Wondering how you’re going to juggle being a parent and an online student?
Don’t panic!
When you’re a parent, you already have a whole lot of life experience.
You can apply that directly to learning online.

So how is e-learning like having children?

1. Being an online student is both exciting and terrifying at first

So is having children! With both activities, you’ll feel a mix of emotions - and have a ton of questions you need urgent answers to.

Such as:

• What will it be like?
• Are you ready for this? And of course…
• Where’s the manual?

If you have a child, you already know that many of the answers are found through experience, talking to friends, and reading up on the subject.

The same applies to e-learning (but at least there’s an online study manual available!).

2. As an online student, you'll hear endless horror stories

People love talking about how things went wrong. It’s dramatic, it’s exciting. So you may talk to friends or colleagues who had an awful time with e-learning – maybe they felt frustrated, alone, and (even worse) bored.

It’s the same with having children. All the parents you know will be able to tell you about mind-bendingly gory birth experiences, traumatic childhood injuries and give you a million and one reasons to worry.

But the horror stories of both parenting and e-learning are only one side of the coin. The “bad” stuff may never happen – but good things definitely will!

3. Being an online student is a personal, individual experience

You can get endless advice about what learning online (or having children) will be like. But in the end, there’s no “one size fits all” solution. You’ll bring your own personality and individuality to both experiences.

It’s a great idea to get quality advice about how to be a successful online student, for sure. Expert tips can certainly save you some headaches, and help you deal with some common e-learning issues you’ll likely meet.

But your e-learning experience will be unique, and will depend on the many factors you bring to the table. (Justlike your parenting style…)

4. As an online student, sometimes things seems impossible

When you’re a parent, sometimes it all just seems too hard. This also happens when you’re an online student. Both experiences can involve having to function despite:

• a lack of sleep
• a job which takes a lot of your time
• a partner who wants to have an occasional conversation, and
• the demands of a baby (or a challenging online course).

But, like any tricky time, you find a way through it. There are ways to make sure everything gets done, like:

• get some help with childcare or house-hold tasks
• take a leave of absence from work
• work or study part-time
• reach out to your support network for some emotional backup!

These kinds of practical measures work for both parenting and e-learning.

5. Being an online student brings moments of triumph

When you get a fantastic mark for your first essay, or come to grips with a topic you’ve been wrestling with for years, it’s great to be an online student.

Having children can also trigger strong feelings of achievement. When your child learns to read, treats his new friend with kindness, or just flashes you a big grin, you realise you’re on the right track and the effort is worth it.

So the next time you’re struggling to write an essay or make it through deadly chapter of your textbook, think about the skills you’ve already developed as a parent. You already know how to hang in there – and you know the rewards are great!

Author's Bio: 

Dr Liz Hardy is the owner of ElearningTrainer.com and the author of E-learning 101, the friendliest online study guide around. Dr Hardy takes a unique approach to online learning. Blending simple e-learning strategies with a little humour and pictures of friendly dogs, she presents accessible e-learning advice that works.