7 Tips on how to be a parent and a life-long learner at the same time
Nothing's more important than your education. Except for your kids, of course.
Learning anything new as an adult is very challenging in itself, add-in the problem of childcare that most parents have when they are considering taking up a course or further education program, it seems impossible. Learning is a lifelong activity but how can a parent cope with all responsibilities while acquiring new knowledge?
Here are 7 useful tips on how to keep doing the things you love and keep on learning even now that you are a parent:
Trade-off me-time with your partner or a friend with kids
If you offer you shall receive. Ask your partner if they would like to have an afternoon to themselves every week and ask for another afternoon in return to do whatever you want. If your partner works heavy hours and cannot help you out you could always arrange a playdate with another parent twice a week and trade free time with them.
Use "down time" to multi-task
When children go to bed every house gets quiet. Take advantage of this time frame to do chores, to cook for the next day or to keep up with your homework at your new language class. If you are not the type to do night-studying, do all other home chores in order to have free time during the day for studying.
Try an activity that offers child care at the same time
Many adult activities offer child care these days. Word Culture for example offers all parents the opportunity to improve their German while their children play in a supervised child friendly space next door.
Fit exercise into small chunks of time
If your choice of personal development is focused around physical well-being then you don’t necessarily have to go to the gym. Begin working out at home with an online coach or nutritionist. This will save you the transfer time plus you can break it up into small intervals in between other activities, i.e. chores and children's free play time. You could also combine everyday chores and exercise like walking to the supermarket or biking to work instead of driving.
Take advantage of the internet
Take up an online course or do gym classes via zoom! The only good thing that came out of the COVID pandemic is that online courses are now available for almost all kinds of activities.
Combine kids studying time with your own, when possible
If you are learning a new language for example, you can take advantage of the studying time of your young ones to do your own homework as well. Sit with them and set a good example by studying for a pre-defined amount of time. You could also plan your lessons to be at the same time in the afternoons as your child’s lessons. Language centers such as World Culture offer lessons for both children and adults making it easy to combine studying.
Let your children join you in your favorite activities
If you enjoy painting, yoga, biking or hiking these (and many more) are activities children will love. Haus Wabi Sabi, for example, offers yoga classes for parents with their children. Why not tag them along and spend some quality time together bonding while doing the things you love.
Being a parent is a full-time job but this doesn’t mean we cannot allow ourselves some me-time to learn a new language, go to the gym or read a new book. By pursuing things we love we also set a good example for our kids to be active and life-long learners as they grow up.
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