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How to Find Balance with More than One Parent in College

By Brenda on August 25th, 2011
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There was a time when most families consisted of a single income earner and one who stayed home with the kids. Eventually two income households became the norm. There is now a new trend taking place that is finding both parents enrolled in college at the same time.

This presents a unique set of challenges requiring the entire family to work together to keep the household running smooth, especially for those who are working and going to school. Read on to find out how to minimize stress and save time.

Think Like a Corporation

Of course your family needs love and support from you, but sometimes you need to take a business approach to household management. Your family is like your own organization and you and your spouse are the CEO and President. Most organizations fail because of lack of planning, defined goals, and communication. The best way to clear this up is to sit down and have an old-fashioned family meeting.

Before having a family meeting, meet with your spouse and discuss the agenda. Both of you will need to be on the same page for it to work. You need to discuss how attending school will affect schedules, finances, time, and your role as parents and a couple.

The major reasons that households break down are when communication, intimacy, and finances are not functioning like they should. Be sure to go over these areas together before you meet with the rest of the family. In order to keep the meeting on topic, have an agenda printed out. This may seem cold, but you want to make sure the meeting is productive.

Sit down with the kids and be sure to allow them to have a voice. Don’t just talk at them. They may have some great ideas that can help out. Discuss how it will take a team effort and that you value them as members of the family.

After you have discussed your major goals and plans, it’s time to create a schedule that includes the needs of the kids and each individual parent. It’s best to have a white board or large paper where everyone can see.

Date Night

You may be asking yourself what does a date night have to do with going to college. It has a lot more to do with it than you might think. Couples who are in college and have kids often forget to spend quality time with each other. It is important to make sure you are on the same page and working together as a team. Nothing does that more than spending some quality time together. Make it a priority to have a date night once per week. If that is not possible try for once every other week.

 

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