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To think it must be impossible to do a degree and have a child?

(130 Posts)
ALittleCrisp Fri 18-Jan-19 18:54:43

DC would be around 2.5/3 years old when I would start my university degree.

But, due to the nature of the degree, childcare is then made impossible.

I don't have family locally to help out. No chance of moving back nearer to my hometown etc.

So the only thing I could do is rely on a childminder or nursery. But that doesn't work for night shift placements, and it doesn't work practically because the days and times I need the childcare in place would change weekly!

How on earth do people do this with children?

Small children sad

AIBU to say it's near on impossible without a great support network.

Bamchic Fri 18-Jan-19 19:00:10

A girl on my course did, she was 20 when she started and her DC’s were 4.5, 2 and 4 months she also fell PG with DC4 at uni.
Are you thinking about nursing?
Most courses say you need to only do a total of 12 night shifts over 3 years.
Do you have a part time option

Norma27 Fri 18-Jan-19 19:02:16

I think it depends what diet of degree. Nursing where you have to do lots of placements it would be very difficult.
Humanities which you could have known lectures and childcare needs would be more manageable from a practical point.

Bambamber Fri 18-Jan-19 19:05:22

Have a look around at nurseries. The nursery my daughter used to attend was next to a hospital and was commonly used by shift workers. You could book different childcare hours on a weekly basis, just needed to give a minimum of a weeks notice to let them know what hours you needed. That doesn't help for night shifts though, although depending on how many you were doing you could find a decent babysitter

DrFangsWillSeeYouNow Fri 18-Jan-19 19:10:38

in my opinion it is much harder once you have children to think of and look after and it is not just the childcare, it's when they are ill and the regular childminder can't take them, when they haven't slept or going through a nightmarish phase. BUUUUUT it is do-able.

I did a degree before children and second degree after children. no comparison whatsoever even though it was along the same lines and related to the first.

The stress of parenting plus exams nearly broke me down. You have to be highly motivated, highly resilient, highly ambitious and organised.

ALittleCrisp Fri 18-Jan-19 19:10:58

It's a Midwifery degree.

Every nursery I've come across from looking around doesn't accommodate random and changing shift patterns sad

Sexnotgender Fri 18-Jan-19 19:11:50

I started university when my daughter started primary school. Got a first class mathematics degree, definitely doable.

WeaselsRising Fri 18-Jan-19 19:12:45

Where is DC's father?

I did my degree as a mature student. My DC were 2, 4, 6 and 7 when I started. I worked 20 hours a week at a call centre and Saturday evenings waitressing at the same time.

DH took the DC out all day Sundays so I could get my essays done in peace, and we worked around the DC. He works nights; we couldn't have done it if he was 9-5. My days at Uni/work changed at the start of every year. Why will yours change weekly?

It isn't impossible. It is just very hard work. Do you not know other mums you could do child swap with? My friend used to have my DD on a Wednesday morning while I went to college then I'd have her DD on a Thursday morning while she went to a class.

DrFangsWillSeeYouNow Fri 18-Jan-19 19:13:43

YANBU to say it is nearly impossible.

and if it is in medicine, midwifery, nursing then even after your degree the type of work will be unsociable hours.

You really need a strong support network for a degree (with the dreaded frequent deadlines) or shift work along 24/7days in general. The people I knew who did a nursing degree as mums had their own mums plus a partner plus inlaws and friends and neighbours to help out.. in addition to the regular childminder.

Greenglassteacup Fri 18-Jan-19 19:14:32

It’ll be the same after you qualify OP as well, shifts, nights. It’s hard with kids

ALittleCrisp Fri 18-Jan-19 19:16:16

Sex Mathematics degrees don't have night shifts or late shifts at awkward starts and finishes

Weas DH works 9-5.30, in London. He's working towards a specific level within his field and couldn't just quit his job

My days at Uni/work changed at the start of every year. Why will yours change weekly?

