When full-time moms go back to school, either full-time or part-time, moms have to find a school life balance. School life balance allows back-to-college moms to juggle all of their home and family responsibilities with their commitment to earn their college degree. The key element to accomplishing school life balance is to get and stay organized and focused on both aspects of your life.

Tip #1 Schedule Your Time

As a mom, you probably already have some kind of calendar or event tracking system in place. You add soccer game schedules, PTA meeting times and doctor appointments for the kids. When you are scheduling your time as a college mom, it is essential that you also schedule time for everything that relates to going to school. Add your classes to your scheduling system. Finally, schedule time to do your homework, study for tests and have meetings with your fellow students to work on group projects.

Tip #2 Take Care of You

Moms have a tendency to take care of others. You make sure your kids are clean, fed, clothed and healthy. You do the same for your spouse or significant other. Not only do you have to keep your duties up taking care of others, but more importantly you have to take care of you. If you get sick, then all of your desires to take care of others and stick to your schedule fall apart. Make sure that you eat right, get enough rest and exercise. It helps to keep you healthy and keep everything running according to schedule.

Tip #3 Be Flexible

While it is important to organize your schedule and try to stick to it as best you can to keep your home and school life running, you also have to be flexible. Unfortunately, no matter how organized you are or how well you keep your schedule, curve balls will put a wrench in your plans.

For example, if one of your kids stays home sick from school and this is typically when you study and get your homework done, do what you can while your child is resting. Ask your spouse to fill in for you to cook dinner that night or clean up after dinner, so you can make up for any lost time. Even a family friend or relative may be willing to help, so you can get 30 minutes here or an hour there, so that it doesn’t throw off your schedule too much.

Tip #4 Establish Help

The best practice is to line up your help and the commitment from your spouse, family members or other caretakers upfront before you go to college. The commitment is to support you in any way they can so that you can still uphold your familial responsibilities, but devote the time necessary to do well in college, earn your degree, get a better job and make more money, which results in helping your family even more.

Tip #5 Find out about On-Campus Resources

Many colleges are prepared for single moms or moms in general that are going to college for the first time or going back to college to finish their degree. Find out what kind of resources the college offers students that are moms. On-campus daycare that is part of your tuition or at a reduced cost to traditional daycare is one option. If you are a full-time single mom, you may even be eligible for on-campus family housing and special scholarships. Let your counselor know what your situation is so that you can find out what resources may be available to you.

Tip #6 Take Classes You Can Online

Even if you are attending a local college, find out if online classes are available. Take any of the online classes that you can, so that it allows you to be in better control of your overall schedule. You may even decide that finding and taking all of your classes online to earn your degree is the most beneficial way to manage your school life balance.

Tip #7 Take Night Classes

College and universities offer class all during the day and at night. If you are working full-time and so is your spouse, enrolling in night classes may be the way to go so your spouse is home or the kids are in bed when you head off to class. Night classes may also mean that your family or friends can cover for you while you’re in class, so that you don’t have to sacrifice any part of your life.

Finding the right school life balance as a mom in college can be daunting. With some organizing and planning, however, it can be much easier than you think.

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