Staying Motivating and Managing time

I am going through the Full-Stack Engineer Career Path and am about 4% complete. I do enjoy it and I have some experience with coding so it’s not too bad, and have a ways to go.

I was wondering if any parents have tips for learning, time management, making consistent progress, and staying motivated while raising a 15-month-old to get thru the career path.


I’m working on the same career path (Full-Stack Engineer Career Path). I’m currently at 12% and I have a little experience with coding also. I’m not a parent and but I’ve raised 6 younger siblings and help care for my infant nephew so hopefully I can provide some insight.

Nap times are a great time to log on and do some studying while the baby sleeps. Sometimes it helps to have a scheduled time when you know someone else is going to be having quality time with the baby and you can have some full focused study time. Like Dad having a half hour that he and baby hang out or maybe an aunt/uncle/grandma/grandpa has the baby once a week for an hour or two.

If nothing else after the baby is asleep and before you hit the hay it help to squeeze in 15-20 minutes that way you have that progress if nothing else and end the day on a victory.

Often if you tell your family what your goals are and let them know any child care help would be appreciated no matter how small.

Also I don’t know if this pertains to the core of your question but when it comes to meal prep crock pot meals and one pot meals are a life saver because with a crock pot you do the work at the beginning of the day and then by dinner time all you have to do is serve it up. One pot meals can be super easy and simple. Soups, stews, pasta dishes, a salad with a protein.

I don’t have it all figured out because I struggle with making consistent progress and staying motivated/not getting discouraged. I’ve found what is most effective for me is having some kind of external accountability. Sometimes its setting a goal for how much progress I want to make and by when and just telling my family out loud what the goal is. Or having a stick it note on the fridge (where everyone an see it) with each of the next couple sections I want to complete and checking them off as I get them done. Or when I can, having an accountability partner helps a lot especially when you are studying/working on the same thing. Being able to check in daily with someone and encourage each other really helps.

Have milestone rewards both big and small. Sometimes I set a goal like if I complete this section then I’ll have a special treat like walking down to the cafe for a latte or for larger milestones if theres a skin care/makeup item I’ve been saving up for I wont let myself buy it until I complete a certain study goal.

Its late at night so I know I’ve either written way too much or completely overlooked something. I’ll probably come back and edit this. Anyways. I wish you happy successful studying and and epic coding! When you get discouraged don’t give up! Remember all the people cheering for you and wanting you to succeed, including me :slight_smile:
I hope this helps.


I’m following the Front-end Enginner Career Path and am currently at 15% complete.

And like you I also my own mini-mes at home with a almost 3 months, 17 month, 2.5 year old and a 9 year old.

With my own little army at home I did realise that i would need help to manage to find the time to make some progress.
And also like you I have some experience in programming but havent yet made the breakthrough of starting an actual career within the field.

I told my wife about what i wanted to do and achieve, and lucky me, she’s supportive of my dreams. Since I work full-time 5-6 days a week, I set a target for myself to at the very least spend an hour each evening studiying and making progress.

So far this has worked for me to make some progress each day.
As a fellow parent I know that kids can be very demanding and that depending on your job you can feel psysically and/or mentally exhausted. My main tip for that is don’t stress that you take a day off to rest from following your dreams.

For me it’s quite easy to stay motivated through my current job as a customer service agent. Before when i started to learn programming, I hadn’t any clear goals what I wanted to do within the field of IT only that i wanted to work within the field of IT, which is quite vague considering how vast the field of IT actually is.

But when I started to work in customerservice I finally got an epithany what I wanted to do: I wanted to make easy to use systems that could make the work and effort of the user easier, effiecient and a lot less of a headache. With the my experience and perspective as a end-user, I on a daily basis feel like i want to be able to do something about it. Which currently is impossible, me and my colleauges rant about our systems on a daily basis.

In short my main motivation is the urge to make a difference and a less frustrating working enviroment.

But a close second motivation is that after seeing my parents eaither constantly complain about their job or talk about what they actually wished they work as/with all the way untill they went on retirement, I understood that that is NOT what i wanted for myself, I don’t my family to see me constantly complain about my job for years nor do I want to long for retirement like it’s an Utopia. I want to go into retirement with a sense of fulfillment and fond memories and not be like Frodo “It’s done, it’s over”.

So regarding motivation, ask what do you actually want to achieve and what do you want for yourself? And more importantly are you still having fun?


hi, this is quite motivating post. please send some more strategies for programming, thanks!

make it like a game,that way,people will do it more often.

Hi there,

Congratulations on making an effort in learning how to code!

I’m a father of a 7-month and a 3 year old, so I know all about time management (or managing the time that’s left haha). After being in codecademy for a few years, I also took the leap to do a BA-degree in Application Development, besides a job. I’m currently succesfully enrolled in my second year, and it turned out to be a real good choice for me. Here are some of my key takeaways:

  • Routine beats discipline almost always
  • Learn about how you, or rather your mind is learning: [a mind for numbers by Barbara Oakley (A Mind For Numbers - Barbara Oakley) is a great reading tip by the way. Also “How to become a grade A student by Cal Newport” reveals some interesting learning strategies.
  • Agree with your significant other when you will be studying. My wife is surely accountable for 50% of my study success rate since her taking care of the kids gives me time to study.
  • It’s better to learn when you’re not (too?) tired (having kids this seems almost impossible). Figure out what time of day you’re most alert, and try to schedule your main chunk of learning time around this.
  • Sometimes I need to get into the zone, especially at the start of a project. But overall when it comes down to regular learning short chunks of time with regular switching between subjects are more chaotic but tend to work better. (again I would really recommend reading the book from Barbara Oakley)
  • Having a great community around you motivates, as well as having clear goals.
  • I make strict separation between family time and studying time and try to be fully present in both.
  • Trust the process

Good luck on your coding journey!


Good question. Thanks for asking. My child is just about the same age as yours. I too struggle to keep motivated and continue to make progress in my course. My partner has an irregular schedule which can make it challenging for me to keep a routine. Here’s what has worked for me:

  1. Have grace with yourself.
  2. I am motivated by “gamification”. For me it’s setting a learning goal of 5 days a week and maintaining a streak on CC. (I maintain a streak with 2 grace days built in.)
  3. Periods of intensity and planned rest. I am at 73% in the Data Scientist: Analytics Specialist path. Note it was not a “straight shot” to get here. I got distracted by other interests and goals after some periods of intensity. I announced to my learning group on this forum (accountability mentioned by others) my goal is to complete the path by the end of September. (I’m tenuously on track). I look forward to celebrating and resting before continuing to learn.

Thanks to all who have posted. I’ve enjoyed reading through.


This topic was automatically closed 41 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.