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How do I manage work, 3 dcs and an MA???

(15 Posts)
agnesrose86 Sun 02-Aug-15 20:00:40

Please help, I am so stressed! I have 3 children (5, 3 and 6 months) and I am currently on maternity leave. Before that I was working 4 days per week in a fairly well paid job that was stressful but rewarding. I have been offered a place on a full time MA starting in September with a scholarship to cover the fees which I am really excited about. I would love to just do this course but financially I have to work. I honestly don't know how I am going to manage it all. It feels like a full time job just looking after 3 kids and a house let alone anything else. Has anyone else been in this situation? Have you managed to fit in a job around studying? And if so how much is it realistic to work? I am hoping I might be able to do 2 days if my employer will allow it but that's not guaranteed. I may have to forget about the MA but it would be such a shame to miss out on the scholarship.

ImperialBlether Sun 02-Aug-15 20:02:32

But if it's a full time MA then you're not expected to also work four days per week, are you? Does the MA cover any living expenses?

Don't take on too much. I would stick to either the job or the MA for now.

agnesrose86 Sun 02-Aug-15 20:06:33

Yes I am expected to do 37 hours per week on the MA so if I worked say, 2 days I would also have to do a lot of evening and weekend studying to make up the time. I'm worried my brain will explode. There seems to be very little available in terms of funding for living expenses. I just don't know how people do it! I should say though that I do think this course will really help my career in the longer term.

FurtherSupport Sun 02-Aug-15 20:22:22

I think if you're taking on a f-t course as a mature student you're supposed to either be supported by a DP or have saved to cover your living costs before you start.

I did a degree and worked pt when Dc were 2-4yo but I don't think I could have worked ft. Is it possible to do the course pt?

agnesrose86 Sun 02-Aug-15 20:39:15

I am just talking to my dh about that. I am not sure if it is a condition of my scholarship that I do it full time but I will talk to the university as I think that may be the only solution.

agnesrose86 Sun 02-Aug-15 20:42:06

Furthersupport how many hours a week did you work whilst you did your course? Do you think 16 hrs would be manageable?

FurtherSupport Mon 03-Aug-15 07:09:20

I worked 2 long days and had at least one DC at home during the day on my days off, so all my study was done in the evenings or weekends when DH was home. My course was a distance learning one designed to be pt though.

Wishful80sMontage Mon 03-Aug-15 07:13:04

The financial support for ma students is surprising I think, I'm sure you've looked at the loans they do need paying back as soon as you finish the ma which put me off as I may not get a job that quickly but if your still going to be working some hours might be worth a look?

Duckstar Mon 03-Aug-15 07:22:04

Is there an option to do the MA part-time and keep the scholarship?

Other option would be to see if you could defer for a year or two and save like mad so you could do the MA full time and not have to work.

Honestly, having done a full time MA when I was single and childless. No way I could have combined with 3 children and working on top.

bingandflop Mon 03-Aug-15 08:46:29

You cannot possibly do a ft MA and work and look after 3 kids. If the MA is ft it is going to be really time consuming

agnesrose86 Fri 07-Aug-15 21:26:17

I honestly (deludedly) thought you were all going to tell me it was going to be fine. I am thinking of trying to do 20 hours work, 20 hours on the MA with 2 days (one mid week, one weekend) with the children. Yikes! Either that or find a grant for living expenses or do the MA part time. Non of the options are going to be easy.

AliceInSandwichLand Fri 07-Aug-15 21:32:23

I am doing a part time MA alongside working part time, caring for my very elderly mother and dealing with two adult/near adult children. It has been as much as I can handle, and I could not manage it if my children were little (though you must be much younger than me so maybe more energetic.) When my essays have been due, I have had to neglect everything else and still have struggled to meet deadlines. I have found the MA both more challenging and more fulfilling than I expected, but I do not think it is feasible to do one full time and work and see enough of your children while they are so young; they won't understand about essay deadlines! Part time would be the way to go if at all possible; congratulations on the scholarship.

agnesrose86 Fri 07-Aug-15 22:35:53

Thanks Alice, it's great to hear from someone in a similarish position. Can I ask how many hours you work? Worst case scenario is i don't work enough to really earn much, I do rubbish in my course because I am not focusing on it enough and I am full of guilt all of the time for not being with my children more.

Oly4 Sat 08-Aug-15 15:25:52

I think you should
Try and find a way to make this work. What a shame to waste a great opportunity. Your partner works ft and is a dad on top. You can work, study and be a mum on top.
I have two DCs, am returning to work ft, and want another baby in the next few years. I also want to do a pt MA.
I plan to balance all these aims through paying for as much domestic help as I can afford - cleaning, ironing, mothers help, online grocery shopping etc. if you're organised you can juggle lots of stuff.
I can't split the hours down for you as only you know what you can manage, but the feminist in me definitely says try to maximise your opportunities and don't be hounded by mummy guilt!

AliceInSandwichLand Sat 08-Aug-15 19:49:36

I work typically one long day and two long mornings per week, though it varies. The MA is not many contact hours but lots of reading, but very variable - you will find much less work at the start of each term, when you really only have to do the set reading and attend your lectures or seminars, and an infinitely expandable amount as essays approach (-and I expect even more so for dissertation, though I'm doing that next year). I think guilt and compromise is pretty much unavoidable, at least it has been for me: there are only so many hours in the day. But for me it has been really great to carve out the time to do something different that's important to me, even though it's not been easy.

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