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Single Parent & Doing A DEGREE?

(26 Posts)
RoseReign Sun 17-May-20 15:19:25

Is it possible? Have I totally lost my mind?

I'm currently 29 years old, my DD is almost 1 (two weeks time). Father not involved, doesn't wish to be.

Supportive family, however we do live alone just me and her.

I'm interested in enrolling onto a Business Management with Human Resources OR Business Management with Marketing degree at my local university centre.

Ok so I don't have the required skills yet. I'd have to complete an access to HE course at my local college and I'd also have to pair that up with a Math GCSE as I didn't complete mine at school.

But I need to sink my teeth into something and start paving out a career for myself so I can provide a decent life for both me and my daughter. The only way to do that is to work on some new skills if I have any chance of earning a decent wage in the future.

Surely I'm not reaching for the stars here?

Has anyone else here attained a degree, landed a wonderful job all with juggling being a lone parent?

Or do I just accept the fact I'll probably be working in bars my entire life.

Inspiration, PLEASE! 😩

OP’s posts: |
momtoolliex Sun 17-May-20 15:29:07

Honestly, university is not as bad as you would think with a child. When you eventually do start university you're usually only in 3 times a week for lectures and seminars, and even that isn't for full days. Meaning if you're comfortable putting your little one in nursery/child minder full time (students get a childcare grant to pay for up to 85% of childcare fees) then you will have those extra couple of days to sit at home and get your work done without being distracted smile

Don't get me wrong it'll be hard but very worth it! I'd say it would be harder if you would have to juggle working alongside it too

HopelesslyExhausted Sun 17-May-20 15:50:39

I'm doing a midwifery degree at the moment with a nearly 3 year old. It's full on and loads of clinical practice hours plus essays and lectures and exams. I'm doing fine and a lot less stressed than I thought I'd be. Go for it, it won't be as hard as you think

Thedogscollar Sun 17-May-20 16:04:48

Definitely 100% do it. I have mentored many midwifery students doing their degree many of them single parents with 2/3 kids. It is possible and what a fantastic role model you will be to your daughter when she is older and sees all that you have achieved.

You said your family is supportive so use that support to help you and your daughter achieve the life you want.

Pleasenodont Sun 17-May-20 16:05:46

I did it with three DC and it was fine. I actually found the degree part easier than the access course.

megletthesecond Sun 17-May-20 16:09:33

You'll be fine if you have family who can help.
I managed three years of OU but ended up dropping out when my DC stopped sleeping and my family moved away. I couldn't juggle it with work.

Batqueen Sun 17-May-20 16:11:40

If you are interested in Human Resources, you could start with a Level 3 HR course or HR apprenticeship - you can get these paid at normal wages. Once you have your first role in HR you will often get sponsored to do your higher level HR qualifications. Similar for marketing.

Look at CIPD for HR and CIM for marketing.

Batqueen Sun 17-May-20 16:13:19

Not trying to dissuade you from uni if that’s what you want btw - just giving you alternatives that let you earn whilst studying and get to experience these careers earlier on in the study process before taking on so much debt

AnathemaPulsifer Sun 17-May-20 16:16:00

I think you’d be better getting an entry level job in HR or marketing if those interest you, and doing professional exams.

IndiaMay Sun 17-May-20 16:24:22

I know someone who got pregnant at 17, had baby at 18 and took a year out. Then went to do a full time distance taught law degree, babies dad wasnt on the scene so she was alone. She also worked full time as a admin assistant in a law firm. She graduated with a 2.1

MushroomTree Sun 17-May-20 16:28:37

I'm in a very similar situation to you. 28, DD is 3, father not around.

I'm retraining in HR by doing my Cipd level 3 diploma online. I've also just started a new role in HR and payroll.

I intend to do my level 5 next. My company is willing to fund it.

I won't lie. It's tough. DD doesn't often nap anymore so all my studying is done in the evenings which you aren't always motivated to do when you've been at work all day but I'm getting there. I'll have completed my level 3 in December having started in November 2019.

Good luck. It'll be worth it in the end.

tinselvestsparklepants Sun 17-May-20 16:30:49

I'm a lecturer. Students like you - super motivated, time limited - usually do very well. There will be support at the uni. In the first instance why not request an informal chat with the person who would be your course leader? Then you can find out more about what it might be like (though it's marking time so do allow them some flexibility in getting back to you.)

