Any lone parents gone back to study? If so have you managed?

(16 Posts)
mods38 Fri 22-Nov-13 16:22:22

Hi all, I am a single mother of a 10 week old beautiful baby boy!
Dad is not around & he is 100% my responsibility! With supportive friends and family I have managed to get through my pregnancy and sleepless nights!!!

However next year I am hoping to go back to uni to do my teacher training which only takes 1 year.
Have any other lone parents studied? If so did you do part time or full time courses? Was the work load a struggle with a young baby? Who looked after your child whilst you studied?financially did you cope?
These are questions I am facing and just want to know if anyone in same position.
I was thinking to do the course part time (over 2 years) but think maybe better to do it full time as only from sep-June, but not sure if I will manage a long day at sch, assignments and a 1 year old baby. Possibly contemplating moving back into my mothers house so I can do it and perhaps her going to work part time....
Any advice will be appreciated!
Single mums and dads keep up the good work!

solitudehappiness Sat 23-Nov-13 13:39:22

Hi mods38.
My advice would be to look at childcare options first and foremost. Most uni's have a nursery attached, but usually have a waiting list.
You'd get a lot of support from the student union and welfare team, who offer lots of advice. They can also tell you about grants, loans etc.
Its tough, either part or full time, but extremely rewarding and fun too. Feel free to pm me if you need to.
Good luck smile

Lily311 Sat 23-Nov-13 17:53:59

I am doing it now. My baby was 3 months old when I started a new course, I do open university. It's bloody hard. I guarantee when an assignment is due, your baby is sick, whiny or clingy. I am passing but not doing as well as I did pre baby.
I have no help to look after her most of the time, my parents usually have her overnight the weekend just before an assignment is due. I study when she naps (she just turned 1 this week) and in the evenings. I don't do it every day though. I am tired and feel guilty for not putting as much in it as I should or could. I have one more year left and I will try to double the courses in feb.

InNeedOfAGoodName Sat 23-Nov-13 18:05:37

I did a couple of years ago. DD was 2 when I started (a PGCE too smile). Student finance covered 80% of childcare so she could stay at the nursery she'd been at for a year and she had some early nights when I had work to do. I also made good use of time between lectures etc and did loads of work in the library while she we at nursery instead of going to the bar grin
It's hard but definitely doable. And it's only a year so even when it's hard, you can tell yourself it's nearly over!

Meglet Mon 25-Nov-13 14:21:40

The dc's are both at school now and I'm doing the odd OU course on top of part-time work. It's hard going but possible, if you let the housework slide a lot.

mumandboys123 Mon 25-Nov-13 17:49:12

I did a PGCE as a single mum with three children under 7. I am now working full time - am knackered! It's perfectly possible - just drop your housework standards and need no more than about 5 hours sleep a night...and you'll be fine!

AmeliaToppingLovesShopping Mon 25-Nov-13 19:05:41

I started an access course when DD1 was 9 months old and then went on to do a degree. I had funding for childcare and lived with my parents for most of it. From what i remember it wasn't too bad, but she is nearly 12 now so my memories might not be completely accurate.

I am now a single parent with 3 DDs and doing GCSE Maths and English smile

WhyDoTheyDoThat Mon 25-Nov-13 19:37:16

I started a degree this year with a 5 yr old, work p/t also. I won't lie, it is hard and there is guilt. Guilt you're not spending as much time with your child, guilt panic that you're not studying enough. I have just spent 2 hrs snuggled on the sofa watching a movie with ds and am now dreading the late night ahead to make up for it. I am trying v hard to let the housework slip, I have to force myself to ignore it.
Saying all that I really enjoy it and have no regrets and am v lucky with family/childcare.
Go for it.

farmersmarket Wed 11-Dec-13 22:04:27

Just submitting my phd and been offered a great job so done 6 years of this! You need to be determined and hard working. Make the money go a long long way. Never believe you can't do it. Get all help you can - moving in with your mum is a very good idea as she can give you practical and emotional support. Use evry minute. Study at the playground. For go a social life. When you feel discouraged think of the future this will bring you and your children including you being their role model to make the best of yourself and your life. And defintely drop all housework standards. Dust don't matter. Education and a better future does! Good luck.

mirivy Wed 11-Dec-13 22:24:50

I did my PGCE as a lone parent. In some ways it's possibly easier when the kids are very young, as they can adjust to change relatively easily. Get a great nursery and be prepared to go through the wringer a bit- it's a tough course.
Even though the job is very demanding and I'm not at home as much as I'd like, I've never regretted it. We have a roof over our head and our independence: it means a lot.

farmersmarket Thu 12-Dec-13 07:09:36

As mirivy says this is how to be financially independent. My ex emigrated and has never paid child support but now me and my son are secure. And you will probaby need to work and so be away from your dc more than you would like regardless but you will be earning more and enjoying a good job. And teaching work fits around children well ( although also lots of work in term re preperation and marking etc). So no pain no gain! But worth it long term.

frozensausage Thu 12-Dec-13 15:31:03

I went back to do a BA then an MA in Design, I started the BA when DD was 4 months. It wasn't so much about financial independence for me, in fact we still get the majority of our income from tax credits as I just do a bit of part-time self-employed work. But it was more about doing something I enjoyed and was a bit challenging, but I did my studying part-time to allow myself plenty of time with the dc. My mum doesn't work so she did most of the childcare for free, and I knew she could be really flexible when I had deadlines etc.

I never had any problems letting the housework slip, frankly I was glad to find an excuse for not doing dull chores anyway!

farmersmarket Thu 12-Dec-13 19:45:21

Well we definetly have a consensus on forget the housework!

makemineapinot Thu 19-Dec-13 23:37:08

I did my pgde as a lone parent and agree with the above - do it!my saving grace was getting a cleaner - £20 a week but it saved my sanity! Student Liam, bursaries, childcare vouchers from uni and a part time job (yes, I was exhausted!) got me through it! It's not even a year, 9 months in reality, hard going but worth it - so love my job now and it is child friendly re holidays, long hours term time but lots of that can be done at home x

muser31 Sat 21-Dec-13 17:34:45

haven't read all the responses, ive done part time courses and a placement for the 2 years since dd was born. i was a lone parent from when she was 9 months. sometimes it is hard, but i found it very worthwhile, something to focus on, a way to meet new people and not dwell on the past but move on with my life.
i did get a lot of help though and not sure if i would have been able to do it if i didn't. dd is a very bad sleeper so mum takes her one night a week. i catch up on work the next morning after a good nights sleep. dh has her 2 days a week (no overnights) and one day i use to study, the other day i do my placement. all the best, go for it and don't be afraid to ask for help or even put dc in nursery one morning a week if you can afford it.

muser31 Sat 21-Dec-13 17:39:02

just read all the responses - very inspiring! we are strong!

ps what helped me SO much was getting a good diary (not just one on the phone!), cos being organised and writing things down at the time even down to when the bin goes out (yes my head did get that melted at one stage) really takes a lot of the stress away.

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