In the interest of being as helpful as possible, here are some tips for surviving an MBA.  You might not need all of these, but I thought I’d share them in the interest of helping you get through the experience.  I know I couldn’t have done it without applying some key strategies.

Tips for Surviving an MBA

  1. Kiss your sanity goodbye.  For nearly two years, your life will revolve around Family, School, and Work.  The concept of balance and sanity is rather different when you’re working a full time job, while studying 20+ hours per week, and keeping some semblance of a family life.  Make your life easier by just deciding early on to kiss your sweet sanity goodbye.  Life will be so much easier, and you won’t even miss it.  Note that I’ve started measuring success by the number of times per day that someone calls me insane (or some variant there-of).
  2. Invest in a caffeine drip, salt-lick, or other caffeine administration system.  Really, after a while, I hardly even noticed that my hands were shaking and that there was a slight twitch.
  3. Make some friends with your nearest salad bar, drive through restaurants, and quick serve places.  I’ve got the distance and wait time for nearly every restaurant in town figured out.  It’s a time saver since I rarely cooked during the MBA.
  4. Embrace the disaster that your home will become.  Let’s face it.  With kids, work, and school, there will be no time to actually clean your home.  Except when studying for a final exam, when cleaning the bathroom will become imperative.  I’m learning to embrace the disaster that has become my house.  Fortunately, the mess has creeped up slowly, allowing me to become slowly desensitized.
  5. Keep a sense of humor.  You’re going to need it, when you find yourself putting the milk in the pantry, and the cereal in the fridge.

I hope that these helpful tips will help others survive an MBA, or other graduate degree, while working full time with small children at home.