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Am I completely insane for contemplating this?

(14 Posts)
SayCoolNowSayWhip Wed 03-Aug-11 18:25:50

Just a quick bit of background - was supposed to start degree last year following an Access course (never got my A Levels due to family illness) but as DD appeared unexpectedly, had to defer my place to this Sept. Financially, it's going to be a struggle. DH does not earn very much (<£20k) and although there are maintenance loans and grants I'm hoping to work part time as well. Am I insane to think that I can do a degree, part time job and look after 9 month DD? My mother and DH's parents can help with childcare but I'm worried about whether I'm trying to bite off a lot more than I can chew! Thanks for reading this far, just looking for some advice / words of wisdom from you wise MNers.

Oakmaiden Wed 03-Aug-11 18:29:26

I think it would be challenging with just the degree and child, I think that unless you are ultra organised you will struggle with a job as well. Of course, it does depend on how many hours you are working and how demanding your child is (ie does she need a lot of attention at night, or are you able to sleep through?)

It won't be easy though. But hey, on the plus side 3 years of struggle gives your family a much brighter future.

michglas Wed 03-Aug-11 18:29:57

I did a 2 year HNC management course (DD's were 7 and 2 when I started), followed by a year off in which i endured a serious illness and recouperation. I then did a 5 year part-time honours degree and have just graduated with a first. I did all this while working full-time. DH and I had to juggle childcare as he works full-time with weekend working as well. I think you just have to be determined, and be really good with your time management.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Wed 03-Aug-11 18:37:12

Wow @ Michglas - congratulations on your first! That's an amazing story and gives me hope (although I am not the most organised of people....!) I've been told by the admissions office that the degree I'm doing is not as tutorial based as others - possibly 16 hours a week lecture time. Hence why I thought I could squeeze a job in as well. Yikes! I'm very scared about everything!

MetalSian Wed 03-Aug-11 18:43:36

I am starting a full-time HND in Business in September but it is only one day a week. Then after two years of that will be doing another year to a full degree.

My two year old DS will be in nursery for that one day a week.
I also work one day a week but am considering finding a new job and upping the hours a bit.

But at the end of the day to me the qualification is more important to get right than find a job with more hours.

Which is more important to you? The course or having more money?
You don't want to do badly in your course for a bit of extra money but a few hours a week couldn't hurt I shouldn't think.

Must say though I did apply for a 3 day a week job on top of my course... you could always try it and then drop the job if it was too much.

Best of luck in your course =].

TimeWasting Wed 03-Aug-11 18:45:51

You'll still need the time to study by yourself.

As Oakmaiden says, does she sleep through? If you've got your evenings to yourself then I'd think it was very manageable.

Oakmaiden Wed 03-Aug-11 18:55:03

<Disclaimer> I started a part time degree whilst working full time and with three children - a 9 year old, 3 year old and 2 year old. I found it very difficult to organise my time - not because it was impossible to find the time, but because I was simply exhausted after work and putting the children to bed and found it hard to then open my books and start studying. Added to which when weekends arrived I wanted to spend my time with my family and not studying. I honestly think I would have found it even harder with a younger child.

That said - I survived the experience and so did my children, although I am now full time at uni and not working (which is better). Although as they got older they have been know to grumble about mummy spending her time buried in books instead of playing with them. Apparently "Mummy ALWAYS has work to do" <sigh>.

SiamoFottuti Wed 03-Aug-11 18:57:51

I started mt part time degree when my second child was 6 weeks old (eldest was 3) and had another baby during 3rd year. I graduated with a first.
I didn't work as well though admittedly.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Wed 03-Aug-11 19:23:31

DD does (touch wood) sleep through MOST of the time.... It's probably the tiredness and not spending time with her that I'm most worried about - but that's something that all parents go through I guess. I do know how lucky I am to have this opportunity. I suppose I'm just worried about money. I dont mind doing without luxuries like wine going out etc but worried about the pressure it puts on DH being the sole breadwinner on a crappy wage while I swan off to be a student study. I have however told him that once I get my degree I will of course immediately get a high powered high paid job and he can be a SAHD. grin <<hopes no one will spoil her ridiculous illusions>>

drcrab Wed 03-Aug-11 22:00:14

I'm assuming that your degree is a full time one? And do you mind telling what degree you'll be doing? 16 hours is actually quite a heavy week... Plus you'll be expected to read around the subjects... Allow 3 hours self study per hour of lecture.

Ime as an academic, I would strongly suggest that you not do the part time work just yet. At least give yourself a term (till Christmas) to get used to uni life, assignments, baby .. Having your parents help etc & see how you go.

In theory in terms of hours per day etc it can work out. Of course we all know that reality seldom works that well. grin

keynesian Thu 04-Aug-11 08:24:57

To some extent it may depend on how your lectures are structured through term time - my first year at uni was based upon 14 hours of lectures/seminars but this was spread over 4 days a week... by the time I'd factored in the traveling time and gaps between lectures etc it took up an awful lot of the days I was there.

Bearcat Thu 04-Aug-11 20:11:32

Agree thet 16 hours a week lectures is probably quite heavy, DS1 was about 25 hrs on an engineering degree and DS2 only about 8 hrs for economics at a top Russell group university.
Having said that, my mum about 43 years ago took 5 O'levels in a year and passed them all at the age of 30 and then went on to do 3 years primary school teachers training when me and my brothers were 9, 8 and 4.
I think if you have the determination you can do it.
My dad was working abroad at the time, but she did have close extended family nearby.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Thu 04-Aug-11 20:57:51

Thanks again for the replies. Might wait until I get my course schedule and then see how I can fit a job round it. Keynesian I was worried about travelling time as well. Hmmm.... Decisions!

MrsPlesWearsAFez Thu 04-Aug-11 21:06:22

You need to factor in your workload as well as your schedule.

I only have ~8hrs lectures p/wk, but then with supervisions on top and two essays/wk it ends up very full on. I do realise, however, that workloads between degrees/universities vary greatly.

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