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Masters then baby or baby then masters? Argh decisions!

(23 Posts)
shivermekimbers Tue 03-Jun-14 20:33:39

I've always wanted to go back to uni to do a masters and I'm in a situation now where finally the timing is right. I can just about scale together the fees and I work part-time in a job that is flexible so I can work it around my masters. But the conditions that make it an ideal time also make it a good time to TTC and I'm so keen to start! Originally I was planning to start the masters this Sept then TTC towards the end but I want to make use of my masters and start applying for better jobs. It's related to my current line of work but would allow me to specialise in a particular area of interest whereas I'm more of a generalist now. Basically I'm worried that if I have a child afterwards I won't be able to apply for new work and it'll be at least a year until I can. So now I'm thinking of deferring for a year to start in 2015 and TTC now. If I'm lucky and get a BFP within the next 6 months I could start my Masters in my mat leave then return to work while finishing it and then apply for new jobs straight after graduating. I am lucky enough to have an incredibly supportive DP who is self-employed so childcare while I study won't be a problem.

I'm almost 30 so don't want to leave TTC too late.

Universal Tue 03-Jun-14 20:38:58

For me? Baby. You'll be able to study at a later date. I'm 40 and every one of my friends wish we would have had children earlier.

museumum Tue 03-Jun-14 20:47:44

I think you need to think about how you want your child's first few years to be. For me with my son 9 months now it is a time when I have needed my work to not really be stretching me. I have a masters and a pgdip and am self employed but right now I am working in my comfort zone and wouldn't have any spare emotional energy for big challenges like a new client/job or challenging study.
Personally I would probably start the masters then start TTc a few months in with the hope to be due just after graduation, take mat leave, then be applying for new jobs after mat leave.

museumum Tue 03-Jun-14 20:48:37

If you were nearly 40 though I'd agree with the previous poster but I think the difference between 30 and 31/32 isn't that big.

cookiefiend Tue 03-Jun-14 20:54:00

Hmm... I agree to an extent with universal. If you do the masters then get the new job will you then want to ttc immediately? Will you end up putting it off for too long?

I was in the exact same position, but started the masters and it worked out for me. Started masters sept, got pregnant December (first try- nit that easy for everyone I know) had baby September- submitted dissertation two weeks later.(whoops) Now she is eight months I am applying for the job. Of course some people are unwell whilst pregnant and it was a hard slog, but I am glad now as studying around her would be hard (though not impossible).

Good luck- hope it all works out.

Secretsquirrel13 Tue 03-Jun-14 21:08:44

You are still young. Do the masters then get several years of your new career out if the way then have a baby.

melissa83 Tue 03-Jun-14 21:12:11

If it was me I would just start the masters, have the baby and then go back really quick. If you do it that way you can do both at same time.

shivermekimbers Tue 03-Jun-14 21:14:27

Thanks everybody. I'm still really torn but it's so helpful to hear outside opinions in the midst of my overthinking

melissa83 Tue 03-Jun-14 21:16:43

You only have to take 2 weeks off university and its so much easier doing that than trying to arrange it when working. No gaps on your cv etc.

RhondaJean Tue 03-Jun-14 21:17:58

I would (have) done both.

Life is too short, honestly, go for it.

m33r Tue 03-Jun-14 21:19:21

I love my job and am - and always have been - very career minded. I have a great job. I'm 30. We've been ttc for 19months. If I could go back... Right now because of the hideous roller coaster I'm on, I'd emotionally say get making babies. But really, deep down... As previous poster said, even if it takes you two years to conceive, you'd only be 33-ish. BUT you will not apply for certain jobs because you'll worry about your reputation or getting mat leave or this or that or this or that...

I guess you need to follow your instincts. You are unlikely to regret either decision.

Good luck!!!

