Juggling work, family and study by Laura Barber

I’ve found since becoming a parent my life is constantly busy, I never stop thinking, whether it be about what’s for tea, after school activities or what homework needs doing.  Add into the mix study time and it makes things even more hectic.

I’m currently studying for an exam to get my Certificate in Financial Services, as well as doing an NVQ in Business Admin because I didn’t think life was busy enough. I’ve had to try to plan for study time better to make sure I’m doing enough so I thought I’d share a few tips:

Soft play

A word I often used to dread but now my girls are a bit older and don’t need me to crawl around on my knees for hours it means they can go off and play and I have time to study, and if you go to the right soft play you can add in a nice hot chocolate and bun.


A friend of mine sticks her revision notes on her kitchen cupboards, so whilst making her family tea she fits in a bit of study.

Involve children

Now my girls are getting a bit older (5 and 6) they are starting to read so I write down acronyms that I need to learn and ask them to tell me the letters and I tell them what it stands for. They don’t have a clue what I’m saying but they love to think that they are the teachers and helping me, and as they have me playing schools a lot, I actually do learn from it.

Audio books

Another friend recommended audio books, perfect for if you have a commute to work, even if it’s just 15 minutes each way that’s 30 minutes a day that you wouldn’t have been doing anything else.

Leave the house

I find if I’m studying at home, I will put it off.  My house never looks as clean or tidy as when I’m about to do an exam as I do everything I can to avoid the book.  To control this I take my girls to school then go straight to the library as there’s nothing there to distract me, making me so much more productive.

Use your time

If there’s any chance you are child free then use the time wisely.  My girls go dancing for 90 minutes each week, if I drove home and then back again I would have about 20 minutes at home, so instead I take myself off to the pub over the road (it’s a hard life I know), get a soft drink, sit in a corner and study. This leaves me with an extra hour of study time!

Call on family / friends

A lot of friends or family will happily help out, even if it’s just for an hour.  My husband works weekends but when at home he will entertain the girls while I lock myself away for some peace (it’s tempting to have a nap so this one does take will power).

Hopefully some of these ideas may help you out whilst trying to juggle everything, and I might have to make sure I follow my own advice a bit more so I know I’m completely prepared for my exam next month!

You can find out more about Laura and the rest of the Informed team here.