Not every college student is on their own. Depending on how life unfolded, it may not be uncommon to see students who are also parents attending classes. While it can seem that enjoying the nightlife in a college town is not an option for a busy parent who is also focused on their studies, there are ways to enjoy the college experience without having to sacrifice your family life as well. Even if you spend your weekends caring a Demarini Vexxum for your kid’s Little League games, you can still take the time to cut loose too.
Make Connections with Multiple Babysitters
One of the main reasons parents may miss out on spontaneous social opportunities is that it can be difficult to find childcare at the last minute. While you may not always be able to find someone available at the drop of a hat, having a working relationship with multiple babysitters can give you more options. Additionally, if you have gone out of your way to make sure your babysitter is happy with your usual arrangement, they may be more likely to be flexible from time to time and take a last second job.
If you still have trouble finding a sitter, consider using an online service to locate babysitters who are available immediately. Many of these websites allow you to read reviews on potential babysitters, and often require sitters to pass a background check before being listed. In fact, you may even be able to locate a fellow college student who is studying childhood development, education, or various healthcare specialties. Not only can their babysitting experience help them further their careers by building positive references, it also means that they can bring in a skillset you may not find in your everyday babysitter.
Find Other Parents
No one understands the demands of being a college student and a parent like other parents who are currently pursuing their education. Some estimates suggest that as many as 4.8 million college students are currently raising children.
Since you will be socializing with a group who understands the demands of your parenting-based lifestyle, they may be more likely to coordinate outings in advance. For example, while you may not be able to just run out to a club with an hour notice, you make all be able to plan and trip out a week or two in advance, allowing everyone to find a sitter or other suitable childcare. If you all live nearby, you may be able to save on childcare costs by having a single sitter watch their children from more than one family.
Other parents may also be more understanding if you have to duck out early because of your kids. They will know that you children come first, and will generally be understanding should an emergency arise. In fact, other parents may be more willing to have outings be earlier in the day so that everyone can get home in time to put the kids to sleep.
Parents of older children may even have a child at an appropriate babysitting age. This can help make sure that your kids are being watched by a person you are familiar with, and in an environment in which they will be comfortable. While this may not always work for a last minute invitation for everyone, it may provide an option that can be more easily relied on.