I've been told they often do, as you are shadowing your mentor and work alongside her and whatever her hours may be

ChanklyBore Fri 18-Jan-19 19:16:40

YABU to say its impossible. YANBU to say you are finding it difficult/hard/impossible. But I know plenty of people who have done it, myself included. My DC under 3 when I began, no family, and single parent.

BejamNostalgia Fri 18-Jan-19 19:16:57

Do you have room for an au pair? How about a nanny share? Potentially you could try and share one with another medical professional or student parent also working shifts.

I also recommend seeing if the teaching hospital you want to go to has a nursery attached. Have you approached the university that you want to attend and asked them if they can offer any support?

whyhaveidonethis Fri 18-Jan-19 19:17:09

YABU. I worked full time (37 hours a week) and got pregnant and gave birth twice while doing my degree. It was hard but I managed it, even though I did have to breastfeed whilst doing presentations etc!!

Ohhgreat Fri 18-Jan-19 19:17:20

I did it - no spousal support either. Hard but worth it. It was science tho not midwifery, I think the issue is the type of degree not the degree itself

ALittleCrisp Fri 18-Jan-19 19:18:22

Chankly So how did you work around night shifts as a single parent? Who had your young children? How did you work around random starts and finishes, and no ability to fall back on family? What happened when your hours changed all the time?

Camomila Fri 18-Jan-19 19:19:05

I'm doing an MSc with a toddler but he goes to nursery and my DM helps as well. DH is supportive and is taking annual leave all next week so I can go to stuff. No shifts though.
A friend is in her 3rd year of nursing (so shifts) and she also relies on nursery plus a DM and DP.
I have known one single mum who did shift work...her DD went to a childminders some weekends but she was older, about 8.

I'd guess you need a live in nanny? Unless you have a DP/DH? I guess I'm saying its doable but difficult and you either need family to help or money to buy in help.

Ditto66 Fri 18-Jan-19 19:19:21

I did my first degree when DS was 3. Got a first. I always felt being a parent was an advantage as you have a firm structure to your day. I had a couple of side businesses to pay the nursery fees. (Buying and selling, car boots in those days). No ideas re the shifts bar family/ friends, a lodger if you have space, one of the babysitting / nanny apps. Maybe you could swop favours with a mum friend?

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Fri 18-Jan-19 19:19:23

I'm in my final year of s nursing degree. 2 dcs and no family nearby.

I waited until they were at school and found flexible childminders. But we do end up paying for far more childcare than we use. It's hard, but possible.

ALittleCrisp Fri 18-Jan-19 19:20:09

No room for an au pair, no.

I've had a look at both the potential uni facilities and local hospital. They don't have a childcare facility

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Fri 18-Jan-19 19:20:21

I'm not a single parent btw, but there are some on my course. They simply don't do night shifts.

NotUmbongoUnchained Fri 18-Jan-19 19:20:30

I wanted to do paramedicine, I was a single parent to a baby at the time. But it was tough shit and I had to choose a different degree that I could do whilst raising a baby.

BejamNostalgia Fri 18-Jan-19 19:20:53

You can get about £167 a week towards your costs. With a nanny share, that is potentially do able.

JazzTheDog Fri 18-Jan-19 19:20:54

I started my nursing degree when the kids were 6 and 9. I won't lie that it was very difficult during placement, mostly because it was 12.5 hour shifts so I didn't see much of the kids.

DH would drop them off at the childminder when she opened at 7am and would pick them up when he got home around 6pm (we both commuted 1 hour to city). We paid a higher hourly rate for an 'as required' place rather than set days.

We struggled financially as my entire bursary plus £100 childcare allowance went on childcare. Our relationship struggled also but at the end of the day it was worth it.

BeardofZeus Fri 18-Jan-19 19:21:11

Au pair or nanny share may be your workaround here, perhaps a childminder would be more suited to adhoc days?

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