Are you thinking about studying online while on maternity leave?

You’d be surprised how many mums have this exact same thought. And you’d be even more surprised to discover just how plausible it is.

Maternity leave is the ideal time to advance your career and upgrade your credentials without the extra pressure of full-time work.  It allows you to keep your mind fresh, shift your focus to something other than sleep and settling (for a few minutes at least) and plan your professional future.

You can enjoy those blissful first months with bub all the while spending just a few hours each week doing something for yourself – something that will not only benefit you down the road, but your new addition as well.

Study during maternity leave

Monash Online is one of the leaders in online study, allowing mums on mat leave to complete a graduate diploma all from home, in their own time. They offer a personalised, interactive and unique approach to online education.

At Monash Online, you get the social aspect of study but without the commute or the inconvenience. You will have access to instructors and fellow students, through the use of video, live chat and discussion forums, keeping you motivated and on track.

All of their programs are perfect for new parents looking to upskill while at home. Their 20 month Graduate Diploma of Psychology for example, is completely online with no on-site exam so you don’t have to leave bub in care at all. 

When you complete the course, you will walk away with a graduate diploma fully accredited by The Australian Psychology Accreditation Council. This could take you into a number of industries including human resources, teaching, mental health, counselling, marketing and much more.

But, most importantly, study during maternity leave can lead to a fulfilling career that you are passionate about. 

How to balance bub and study

Many new mums choose to study during maternity leave. So how do they make it work? There is no special formula or system in place, but these are a few of the tips and tricks mums rely on when studying during maternity leave.

tip for studying on maternity leave

1. Create a quiet space

If you have your own office, then great! If not, then set up a small area that is dedicated to study and nothing else. It’s best to have a desk and comfortable chair that are ergonomically friendly, especially when doing writing assignments.

2. Invest in a tablet

While some study should be done at the desk, many of the assignments and the reading responsibilities, can be done just about anywhere. Many mums use a tablet which allows them to read while breastfeeding on the lounge, while patting bub to sleep in bed or even while letting your little one have a snooze in the back seat of the car (after falling asleep on the way to the shops).

After all, you never know when a nap might strike.

3. Eliminate distractions

It’s so easy to log in to Facebook during study time. Or browse through the hundreds of photos you have on your computer. Perhaps check out current travel deals. Or pin fun Christmas crafts. But it will end up just wasting time. When it’s time to study, it’s time to study.

4. Use your productive time

When do you feel your best? Is it in the morning while bub takes his first catnap? Perhaps late at night when the house is quiet? Find this focus time and use it to study.

5. Make a visual calendar 

Having a visual timeline can keep you motivated and organised while studying during maternity leave. It also helps ensure you are on top of all your tasks and can provide you with incentive to keep going.

6. Walk and learn

You may be able to do some of your study while on the run. If you have lectures or podcasts to listen to, download them to your mobile device, put on a pair of headphones and hit the streets with your little one in a pram. As you burn the calories, you can also fit in your study time and keep bub blissfully entertained by his surroundings.

7. Don’t expect too much too soon

It takes time to get into a routine, especially during the first three months with bub. Give yourself some time to establish a sleep schedule and work around that. By around the six month marker, your wee one should have some sort of routine in place, making it easier for you to plan some study time during this down time.

Find your groove

Once you get into a groove with your little one, you will discover that studying during maternity leave is completely possible. There will still be plenty of time to bond with your bub, to meet mates for coffee and to enjoy your mat leave, while getting a graduate diploma on the side.

Return to the workforce after bub with more experience, more education and more confidence to excel in the industry. Check out Monash Online today and discover just what you can accomplish during your maternity leave.

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This is a sponsored post for Monash University.
Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe, including her son, daughter, cat, dog and partner. When she’s not writing, you can find her lounging by the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach or nagging her kids to put on their pants.

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