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Young mum: Confused and need pratical help

(68 Posts)
Unclearpath Fri 28-Nov-14 21:29:09

Im deeply ashamed about how I feel, so i've nc. I just need to say I in no way regret my daughter, I just feel very sad that i'm wondering if I've done it wrong.

My Dh and I have one child together, who is due to go to school next year. I am 23 ( we've been together since I was early teens) and have enjoyed every single second of being a mum. Total bliss for the first few years and this particular issue never crossed my mind. Now we've been desperate for another baby for a long time and have suffered 2mc. I am praying next year is our year at last. It will be our last baby. First babe very much planned and wanted, we hoped for a close age gap. We have our reasons for starting our family young, which are certainly still valid now.

I had a horrible, abusive childhood. I was a total mess during my school years and lost the plot. As such I left school with just 4 GCSE's. Only two are passable grades of C. I'm embarressed about this.
I went on to self fund two certificates (distance learning) in subjects I really enjoy and have worked in the related field since I began working. My job suits family life perfectly right now, but I don't believe it is a sustainable Job long term and am keen to open up my options. Right now I don't believe I have many at all. Im so sorry to be vague, my details would be very identifiable.

Anyways. Im stuck. Im desperate to get some solid, career defining qualifications behind me but am worried that A- I know that I would find it a struggle, that I am not really very smart- or not anymore anyways, I struggle to hold information and learn since having my dd

and B) the idea of "starting again" makes me feel like a failure. Like a teen mum who is worth nothing and just got knocked up. I know this isnt true, my husband and I have a solid relationship, beautiful home, our dd is lovely and we work very hard. I know I have a lot to be proud of, but eductaion and career wise, I feel a failure. But I also know that I am young and If i start now I'll be somewhere decent before I'm 30. I also want to be a good role model to my child(ren).

So here's the thing. I could skip redoing my GCSe's, doing A levels etc and get a higher qual related to my current field of work (lost of options to study without entry requirments, but I'd need to adjust some work things to qualify) .. but it'll never be a high earning career, theres no progression, I would just qualify for more roles where the requirments for the role are higher than my current. Its more like side stepping. Money is lovely but life balance and having another child is important to me.

Or I bite the bullet and start all over and forge myself a respectable career but will have several difficult years ahead of me, trying to juggle studing/training, working, parenting..... etc. I know i'd be so proud of myself if i did. But i'm not sure I truly believe myself capable.

AIBU to think I probably screwed myself when deciding to start a family young? should I accept that my options are truly limited now and adjust my expectations of myself?

and my god, this was so bloody long and I am so sorry to anyone who spent the time reading and thanks in advance to anyone willing to advise me. wine all round.

iheartshoes Fri 28-Nov-14 21:34:17

Aside from your current career is there anything you really like the sound of doing ? I had my daughter quite young too, before I was established in a career , had just kind of drifted along before. I want to teach and to achieve this I am studying towards a degree with the OU. They are very flexible and it is doable with a family. Worth looking into perhaps ? (Not necessarily teaching but the OU are a good option and a degree might give you more career options)

theeternalstudent Fri 28-Nov-14 21:35:29

I went back to Uni aged 30. The first day in class the lecturer stood up there and gave a speech about how normal it is for students to feel embarrassed by their educational achievement and feel that they're not as intelligent as other students on the course. She was right. We all felt the same. Also, I think you'd find that there are a good few others who were in the same situation as you.

Go for it, you are young, you are absolutely not screwed for starting your family at a young age.

Take time to decide really what you want to do and then make it work. You can do this, even if you do have a baby next year. The world is your oyster, dare to dream big! You can do this flowers

FabULouse Fri 28-Nov-14 21:37:26

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Unclearpath Fri 28-Nov-14 21:39:40

Iheartshoes, I keep looking at the OU, but given my lack of prior education I'm just so worried Im not up to it. I'd love to just go for it, but I think I'm probably kidding myself that I'd be capable.

I have a really wide range of interests and feel like I could go in so many directions, but I'm scared and worried about actual Job prospects post any futher education I undertake.

