8 Things To Keep Mama Sane While Tackling Grad School

This week marked my first week back to school.  More specifically, grad school.  After a nice long summer break…I am now back to conquer my Master’s Degree.  Woohoo….

Here are my top 8 essentials to keep me sane while still juggling the rest of my life.

First things first….COFFEE.

Oh boy, I need coffee morning, noon and night.  Since I am the only one who drinks coffee at my house, I always used to just to go to the coffee shop to buy coffee.  However, last Christmas, my mom bought me a desktop Keurig, and I love it!  It is my best friend right now.

Keurig K-Cup In Room Brewing System, 11.1 x 10-Inches

Creating a new routine

Right before grad school started, I had to take a look at what was going to need to change in my life to accommodate the school work.  I knew that I was going to need to change my daily routine and create a new method.

I wrote down what I usually spend my day doing, when I normally did laundry, house cleaning, working on my blog, activities with my son, etc.  My nights are now to be reserved for homework, at least 2 hours per night and I had to re-prioritize my other tasks and make a new schedule.  It may not work, but I can change it as I go.

It is super helpful to have a new schedule in mind though once school started, so I wasn’t stressing myself how trying to figure out how to get it all done.

Next is my ToDo List

I found these great tear pad To Do List on Amazon, and they have been a lifesaver.

There are a few different sections in which to write down your lists, and so at the beginning of the week I can write down every homework assignment I have for the week, then put the most important ones in Top 3 Priorities section and everything else in the To Do section.

I get done what I can each night and what I don’t get done put on the next day’s list, and I continue that every day.  It has helped a lot in not waiting until last minute to get assignments done.

Daily To-Do List Notepad and Day Planner, 8.5” x 11” by Julianne & Co.

Weekly Calendar

I also use a weekly calendar that has my actual due dates of my assignments plus the tasks I need to get done outside of school.

Basic calendars are my go to.  Nothing too fancy or flashy.  Just something so that I can see what my week looks like.  I like to have it all written down.

I tried to go digital once, and it is not as satisfying as physically crossing items off my calendar.  Here is the one I use.

Blue Sky 2016-2017 Academic Year Weekly & Monthly Planner, Wire-O Binding, 5″ x 8″, Analeis (18719)


With everything I am doing, I have to give myself a time out a few times a day.  Setting it for only 10 minutes and just walk away from what I am doing so that I don’t get too overloaded because otherwise, I will get frustrated and just walk away with nothing completed…which doesn’t benefit anyone.

I just use the timer on my fitness band or phone.  This is not the time to go and work on something else because I could get distracted and not return to what I was originally doing.

So I take a walk, sit in silence, throw a load of laundry into the washer, or get a snack.  Do something small just to provide a welcome distraction; then I go back refreshed and finish what I was working on.

Grocery Pick-up/Delivery

The grocery store in my town offers online shopping for all your groceries and then an employee at the store with gather everything for you and either have it ready for you to pick-up or will deliver it to you for a small fee.  And by a small fee, its only $5 for delivery. It is so handy!

The only thing is that delivery is not the same day.  Its next day, so if I need something for dinner tonight, then I need to go to the store to pick it up.


Such a savior now that school is back in session.  Pinterest is flooded with crockpot recipes, and if you plan out properly, then you can set up 30 days of meals and just have them in the freezer, ready to put in the crockpot each morning.  Then when I get home, all I have to do is plate it up.  Also, let us not forget about crockpot liners.  Such an amazing invention!  So great not to have extra dishes to wash.

Hamilton Beach 33957 Programmable Stay or Go Slow Cooker, 5-Quart, Silver
Reynolds Metals 00504 Slow Cooker Liners 13X21, 4 LINERS


After I put my son to bed, I then start on my homework.  No matter what time I get done with my homework, I can’t seem to go straight to bed.  I always need at least 30 min to an hour to unwind and clear my head.  That is when I break out the wine and put on one of the many shows stocked up on my DVR.  Did you know that you can order wine through Amazon?!

Barefoot Cellars California Sampler Wine Mixed Pack, 6 x 750 mL


What are somethings that help you stay sane when adding a new time commitment into your life?



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19 thoughts on “8 Things To Keep Mama Sane While Tackling Grad School

  1. I also struggle to balance it all. You have it exactly right about the coffee. The crock pot meals are also a life savor. I also try to get my toddler in the kitchen with me and to help me with chores (while we rock out to music) so I can spend time with her while still getting things done. Good luck with grad school!

  2. I can definitely relate! I didn’t even like coffee until I started to juggle parenthood and grad school. I’m officially one of those people who cannot function without it 🙁 I just started the semester as well, I have a four-year-old and a one-month-old 🙂 I survive on mommy time outs 😀 It’s hard but definitely worth it. Good Luck!!!

  3. I could use these tips as a mom even though I’m not in school anymore! I like to take the kids on a walk around the block to get their energy out!

    Dicia ~ itsmymommylifenow.com

  4. You are amazing – grad school is no joke as a mom! Your tips are so good too – I used some of my “free” time to go run or do a quick workout. Yes to all the coffee and wine too!!

  5. I actually got my MA while my second child was young too.. It was challenging but I enjoyed it too because it gave me “me time” where I can just focus on myself. I agree with most of your tips especially the coffee, wine and crockpot part. 😉

  6. This is great. I’m currently back in school in an accelerated online program and I feel like I’m losing my mind at times. Trying to find the time to study, do homework and have a life is a challenge. I applaud you on doing this and being a mother!!

    1. Mine is the same. They are 8 week classes and I am taking 2 classes every 8 weeks. It is trying at times, but I did the same schedule when I was doing my Bachelor’s so I am used to it now, but it took a while. 🙂

  7. These are some AWEEEEESOME tips!! I’m graduating with my bachelor’s this December, and then off to law school, which I know is going to be a real challenge with my toddler. The crockpot truly is your best friend, haha. Thanks so much for sharing-truly and inspiration <3

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