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TTC when I'm a full time MA student?

(41 Posts)
tattyteddy Sat 17-Aug-13 20:46:55

Was just hoping for advice or if anyone has been in a similar position....

I'm in my first year of doing a full time MA social Work degree and I'm due to finish the first year this Octomber. I've got one DD aged 2 but I would love to try for and have another DC, but I'm now 36 and I feel time is running out. I was thinking that, if possible, I could TTC and have DC2 as I'm finishing/finished course which will be oct 2014.

My worries are that just because first pregnancy went fine doesn't mean I'm going to have a similar one again and I'll be on placement from may to oct 2014 so need to be all singing all dancing!

Has anyone been in a similar position, did it work out well or is it a daft plan? Xxx

crazyhead Sat 17-Aug-13 21:54:01

My situation isn't the same but there are some parallels. I am also 36. I have been pregnant this year (now nearly 7 months) with no. 2 with a really full on job and during absolutely all-consuming house renovations - we bought a semi-habitable house. I have been more ill this time round, largely due to catching every single cold/diarrhoea episode my toddler gets due to my preggo immune system.

I won't lie, it hasn't been easy, and I have had moments of feeling utterly overwhelmed. However, my feeling was that it was best just to go for it due to age. Even when I got preg straight away - disproving my age anxiety! and then endured 3 months morning sickness with builders and brick dust everywhere I have never regretted the decision.

So... I think it is really to do with whether you'd rather risk a tough year or face the worry over the course of the year of not starting ttc - people are different. You can't predict how long it will take you or how hard the pg will be but I think you should just go with your gut instinct on this one.

anyname2011 Sat 17-Aug-13 23:17:42

will come back to this later - but I got preg towards end of social work course and uni didn't let me do placement. the dates were very tight and they let finding the right placement slide until it got to the point were I couldnt' start placement as wouldn't have finished in time.

am now finishing placement with toddler in tow a year after my classmates. would have been easier if i had waited - as several of them did! - but then i wouldn't have my lovely girl. maybe would have a different baby, but not this one!

tattyteddy Sun 18-Aug-13 20:21:43

Sorry Crazy and Anyname I've been out all day today and this is the first chance I've had to get back to MN but thank you for your messages.

I think you're saying what I've been thinking that it may be a really tough year, but that might be better than always thinking about TTC. A lot of people who had DD at the same time as me are either pregnant now are have had DC2 and it makes me feel a little sad. If it wasn't for being on the course I would have probably TTC again at the beginning of this year. I sometimes think that if you were to wait for the right time, you'd be waiting for ever!

Anyname, I thought perhaps starting to TTC when there would be at least a month between finishing and having second DC, if it happened very quickly. Were your uni not very helpful? Perhaps I shouldn't say anything until I've started placement? anyway if i was lucky enough to get pregnant quickly i would normally keep it to myself until 12 week scan at least.

cupoftchai Sun 18-Aug-13 21:19:10

My uni were spectacularly unhelpful! I'm the poster immediately above, I namechanged. I would advise if u do go for it give yourself at least a couple of months, if not much more.
I told them I was preg early because I needed to go out on placement on time, if not early if poss. They however seemed completely unsupportive of idea of me going out on placement even surprised that I just didn't want to drop out. They also didn't have the guts to say they weren't going to find me a placement, just strung me along until I had no option but to take a suspension from the course. Am still a bit annoyed!

cupoftchai Sun 18-Aug-13 21:22:33

I kept very well and healthy throughout the preg and would have been able for the workload. But I wasn't given the choice to do it! Placement is unpredictable and not like a job. There are delays with starting which we as students have very little control over. When u r preg u r tied to a very tight timetable!

