The time had come to celebrate.
I ordered an entire case of confetti poppers to shoot off when I finally finished all of my required course work. I survived. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Ministry Leadership from Moody Bible Institute. I managed to finish my degree through two PCS relocations and two deployments. Not to mention, keeping the tiny humans alive with three square meals (and one billion snack breaks) throughout each day.
In my pursuit of higher education, I have learned a few tricks and tricks that will help the busy mom or dad chasing their goal in getting a degree. Here are my hacks for going back to school with kids.
Only do the things only YOU can do.
One of the best gifts that I gave myself was a semi-regular housekeeper. Only I can complete my course work, write papers, or finish discussion boards. I am the only one that can kiss boo-boos and hug the children goodnight. I AM NOT the only one who can clean floors, scrub toilets, or do dishes. Anyone can do those things. So, in order to reject the notion that I can do it all, much less do it all perfectly, I hire out the things I can’t get to in order to help me reach the goals I can.
Spring for take-out when you can.
To me, there is nothing more draining than 8 hours of reading and writing with the knowledge that dinner is looming. In order to beat the dinner time blues, I ordered take-out more often than not. I adjusted our grocery budget, cut back on the excess family entertainment funds, and splurged for a few months. By looking online for kids-eat-free deals and local specials, it really wasn’t much more than cooking at home and there was much less stress. Plus, Monday nights were the craziest because all the course work was due, so Monday pizza nights were born.
Ask for help.
Final’s week was simply berserk. Typically, with my online coursework, the last week of the semester was full of lengthy papers, multiple assignments, and chaos of mass proportions. I asked friends WAY in advance for help that week. I got weekend sitters, friends sent Starbucks through Uber Eats, and my parents sent me a TON of Chick-fil-A gift cards. I have never felt more supported by my community. I’m so grateful for them, and more so that I asked for help in the first place.
Here’s the thing. Earning a degree while serving as an active-duty family is not without its challenges. But it isn’t an impossible endeavor. By identifying your support system, and using it, you really can accomplish your goals for higher education.
Megan B. Brown is a seasoned military spouse and military missionary. She is the Military Liaison for the Speak Up Conference Global Missions Military Scholarship and the 2019-Armed Forces Insurance Robins AFB Military Spouse of the Year. She is passionate about military mission work and teaching and preaching about Jesus in and out of the local church. Her Bible study, “Summoned: Answering a Call to the Impossible,” published by Moody Publishers in Chicago, will release in May 2021. She lives in south Mississippi with her husband, Keith, and their energetic kiddos. She is a Bible teacher, speaker, and freelance writer. To learn more or connect with Megan, visit www.meganbbrown.com.