Universal Tue 03-Jun-14 21:19:59

It's a tough one as so many life events happen when you don't expect them to. Whatever happens I assure you that you will cope, love the decision you made and wouldn't have it any other way. You sound like you are a thinker, a planner and an organiser and that will make you a fabulous mum with room to do what you want as a person too.

Blithereens Tue 03-Jun-14 21:22:10

I'm in this position too! I've decided to do the MA so as not to lose funding, and also when we have DC we will want to move. But we will TTC during the MA as I'm 33 and can hear the clock ticking!

melissa83 Tue 03-Jun-14 21:25:17

Im starting my ma in sept then having a baby 6 weeks later, taking 2 weeks off then in 3 full days a week, going up to full time. I did the same on my BA and took under 2 weeks off and straight back in. It doesnt bother me really as its so easy compared to working.

findingherfeet Tue 03-Jun-14 21:26:36

Masters first. Having a baby is life changing, exhausting and expensive as is study of course but you might find with the pressures of having a young family to care for finically and time wise you forgo your educational plans and 'potentially' regret or begrudge the decision.

As someone else said TTC can take longer than expected so don't put life on hold. I wanted a baby the moment I finished my degree but it didn't happen, It took a year to conceive but actually this was far better as I had been in my new job for a year, was settled and eligible for maternity pay.

Parietal Tue 03-Jun-14 21:36:17

i'd say masters first. like a previous poster, I found TTC can take a while and it really isn't worth putting everything on hold for that. go ahead with masters now while you have the energy, and then let the baby happen when it happens.

melissa83 Tue 03-Jun-14 21:38:28

It depends how many you want. I have spaced mine outso far so can still work with a few children. If you wait too long and want a few then you will have to have them in quick succession and its harder on your career ime.

SirChenjin Tue 03-Jun-14 21:43:02

Masters, build your career, enjoy your income, have babies. You will be in a much stronger position to negotiate with your employer re flexible working etc etc etc if you have your qualifications and some experience behind you.

Trying to combine studying and then building a career when you're expected to put in the hours with a baby is difficult.

HuglessDouglas Tue 03-Jun-14 21:49:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dollybird86 Tue 03-Jun-14 23:17:50

Having a small baby and doing a masters at the same time would be incredibly difficult they are both stressful and time consuming I currently have a small baby my best friend is doing her masters we are both tried drained and stressed for very different reasons.

But if you have to choose I'd pick a baby if it's something you really want I don't think it's worth risking putting it on hold for a career but I have a crap job!

Pisghetti Tue 03-Jun-14 23:35:05

I found out I was pregnant with DS on the second year of my degree so took a year out and went back for my final year when he was six months. I had to work 20hrs a week to afford childcare and had a 'proper' full time degree (25 lecture hours a week plus study and homework done during the day i.e. 9-5 days at Uni) so time spent with my baby was just for him). It was doable and now we're thinking about TTC I'm considering coinciding a masters with maternity leave. I am fully aware that DS being a good sleeper from an early age helped enormously and I may well get bitten in the arse but you never know how long it will take to conceive and small babies do sleep A LOT.

whereisshe Tue 03-Jun-14 23:42:52

I did my masters first, but then I was in no rush to have kids (no ticking clock feeling) and I wanted my career to be firmly established before taking mat leave. I'm glad I did, it worked for me and I'm paranoid about career stagnation after watching it happen to my dad.

shivermekimbers Wed 04-Jun-14 08:33:21

Thanks again for all your lovely comments. In an ideal world I'd have done the masters a couple of years ago but could never afford it. I think I'm leaning towards getting the masters first but TTC during it. Including dissertation submission that takes me to next September but no reason I can't start TTC from January and see how it goes.

Being really bored in my current job isn't helping. I need to move it up a level which the matters should help with. It's in a fast-growing and in-demand area. But the idea of taking mat leave earlier and studying during part of it is very tempting just to escape sooner! Although like lots of you have said, I'm not sure how realistic studying with a baby is even with a supportive partner.

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