This is can really speak to with three kids of various ages. It sounds like you have a pretty minimally demanding 2nd degree program, though -- ours was full time all year long!
Anyway, you get yourself a really good date book with lines to fill in, and you get ORGANIZED. You list all the numbers you need there, have all your information in one place. You have a cell phone and you do business in the car or while waiting in places. You study on the road, while at soccer games, or waiting in doctor's offices. You just make use of every single minute.
I really haven't ever had much of a break at all since I started school, and I'm pretty beat. But, I do feel my kids and my husband respect me a whole lot more now that I've found something to achieve as well, outside of just being the mommy/caretaker. I did that role exclusively for 15 years, but it just came to a point where it wasn't enough.
I feel I'm setting a good example for them, too.
Now, I do get a bit envious of the "kids" in my classes who just seem so carefree and easy and seem to have all the free time in the world outside of school. (Shoot, they just all look so tan and rested all of the time!
) One talked about how she was going to go home and take a nap after a long clinical day, as I thought about the long evening I had ahead cooking dinner, cleaning up, doing baths, and just STARTING to study at 11 p.m.!
So, there are differences, but I also feel I've achieved a lot to have both family and a good career on the horizon. It can be very gratifying, and very exhausting as well. No getting around it.
I must admit, my husband was extremely supportive of me the first year -- really gave me the hours to study, especially on weekends. Could not have done it without him at all.
And I need to add, some of those "tan and rested" folks also seemed to not be able to manage their time all that well, and would stumble a lot academically. I knew I had to make use of time, and I usually came out even better academically as a result. It's strange.