cupoftchai Sun 18-Aug-13 21:26:07

Maybe a compromise. My placement is 4 months long, yours? What about starting ttc just a month before placement starts, so u couldn't run up against deadlines. We assumed it would take 6 months to conceive but knocked up very first month- dh complained he was cheated! Not to be insensitive to those struggling, but it was a bit of a surprise. I feel dd was both planned and unplanned, iykwim

tattyteddy Sun 18-Aug-13 21:28:04

Thanks Chai, I'll make sure I give it least a couple of months. I'm not surprised you're annoyed with uni, if I do get pregnant whilst on the course I don't thing I'll be in super rush to tell them! I'm not surprised you're a bit annoyed they should have been more supporting and pulled their finger out sorting you out a placement! Do you finish your placement soon?

tattyteddy Sun 18-Aug-13 22:15:31

Mine is 5 months long Chai, 100 days. I'm on placement now and due to finish in oct 2013 and then on placement for another 100 days from may next year. If I wasn't 36 already I'd think I'd wait until I'd finished the MA, but I'm sure my biological clock is ticking louder and louder! I had a very healthy pregnancy with DD and she was two weeks late!

I think my Uni is good at finding placements, where the only Uni were I'm regionally that does placements from may to oct so I think that helps. In the back of my head I'm
Thinking that there is no guarantee that'll find a job quickly after qualifying so that might be good time?

SellbyDate Mon 19-Aug-13 18:26:32

Hi tattyteddy I have been in EXACTLY the same position as you. Am doing the same course and am the same age.

I dont have any other DC though. I am just about to have a baby and my Uni have been absolutely fantastic and supportive. I feel a bit guilty i think for starting the course knowing that I was TTC. It was a hard decision but I didn't want to put my life on hold and wasn't expecting to conceive so easily.

Have you got a good, positive tutor? Mine is ace, my head of course is ace. They have expectations that I will finish the course successfully and a 'don't worry you'll do it attitude'

I'm having a year out having completed my 1st placement a month ago. My P.E has said that he feels that the year out and parenting will be good for me too.

I am absolutely daunted by the thought of my 100 day second year placement with an 18 month year old child but one way or another, i will do it.

The uni can't discriminate against you and ought to be positive and supportive. What has inspired me that it is doable is that there are other parents on the course who manage really well, better than us non parents.

Stick at it and you will finish! just think of the opportunities at the end, the hard work and immense amount of juggling will be worth it smile

SellbyDate Mon 19-Aug-13 18:29:46

If it helps, I really feel that placement and work deadlines for my PLO100 were a lot more manageable than my previous work load in a statutory non- qualified role would have been. So if you are worried about being pregnant, if anything it's probably easier. you will have a smaller caseload.

A colleague managed to get all her work summaries etc completed during work time as she was uber efficient!

SellbyDate Mon 19-Aug-13 18:31:30

How have you managed your 1st placement with a two year old? (shamelessly looking for tips!)

tattyteddy Mon 19-Aug-13 19:52:13

Hi Sellby, that's a bit spooky! I'm glad to hear that uni have been really helpful with you. In the back of my head I've thought I'd start trying for DC2 sometime soon, perhaps whilst I was doing MA. But you're right it could take time and I didn't want to put things on hold either.

My tutor is absolutely lovely, I can imagine that she would be very supportive and helpful. I think I would perhaps hang fire in telling anyone, if there was anything to tell, until i was safely on placement.

To be honest, this time around at uni has been better. Having a toddler has made me by much more organized than I've been before, and I try not to leave things until the last minute. I think you'll be fine on your second placement - I'm also finding the placement easier than the bit at uni because once you've finished for the day that's it.

Thanks also for the vote of confidence I'm really enjoying the course and wondering why i didn't do it years ago! I've got about 6 weeks left on my first year 100 day placement and really enjoyed it. I think I will try and finish my placement uni report in plenty of time.

The best tip i have for the course and toddler is being really organised and giving yourself lots of time to complete work. It's really sad but I bought myself a whiteboard, diary and notebook to make sure I remembered what i needed to do. Also having a supportive DH helps a lot too and the nursery my DD is at is great. xx

SellbyDate Mon 19-Aug-13 20:44:33

Thanks tt. I really honestly think you don't have to share your plans to try and conceive. It is a very private thing, the timing etc has to suit you and your family. You will get exactly the same employment rights etc but i'd check out your rights to maternity allowance too. (if you need it) I deliberately carried on with my part time work so i could qualify. I also told Uni at 8 weeks because I am anal and need to plan ahead massively in order not to spin into anxiety wanted to be open and know what I would/wouldn't be able to achieve.

