Here, iversity ambassador Nadiyka Gerbish gives us a heartwarming and inspiring insight into how she strikes a work/life/MOOC balance whilst raising her child.
I started MOOCing as an expectant mother, and now I am a working stay-at-home Mom who has not given up on MOOCs! Maybe it’s some kind of addiction, who knows. The fact is, I love MOOCing. I have also discovered that MOOCing is good for me and for my one-year-old daughter as well! Whilst iversity has covered the “how’s” of online education for stay-at-home parents, I would like to share my thoughts on the “why’s”.
Living 24/7 lives we forget about rest far too often. We remember to make enough nap time for our children, but the very moment our baby loosens her chubby grip on our hand we rush out the door (using all those famous ninja techniques of escaping the sleeping child, of course) and bite hard at the fleeting time, longing to use it as effectively as possible. We go through the important emails, do the laundry and dishes, cook some soup and pasta, and then make a salad and a smoothie, chewing the left-over Snickers bar on the way, and drinking lukewarm – or even cold! – coffee. We barely have time to make our bed hair stick to the head in some artsy (we call it so to protect our ego) style. When the baby monitor crackles with the most beautiful sound in the world our marathon run continues with at double speed. No wonder we feel overwhelmed, tired, cranky, and all those sorts of things even before night time comes.
It doesn’t always have to be this way though. Imagine this: your baby is fast asleep, you make yourself a latte with that magic foam and pumpkin pie spice, sit cozily on the sofa, wrapped in your favourite blanket with an iPad on your lap. The engaging professor is speaking into your ears while you sip your hot (yes, I do mean HOT, remember that taste?) latte. Let me tell you this: it’s not merely a daydream. I promise. I have been practicing this routine for a while now. It’s not just you who benefits either. By doing this you give your children a much happier and healthier parent. And that makes a huge difference. Just give it a try!
Everybody knows that our children do not what they hear us say, but what they watch us do. Studying when our children watch us is a great motivation tool for both of you. Yes, I know that ‘the quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable’. But what if you use that in your favor? If you are taking notes – let you baby take his, even on your very own notebook. Being a role model has never been easier.
There are only two golden rules of great parenting: 1) a child must feel comfortable 2) a parent must feel comfortable. There is no use of being highly productive, but unhappy parent. Cut out the ‘fringe hours’ of the busy day to do what makes you happy. If MOOCing makes you happy – go for it!
Our children tend to nurture the feelings similar to ours. If we live with exhaustion, boredom, disappointment, our children will soon be feeling exactly the same way! Certainly you don’t want you baby to get into that vicious circle someday. So make time for yourself (hot latte, good music, morning run, painting, photography, chocolates, or MOOCing) and inspire your children to do the same.
My Mom has a sister who is 5 years senior. When Aunt Vita started learning long poems by heart in school, my Mom was still in kindergarten. One evening when Aunt Vita (obviously, she wasn’t an Aunt back then) was reading a poem aloud again and again, my Mom was playing under the table. Just before supper Auntie gave up, and my Mom (who was not a Mom back then, either) walked from under the table and recited the whole long poem from memory. This ‘involuntary’ education has its own secret magic.
Let your children hear what you are listening without making them retell it. And they will learn with you. And, chances are, they will have a grasp on the subject even better than you!
Our life has its seasons. It is likely that someday you will go back to office (if you are not working from home even now). Every change is a stress factor, but you can minimize the oncoming stress by just having your finger on the new developments in the industry at your own pace. It will keep you engaged, confident, and happy.
And let me say that one more time. Happiness is contagious, especially for your kids!