(Thank you for reading, I know how utterly long and a bit waffley my post is, sorry!)

Unclearpath Fri 28-Nov-14 21:41:09

Oh, cross post! Thank you for your replies Fabulouse and theeternalstudent- im now shedding a few tears. Thank you for being kind.

Catzeyess Fri 28-Nov-14 21:41:14

People career change at 30, no reason you can't have another child, keep going with your current job until they are a bit older.

When I did my undergraduate degree there were loads of mature students.

I even know someone who started a medical degree at 29!

skylark2 Fri 28-Nov-14 21:41:49

"I also want to be a good role model to my child(ren). "

I think someone who decides later on in life that education is important so goes off and gets some qualifications is an excellent role model.

Do you have maths and English at GCSE grade C? If not, I think you can study them for free and it might be a good way to get back into education.

Lie someone else said, go for it, you are not screwed at all.

theeternalstudent Fri 28-Nov-14 21:42:41

you need to go to your local college and ask them about an access course and speak to them about your concerns. They will be more than happy to provide you with information and try to allay any fears you may have. They will also be able to talk through courses and careers that will be available to you.

Unclearpath Fri 28-Nov-14 21:46:07

I have English Lit and English Lang at a C- My maths and Geography are an E. Totally rubbish.

I think If I start from scratch I'll need to redo my maths (even the thought of this makes me break out in a cold sweat, I freaking hate maths) and double up on science, probably biology to really open up my options)

Oh jeez. I really need to get my crap together.

natsukashi Fri 28-Nov-14 21:46:43

You are so young and have so much time to do different things! Go for it - I went back to education older than you, then had kids, and progressing from that that has been tricky, but certainly doable, and very rewarding. There is no rule that says you have to do things in a certain order, or at a certain age. Do what interests you, and more interesting things will follow!

FabULouse Fri 28-Nov-14 21:46:59

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Unclearpath Fri 28-Nov-14 21:47:50

I almost bit the bullet and applied for an access course, but We couldn't afford for me to take a whole year out (and pay for childcare) to complete it. I think any course I persue now will need to be distance learning and v P/T or evenings. I would much prefer classroom based but I don't think this is actually an option.

BabyDubsEverywhere Fri 28-Nov-14 21:51:18

I may have had a similar start to you op. Here's my story!
I am 30 with 4 dc. I had started on a career path before we had any of them but I was bored by it. So I quit and stayed home with the dc. I started back at college doing an access when we only had the first two dc. in that access year we had our third. I started uni two months after he was born. It was great.
The uni timetable is great for family life. It worked out that it was 10 weeks on, (with a week off in the middle) and a month off, then the same again, then a handful of exams then off for 4 months! The loans/grants/bursaries worked out to a part time wage and I was home with the dc lots more than I would have been if working all year. I had to quit second year soon after starting as I fell very ill in my fourth pregnancy. She was born in April and I went back to start second year again in October.
I am loving the learning, I am loving the freedom, I am loving the timetable. My course is pretty full on and fitting in my work when my dc are sleeping is tough, but I wouldn't change it - I love it!
I also have a few medical issues and the uni are fabulous at supporting me through my studies and very understanding.

Dreading getting a job and leaving it all behind tbh... I plan to drag it out as long as possible, studying suits family life much better than us both working.

But we don't mind being squeezed for a few years while they are young. Others mind that more... you have to be honest with yourself whether you could forgo the extras that a wage affords.

ps - You can do access through the OU and then go to a brick uni.. a friend on my course did this, but it will depend on your subject so you need to check it out.

BabyDubsEverywhere Fri 28-Nov-14 21:52:12

my gosh that's long, sorry! blush

MrsCurrent Fri 28-Nov-14 21:52:23

You sound like an amazing role model already, to be able to have achieved all you have by 23 is fantastic, you're miles ahead of your peers and should be very proud.

