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To think I can't study full time with small children

(46 Posts)
justnotaballetmum Sun 19-Jun-16 10:44:58

I want, very much, to be told I am BU smile

Is it possible to look into retraining with preschool children?

There's no support network, and whilst an au pair may be feasible, a nanny wouldn't be.

The sort of retraining I am looking at would involve anti social hours and so would the eventual job, so I do need to take these factors into account too.

cannotlogin Sun 19-Jun-16 10:49:26

I retrained full time with three primary aged children as a single parent. Have you investigated childminders locally? Some may well be willing to accommodate shifts, out of hours etc.

SemiNormal Sun 19-Jun-16 10:54:06

I did a full time college course last year, although my son was in full time school. Will be starting Uni in Sept.

My course was an access to HE course and as such the majority of students were all mature students, the majority also had children. One in particular has 4 children, one of which was only a few months old when she started and she will be going to Uni in September too. She did have a child minder, her husband and comes from a large family who I think helped out too. (sorry, that probably doesn't help much)...

We also had some old students from the course come back to speak to us about Uni and what they were up to now. One woman said that during Uni she split from her partner, house was repossessed, went through a divorce, worked night shifts etc - she really went through a rough time and she managed it in the end. I guess if you really want something bad enough you CAN make it work, you will find a way.

branofthemist Sun 19-Jun-16 10:55:29

People manage it. It depends on circumstances. Like can your partner (if you have one) adjust their working pattern etc.

But do you really want to work anti-social hours in the future?

I used to have a restaurant and got rid when the kids started school. They were at school all day and I was out all night. Usually got to bed about 1am then up to do school etc at 7am. I was knackered and felt like I got no quality time with the kids. When I did I was knackered.

LilithTheKitty Sun 19-Jun-16 10:55:53

I started my degree with two children and ended it with three so it's definitely possible. In some ways I found it easier than full time working.

fuckincuntbuggerinarse Sun 19-Jun-16 10:56:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DelphiniumBlue Sun 19-Jun-16 10:59:34

Yes, if you are organized and your children have regular, early-ish bedtimes so that you have free evenings.
I dont think you can study effectively whilst looking after small, awake children. If you can get an au pair, that might work, although might be worth leaving the house to study to avoid interruptions.
If you will be working antisocial hours, you'd need to factor in the cost of an au pair for the foreseeable future. I found trying to arrange childminders/ nurseries around unpredictable shifts was impossible- will yours be predfictable?

HappyAsASandboy Sun 19-Jun-16 11:00:27

Like all things, I suspect you can if you want to, and you won't be able to if you don't want to. You can find ways to make it work and get on with it, or you can find reasons why it would be too hard and decide not to.

You could try making a list of the things that would be difficult and looking at what you'd need to do to overcome them. Share the list with anyone involved in the decision or who you rely on for help (either practical, emotional or financial) as your decision affects them too.

kidleypea Sun 19-Jun-16 11:00:59

Yes but only if you are super organised and have reliable support network around you either paid childcare or family and friends.

Do you work? I know plenty of SAHM's who have spent the pre school years going back to uni and studying but they do have very supportive partners with v well paid jobs so can afford to out the kids in childcare or have partner work from home whilst they pursue their studies.

NellWilsonsWhiteHair Sun 19-Jun-16 11:01:42

I did my last year of BSc with a baby (5 months to 13 months), and then my MSc with an older baby (16 months to 2.5 years). I was a single parent and he was an awful sleeper, so this is my proudest achievement and probably always will be. grin

No antisocial hours in my case, though. With my BSc, my mum had him 2 x 2 hours a week while I actually attended lectures, and I did all my reading/essays while he snoozed on the boob. With my MSc, my funding covered full time nursery fees.

Good luck. flowers

justnotaballetmum Sun 19-Jun-16 11:03:11

Yes, it's mainly the problem linked to the hours rather than study - I'm considering nursing, which obviously would have some night shifts so I do need somebody here, really.

justnotaballetmum Sun 19-Jun-16 12:16:16

Is it impossible with no support, then? grin

Kenduskeag Sun 19-Jun-16 13:04:55

It really depends if you have someone who can care for the children - if your question is can you look after them full-time AND study, then no, probably not. Something will suffer. Can you study AND have someone else do the childcare role... yes. People do.

