lab practicals. Also, taking pictures of the models and using them to quiz yourself at home can be helpful. Same deal with making flashcards - when you don't have time to haul all of your books out, you can do flashcards for five minutes while your DD is playing.

When I took public speaking, I used to practice my speeches on the kids.

Also, I had to let go of my "no TV" policy. Something had to give, and that was it.

Good luck!


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#7 of 8 Old 08-26-2010, 10:40 AM
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Can't tell you how happy I am to find a thread like this. I'm SAHM going to school fulltime with a 3 yr old and a 6 mo old. DH is deploying in 3 wks. I've got one quarter under my belt and it was HARD bc he rarely took the kids. They're going to start going to a learning center in November but until then this quarter will definitely help keep my mind off things like deployment!! My mil is going to watch my girls for 2 hrs a day while I take an on campus class and the rest are online. I was shocked at how difficult the online courses were last quarter, I'd so much rather be in the class room.

I have also recently let go of my "No TV" policy, I hate it but it helps so much. The flashcards are a good idea, I'm going to have to try that more this quarter, that has always really helped me. Oh, and I too will be a busy mama early in the day!! My girls get up at 7 and I've been trying my hardest to wear them out so they crash out early.

filiadeluna I hear you on the mommy's girl issue. My 6 mo old won't nap unless I'm holding her, I feel like I've tried everything. Thank goodness she's entertained by the older sister or I feel like I'd never put her down. She'll barely let DH hold her and CERTAINLY won't let anyone else hold her. Older sis is pretty snuggly herself, she constantly wants me to play with her which I have been able to all the time until starting school. She's having a hard time adjusting to me doing something else (which is ok, I think its a good thing to learn) and often runs to the back of the house to get into some sort of mischief when she's feeling ignored. (Can you say toilet paper strewn everywhere or all the clean clothes pulled out of my drawers/closet??! aaghhh!) If I gate her in she won't tell me she has to go potty and has accidents.

Obviously I have some kinks to work out in this whole arrangement good to know I'm not alone

Proud Army wife to my best friend, mama to River (5/07) and Willow (2/10)
......... i love my life! ..........
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#8 of 8 Old 08-26-2010, 08:37 PM
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I'm right there with you, but have no advice right now other than trying to schedule out of the house study time like others have suggested. Until this semester, I've been able to complete most of my work during the day while the older kids were gone to school and the baby napped. But now the baby is 22 months old and I'm way overwhelmed.

Yesterday while I was doing homework he overflowed the bathroom sink and dumped out an entire bag of cheerios. The only time I can actually concentrate is during his one daily nap and today I fell asleep too. lol I've asked my mom to babysit occasionally and her response was, "You'll get a break when they are grown." Thanks mom!

So, today I put my son on the child care assistance waiting list in hopes of finding a very part-time program when they have more funding. Even one four hour period each week would be so helpful - I'm getting desperate! I am single (boyfriend lives an hour away and now can assist on weekends now that his son has began kindergarten) I have five classes this semester and a two hour nap time isn't cutting it. I feel guilty for seeking childcare when I am here at home with online courses, but he is to an age where I think he would enjoy the interaction with other children and activities. He has a speech delay as well, so I am also a bit curious about how more interaction with children might affect that?

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I understand how you feel. Hang in there! It really does get easier after you get a little farther into the classes and get into a routine. Just try your hardest to stay ahead so that when emergencies happen (and they will...) you don't have to stress as much. Good luck!
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