Will I have time to do a diploma?

(14 Posts)
ElleDubloo Sat 07-Jun-14 15:24:16

I'm 20 weeks into my first pregnancy. When the baby's born I'm planning to take a whole year of maternity leave. My husband will have 1 month paternity leave. My parents can probably stay for 4 separate weeks during that year (they live in a different city and my dad still works). My parents-in-law will be able to help too, though I'm not sure how much.

My question is, do you think I will have enough time to do a diploma? It's entirely online, by distance learning, and designed for people who are working full-time (i.e. studying in the evenings and weekends) to complete within a year.

I've received negative feedback from the two people I've asked so far, such that I'm not sure if I'm crazy for even considering it. Would be nice to get some more thoughts from people who have experience caring for a baby in the first year of life.

guitarosauras Sat 07-Jun-14 15:29:35

No matter what you think now, you may think differently when your dc arrives.

Even if your baby sleeps well you'll be shattered for the first fourteen years a while.

wait and see how you feel, remember the birth may not go to plan and you may feel differently about the 8 weeks of family visits.

DIYandEatCake Sat 07-Jun-14 16:37:21

It does partly depend on the kind of baby you have - it might be possible but I wouldn't commit to it now just in case. My dd didn't go to bed at night (despite our best efforts) before 10pm until she was well over 6 months, and had dreadful separation anxiety til about 18 months - unless I was in touching distance and paying attention to her she'd scream. There was no way I could have done any kind of studying. I used to have an allotment and thought it would be good to continue after dd was born - she'd snooze in the pram in the fresh air while I grew vegetables.... Ha! I managed two trips there once I'd recovered from the c-section - it took 45 mins walking with the pram to get her asleep, I was there for 5 mins and then she woke up and screamed for milk. She would only tolerate the pram if it was moving constantly. I gave the allotment back, sadly.
On the other hand I have a 5mo ds too now, and I think if it was just him I could possibly study a bit - he goes to bed at about 8.30 and is a more laid-back type. You just don't know til they arrive!

Jaffakake Sat 07-Jun-14 21:50:09

It will depend on how motivated you are, what kind of birth you have & how useful your family are.

Us women are amazing & we can make anything happen if we want it enough; finding extra reserves of energy & strength I just don't think many men have.

I had an emcs after a long labour & loads of drugs, meaning I was knackered by the time ds got here & milk came in late exacerbating many problems. Friends I met on my first trip out for coffee 5 weeks later describe me as being in shock!

My family are generally lovely but in the first 2weeks my mum came round each day & basically contributed to the volume of washing up. Now when they want us to go out for lunch, they're entertained by ds but do nothing constructive to help me eat my lunch whilst it's hot! Other friends are able to entirely offload their kids onto willing & very capable grandparents.

See how it goes & it everything lines up go for it!

StuntNun Sat 07-Jun-14 21:56:53

Yes you can! I did an OU degree starting the year after my DS1 was born and through DS2 and DS3 arriving. Granted it took me a bit longer than it could have done (7 years of studying) but I did it. Just make sure the course offers a bit of flexibility e.g. not having to complete every assignment or the option to take half-modules.

Chasmac Sun 08-Jun-14 23:58:41

I did it, you just have to be a bit strict and not let it build up. I needed an extension because I got a bit slack mid way through. But once I got in to a bit of a routine it was fine and completely do-able smile

RhondaJean Mon 09-Jun-14 00:04:42

Yes you will. I complete my degree with a 4 year old and a preemie baby. It's perfectly doable.

Routine is your friend.

The actual question is, are you motivated enough to do it and only you know that answer.

I would warn you that distance learning is quite hard to keep up even in ideal circumstances sp be very certain before you commit.

And get your DH involved in Childcare from the start. Even if you bf he can do everything else while you study.

hayesgirl Mon 09-Jun-14 00:44:19

Depends on you and your baby. With DC1 I finished the 2nd year of my LPC which I was doing part time. This involved me spending 8 hours a week in uni and the rest of the week prepping and/or revising. It was really tough because Dc1 was only 6 weeks old when I went back. Looking back it was incredibly stressful. People say you should sleep when baby sleeps however when my baby slept was the only time I could do any work so I was even more knackered than I should have been!

It was important to me to do it and I did it with very little support from anyone else (no family came to stay to help out).

With a first child I think that you are trying to figure out what you are doing and personally looking back I added a great deal of extra stress on top of this and as such did not enjoy the first few months especially with my DC1. By comparison I am currently on maternity with DC2 and 3 and even though it's twins and that comes with it's own challenges I am enjoying this much much more.

ShineSmile Mon 09-Jun-14 15:41:29

It depends on mainly on what type of baby you have, and a little on support around you.

I would wait till after the birth to commit to anything.

ElleDubloo Mon 09-Jun-14 21:57:39

Thanks everyone. Really helpful replies! smile I'll think about it a bit more.

Revised Mon 09-Jun-14 22:03:50

I did a degree by distance learning. Started when DS1 was 9 mths old and finished just before his 4th birthday, when DS2 was almost 2!

I did it primarily because I did have loads of time in the evening and I found I was spending it watching trashy telly. (hadn't discovered MN then, or it would probably never have happened!)

Not sure I could have studied much in the early weeks before they started sleeping through though and I did have a bit of a break when DS2 was born.

Babytalkobsession Mon 09-Jun-14 22:08:53

I think with support from family & friends you can do anything you put your mind to but I echo the pp comments about not knowing until the baby arrives, and so much depends on the baby.

I agreed to do a course that was 70 hours of study. Before DS was born I thought this would a breeze! In reality, he didn't sleep for longer than 45 mins at a time (still doesn't!) in the day which basically gave me enough time to make cuppa, put the washing on and if I was lucky, grab some lunch! I started to panic about the course work and it was on my mind all the time as I desperately tried to get him to sleep. If I'm honest, the pressure stopped me making the most of my precious mat leave.

I ended up postponing and it was the best decision for me.

ShoeWhore Mon 09-Jun-14 22:43:28

I agree it very much depends on the baby. I maybe could have pulled this off with dc3, it would have been very challenging with dc1 and downright impossible with dc2 who cried constantly day and night. Even with an easy baby it would be easy to get behind when they were ill so you'd have to be prepared to catch up at weekends I guess.

It might also be worth bearing in mind that it's really important to get out and about as much as you can with a baby, for your own sanity. Does the course description for the diploma mention how many hours you are expected to commit to each week? It's hard to say how realistic this is without having a vague idea of the commitment.

Revised Tue 10-Jun-14 08:00:59

Ah, yes, I don't think you would be able to do it during the day, using your ML time but for me it was good to have another focus when DH was there to take over baby stuff. I did all my study at evenings and weekends

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