How do you plan to work anti-social hours with children in tow? It's not like you can park them up in the hospital waiting room or leave them home alone. Would an au pair be able to cover all the time you need.

calamityjam Sun 19-Jun-16 13:24:35

It depends what you want to do really. I changed from a good uni to a local college for my degree after my first year as the hours were very parent friendly. I do 3 mornings a week from 9.30-12.30. I also have all the school holidays off. My youngest is 8 and doesn't even notice that I am at uni. I have afternoons off to do assignments and even one day a week to do a placement. I would advise anyone with children to look into degrees at their local colleges as opposed to a traditional uni as the fees are also substantially lower.

babypeach Sun 19-Jun-16 13:34:38

I'm currently on mat leave from a 3 yr bsc which involves both full time study and then mixes of shifts so early starts, late starts all 12 hour shifts or some rows of 9-5. Uni blocks generally 9-5. So you need a mix of childcare plus weekends possibly depending on what you're doing.

I have a 5 year old who was 3 when I started the course. I used nursery full time 8-5 until she started school then was lucky enough have grandparents to fill in bits in morning and evening. I left at 6 in the morning and husband left at 7 and I would be back by 9.30 on a shift day, husband around 7 so needed someone to top and tail the childcare. If you can get someone to cover those times plus day time child care it is do able. Studying you'll manage somehow-the mums were usually the ones who never had an essay late because they had organised themselves to the last inch!

It is tough-I went up to 4 days a week for a while not seeing DD1 and often couldn't pay her much attention when I was around due to studying but I did it.

However I'm grappling with whether or not to return at moment as I now have a seven month old as well and grandparents not nesc able to look after him at evenings ec plus now I'm thinking he might be too young to not see for days at a time and I don't think I could not pay him attention if I was at home but needed to study!

But I know others on my course who had young er dcs and just got on with it.

As others have said if you can get wrap around childcare in one form or another it's do able but my experience is that it is emotionally tough as well as financially.

Sorry if that sounds a bit negative but I think I helps to know the true demands before you start!

Best of luck x

justnotaballetmum Sun 19-Jun-16 13:39:54

I don't know, Kend - that's one of the reasons I am asking on here.

babypeach - it's not negative at all, because I do, genuinely, want to know if it's doable: it probably is not.

CallWaiting Sun 19-Jun-16 13:53:54

I did it and we even all moved and lived in the training college! It was a fabulous adventure but was hard work and took juggling and careful childcare planning

CallWaiting Sun 19-Jun-16 13:55:39

Also my husband was happy to move and change job which helped immensely. We found a way of him working flexibly some days and he did a lot of evening stuff as I was often at the library (which was on site). We have 3 kids under 8...... 2 at school and a toddler.

CallWaiting Sun 19-Jun-16 13:55:51

*had (kids are older now!)

alltouchedout Sun 19-Jun-16 14:04:34

You can. I did. I went bacj to uni when ds1 was 5 and ds2 was 2. It was hard- towards the end, doing a day at placement, picking the dc up from school then leaving them at home with dh after tea, going to the library all night, coming home in time to take the dcs to school and going back to placement for another day's work was not that unusual! But I did it. I got an MA with merit from a good uni and a professional qualification and am very glad.

Pendu Sun 19-Jun-16 14:07:10

I started a thread in higher education but not much traffic over there grin

I feel your pain OP, I'm starting uni in sept with 3 under 10 and one due in November so will be hijacking watching your thread with interest smile

Kenduskeag Sun 19-Jun-16 14:39:54

"Is it doable" really depends on what you're asking - you're not very clear who would be taking care of the children while you studied.

If your question is "Can I study while a partner/au pair takes care of my children?" the answer is yes.

If your question is "Can I study at the same time as being the carer for my children", whereby you somehow ignore your kids at your feet for 9 hours while half-reading a textbook or sneak off to do night shifts while leaving them home alone, then... no.

justnotaballetmum Sun 19-Jun-16 14:46:40

Gosh, Kend, whatever have I said to rub you up the wrong way?

I was unsure if there were laws about the length of time an au pair could care for children for. Plus, I didn't know if it was doable. I do want to train and build a (hopefully better) future for me and DC but I am worried that the only things I do want to do don't seem enormously compatible with family life.

EveryoneElsie Sun 19-Jun-16 14:56:33

The anti social hours might be your biggest problem. Paid for childcare tends to be in working hours. I know someone who did it by using a babysitter in the evenings, but she had to be back by midnight and was heavily in debt when she graduated.

justnotaballetmum Sun 19-Jun-16 14:59:50

Yes, I agree. Hopefully there will be a way around it smile

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