May 19th marks the end of my first year at university. It’s been amazing meeting new people an learning new things, but it has been beyond tough. I went in with a rose tinted glasses view of it all, thinking ‘it’ll be fine’ and so on. There have been tough moments where there is no one to look after Lily, or trying to fit in getting work done. I have learnt though, that it IS possible to be a successful mum and a successful student. So her are my top tips for being a mum at university.
Be honest with lecturers
Always tell your lecturers if you are struggling with a topic or piece of work. I had a problem with an assignment before christmas. Matt was away, Lily was ill and I juts didn’t understand the topic one bit. I tried to struggle on and finish the essay and handed it on time, but I failed it. Speaking to my lecturer after the results day, she said I should have said something and couldn’t figure out why I didn’t. I didn’t want everyone to think I couldn’t cope with everything and I didn’t want it to look like I was getting extra help juts because I had a child. Don’t worry about all of these points. I your stuck, ask and say something. The lecturers want you to pass as much as you do!
Get a diary
I would have been lost without my diary. I had all of Matt’s work dates in there as well as Lily’s nursery days, play days and so on. I also entered in all my deadlines at the start of each term and it really did help. To have it all written down in front of me really helped me manage everyone and everything. I bought an 18 month diary from Paperchase, but an academic diary will be fine as well.
Budget, budget, budget!
Budget is key!!! Is sat down with my letter from student finance and worked out what money I had each term and then worked out all of my expenses for that period of time. It showed me how much money I had left over. Alway take into account you children’s supplies in to your expenses such as nursery fees, clothes, shoes, nappies as well as all your household bills.
Make time for your children
The first term of university, I went from spending all day, every day with Lily, to spending pretty much no time with her. This emotionally hurt and distracted me from my work. We slowly got into a routine of getting home form university and nursery and doing family things. We would play for a bit, have dinner, bath and bed. That was when I would start working. Sometimes I was tired, but it worked. There are times where you are just going to be exhausted.
One of my main goal at university was to join just one society. Once I had Lily, I spent all my time at home and lost a lot of my friends and became quite reclusive. This was going to be the thing I changed. I joined the university show choir. It’s one meeting a week doing something that I love. I also met a lot of new people, including one lovely girl who lives near me! After having a baby, you lose those hours in the day or week for you hobbies and interests and this allowed me to grab those hours back.