Megan Williams
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Oct, 19

MHA Student Parents: How to Balance Family and School

A master’s degree is a big undertaking, and it is often thought of as being synonymous with sleepless nights, missed outings, and tired eyes. But what do you do when you want to get your Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) while maintaining a family of your own? Do you have to give up your career? The answer is that you can more easily balance family and graduate school when you follow the tips below, all with the goal of landing your dream job.

1. Select an online program

Thankfully, it’s easier now than ever before to get a higher education while also dealing with a busy home life. More and more universities are offering online MHA courses, which immediately imply a lot more flexibility.

Find out more about what the online option entails here: What is an MHA degree? In short, it offers the flexibility to learn anywhere, whether that’s at home while the baby’s sleeping or as you wait for your child to finish karate class.

2. Look for common ground

One of the things you need to accept before starting your Master in Healthcare Administration degree is that there will be a divide between you and your childless classmates. Obviously, they will juggle time and study differently and probably won’t be able to relate to your needs. Thus, you need to prepare for this from the get-go, but also look for common ground.

Seek out the classmates that might also have a family and collaborate or organize study sessions with them, whether it is online using video conferencing tools or in-person. The mutual support will make you both better learners, and they will be better attuned to your problems.

3. Make family time a habit you keep

Yes, your education is important, but so is family time. Children grow up fast and they might not be around in the same way when you’ve finally finished your degree. By creating routines or spending time with your children and spouse every day, it will be easier for you to do that.

Don’t leave it to the last moment, because when the moment comes, you’ll most likely be caught up in studying and be unable to “tear yourself away” even if only for 30 minutes. But if it becomes a habit that you spend time with your kids at this time (to give them a bath, go for a walk, have dinner, etc.), you will find it easier to make time.

4. Look for other things to cut back on

Often, people “waste” a lot of their time in a day without even realizing it. Social media is a great example. Whether you spend 10 minutes a day or longer, this time might be better spent either studying or with your family.

Finally, consider your partner

That chances are that while you study, your partner is also working overtime caring for the home and your children. So, in order to preserve your relationship, be mindful of their time as much as yours. Try to “take the kids” out at least 1-2 times a month, even for a couple of hours so that your partner gets time to themselves. Doing so can reduce stress and prevent friction in the relationship.

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