Change can be hard. No matter how exciting changes are, they can bring on stress if you don’t have a plan on how to juggle transitions. If you’re pregnant or considering becoming pregnant and thinking about going to graduate school, you likely already know that you’ll have a lot on your plate. From planning a baby shower between exams and finding ways to sign up for registries and shop for diapers while giving classroom presentations, your ability to balance grad school with pregnancy will boil down to making priorities and sticking to them.
The great news is that in forming healthy habits, making self-care a priority, and being honest about your stress levels, it is possible to juggle pregnancy with graduate school. Whether you’re a new mom already in graduate school or an expecting parent considering starting the application process, you can do yourself a favor by taking the time to come up with a plan now. For a few ways that you can strike a healthy balance with healthy habits during pregnancy and graduate school, read on.
Treat yourself and your baby.
You don’t have to wait until your baby shower to do something nice for yourself and your baby. Why not put some energy into a thoughtful gift for yourself now before things get too busy? If you’re pregnant and starting graduate school soon, consider checking out baby shower gifts from Shutterfly. Through Shutterfly, you can create photo books, wall art, photo cards, invitations, personalized gifts, and photo prints. You can also shop for home decor and photo gifts to celebrate holidays, birthdays, weddings, and more. Create canvas prints, calendars, photo blankets, iPhone cases, and thank you cards with your favorite pictures through Shutterfly for that personalized touch. Having something personal items to look back on years from now when school’s done and your baby is older will be a great way to commemorate these changes.
Consider all schooling format options.
One of the great things about technology is that it’s changed the ways students can attend school. For example, where a person hoping to become a behavioral therapist might have once attended an ABA master’s program in person, there are now many ABA master’s programs that can be done online or through a hybrid online and in-person format. Considering all your options and talking to an admissions counselor about your situation and pregnancy could be a great way to find the right fit for you.
Identify your support network.
Find friends who understand that self-care is important, especially during pregnancy. While going to school is stressful, it will be less stressful with a group of people who understand how to balance work and play successfully. Knowing who those people are in your life is a great way to give yourself that reminder no matter how far into your pregnancy you might be.
Communicate with professors.
If you find yourself struggling with balancing pregnancy with graduate school, being honest with professors is the best way to get yourself back on track and even lighten your load. Most graduate programs have part-time course loads where you can still be working toward credit hours at a more reasonable pace.
At the end of the day, you can maintain good mental health if you stay honest with yourself about what you can handle and what’s really important. While that perfect stroller or crib might seem like the most important thing now, your coursework requirements in an online program could matter more down the road. Being flexible with changing needs and priorities as you go will help add up to better mental health and success in your graduate school or certificate program. Best of luck to you as you begin this exciting and delicate juggle. You can do it!