Did anyone become a single parent whilst studying for a degree? How did you cope?

(12 Posts)
winnietheplop Tue 30-Oct-12 15:57:36

financially/emotionally etc.

I started in my first year this sptember.
I've not left DH yet, but that is the plan.

Can I continue to study?

FreelanceMama Wed 31-Oct-12 04:03:56

A friend of mine got pregnant in her 2nd year - she took a year out to have her baby and then went back to do her 3rd year as a single Mum. She lived on campus in a mobile home (campuses often have family accommodation) - I stayed with her once; it was v nice. Her baby was in daycare during which time she did her lectures and studying. I worked at a uni and always thought of her whenever I heard 3rd year students on the bus complain about how much work they had! She got a v good pass in a tough degree subject. And is a brilliant Mum.

Have you spoken to your uni yet? I expect the sooner you do, the easier you'll find it to make arrangements that suit you e.g. You may be able to defer your course or do it part time or distance learning.

FreelanceMama Wed 31-Oct-12 04:05:43

Congratulations on having a baby, by the way!

Knifeupthedance Wed 31-Oct-12 08:01:53

I don't see why not - what are your worries?

I started first year this month, it's just me and DS who is 1yo, I commute to uni. Finding time to read is the hardest part, you just have to practice militant time management.

winnietheplop Thu 01-Nov-12 16:29:28

thanks feelance- ive not had a baby. well ive got three but had children and now at uni.
i mean if your marriage splits up whilst at uni. can you continue?

knife- worries are simply money and what if dh says i cant look have the children because ive got three years of study . obviously id quit but want to know if i can continue.

iloveweetos Mon 05-Nov-12 13:15:11

Definitely continue! it will be hard but not impossible. have confidence in yourself to do this.
Firstly talk to your tutors. They may be able to help due to previous students and how they got through uni. Some tutors are amazing in regards to this. Email head of school or course (not sure if its the same for your uni)
Also, (if you're ok about getting a student loan) talk to student finance about getting help, as there are grants available to help you, the parenting learning allowance, and also childcare grants if needed, alongside the maintenance loans. also your university may have grants available to you.
also regarding childcare, would your family help here and there? mainly during exam time i found i needed the extra help.
Find out from tutors or uni if theres any emotional help from the university. I realised in my second year (when it was desperately needed) that councillors are available and personally i would never have got through my exams and courseworks without them.
Good luck and just keep thinking of why you want to do this! As hard as it will be, the degree at the end will be worth it! hugs

cheesesarnie Mon 05-Nov-12 13:41:15

thankyou ilove!
i'll make an appointment to see my tutor in the next few weeks (on reading week, then placement).
seeing a money lady on thursday so hopefully i'll find out something.
family have offered to help so will definatley be taking them up on it, also suddenly thought i could use early morning club, it's only 50 pence a day and would just about work time wise!

thankyou.

Also check if you can do any of the course at night or if distance learning is an option for part of the course - I know someone who did 3 years of a degree at night and then took a year's career break, during which she did her final year full time.

So she got a full degree without the term (night) beside the BBS but was able to earn during the day for 3/4 of it.

I work full time and am doing a professiona diploma at present (it's the equivalent of an honours degree).

I have 2 night's lectures online per week - needs a decent Internet connection, but I'm home and logged on at 6pm each night and DD feeds herself (she's 15 though so no trouble with childcare).

iloveweetos Mon 05-Nov-12 14:22:53

aw thats good! Keep us updated smile x
50p a day for early morning club!? amazing lol

DaveMccave Fri 09-Nov-12 11:23:58

I'm a single parent student. I get a maintenance grant which is the same, and as well as a full student loan, but I don't have to pay back. (pm me if you want exact details) I also get tax credits at 60.00 a week and work all day Saturday when my DC (5) is at her dads. Financially it's very doable too. I get most of my housing benefit paid for, this might be more difficult if you have a mortgage, might be easier to move into rented.

It's summer holidays that are a problem, I was off for nearly 5 months, fantastic for spending time with my DC but because she had just turned 5, I wasn't entitled to income support for that duration, (if you have any DC under 5 then it will be fine) Job centre told me I wasn't entitled to anything except HB and council tax. Turns out they were wrong and I could have applied for job seekers but they wouldn't let me appeal and I hear this story again and again and again. If I hadn't found a temp job I would have been in big trouble. I have had trouble with them stopping rent and tax credits etc because they assess my loan and grant wrong, again very common with loan parents. As long as you are aware and on the ball you should be ok.

I find the commute and school pick ups a nightmare, but this year my timetable is a bit easier. I only have to put her in after school club and breakfast club once, and a relative another day. You need to bare in mind how long travel to uni is, and what if a lecture/seminar didn't finish til 5 or 6, so you couldnt make it back to after school club on time, would you have an emergency friend/relative for that sort of timetable situation? If yes, then go for it. It's not as hard as I thought it would be.

geologygirl Fri 23-Nov-12 01:40:46

im studying by distance learning (lectures 3 evenings a week which can be watched at any time), work FT and have a 21mth old little boy. Its hard to find the time but I try to make use of any spare time I have - so I often get up super early at 5am to get an hour of reading/work in before my son wakes up. I have a 90min commute into work (each way) so I read during that time as well. All my coursework so far has been in on time! Im so proud of that!

I think its definitely possible to do it as a lone parent. You just have to be very organised, create a plan and stick to it!

If you have any family/friends that can help babysit sometimes, that will help as well.

Go for it!

cheesesarnie Fri 23-Nov-12 20:13:34

sorry- i forgot about this!

thankyou people! wow you all sound super organised!

looks like financially it's not only doable but i'm actually better off as a student! plus childcare at the moment looks like itll be okish.

now just need to get on and do the work! grin

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