Life as a single parent comes with many rewarding moments alongside busy days. When you add going back to school into the mix, things can quickly start to feel overwhelming. While balancing this type of schedule is challenging, it’s not impossible. From creating routines to setting aside time for yourself, there are a few best practices that make tackling your education feel more manageable. Here are our top five tips for becoming a medical assistant as a single parent.
1. Develop a routine.
Balancing schedules can be stressful, so it’s essential to develop a routine. Sticking to a daily pattern eliminates the stress of last-minute decisions and planning, plus it’s a great way to keep you and your children on the same page.
Look to create separate routines as well as a conjoined one. This starts with talking with your employer and determining how you can work around your classes. Once that’s squared away, work in your child’s regimen—school drop-off and pick-up, extracurriculars, etc. For developing your child’s day-to-day plan, create a school-day agenda, an at-home agenda, and a fun one that details when they have activities and which days they’ll have you all to themselves.
2. Dedicate time to yourself.
Being a single parent, a student, and an employee comes with a stack of obligations, and they all take up good portions of your day. However, you must make time for yourself— even if it’s just 20 minutes to read, go for a walk, or meditate. If you have extra money at the end of the month and a babysitter, schedule a massage or treat yourself to a cup of coffee. These self-care moments will leave you feeling recharged and ready to tackle your responsibilities.
3. Lean on your support system.
While you’re in school, it’s crucial to find a support system you can rely on. Let your family, friends, and neighbors know your goals and discuss ways they can help you. It can be as simple as a motivational message, a listening ear, or a home-cooked meal every now and then. If you have an infant or younger child, talk with your most trusted family members, and arrange a childcare agreement. For emotional support, reach out to your friends and peers who understand what you’re dealing with. Most importantly, know you are not alone.
4. Manage your time.
Save yourself from unnecessary stress and headaches by incorporating time management skills into your life. This might mean figuring out your daily routines and errands ahead of schedule. For example, develop a menu or meal prep for the week on the weekends, or set out outfits and pack lunches the night before. Another crucial part of time management is setting goals and prioritizing your tasks based on importance and urgency. These skills will also play a vital role in your career as a medical assistant.
5. Spend quality time with your child.
Life may get busier, but it’s still important to set aside moments for you and your child to spend quality time together. Let them pick a movie and have an at-home pajama party. Play a game together or get outside and do an activity. Read a book together at bedtime. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you do so long as it’s done together.
Remember, the chaos is temporary. The all-nighters, long days, and hectic schedules will pass. Your kids will get older, gain independence, and be able to take on more household responsibilities. Before you know it, you’ll have a degree that allows you to fulfill your passion for becoming a medical assistant—and spend time with your loved ones.
Time to Begin Your Healthcare Career
At Woodruff, we have the utmost respect for those determined enough to earn their degree while raising a family. Here, you’ll not only receive a high-quality education and real-world training, but you will also find the personal support it takes to succeed in our medical assistant program. We understand that everyone’s situations are different; that’s why our programs are flexible and affordable. We want you to be able to focus on your education without any unnecessary stress.