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Struggling with decision: do I defer my MA until next year?

(5 Posts)
Dragonball Thu 17-Jul-14 10:05:41

After 2 years of preparation (work experience, additional music lessons, reading around subject) I have got a place on the course of my dreams to start this September. I have a DD, who is 2 in september and a 5yo DS about to go into Y1. I currently have a non-related job (to my course) - and just landed a truly amazing position in a company who want me to work 2.5 days a week on a salaried position (good) - I've been working freelance for the last 5 years, so this is a more stable - but ultimately less flexible job as they need me in the office for 2 days a week with half a day from home and it's an hour commute there and back. The MA will be one day a week for the first year and then two days a week (one day in college and one on placement) from the january of the second year for the next two years (it can also be completed in three).

Without the job, i probably couldn't do the course, as it is providing for the extra day of childcare for the first year as well as helping us out in general (I would still have to work anyway), but the money is enough for us to split the childcare between our lovely, trusted childminder and an au pair (we don't have a big house, but kids share a room and we have a good-sized spare room). My husband works long hours, so this will really help me out a lot.

The crux of the matter is that I'm suddenly panicking about the time it will take from me - perhaps not so much in the first year, but from the January of the second year. Overall, if my work hours stay the same (2.5 days) I'll be out of my home for at least 4 days a week, with another half day somewhere else…4.5 days altogether - this fills me with dread….The positive things is that my lo will have started pre-school by the January 2016 so will have every morning at the local school nursery (they offer full wraparound daycare, so she can be there until 3.30 (with au pair pick up) or even 6 (which is cheaper than our childcare now)...but I've only ever worked 3 days a week since my children have been born - and I really don't want to be away from them for that long. And thats basically the issue.

I am super-excited about learning the stuff for the course and if I could just give up my job next september and just do the two days at uni - or even work just 1/1.5 days on top of it, I might feel better about it - but obviously, there's no guarantee of that - and of course, we need the money too.

Does anyone have anyone have any experience of this? am I worrying for nothing - should I just do this year and not try to predict any further into the future (I might lose my job, win the lottery etc)...or am I mad to consider it this year if I feel like this. When I think about deferring the course - which the tutor is happy for me to do - I feel a mixture of relief and real disappointment. Could anyone help me with my struggle! Oh - and I need to decide by next Wednesday!
Thank you all for listening.

scottishmummy Thu 17-Jul-14 19:30:23

Youre in a fortunate position,you're being offered security,dependable money
Whats your dread?a 4day week isn't onerous its the norm.why the misgivings
Presumably you want to work after MA,and when kids at school you'll be free to work ft

senua Thu 17-Jul-14 22:32:17

There will be a General Election between now and Sept 2015 - is there a chance that after that the course will be pulled or they will up the fees massively?
Go for it! It's not as if you are going straight into 4.5 days, you will have a year to acclimatise.

UptheChimney Fri 18-Jul-14 08:24:38

I think it sounds as though you're very organised, know what's involved, and have a project. So I'd say "Go for it" -- and I'm usually pretty stern and cautious.

Try it and see. I suspect it won't be so hard as you think, as you'll ease into it. (I was suddenly widowed, so didn't have a choice about not working full-time & you'll live, and your DC thrive, believe me).

BUT If you find being away from your children is too difficult, then make sure you exit from the course propperly. Don't just panic and disappear: take proper leave of absence, talk to your tutors, and keep options open. But I doubt it'll be necessary.

AllMimsyWereTheBorogoves Sun 20-Jul-14 09:26:39

I'd say go for it too. I used to be the administrator for an MSc programme with lots of part-time students juggling family and work (usually full-time very demanding jobs, with a bit of study leave granted to enable them to take the course because it was vocational) alongside the academic work. It was our experience that people who deferred more often than not lost momentum and didn't come in the end. Over the years I was there I saw several students rejigging their schedules around job changes, unexpected pregnancies, family illness and all sorts of other challenges. The great majority got to the end, even if it took them a bit longer than they had first expected, and got the benefit in moving on to better jobs, usually directly related to what they'd been studying. Quite a few went on to do Ph.D.s - gluttons for punishment!

You do sound very organised and I think you'll be fine. I hope you enjoy it!

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