Batqueen Sun 17-May-20 16:32:36

Well done @mushroomtree, getting that first role in HR is often half the battle!

MushroomTree Sun 17-May-20 16:38:03

@Batqueen thank you. It took me a good while to get a foot in the door but finally I'm there.

I'm really lucky I'm working for my LA so they're keen on funding training and promoting which, fingers crossed, means I'm going to do well whilst I'm with them.

HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Sun 17-May-20 16:39:14

I'm doing a degree with the OU. I started it when DD was 6, I'll finish when she's 12 as it takes 6 years, although you can do it in the standard 3 if you want. You receive tuition loans etc the same as a standard uni and there is other financial help available including help towards childcare.

The degree itself is manageable but because of studying for it my work role has changed, I've moved into a better one, from £9500 a year to £25000 but with a serious increase in hours which makes the degree tougher.

The bonus of the OU is that it doesn't matter if your child is ill or if your childcare falls through you can still study. It's worth looking into as you wouldn't have to do an access course first.

LemonTT Sun 17-May-20 16:44:27

Not easy to do but it is achievable. Pick your subject well. For example business management will have a lot of accountancy modules. Which are ok if you are good with numbers. But if you are not you might struggle.

ilovehalloumi Sun 17-May-20 16:51:40

I'm a Uni lecturer. Honestly, you can do it. I had a single mum with 2 kids in my class, when she started her youngest was 3 months. She is now working at the university and being sponsored through her masters degree. She is amazing!

Bbang Sun 17-May-20 16:59:05

I’m starting my masters in September, I’ll be a single parent to three 9, 3 and 1.

They will go to their dads (well the youngest two will my eldests dad isn’t bothered with him) who is currently isolating with us but will be in his own place by August/September.

I’m a little nervous because I did my degree with just my eldest so I know logistically it will be difficult and full on with three of them but as someone mentioned above the kiddos are usually great motivation to succeed and be organised.

Only thing I will say is try to make a time table for work/study and stick to it as best you can it really helps with assignments and your own expectations of yourself! There is usually loads of support offered by unis for lone parents also.

insideoutsider Sun 17-May-20 18:00:35

You can certainly do it!
I did mine being a single mom of an infant being an immigrant with no family support, no access to benefits, nothing. They're bigger now and I've done further MScs to change degrees.

The one thing that drove me was knowing that failing was not an option. I didn't have the luxury of time, a supportive partner or an endless pot of money.

Go ahead! I wish you the best.

timetest Sun 17-May-20 18:19:21

You can do it. My daughter discovered she was 7 months pregnant after just embarking on her study year abroad. It was not easy but she graduated last year (with a first) and has gone on to an MPhil.

Flamingofolie Sun 17-May-20 18:22:11

I think you’d be better getting an entry level job in HR or marketing if those interest you, and doing professional exams.

It can be hard to even get the entry level jobs with a relevant degree these days. That's only going to get worse.

Personally I'd ride out the inevitable recession as a student if could.

Northernsoullover Sun 17-May-20 18:24:15

Mine are older but those with babies and toddlers receive help towards childcare and usually put the children in an extra day where they don't have lectures to study. They are doing really well. I'm also time limited which means I'm always ahead of the game with my studying. If I didn't make use of the limited time I had I would procrastinate.

DariaMorgendorffer Sun 17-May-20 18:24:45

Yes, you can do it! I did, with a child of the same age. Hard at times, but I was determined to succeed, and that hunger kept me working through the exhaustion and the tough times. Have a secure job now and it was so worth it.

Best of luck.

Badhairday101 Sun 17-May-20 18:37:18

I did it years ago and it was great, my youngest was under one at the time. I then went on to do a PGCE. It gave me a new lease of life and led on to great things. It honestly is the single biggest factor in changing my life for the better that I ever did.

I hadn’t studied for years but decided to go back to uni last year while working full time in a job I love but is intense. My children are obviously older now but not old enough to look after themselves. I managed though and actually enjoyed it at times and am just about to finish my masters.
Honestly go for it, you’ll be fine.

BertieBotts Sun 17-May-20 18:41:09

Do it! I did it when DS1 was 2. It was amazing. I didn't finish but that wasn't due to being a lone parent, it was due to me being an idiot smile

I did mine part time and that made it easier to juggle.

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