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AIBU for thinking I can go back to Univeristy (distance learning)

(31 Posts)
Isitbedtimeyet4 Tue 23-Jun-20 12:18:57

Left a degree when I was 19 for many reasons.

Now I’m married and have a 21mo and an 8mo, and am 33 weeks pregnant.

I’ve decided I want to finish my degree (Primary school teaching), I would like to provide a better life for my husband and my children.

The course starts in October, so I’ll have a just turned 2yo, just turned 1yo and a two month old, I will be returning back to work in June/July next year as well.
I’m aware it’s going to be a lot having three young children, working, completing a degree and trying to keep the house running and in a somewhat presentable condition 😂 but AIBU in going for it?
It will benefit us so much in the long term, allow us to buy a bigger house, won’t have to worry about childcare in the holidays, will have more disposable income to allow the children to do whatever activities they wish to.

My husband doesn’t seem very enthusiastic, honestly I think he’s just thinking about the short term hassle rather than the long term benefit. He hasn’t said anything about me not doing it, but it’s made me wonder if I’m being silly/taking on too much?

The degree will of course be part time, will be finished when youngest turns 4.

OP’s posts: |
AriettyHomily Tue 23-Jun-20 12:23:11

Wow I admire your optimism. I think it will be a complete and utter nightmare. Will you put the children in childcare so you can study? What about the weeks you do in school? IT will be impossible to study with small kids around,

Could you wait a couple of years and at least have the kids in school?

cabinfever2 Tue 23-Jun-20 12:24:53

Not impossible. I went to uni when my youngest was 14 months and came out with a first . I left school with 0 GCSE's and didn't think I'd ever achieve uni . Go for it. As long as you have a good support network in place you can do it smile

FishOnPillows Tue 23-Jun-20 12:25:08

So much will depend on your own circumstances. And tbh how supportive your DH is.

I was studying physics distance-learning, but stopped after I had DC2. My last module started when she was 4 weeks old, and the combination of a toddler, newborn, and having to do everything around the house just meant I found it impossible. Ex-DH was far from supportive though - he did nothing around the house and no childcare.

If you do go ahead, I’d definitely try and get your DH on side first.

DrivingMissHazy Tue 23-Jun-20 12:25:21

I did a part time degree when older and working full time. It was extra work but very 'do-able' (not too hard) but then...

- I wfh and so found it easy to switch between work and study during breaks, such as lunchtime
- I don't have kids
- I have help in the home from other adults who live here
- I find academia relatively easy

Still, I had plenty of spare time on top of working and studying so could have fitted more in.

There were people on my course with children, including babies and who worked. It required absolutely precision in time management and planning - often witb study happening in the late evening hours after the kids had gone to bed. The thing was, they all had supportive partners. Your OH is going to have to pick up at least 50% of the home/child care outside of work times. If not more. Only you know if he is likely to do that...

LadyPrigsbottom Tue 23-Jun-20 12:26:35

Will you have childcare for all the dcs?

I started an online degree this year and was loving it until lockdown and homeschooling started and I realised I couldn't realistically keep it up. The problem with it was that there were time limited pieces of work to complete and I needed ti didn't approximately 16 hours a week, which I just didn't have spare. I have a 5yo and a 2yo FWIW. I do think the stress and weirdness at the start if lockdown had something to do with my decision too though. I wanted to spend my spare time relaxing tbh (lazy me)! Also, my degree was set to take 6 years in total and was going to be expensive and long winded. So probably quite a different scenario.

Funnily enough, I now want to do some work experience and then do my PGCE to become a primary teacher! I already have a degree, but was trying another subject.

LadyPrigsbottom Tue 23-Jun-20 12:27:26

Wow excuse typos!!

Isitbedtimeyet4 Tue 23-Jun-20 12:33:23

There will be no time in a school, the degree is completely distanced from home.
I’m planning on doing most of it in the evenings after my DCs have gone to bed, my husbands days off and also (covid permitting) in the days they spend with their grandparents.
I don’t think my husband will be unsupportive, he’s naturally overly supportive most of the time, I think he just can’t see it working at the moment. He’s already said he’ll do whatever I need.
My children will have childcare when I go back to work, but not for when I complete Univeristy work.

OP’s posts: |
Hillarious Tue 23-Jun-20 12:34:52

I’m aware it’s going to be a lot having three young children, working, completing a degree and trying to keep the house running and in a somewhat presentable condition 😂 but AIBU in going for it?

Whatever you do, it's not all down to you to look after the children and run the home. Until these aspects of life are seen as the joint responsibility of you and your partner (assuming your partner is male), women will get nowhere.

A neighbour (mid 40s) put in her post on a local Facebook group - "Ladies, my cleaner is looking for more work . . ." My initial thought was, "is it only women who need cleaners?"

Isitbedtimeyet4 Tue 23-Jun-20 12:38:47

I completely agree, if anything my husband does more housework than me when he’s home at the moment because I’m exhausted by the time he gets home (the joys of the third trimester 😂), but all of these things will still partly be my responsibility, even if not 100%, so they have to be factored in to my decision I think

OP’s posts: |
LadyPrigsbottom Tue 23-Jun-20 12:40:42

Can you check what would happen to your fees if you had to pull out? I found that I lost money, which was not great.

