Can You Study For A Doctorate While Raising A Family?

December 12, 2016

Studying while raising a family is always difficult. It becomes even harder if it is an intensely challenging course, such as a nurse practitioner doctorate degree. However, it is certainly possible if it is what you want. It will take hard work, support, and patience, but these tips should be able to help you:

Study Online

There are many options available when it comes to distance learning now. Most universities offer some online study options, even at doctorate level. For example, you could study a nurse practitioner doctorate degree online at Bradley University. Studying online saves you time, as you do not have to travel. It also allows you the freedom to study at times that suit you and your family. You could be doing an assignment while doing the night feeds if you choose.

Study Part-Time

Many universities, both online and offline, offer part time options to their doctoral students. It may take longer to complete, but a part time course will give you a lot more freedom and a lot more time to spend with your family.

Ask For Help

Ask friends and family to babysit. If you could even get one afternoon a week to study alone, you will be amazed at how much you can get done once you are used to doing it with kids around. Remember, it is okay to ask for help, generally people are more than happy to do it.


Remember to give yourself some time off, from studying and from your family. You need some time out for yourself. Whether you spend it shopping, exercising, or painting your nails, a little time away from it all will make you a much better student and a better parent.

Look After Yourself

Eat healthily, drink plenty of water, and get some exercise. When you are busy, it is more important than ever to take good care of yourself. If you become stressed and rundown, you are much more likely to pick up colds and other illnesses. Looking after yourself day to day will keep you healthy, but also help you to feel more alert and focused, making it much easier to study. If you have trouble sleeping, try and increase your exercise levels. Even 10 minutes vigorous exercise during the day can help with a peaceful night’s sleep.


You are going to need to be incredibly well organized. Plan in study time, time off, and activities with the kids. Try and find a regular time where someone else can look after them. Impose a strong routine on the rest of the family too. Get the kids to bed at the same time every night. They will soon get used to it. Invest in a good diary and write absolutely everything down.

Remember if you are finding things difficult, you have options. Hire some professional help with the kids. Or speak to someone at your university to see if it is possibly to defer or switch to a part-time course. Do not let yourself burn out and become overworked. We all need some time out for ourselves every now and then!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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