You can do anything you want, like skylark says, if you don't have maths and English can you concentrate on getting those under your belt first as many things (jobs/courses) ask for those 2. The world is your oyster after that, what do you dream of doing? Education isn't everything, DH is a tradesman and earns a lot more than I do with a decent degree, if you find something you are passionate at you will more than likely excel and be far happier.

Good luck, you sound fabulous.

iheartshoes Fri 28-Nov-14 21:53:26

Have a look at the shorter options the OU offer I think they are 10 credits or something just a taster course . See how you get on. Don't put yourself down OP you have not left it too late, you have years yet to figure out what to do. My mum did her degree at 53 !!!

First.. stop being ashamed! It doesn't matter that you didn't get the qualifications THEN.. because at 23 years old you have a lifetime ahead to do a LOT of things, and also plenty of time to find out what you would really like to do! People come into adult learning from a huge variety of backgrounds, with just one thing in common..the desire to learn and have access to study, for better jobs etc.

Have you looked at Access to Higher Education courses? Most local colleges do them and they are a great way to get the missing maths GCSE and bypass the A level route..and they are perfectly acceptable for applying to University, should that be the route you fancy.

At 23 you would be barely a mature student smile

Incidentally both of my DDs are currently at universtity (one nursing, one medicine) and both have been surprised to find themselves the babies in their cohorts going stright from school..there are MANY mature students and they are highly valued because they tend to want to work!

Many years ago when I was at Uni, there were plenty of mature students then too.. it is NEVER too late and at 23 you really have options!

Go for it!!!

Elisheva Fri 28-Nov-14 21:54:28

You will almost certainly need to redo your maths gcse - but it's soooo much easier studying it as an adult, classes have a completely different atmosphere. Can you arrange a meeting with a careers advisor to help you plan a route?
I did my degree age 30 when DS1 was 2. I had DS2 halfway through the course and DD the year after I graduated! Education as an adult is very different. I enjoyed every minute.

iheartshoes Fri 28-Nov-14 21:56:18

www.open.ac.uk/courses/do-it/access

I don't know how to link but these are the courses I'm thinking of. However also agree with poster who said no need for a degree to be successful necessarily !!! Could you talk to a careers advisor at all ?

sallysparrow157 Fri 28-Nov-14 21:57:06

You are so so young, you have all the time in the world to do whatever the hell you want. I went to medical school straight from school but so many of my colleagues had other lives beforehand, be that having kids, being in the army, working in completely unrelated fields, on the other hand mates of mine from uni who joined straight from school are doing everything from already being consultants to having several kids to being a missionary in Africa or a personal trainer in London.
It's fantastic for you that you've done the having a family thing this early as you won't have the complete fuck up I do right now of being in my mid 30s and childless, not at the point in my career that mat leave is practical and the fear that that time will be too late for me. You have your family underway. You have now the potential to train up to do whatever you want, I whatever way you want and to make the most of the contacts you make in this training to step right into a job.
Go for it. Start again doing what you love or work on what you have doing a job you can do. Either is do-able but no one is going to look down on you for making the choices you have and if you start again and retrain and during that time complete your family and know that's it, you will know you don't have to break your career and worry about coming back to it.

queenofthepirates Fri 28-Nov-14 21:57:15

Start gently and you'll soon have a head of steam behind you. How about one GCSE and then progress from there? You don't have to do it all at once and you're only 23 (apols if that sounds patronising but you are so young in educational terms). you'll be amazing x

Gullygirl Fri 28-Nov-14 22:00:22

Your post reads as intelligent, insightful and thoughtful.
I think you sound a beautiful role model for your daughter! And 23 is very young, you might have 40 years plus of working life before you.

Madlizzy Fri 28-Nov-14 22:00:49

I got sod all useful qualifications at school. I'm now 44 and redid maths and English a few years ago and did rather well. You're still really young and can do loads and loads. Onwards and upwards! There's so much to do and lots of time to do it.

Rebecca2014 Fri 28-Nov-14 22:02:47

I think you sound a bit naïve. I am on an access course and we have a wide rage of ages, you would be one of the younger ones in the class at your age.

I am planning to go to university next year, I be 26. You must think I am really over the hill!

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