Hi everyone! I do not know how many people studying for the CPA exam are parents, but I’d like to talk about studying while having a family and raising young kids. Being a parent naturally has quite a few difficulties and adding CPA Exam preparation on top of that can be quite challenging at times.
However, I truly enjoy the life that I have and I’m glad to have my husband and children as part of this experience. Here are some things I’ve learned about balancing the CPA Exam while having a family.
Be transparent about studying and make it a positive thing.
When I first began my journey, I was very honest and straightforward with my husband and my kids. I told them that it would take up a lot of my time and that I would need both personal and physical space to get through the material. This also meant asking my husband to take care of the things I normally do and letting my kids know that my interaction with them may be shifting quite a bit.
I also knew it was important for my kids to see my studying everyday as a great example for them. I can tell that exposing them to my study routine has been an important and positive thing. They may be too young to really understand the exact concept of what studying is: actively learning and absorbing information, but they know it’s significant since they see me hunker down and listen to conversations I have with my husband about CPA Exam topics.
I think my 4 year old has especially internalized this. I’ve been teaching her Japanese, and to my surprise, she is eager to study every day. She has great concentration and loves to read. I feel that seeing me has helped her develop that positive attitude towards studying.
Learning how and what to prioritize is key.
As a parent, there is nothing you won’t do for your family. In between work, studying, and raising our children, my husband and I find that there is never enough time to do all the things we want to do and barely enough to do the things we need to do. As a family, we’ve had to learn how to prioritize the different things in our lives, everything from the day to day stuff to long term plans that span many years.
These have all been difficult choices and it’s important to understand that not every decision will be perfect. You learn as you go. At the heart of it all is making sure that every member in your family has short and long term goals they want to acquire and everyone working together to make sure everyone has what they need to meet those goals. Mine is to pass the CPA Exam so that I can go back to work with more opportunities to better my professional life, and in turn be able to provide more for my family. I also work with my husband so that he can achieve his goals, and we work with our kids so that they can reach theirs.
The most important component is support.
A key part of all of this is the support that we give and gain from each other. My husband and kids are always supportive and willing to help. We have our disagreements and frustrations, but who doesn’t? The important thing is that we get through them together. This has made our family stronger and more understanding of each other’s needs. It makes a big difference to have a family that helps and encourages me when I need it, and vice versa.
Life is full of ups and downs just like studying for the CPA Exam. I hope others with families are able to overcome their challenges and keep working towards their goals of becoming CPAs as well!
--J. Frazier, Guest Blogger for Roger CPA Review