This Mom’s Reality – Survival

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This Mom's Reality Athabasca University Stephanie Wieler #AthaU AU Online Education Work Life Balance Online Learning Mother's Day Mom's Day Being a mom is a challenge, having to deal with the late nights, temper tantrums and never ending laundry definitely keep us on our toes. I recall coming home from my full time job and already being exhausted, but moms don’t get a break…the kids need to be fed, bathed and tucked into bed.

After realizing that I was unhappy in my line of work, I knew that I needed a change, but I knew that going back to school was the only way. I remember thinking… How could school possibly be an option for me? How would I afford to take my kids to daycare while I am in school? How can I go to school and afford to pay my bills?

One day, I stumbled upon the Athabasca University website and decided to jump right in… now here I am three years later another step closer to a Bachelor’s Degree. The journey has been far from easy…

Pictured: Kyrie, 8 (left) and Noah, 3 (right).

Pictured: Kyrie, 8 (left) and Noah, 3 (right).

I’ve encountered quite a few challenges:

  • Catching my 3 year old using my textbook as a colouring book.
  • Having to stay up late with my sick son the night before a final exam.
  • Fighting the desire to jump straight into bed after the kids are finally asleep.
  • Almost giving up because I am exhausted.

Although being a student and a mother sometimes feels like burning a candle at both ends, these have kept me (mostly) sane.

Strategies for survival

1) PLAN, PLAN and PLAN some more.

I keep a planner and schedule all of the readings and homework that I need to do that day. I make sure that I pick a time where I know I will be uninterrupted and I team up with my husband to ensure the kids are taken care of so that I can go write an exam or study.

2) That being said,  remember that things don’t always happen as you plan.  Sometimes, things come up. Don’t dwell on it and move on. Finish that assignment another day if you absolutely have to.

3) Don’t take on more than you can handle.

I remember my first semester, I thought these courses would be simple so I took on five at once. These courses are not simple and require a lot of time and dedication. Make sure that if you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Sometime I take a couple months in-between semesters to “recharge”

4) Surround yourself with people that will encourage you.

There will be times when you might want to give up, make sure you have people around that will motivate you to keep on pushing forward.

Remember…you’re a role model

Being a mother and a student makes you an amazing role model for your child who will grow up knowing that hard work and persistence pays off.

Always remember that!

Stephanie Wieler was born and raised in Calgary, AB. She is currently in her third year of the Bachelor of Management – Marketing Major Program at Athabasca University. Other than being a student, Stephanie also works Full-Time as an Account Coordinator for a media and advertising company. She is also the mother of an 8 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. When Stephanie is not busy she can be found reading, writing or binge watching Netflix.

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