I actually feel a bit guilty for being so calculated to be honest but my job was so horrendous don't think i would have conceived with all the stress I was under.

TBH I am planning to get into work for about 3 months post qualifying before trying for number two if everything goes well! Again, feel a bit guilty.

White board sounds like a great idea. I keep a list paper clpped inside my diary and have a tick - off of what i've completed every week. (V.sad too but helps) How old was your DC when you went on placement ? Did you get financial support for childcare?

Sorry you are going to regret starting this ha ha!

tattyteddy Mon 19-Aug-13 21:38:57

No worries Sellby, my dd was 2.2 when I started placement and to be honest it's been fine. I wouldn't feel guilty, u have to do what's best for you!

I got a bursary and the tuition fees paid for by the NHS but we didn't qualify for help with child care because my husband has a goodish job. A few of the other girls on the course got help with child care costs and they say it really helps. Money is a bit tight for us but I'm looking forward to being qualified and working again.

Feel free to PM me too if I can help at all. Xx

SellbyDate Tue 20-Aug-13 06:25:11

Ah thanks TT. I've got a feeling that i'll be in the same position as you. I think his earnings just exceed the threshold.

All the best for the last few weeks of your placement. E

k2402 Tue 20-Aug-13 14:44:05

Hello all smile.

I'm in the same position, I'm completing my Hons this year in (funnily enough) social work!! My placement is also a long one - start sept '13 - april/may '14. I'm currently TTC (kind of), off the pill and swallowing every vit going! I think it would be brilliant - having something positive to look forward to when placement has its tough times (wishful thinking?). So glad to see I'm not the only person on this boat! Would be good to touch with you guys, and really really wish you all the best on your final placement!


cupoftchai Tue 20-Aug-13 20:46:04

Hi all.
It's really funny to find others in the same / similar positions! I went back to do this final placement after my 'mat leave' when dd was almost 12months. Only a few weeks left to go now! We got bursary and help with childcare. I'm now applying for jobs and trying to work out whether to go job share or full time. What do u all think about that, or r u thinking of yet?

tattyteddy Tue 20-Aug-13 20:46:25

Hi K2402, that is definitely spooky, another person TTC whilst doing social work! You're right I think it would be nice to be pregnant whilst being on the course. Best of luck to you too and feel free to PM me anytime! Also whereabouts in the country are you and Sellby? Xx

cupoftchai Tue 20-Aug-13 20:48:30

Also, is there something about social work and broodiness?!

tattyteddy Tue 20-Aug-13 20:49:21

Sorry Chai, didn't see your post. I'm not thought too much about job at the moment. I think ideally I'd like to go part time, but I'll have to see what's out there when I start applying next year. X

tattyteddy Tue 20-Aug-13 20:52:25

I've just been thinking that too. Perhaps it because people sometimes go into social work when they are a little bit older??

cupoftchai Tue 20-Aug-13 20:58:53

I guess so. Especially with the post grad course. For me I just couldn't wait any longer! Am well impressed, tt,u doing the whole lot with a little one.

tattyteddy Tue 20-Aug-13 21:12:28

Thanks Chai, I'm proper swotty now. I think when I've been at Uni before, I've put things off to the last minute but now I'm loads more organised and work when I should be! Xx

SellbyDate Wed 21-Aug-13 12:05:17

Hi, I'm in the east Midlands tt. Chai, if i were you i'd definitely go job share if you have children under school age. There are also part time contracts available. The realities of practice are that you will be working late a lot and taking work home anyway. Are you looking to go in to CP?

Yeah, I'm really optimistic that I will be able to do it actually! The only thing that worries me is whether i'll be eligible for childcare bursary. Do you know what the income threshold is for that at all?

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