Jul 27, 2015

Juggling Uni work with a job and kids #Tips

I don't know why I decided to wait until I was 27 with a job and 2 kids to start my degree but that's what happened! Life is pretty hectic to say the least but I have found a few ways that really help with trying to fit it all in. For a while I felt like I was failing at everything, when you do too much you can't always do it all well.

So I've had to prioritize. This sounds pretty obvious I know but sometimes I would think "I'll just do the housework first so I can think clearly" which would take two hours and then I'd have an hour before school pick-up and get nothing done.

When you think of the end result that in the long run you won't remember if your house was tidy that day, but you'll remember if you failed an assignment because you did housework instead of handing in your assessment or doing enough work for it.

I realized I can't do it all, I can't have a spotless house, cook dinner every night, do the food shopping, work a near full time job, be a good mum and still do this degree.

Something had to give. I've decided to get a cleaner to come in once a week to help out with the 83 loads of washing we seem to get through and keep on top of cleaning the bathroom and floors etc. You have no idea how excited I am about this, I literally feel liberated and tomorrow it means I have almost the whole day to study and it's only the beginning of my unit!

I'm not saying, getting a cleaner is a choice for everybody. It just means admitting I can't do everything and this is the thing I can relieve myself of, so I'd rather pay somebody to come in and help me with the cleaning (properly) instead of winding myself up about the state of the house and not being able to concentrate.
Other options could include 
-Ordering the shopping online instead of walking around the supermarket for a couple of hours, freeing up time that way.
-Organizing the dinner schedule ahead of time, freezing bulk loads of food, to be got out the night before etc.

The other thing I've found that helps more than anything is to Surround yourself with positive people.
My partner is really supportive when it comes to helping me with my studying, he lets me go over the questions with him, makes suggestions but most importantly he cracks the whip. If he comes home and I've got 'distracted' by watching 'Orange is the new black' or painting something completely unrelated to my studies he'll give me a look or tell me to start studying.
My Mum is also helpful by babysitting the kids or taking them out for the day if I need to finish an assignment with a tight deadline. Sometimes the kids make so much noise and ask me 9 million questions even when I've answered the same question three times repeatedly. They're kids, it's what they do and they don't understand my inability to cope with noise or why I'm studying or what I'm doing so you can't take your study stress out on them it's not fair. It does help if you try and tell them what's going on, let them know you need them to play quietly because you have to work on something importantly. Maybe prepare them a nice big lunch (that's the only time my kids are quiet, if they're eating!) or let them a pick a movie and get them some popcorn. So if my Mum can take them out for a few hours it is unbelievably helpful. I try to study on the days they're at Kindy/School but sometimes I do have to do a few hings on the weekend and they normally just play in the garden with the chickens. The best idea I ever had was getting the kids pet chickens, they honestly play outside for hours with them!! 

My friend saved my arse the other day too. I had printer issues, literally wasted an hour and a half trying to get my brand new ink cartidges to print two pictures out, but for some weird reason I couldn't figure out for the life of me everything was being printed in pink!! I mucked around with it so much and my stress level and not being able to fix it and the amount of time I was wasting was too much to bear. I rang my friend, who had a perfect working printer and within five minutes I was at her house printing the damn pictures I needed to finish the assessment and she made me a cup of tea and I calmed down a lot!

Remember why you're doing it

I decided to do my Bachelor of Fine Arts and Visual Culture because firstly I honestly believe I was put on this earth to be an artist, I practice art every day and it's what I'm meant to do. I not only want to broaden my knowledge in the area but I want to be worth more money. I have worked in the art industry for around 7 years, from having a small business and selling independent work/commissions from working in the creative side of marketing and being a Graphic Designer. To progress in my career and do my dream job of being an Art Director I need this degree to validate all that experience and be worth more money. I need the knowledge from my degree to really know what I'm talking about as well.

If I give up or I don't do that then I'll never have that job. I have a dream of being a famous artist which I won't give up on but if that doesn't happen I would be really happy being an Art Director, I have all these ideas, all this creativity pouring out of me and this urge within me to make a difference, be known in my field and just be better. I can't do normal jobs, I can't do anything that doesn't involve art.

Little things I find help with the actual study
-Your favorite snack and cups of tea - I always have snacks on my table and a cup of tea. Those alone will keep you there longer!
-Think about things, read the question and do the research. Enjoy it. Basically don't rush through it and try and get it done. This is one of my biggest regrets about my A levels. I often went off and finished my own personal work, rushing, through my coursework to finish my own paintings!
-Get a Diary -  the more organised you are, the more to-do lists you make, the easier it is to fit in time to study.

The problem with being a creative is that I hate structure, I find it difficult being organised. I need to be though to have enough time to finish my assessments to the best of my ability, to make quality time for the kids and ensure they still get fed and bathed haha!!.

I hope this helped some of you or was at least interesting to read. I'll finish off with some inspirational quotes to get you all in the mood to go and study!


1 comment

  1. I have discovered a few techniques really assist with trying to suit it all within. For a while We felt such as I was faltering at every thing, when you do a lot of you can't usually do it almost all well.


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