How I Balance Being A Working Mom, While Going to School Full Time, and Everything Else

One of the most frequently asked questions that I've been getting since I announced that I'm going back to school is, "How in the world do you do it all?" To give perspective into my life, I'm currently taking 7 college classes, working full time on the blog (if you're still of the minority who believes this blog cannot possibly be a full time job that financially supports our family, I'm sorry, I can't help you.) I'm serving as our ward Young Women President, which eats up roughly four hours a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. I also have zero help with childcare, and I don't have a maid... so basically everything is on me most days. 


With all of that mentioned, the question of "How do I do it all?" is a very fair question. The first thing to mention is that I don't do everything perfectly, and I really have to prioritize what is important to me, and what isn't. 

I made the decision at the beginning of the semester that weekends were going to be sacred to me, and that I would never do homework on the weekends. I wanted this time to be able to relax, and do fun things with my kids. So I made it a priority to get all my school work done during the day when the kids are at school, and in the evenings long after they're asleep. 

Each morning after I drop Jay off at school, I come home with Em, and while she plays with toys, I try and get an hour or two of school work done before I have to start getting her dressed and ready for preschool.  Em is in school for 2.5 hours a day. Most often when she gets dropped off I hit it hard and get as much work done in that two hour block as I can. Whatever I don't get done in that time I have to do when the kids go to bed. After school time is another part of the day that I've safe guarded as a no work time. This way I can help Jay with homework, and spend time playing with the kids without them feeling like they never get my attention, and make dinner so we're not in a drive-thru every night of the week.

When the kids go to bed at 7pm, I start working on school work, and will until about 11:30pm, but sometimes as late as about 1:30am. I'm much more willing to give up on sleep during the week when I know I'm going to be able to catch up again on the weekends. 

My church calling has a really structured schedule, so I'm always able to know and predict when that's going to happen. I have about two meetings each Sunday before church, and then activities on Tuesday nights for about 2-3 hours. If I'm teaching on Sunday, then I plan my lesson on Saturday before church, and if we're going on visits during the week, that happens after bedtime when the kids are asleep, and means that I'll work later on homework that evening. 

As far as the blog goes, I realized that there were a lot of tasks that I was doing each day, that didn't necessarily benefit blog growth, so I cut them out and now only do the most important tasks. It means that I don't write as much unsponsored content right now, which I feel bad about, but I've been blessed to have really amazing sponsors the last few months which has helped me to be able to put out amazing content, keep making money, and keep this place floating along without having to worry too much about whether I'm going to have money to pay for all the medical bills and extra life things that happen at the end of the month. 

Another thing we've been doing for the blog is taking all the photos that we can for posts over the weekend, and then writing as many of them during the weekend as we can, that way I can schedule them ahead of time, and only spend about an hour or so working on the blog each day when the kids are at school, or while I'm waiting in the carpool line, or whenever I get a few seconds here or there. 

And lastly, if you pick up one new thing in your life, it means that something has to hit the back burner. Last year I spent so much time on physical exercise. I ran one marathon, ten half marathons, and completed one 100 mile bike ride. I quickly learned that physical activity would definitely be the thing hitting the back burner this year, and I'm completely okay with that. I'm still exercising about three days a week, but it's nowhere near the volume or intensity that it once was. My goal is to maintain a good base of fitness, eat healthy, and then when school is done in June, hit it hard with some new big goals for 2020. 

Like anything, life is a balance. You have to figure out what is most important to you, and then work all the other things around it. We each get 24 hours, and we each get to decide how we use that time. This certainly is a very busy and tiring time in my life, but it is also so incredibly rewarding. I'm filled with gratitude for all the things that I get to do this year, and I know that finishing my degree is going to have major benefits for my family in the years to come, so it's worth it, every bit of it. 

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