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How to support a spouse who's going back to school

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Remember tough days lie ahead but they will ultimately pay off (Photo: iStock)

 

For many of us, the blueprint for life was going through school, securing a job, getting married and living happily ever after. But, most of the time things don’t always go exactly according to plan and that means you have to adjust.

When we talk about school specifically, it’s not rare to have one or both partners going back when they were already on their life journey as a family.

Right now you might be experiencing this change with your spouse and it’s your duty to support them all through.

There will be tough days but here is how you can have a better experience in this new stage of life:

  • Adjust yourself mentally

When your partner tells you that they’re going back to school, it can be scary at first. The fact is that you will have less time together and your routine will change so you need to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the journey ahead.

This step will help you have a realistic view of how things will be, which will also guide you on how to adjust.

Talk about your finances and the things you will need to adjust for the change (Photo: iStock)
  • Hire someone to help you with chores

Before this change, you probably had a specific way of doing things around the house, including the chores. It could be that they were the ones doing the cleaning or handling the laundry but now you have to re-strategise.

If you’re both sure you can manage things even with this new change, that’s okay. But if you know you will struggle to get everything done, you shouldn’t force it.

Show them support by being open to hiring extra help so they won’t have to stress about it when they have a bunch of assignments and presentations to do.

  • Create a new budget

A major challenge that couples face when one of them is heading back to school is finances. School fees can be very expensive which will take a toll on the family’s finances.

It would help to brainstorm on this issue as you prepare for this change. You might have to start being more frugal or get a side hustle to secure the family.

  • Help them stay on track

It would also mean a lot to them if you helped them keep up with their schedule. It won’t be easy for them to balance school and family life and they will probably need some support and encouragement.

You can contribute by reminding them about assignment deadlines and other important things they need to do.

It’s also important for you to be there for them especially those times when they feel discouraged or overwhelmed.

  • Take control of family time

While your spouse is busy with school, family time won’t always be the same. It means that you will have to be the one to organize most things for now.

Find a way to fit in time with the kids or couple’s night around their schedule. You will also be the one to remind them when special occasions are like your child’s graduation ceremony so they can plan and prepare themselves properly.