Anyone done a degree with DC (inc newborn due in 1st semester)? Am I mad ?

(14 Posts)
Pendu Sun 19-Jun-16 11:38:45

Finally made a new account because I couldn't get into my old one confused

I have three dc 10 and under and another due in November. I have just completed an NVQ (nearly!) and am on the cusp of getting the uni place I'm desperate for. It's a subject I really love and the uni is really great.

However I just don't know if I'm being abit stupid about the reality of me being able to do it. I start around September and have dc 4 due in November. I am planning to have DHs mum here for a few months to help (her wish) but I'll be doing still the school runs etc (she can't drive, language barrier also but I know she will be fabulous with the baby and cooking and housework which will take a lot of pressure off) . I have a nursery place from 3m (i breastfed my other 3 and plan to do that between lectures etc as its on site).

On the one hand I am thinking it's all going to be fine - I'm a mature student so I won't be skipping classes or out late partying grin so my time in lectures shouldn't be less than others , if I take a year out then I'm pretty much twiddling my thumbs when I could get cracking (this is based on the fact I am somewhat confident in my subject having done the NVQ (a lot come in via a levels so will have no subject knowledge) and I just cannot keep dragging out my education. DH works so hard but we are basically just keeping afloat without me working (but I need to also be working for a decent salary for it to be worthwhile at all - we explored all options like me not going to uni at all) . I have a school place in a school a stones throw from my building (but one DC is remaining in a school 30-45 mins away as its going to be his year 6) so it should be quite easy (??)

On the other hand maybe I am forgetting all the sleepless nights and leaking ... everything and the exhaustion. Maybe I am deluded thinking I can skip off for a lecture while the baby naps and then pop back for feeds. Maybe I will be torn at 8.55 each morning with needing to go to my class and a baby who is screaming for me....

Has anyone done anything similar? I haven't a clue what to do - ultimately the baby will come first , obviously ... But then if i can push through this year then everything will be a lot better long term (mostly I live in an expensive area and my uni happens to be here (very best for my course) so I am already stuck paying a massive rent which is breaking us - one year sooner graduating will mean £14,000 saving on rent as we can then buy where we want to live)

I am planning to talk to my uni soon (I want my place confirmed first though and an just waiting to graduate from college) to really get a just of the actual hours I'm needed in lectures/trips, but when I asked at the open events I attended they said it was very much based on the options I took.

Sorry for waffling - any advice ? Anyone done this?

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Pendu Sun 19-Jun-16 11:42:30

*jist of the actual hours

Sorry I am typing this on my phone

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PolitelyDisagree Sun 19-Jun-16 16:48:00

Have you really, really studied what's required in the first year. Contact hours, teaching times (Can be long days) assignments, exam content etc. Is it exam heavy or coursework heavy?

You will undoubtedly miss work, have you asked the Uni if it might be a problem.

NewIdeasToday Sun 19-Jun-16 16:52:09

I don't see how you can possibly do this. When your baby arrives in November you'll have to miss Uni till at least January or later (did you say nursery place from three months?!

BikeRunSki Sun 19-Jun-16 16:57:59

My mum did a degree + bar finals with 4 DC. She took her final exams 8 months pregnant with dc4. Her bar final results and my sisters birth announcement were in the same paper on the same day.

It took her 8 years to do 4 years study I think. She kept having years out. I'm DC3, she left me in my carrycot with the staff in the college book shop when she had lectures.

Pendu Sun 19-Jun-16 17:07:16

Thanks for the replies smile

I am finding it hard to get out of uni exactly my hours - I talked to current students who say it's similar to my college (im there 9-4, 3 days a week which is fine). I will discuss it directly once my place is confirmed (just want everything in order before I let them know). My mother in law will be here until, and a little beyond, I can use the nursery.
I definatly won't be leaving babies outside coffee shops grin but maybe I'm underestimating uni? I had assumed some bits I could do from home when I can't get in. Maybe I'm living in cloud cuckoo land .... I just really don't want to prolong it all another year, especially if it's going to be a lot of free study time and power points ....

