I am a wearer of many hats. As a mom in college, I know you are too. One thing I know is that you and I need to take off a few hats now and then…or not add any extra ones. I have come up with a few tips to help you (and me) learn to balance your hats!
1. Don’t over schedule. I know, it sounds like I am already being funny right? But no. Don’t over schedule yourself when you know you cannot handle anymore on your plate. I know as a mom you want to do as much as possible and if you have free time you think that the world is nearly ending. I promise you it is not ending. Also, keep a planner…a physical one with real paper and stuff. I do enjoy my cell phone planner, but there is something about writing down the stuff I have to do that helps me remember it. There is something there on the page that allows me to really see how busy I am which allows me to consider changing my plans when necessary.
2. Turn off your phone, laptop, tablet, or any other device that keeps you tethered. I turn off my phone for a while every day. I also do my best to disconnect myself from social media. Why? Because it is overwhelming! Do I like some aspects of social media? You bet your sweet bippy I do! On the other hand, people start to expect you to post, to be constantly present. The point is, it becomes another hat we wear — the social media butterfly. Stop. Just stop. Step away from that part of life and enjoy the silence…enjoy your children. Enjoy whatever it is you enjoy in the simplest moments…the moments that don’t require logging in and posting your status.
3. Let someone help where help is needed. If you are struggling in school with a certain class and your friend offers to help, for crying out loud allow them to help. If one of your mom friends or a relative offers to watch the kids so you can study or get away: take them up on that offer! You may not be able to remove all your hats for a long time but you should allow yourself time to go hat-less now and then.
4. Last, and also the toughest: Say NO. If you are like me you don’t like to say no to anyone or anything. You have to. You are not responsible for everyone in the world or everything they expect or want from you. You answer to yourself and whoever you choose to answer to. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why you are saying no either. Anyone who tries to get an explanation out of you clearly doesn’t understand how busy you are as a mom and student,, among other roles you take on. Say no. Just say it.
I know that none of this is rocket science — I didn’t intend it to be. But sometimes I think it helps to have another mom tell you these things. I know it helps me. Being a mom is a tough job, being a mom in college can become overwhelming to the point of giving up. Instead of getting to the point where you are so overwhelmed by the weight of your hats that you quit, why not try to take off a hat or two when possible? You deserve to rest your head, your heart, and your body just like everyone else. Now go ahead. Come on. Take off some of those hats!
(image credit: http://manytradesmom.blogspot.com/)