I think it depends on your baby as well. Neither of mine slept through the night for a good while and both cluster fed in the evenings, so I don't think they went to bed in the evenings till they were older.

Could you wait till next year and then your baby might be sleeping through, (or at least you'd have a good idea of what sort of personality and sleeping habits she / he has), your toddler might be at nursery and maybe your 8mo would be too by then?

I don't see any harm in trying if you wouldn't lose any money if you then backed out, but otherwise, I'd be wary.

My sil is a very organised super mum type and she found three very young ones very hard going. She did have a harder time with her third though, as she had eczema and just didn't sleep well, so again that depends on your baby and other dcs.

LellyMcKelly Tue 23-Jun-20 12:41:56

Go for it! If this was a man asking nobody would bat an eyelid.people with young kids do degrees all the time and having your own kids will help prepare you for your career and give you some insight into their lives. I think it’s a great idea.

LadyPrigsbottom Tue 23-Jun-20 12:43:51

Wouldn't they bat an eyelid? If he was taking parental leave with no childcare and would have a 2mo, a 1yo and a 2yo? I think they probably would say it might not be the best idea right now...

Could you arrange child care if you wanted to though op? How many hours study is it a week?

Isitbedtimeyet4 Tue 23-Jun-20 12:51:19

Oh I’ll look into backing out just in case! It would be 16-18 hours a week study, and I’ll be working 20-25 hours when I go back, the DCs go to bed at 7pm and me and DH go to bed at 11pm (obviously different for youngest).
I could arrange extra childcare if it became a big problem, would have to waiting list for our childminder though and it would be as/when a space becomes available.

OP’s posts: |
Mencho Tue 23-Jun-20 13:00:21

It will be very hard but not impossible. I did a 3 year distance learning MA a few years ago now. My baby was born in the middle of the first year and most of my “study” involved reading on my tablet while sitting on the sofa feeding DC. I went back to work full time when DC was about 10 months old and managed to finish it by studying in my lunch break at work and in the evenings. Give it a go!

MustBeThursday Tue 23-Jun-20 13:00:58

Are you absolutely sure there's no time in a school? I've never known a teaching course (one leading to QTS anyway) to have no placement requirements.

Honestly I think children of those ages and work as well with no childcare out of home would be too much to take on, but only you know how much you/ your DH can cope with.

Wejustdontknow Tue 23-Jun-20 13:03:31

I am 6 months into a open university degree, I currently work 34 hours per week and have two children although they are much older than yours so before Covid were in school. I am doing a history degree, was talked into part time as states 16 hours per week and wish I had gone for full time to complete it quicker, personally I am finding the work quite easy and on average spend around 5 hours per week plus a extra full day in assignment weeks and it is very easily manageable. I used to do more in depth learning around the subject matter when the kids were in school/bed but that has been put on hold during Covid and I am doing the minimum needed for each section. I am also looking at going into teaching as it was what I always wanted to do, I say go for it but would recommend trying to have time in the day as once the kids are in bed you might find your just to tired to study and have it sink in

Isitbedtimeyet4 Tue 23-Jun-20 13:03:58

Oh sorry I meant no time in a Univeristy type school.
Time in an actual school wouldn’t be a problem as I work as a teaching assistant!

OP’s posts: |
Lockdownseperation Tue 23-Jun-20 13:08:24

A 3 year undergrad or post graduate?

How does a distance teaching course work? I did a pgce so very different to a 3 year undergraduate course but I would say see if you can defer a year this as maternity leave. Planning, teaching, marking, parentings evenings and meetings plus uni work on top is a lot.

Whatsthekey Tue 23-Jun-20 13:09:05

Honestly OP i would wait until September 2021. I have a 4 year old and 3 year old and i only went back to studying last year. You have no idea how the newborn will sleep/feed or whether you'll he able to put them down. My younger DC was stuck to me like velcro for the first 9 months and woke up every 2 hours day and night. Your other two are also young and will need constant attention. It may be doable but i think you'll be stretched and may end up constantly exhausted.

Kitsandkids Tue 23-Jun-20 13:12:07

So do you have teaching placements? Like, will you have to be teaching in a school for blocks of 4 weeks or so at a time? Because I would find that hell on earth with 3 kids. I trained as a teacher and found the placements physically and mentally exhausting. Personally I couldn’t have done it with kids but I know lots of people do manage.

Isitbedtimeyet4 Tue 23-Jun-20 13:16:46

It’s an undergrad degree, but not a full one as I had already completed some when I left school and have transferred my credits, this knocked a chunk off the time! I will then do a further year to gain QTS but at that point all three children will be in full time childcare/school.
It looks like IABU in going back now, which makes sense and is totally fair. But I’m so deflated and sad.

OP’s posts: |
Lockdownseperation Tue 23-Jun-20 13:16:47

Does the course lead to qts? Even if it does I can’t imagine any school employing a teacher who hasn’t learnt to teach.

Isitbedtimeyet4 Tue 23-Jun-20 13:17:45

I’ve already explain that I will be doing a further year to gain QTS, I’m aware of that side of everything, I already work in a school.

OP’s posts: |
Lockdownseperation Tue 23-Jun-20 13:23:23

If is just a generic undergrad degree then you should be able to manage some part time learning but only if you have some childcare or your DH is willing to do weekends solo during term time.

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