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DoctorDoctor Sun 19-Jun-16 17:07:23

It would help to know what course it is (not sure why A level students won't have subject knowledge?) and you need to be honest with yourself about how easy it will be for you to work under pressure. I usually advise students to take a year out when a baby is due so I'd be encouraging you to defer for a year - but as this would be your first year and so wouldn't count towards your eventual result, the one option just about possible would be to aim to be quite tactical and just scrape through the first year, and then up your game when you are there full time for years two and three.


Pendu Sun 19-Jun-16 17:12:27

I don't want to say the exact course as its very specific and "outing" but you could compare it to an animal based degree I guess? In the sense that I have done the nvq and I've seen my uni units and they are pretty much the same , just obviously will be more intense (but there is a limit to how deep you can go). Does the first year really not count? I thought j had researched a lot (I've been to more open days than anyone - they even recognise me) but I think I'm not asking the right questions. To be fair they do gear their talks towards nightlife and accommodation.

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Pendu Sun 19-Jun-16 17:15:28

Pressure doesn't bother me - I enjoy the subject and college was a fiasco (one lecturer went overboard on the uni applicants and made each assignment 4x longer - I have completed around 38 assignments some of which are 40 pages) and uni expects 8 per year at around 10 pages (obviously more independent research and less googling).

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OvariesBeforeBrovaries Sun 19-Jun-16 17:44:14

I didn't have three other kids, but I did my second year pregnant, gave birth on the last day of my second year and then had the summer off, went back and did third year in the September.

Obviously the situation is a little different - I think if you have someone to have the baby until the nursery place opens up, you'd be able to cope - first year really isn't that intense in the grand scheme of thing; it really hots up in second and third year.

Some lecturers are very supportive; others less so - mine were absolutely incredible but I know of others at different unis who are definitely not so supportive, and that can really make the difference.

Is the nursery on campus? That made a massive difference for us and made it a lot easier to drop DD off in the mornings as she was still a little baby when we started back in the grand scheme of things (almost 5 months) so it was tough.

You should be able to get extenuating circumstances for extensions in essays if you need them - at my uni people were getting them for hangovers etc so don't feel guilty if you do need to ask for help. At any point during the year if it's getting too much, you can suspend your studies and go back next year.

It's crazy, and while you're in it you'll think "what the hell am I doing?", but I graduated with a first last October and there is no better feeling than having your little one there at your graduation, and the pride and sense of achievement is absolutely amazing.

If you do need any advice etc please feel free to PM! I know the situation is a little different but the advice of other student parents was invaluable to me at the time.

Pendu Sun 19-Jun-16 18:10:35

Thanks so much ! What hours were you leaving your dc in nursery? This is my main concern over the workload tbh. My uni seems really great (nursery is quite near my building - 5 min walk) and professional so (I think) they will be supportive. I'm very serious about my subject and I'm probably the only mature student on that course (though there is a lot of mature students esp. From abroad doing PhD in the subject). Did they support missed work?

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LizzieMacQueen Sun 19-Jun-16 18:57:27

Are you not concerned about going into labour when you are in a lecture?

Never mind those heavy last few weeks of pregnancy when just getting from A to B was difficult.

OvariesBeforeBrovaries Sun 19-Jun-16 19:47:07

My hours were 9-5 every day except Thursday which was 9-7. DP's hours were 9-5 every day so DD was in nursery 9-5 every day.

They were great with extensions and very understanding.

Sofabitch Thu 23-Jun-16 20:26:15

A girl on my course tried hard to do this her baby was born Jan. She did ok but failed and had to resit ultimately.

The problem is there is only 24 ish taught weeks and its dam near impossible to catch up. Id say it depends a lot on the course.

I have 4 older Dc and its been really tough going xx

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