The balancing act.

It may sound cliché but no truer words have been spoken. One of the hardest jobs in the world is being a parent. The hours are long, there are no sick days or holidays and it is tiring, in fact it’s exhausting. Whether you are stay at home, working or studying – being a parent means getting pulled in multiple directions. So how do parents who choose to study – balance this goal in addition to their family and/or work commitments?

We have put together some top tips inspired by eCampus NZ students.

  • Don’t leave it to the last minute – eat that frog! A term coined by Brian Tracey, it means to start your day with your biggest task. To get stuck into that big job that you can’t seem to stop procrastinating on. eCampus NZ student and mum, Kelly Richardson, agrees, saying her advice is to never leave assignments to the last minute and take advantage of the times when inspiration strikes. “Once you get into the flow, you have to keep going and can’t stop!”

  • Find some quiet time and use it wisely. This can be hard when your children just won’t go to sleep and you haven’t sat down all day, but when those precious moments of silence appear, this is the time to get to work. eCampus NZ student and mum, Rachael Hurst says her secret to success was ensuring she studied at times when she was least likely to be distracted. “It can be hard sitting at home trying to concentrate when there are dishes to be cleaned and washing to be done, but my main advice would be to study while the house is quiet.”

  • Get into a routine and create a schedule. Mum and eCampus NZ student, Natalie Nairn, says a routine is very important when you have a lot on your plate. “It’s about dedicating set times to study and for assessments.” Set your day up for success.

  • Get the support you need. Most students who are parents say that a support crew is key. Drawing on the support of people you have around you means you can set aside some quiet time for study. Ask family and friends to help – most will be more than happy to chip in.

  • Online learning might be the answer. If you want to eliminate the stress that can come from trying to make classes in a traditional learning environment – try online learning. You can do it from anywhere, at the times that suit you. Onna Tangifolau, eCampus NZ student, says online learning gave her the flexibility she needed to juggle children and her work. “What I find so amazing is that I can be flexible with my schedule every day and I’ve become very disciplined. I love that my children can see me study and I’m able to supervise them while I’m at home studying. My advice to others considering eCampus NZ would be ‘just go for it’. It’s so useful, and you can study from anywhere you like.”

The eCampus NZ learning platform is being closed on 29 February 2024, as part of the completion of the amalgamation into Open Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga. Therefore, access to courseware for ākonga (learners) will be available for three months post course completion or 29 February 2024, whichever happens first. If you have any questions, please contact eCampus NZ : [email protected] or call 0800 328 269.