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To think that I will struggle to do a midwifery degree due to childcare etc

(25 Posts)
Placeboooooooo Fri 12-Jan-18 23:55:52

I’ve always wanted to go to university to do my midwifery degree.

The only thing is that I don’t have a particularly great support network at home. OH is a farmer and works long and unpredictable hours, my mum lives not far away but is very begrudging of looking after a DC.

Between us, myself and OH have 2 DD’s (7&4). I know that if I’m to start this degree (which will be full time as no part time courses at available) then my childcare will have to be watertight. We can’t afford childcare fees, please don’t use the ‘rich farmer’ analogy, we really aren’t. Part of the reason I’m wanting to do this is because everything is up in the air with regards to the farm at the moment. MIL died last year and really made a hash of the will which has left OH in a very precarious situation.

I work PT (24-30 hours per week) at the moment but the pay is minimum wage and I feel as though I’d like to engage my brain a bit more and do something I’ve always wanted to do.

I just keep thinking that I aren’t going to manage it with DD’s.

What do I do!?

DesignedForLife Fri 12-Jan-18 23:58:46

Most of my family are farmers and none of them are rich.

Surely wrap around care with a local childminder wouldn't cost much? You'll be off from studies during school holidays on the whole too.

AtSea1979 Fri 12-Jan-18 23:59:03

I think you’ll struggle. You have to do your share of shifts and nights.

Placeboooooooo Sat 13-Jan-18 00:00:39

Yes I’m thinking of looking into how much it would be on an average week. Atsea yes that’s what I’m thinking.

I’m 25 this year so not exactly getting on, perhaps it would be worth waiting until they’re a little bit older?

ClaudiaD13 Sat 13-Jan-18 00:06:03

How would you be financing the degree? I'm doing a degree and get a childcare support grant, it's means-tested but covers up to 85% of the cost of childcare. Look into what money would be available to you.

I'm not saying it's easy. My course is really intensive and there are times I just want to give it all up, but I have to think of the future. When I am finished I will have a great job with a good wage.

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Sat 13-Jan-18 00:08:39

There is no way I would advise anyone to attempt any kind of nursing/midwifery/medical degree with children unless they had someone at home dedicated solely to sorting out the children. It’s a really tough degree. Massive demands on your time, not only for shifts but your time at home as well. It doesn’t sound like you have the support you need to fully commit to the course (or the job when qualified) and speaking as someone who had to drop out of my university course due to the demands of my family I would advise waiting until you are in a position to fully commit.

Crashbangwhatausername Sat 13-Jan-18 00:12:12

I'm studying midwifery and childcare is a big issue for many of us. Sadly we do not have school holidays off either and the official time off equates to approximately seven to eight weeks in the year for most courses, although some do fall into school holidays. Additionally we are expected to follow mentors shifts which can often change at the last minute. However many of us do it, some use au pairs if they don't have much help, otherwise flexible husbands, childminders, family members, after school clubs are all useful. My advice would be to look at usual shift times and travel time to the hospital you would apply for and work out how feasible it might be. Maybe you can speak to someone at the uni about your concerns and see if they have any advice?

Placeboooooooo Sat 13-Jan-18 00:12:34

Donny as I suspected, thank you for being honest, I will wait until I’m in a better position.

UterusUterusGhali Sat 13-Jan-18 00:23:36

Honestly? I'd wait. You're still very young.
It'll be so so hard, 13hr days and nights. If your DH had a "normal" job it might be easier, but at busy times when he's out every waking hour it'll be really tricky.

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Sat 13-Jan-18 00:25:39

Your youngest is 4. By the time he/she is starting secondary school you will only be 32. That’s still plenty young to start a career as a midwife. My mum has just retired from midwifery and had lots of students midwives working with her in their 40’s and 50’s.

PinguForPresident Sat 13-Jan-18 00:30:00

Hello, newly-qualified midwife here. I have 2 primary aged kids. It has been beyond tough getting through the degree, and only possible due to my husband's flexible working arrangements.

You get 7 weeks hol in a Uni year (2 at xmas, 2 at Easter, 3 in the summer), and there will be a few study weeks in there. but you need those to study! At all other times you'll either be at Uni 30ish hours a week, or on placement doing long days, long nights, weekends etc.

I was 40 when I started my degree, and wasn't the oldest on my course by about a decade. The drop out rate in midwifery is very high, and you need to give yourself the best chance possible of completing. Honestly, I couldn;t have done it without my kids being in f/t school. Even then it cost me a fortune in holiday childcare. And there's no Bursary any more, so you'll be running up a huge debt in Student Loands to study.

Maybe think about it, plan your course of action and go for it in a few years time. Midwifery is ridiculously competitive, so you'll need some good grades at Access (if you don't have recent, very good A levels) in order to qualify, along with lots of volunteering experience. When my kids were wee I focused on getting all the experience that'd make me a brilliant candidate when the time came to apply for Midwifery. It worked and i got an Unconditional offer for my first choice Uni on my first application.

Good luck!

