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to think i can retrain as..

(21 Posts)
onwardsupwardsbethbeth Sat 08-Apr-17 22:36:50

a single mum? would like to study social work at a local uni starting september 2018. dd will be nearly 4 and ds 2. i literally have no family support, dad not on the scene.

am i being crazy to think this is possible?

and what is life like trying to survive as a student single parent?

onwardsupwardsbethbeth Sat 08-Apr-17 22:38:05

im about to turn 24 and ex was extremely abusive. i had an unconditional to train as a childrens nurse and he made me give it up, now i want to work i child protection.

PlayingGrownUp Sat 08-Apr-17 22:46:16

It'll be difficult. I started a college course with almost 40 people - mainly young single mums - to start nursing degrees and there's less than 20 left and we aren't even one year into a 3 year course.

However I think if you put enough preparation in you can. Contact the uni now about requirements, starting making plans and look into back up plans. If you want any more info let me know.

onwardsupwardsbethbeth Sat 08-Apr-17 22:52:53

im certainly not afraid of hard work, i know its not going to be a walk in the park.

i just need to be prepared on what to expect

Tannyfastic Sat 08-Apr-17 22:58:02

I'd say it is close to impossible with DC that age and no family support.
I did something similar, my children were older and it nearly killed me.

How about teaching?
Teaching will be very tough too, but it's a bit more child friendly as a career.

Sundaysmumisfullofwine Sat 08-Apr-17 22:58:22

Child protection is difficult with kids unless you have some family support. Working front line you could be on an emergency that comes in 5 mins before the end of the working day and out on that til all hours. There are your cp and lac visits which can often be after school hours. Paperwork, meetings etc. Unless you have very flexible childcare it's difficult.

Don't get me wrong, it's a rewarding job. Just not family friendly

Thingsthatmakeugoummmm Sun 09-Apr-17 06:50:06

I agree with pp. I am a social worker, it's def not 9-5 job. Take this last week. I finished at 10pm on Tuesday and 7pm on Wednesday. I then needed to start work at 7.30am on Thursday as I needed to catch up! I didn't go into this job until my youngest was 12 and even then it was tough. It's rewarding but also very stressful.

bigredboat Sun 09-Apr-17 06:58:30

There are plenty of students who are single parents, as long as you live somewhere where you can access childcare and can afford it I'm sure you could manage.

A pp mentioned teaching as an alternative, I actually think the social workers I know (working with adults) have a better work life balance than the teachers I know!

ballstoit Sun 09-Apr-17 07:06:28

TBH you could get a social work degree and then choose a more family friendly starting point for a career - our schools family support worker works school hours, term time only for example.

Or you may decide that teaching or early years childcare is more appealing - and do a one year post graduate qualification.

It will be difficult to study without family support - I started my degree with a husband and 2 dc and finished it as an lp to 3 (last 2 years completed after exh left) but my parents could help out with childcare is dc were ill. If you decide to go for it, I'd start building your networks of friends to share childcare with (I'm a teacher now and have a few friends who work part time but don't get school holidays off so they will have my dc if they're ill in term time and I'll have there's in school holidays). Also, think about the childcare you choose - I chose a childminder who was prepared to be flexible (my DC will start at 7 when I'm on a residential in June for examples from she will do an occasional til 7pm if I'm on a school trip).

It is doable, you will be exhausted and want to quit at points, but with support and determination you can be an amazing role model for your dc smile

Crumbs1 Sun 09-Apr-17 07:09:21

I'd say you don't have to have your full career but and dried at undergraduate level. Maybe focus on the logistics of getting your degree first then think about the area of practice you want to go in to. Why not go back for children's nursing? It still involves child protection but plenty of alternative pathways too.
Teaching is not a softer option really. People imagine it's all 9-3 with long holidays but that's not the reality.

Headofthehive55 Sun 09-Apr-17 07:40:06

I think you'd find training as a nurse difficult as there is shifts to consider

Jessicabrassica Sun 09-Apr-17 08:16:08

The open University offers an undergraduate degree in social work. There is a practical requirement though so you may need to negotiate some relevant work...
I'm currently on a health care course and we have a number of single parents but I think they mostly have some family support which makes everything easier. With full wrap around child care (8-6, m-f) it would be possible but difficult.

monkeysox Sun 09-Apr-17 08:20:01

Teaching not family friendly. Especially without support.
You can definitely do some training but maybe need some work experience to see which fits you best?
Hourly rate for teaching is crappy.

LynetteScavo Sun 09-Apr-17 08:27:52

It's possible if you can afford the child care.

Don't listen to those telling you it will be hard. Of course it will be hard, whether it's financially possible is the question.

Blanca87 Sun 09-Apr-17 08:28:40

Of course you can do it. The uni will have funding for childcare and classes will probably start at 10am for courses like that( higher intake of mature students with childcare responsablities). It's a hard slog but totally worth it, even just on the level of intellectual stimulation. You should go for it, you will be an amazing role model for your kids, too.

user1487175389 Sun 09-Apr-17 08:35:42

Good luck. In my experience, universities aren't interested in single mothers studying with them. Basically society expects us to get a 'little job' like cleaning and not use our brains ever again, or stay on benefits so we can remain society's scapegoats. Every society needs scapegoats (Disclaimer: this is my personal experience and hopefully won't be true for you).

LeoTimmyandVi Sun 09-Apr-17 09:12:28

I am a lone parent with 2 school age children and in my first year of an Occupational Therapy course. I have limited support and have full wrap around childcare in place.

When I started looking I wanted to retrain as mental health nurse but the shifts would not have been managable for me. So I looked at OT and found it to be by and large family friendly hours (although that is slowly changing) and I could still focus on mental health from a different perspective. Is there a lateral move you could make with a child protection focus until the children are a wee bit older?

A pp mentioned that their uni was largely unsupportive of lone parents and that is a shame. Mine is great - we fill out a profile with our transport and any other needs and the placement office try there best to accommodate. I am on placement in may 20 mins away from home.

Good luck with whatever choice you make!

onwardsupwardsbethbeth Sun 09-Apr-17 09:19:00

thank you all.

i think i will focus on getting the degree then look at the next steps once i graduate. they would be 7 and 5. i have a brain, i got AABB in my a levels i just threw my dreams away for an abusive prick but i want a good job and to be a good role model.

i already know with nursing theres no way i could make shifts work

i dont have family support at the moment as my mum is a newly recovering alcoholic but i know they would be willing to help me financially which i know is half the battle and who knows, their dad may turn his life around and prove to everyone he is safe to have the children by then!

would be smallest be eligable for the 2 year funding if im a student?

toomuchtvandsocialmedia Sun 09-Apr-17 09:25:27

No particular advice - but I just wanted to say well done for getting away from your prick of an ex and to wish you luck what ever you decide. You sound like you are already a good role model for your DC.

daisydoosoph Sun 09-Apr-17 09:27:26

From my own person experience money should be very manageable, I've been a mature student and with the student loan, child tax credit plus housing benefit it was definitely doable. Good luck

onwardsupwardsbethbeth Sun 09-Apr-17 11:24:58

thank you. i just want a really good positive future for my children, gave them a bit of a crap start and i was a classic case of history repeating itself as i grew up in an abusive household and i will be bloody damned if i have my kids repeat it too

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