The joy of being a new mom is immense, as you take care of that little piece of you and build them up into the best they can be. While motherhood can be a full-time job, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more for you and your baby. That’s why going back to school is an option worth considering to forward your career or start on the path to a new one. Here are some tips if you decide to head back to school now that your child has arrived.
1. Take your time.
Don’t feel as though you have to immediately hit the books after baby. Take your time to make the decision that’s best for you, your newborn, and your mental health. You’ll want to weigh the coursework requirements that come from a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. You may even want to consider online learning options.
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2. Weigh your child care options.
Online programs are a great option to limit the need for child care at all hours, but you will still need to make sure you have a team in place to care for your little one when your coursework doesn’t give you the opportunity. Schedule as best you can to work your infant’s rest time around your course and study time. If you opt for in-person learning, be sure to look into any child care programs that are available through your college or university.
3. Schedule time to pump.
If you are breastfeeding your newborn, you’ll want to make sure you have a set schedule to pump. You can invest in a wearable breast pump that is hands-free and completely wireless, allowing moms the freedom to take on other tasks while getting babies the breast milk they need. With battery-powered breast pumps, mothers can set the suction level needed and recharge this portable pump when they’re not needing it. Most pumps are covered by health insurance, but be sure to look into any special features regarding milk bags, as well as easy cleanup within a dishwasher.
4. Stay vocal and transparent.
Regardless of core courses or study time, the best thing you can do for your educational pursuits is to keep your professors in the know. Some professors are parents too and will be more than understanding if an issue arises with your little one.
An in-person instructor may also be apt to give you extensions on certain assignments if situations come up regarding your child’s health or a lack of child care services. The downside is some professors may choose to be candid and express concern over having a mother of a newborn in their course. However, it’s better to be honest rather than have it become an issue down the line.
5. Don’t hesitate to put your and your child’s needs first.
At the end of the day, two things have to come first: You and your little one. Completion of the program will happen, but not if you don’t take your mental health into consideration. Be sure to leave space for free time with your baby, being able to enjoy watching them grow and reaching certain milestones. You also need your time to rest following courses and child care. It’s all about creating a balance that allows you and your child to get the best, in quest of a brighter future.