Placeboooooooo Sat 13-Jan-18 08:57:45

I’ve got good A levels, although 6 or so years ago.
I got a B in biology, A in history and an A in English language so hopefully that will still hold me in good stead in the future.

Thank you all for helping me make my mind up.

ClaudiaD13 Sat 13-Jan-18 10:12:47

You would probably still have to do some sort of access course. I had good A levels, but because I hadn't studied for 10 years I was told I would need recent study before I was accepted. I managed to get onto a degree program that had a foundation year.

blurredlines Sat 13-Jan-18 10:25:12

I really want to go uni and do something similar but I have no one to help with childcare so I'm stuck in a shit job for the next 10 years . It's pisses me off thinking about it.

leghoul Sat 13-Jan-18 10:33:25

If there's a will there's usually a way. It might take longer or be more difficult but I think if it's what you really want to do you should try it. Yes it will be incredibly tough due to the logistics but you might be able to make it work somehow, wraparound childcare with a childminder for instance, condensing hours into 3 days a week, doing weekends when someone else can have your child. etc etc. Befriending people with children who can help out and like having your child around anyway. Very hard so much harder than most students would have it but it's doable.

leghoul Sat 13-Jan-18 10:34:22

(I say this as someone who took forever to complete my horrible hours degree as a single parent with no help from family)

SlowlyShrinking Sat 13-Jan-18 10:40:51

Have you been able to do any volunteering on a labour ward op? I’m just suggesting it because when I was on an access to nursing/midwifery course, there was only one person who managed to get a place on a midwifery course, and she had been volunteering for a while. There were several others who didn’t get an offer, even though they had excellent grades on the access, were in their 30s, and had several children each. If you’re not in a position to do the degree now, see if you can volunteer for a while then you’ll be in a better position when you come to apply. Good luck!

PonderLand Sat 13-Jan-18 10:42:39

If you really have no childcare then I think you should wait until their in secondary school.

My mum started her nursing degree when me and my brother were 13-15. I don't think she'd of managed when we were younger as my dad worked away and she worked only weekends, all our grandparents were dead and my parents had no friends to help. When we were in our teens we could let ourselves in after school, wake ourselves up etc and she could get on with her work at home without us distracting her. When she qualified she could do Xmas/weekends/late/long days & nights without having to worry about us.

SlowlyShrinking Sat 13-Jan-18 10:45:07

Do you also have maths English and science at gcse op? I think that may be required now too! Check entry requirements on university websites. Also, the uni I went to (I did nursing) had a different way of allocating holidays from the other local unis, which worked out that we had a lot of time off at Christmas, summer and Easter. It was still the same oversell theory and practice hours (you have to do a certain amount to pass) but might be better for you, if you have something similar in your area

keepingbees Sat 13-Jan-18 10:45:18

I'd love to do midwifery too but I just can't see a way. I've no family support whatsoever, DH works 10 hours a day and hours aren't flexible. I have 3 children, youngest starts school this year. Even if I could get through uni with wraparound care I can't see how I would manage the unsociable hours and shift work once qualified. I've no one to cover for me at home, like days when the kids are off sick. Youngest has some health problems which means she's ill a lot too. I chatted about it to the midwives when I was pregnant and they were all encouraging and said about the variety of ages going to uni, but they all seemed to rely on family support themselves.
Following this thread to see if there is a way!
I do agree with what others have said about you being young and it might be easier in the future once your children are older.

lostmyfeckingkeysagain Sat 13-Jan-18 10:45:50

Surely wrap around care with a local childminder wouldn't cost much? You'll be off from studies during school holidays on the whole too.

Student nurses and midwives have to cover a full range of shifts including early, late and night shifts so would be more than standard wraparound care. Also holidays will not be nearly as long as school hols and OP will still have to study, write assignments etc. I would have found it very difficult without family support to be honest.

Paleshelter Sat 13-Jan-18 10:51:52

Well done OP on wanting to study. Just to say the I'm a long term qualified nurse so haven't been to Uni recently but remember that student nurses and midwives dont get the same holidays as regular students as you have to do placements and these can last for a couple of months. You will need reliable childcare, also we work 12 hour shifts in my place doing days and nights. Good luck with whatever you decide to do flowers

hattiehollow Sat 13-Jan-18 11:08:32

If you can’t manage the childcare during your degree, how on earth will you manage it when you’re qualified, working shifts or on call? I don’t think it’s a job for people with children and little support.

PinguForPresident Sun 14-Jan-18 21:20:40

Just wanted to say that your A Levels are not recent enough for Midwifery. You have to have Level 3 (A LEVEL) or above study within the last 5 years. Some institutions want more recent than the last 5 years. You will need to do an Access course or similar before you can apply for Midwifery.

Polarbearflavour Sun 14-Jan-18 22:29:05

I did nursing and that was bad enough - without kids! I did it when it was free and I got a bursary.

TBH, I wouldn’t advise anybody to do a healthcare degree these days. You are looking at 50k of student loans, essentially working as an unpaid healthcare assistant for much of the placements - for a hard, physical, soul destroying job on qualification that pays £22k a year...

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