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Returning University Student after having a baby...!!

(15 Posts)
RoyMum Mon 27-Feb-12 11:07:48

Hi I'm new and all so sorry if I post this all wrong! I've just joined because I'm at my wits end!
In summary, I am a mature student and going back for my 3rd year, in my 2nd year when my partner and I had just booked our wedding (!) I found out I was pregnant (had an ED so was delighted, but first thought was oh s***)

To conclude I finished my 2nd year with flying As and got married, and our DS was born last October. I decided to take a year out and am due to return this September. The problem is this:

I had to swap degrees in order to finish this year so am not familiar with the material. I have severe baby brain through lack of sleep, exhaustion etc etc. I hate hate hate leaving my son (I've left him about 5 times and cried and thought endlessly about him all occasions) and am having problems deciding on childcare (my mum is offering but she is soo laid back, doesn't take her phone with her and does things her way NOT my way, I've tried explaining to her he is MY son but she isn't listening to be blunt about it)

I don't know WHAT to do. I quit everything and get ripped for it, so quitting again would be like burying myself! I have to finish this degree. Dragging it out over 2 years seems pointless, I get no money then (we aren't desperate but I need some for childcare if we go down that route).

So I need/want to go back, but I also want to enjoy my son. He could be my only child (I was anorexic for ten years!)

Thanks sorry it's a long post xx

OP’s posts: |
4madboys Mon 27-Feb-12 11:21:20

well i had my ds1 when at uni, i had him in aug, so he was 3wks old when i was meant to start my third year at uni! i took a year out and so he was 13mths when i went back, it WAS hard but i am really pleased it did it and got my degree a 2:1.

it is hard but can be done, has the university got a nursery? mine did and so ds1 went there when i needed him to, i tried to use it as little as possible as like you i didnt like leaving him sad but he enjoyed it and was fine, i then did most of my reading/essay writing etc when he was asleep, it meant lots of late nights etc but i got it done and when i graduated i took my ds up with me to get my certificate etc it was fabulous.

if you can get in touch with the uni and see if you can get a heads up on the reading list etc so you can do some now before you go back, this is what i did.

can you just finish in one year? i thought about going part time and doing my final year over 2 yrs, but in the end just did it in one as i wanted to get it over and done with and tbh most uni courses you dont have that many 'contact' hours its just finding the time to get all the reading etc done, i arranged for my ds1 to have extra time int he nursery when i had to do my dissertation and then the little beast got chickenpox and so couldnt go! i ended up diong the whole thing over about 3days with virtually NO sleep, but i still did it!

like you say you will be disappointed in yourself if you drop out and dont finish and it would be such a waste of two years, all you have to do is one year and its not even a whole year, its from this sept through till next june? and you will have holiday time etc, honestly its not that long and it will be good for you to study, you probalby will enjoy it once you get back into it.

regards to the nursery my uni had a sort of bursary scheme which i could apply to and get reduce fees and some free hours, have a look and see if yours do the same smile

good luck!

RoyMum Mon 27-Feb-12 11:27:31

Thank you so much that has brightenend me up smile

Because I was an A grader I did nothing but study. It's been a HUGE shock to the system when he only naps briefly and my computer hasn't hardly been on and those little eyes open (I'm like NOOOOOOO!)

I think nursery is the way to go (I am not looking forward to telling my mum, she will think I'm being awful) but the nursery is on our road and I can just drop him off, and it is like a business looking after someone's child. I don't want to have an argument with my mum because she feeds him something I don't want her to!

Can I ask, did you study in your year off? I'm trying to start/do the dissertation but my head is just NOT here on this planet! And crazy as it sounds, how did you get yourself to study when they go to sleep? I literally fall asleep at like half 8!!

OP’s posts: |
4madboys Mon 27-Feb-12 11:32:34

glad you have a nursery,i didnt have the option of my mum helping out as she is too far and away and she works, plus she wouldnt have done things my way!

no i didnt really study in my year off, my ds was a terrible sleeper! but in the summer holidays before i went back i did try to do some reading and get myself into study mode!

and yes tiredness is a problem, i always work best when i have a close deadline tho so i relied on that and drank lots of tea/coffee etc to stay awake!

my partner was also supportive and would take him so i could study etc when he wasnt working. (he was also at uni but he continued and finished his 3rd year whilst i stayed at home with baby, so he was working when i went back to do my 3rd year)

right my dd is crying so i have to go, i will try and get back later on to answer your questions, its 12yrs ago tho my ds1 will be 13this summer shock and ihave 3 other boys and then a baby girl now as well! madness!

4madboys Mon 27-Feb-12 11:36:07

meant to say, its good you and your df are settled in your relationship, dp and i had only been together a few months before i got pregnant! anyway, almost 14yrs later and we are still together and have 5 children, it wasnt easy at all and my parents werent happy but its worked out fine now smile

just think how quickly this year has gone by? it really will only be like 8 or 9mths of studying and then it will be done.

how many contact hours will you have a week? what are you studying?

RoyMum Mon 27-Feb-12 12:00:41

He he. My DH is one of 3 boys, so I could well be you in 13 years before I get a DD smile
I think I have about 9 hours contact a week, and it's 24 weeks I actually have to be there! I intend to stay at the university though for the full day and during the breaks still have him at nursery so I can get the work done. DH is ok with DS, but when I'm at home he bothers me for help, so I think my local library is going to have to be my new BF lol.
I'm such a worrier. I need to tall myself I should pass, I only need a pass. It sounds wonderful when you say you took your boy up to get your certificate. I wish!!

OP’s posts: |
RoyMum Mon 27-Feb-12 12:01:38

Oh I was on BSc Health and Wellbeing, and had to change to BA Childhood Youth and Community Studies. Sort of similar, but not if you know what I mean!

OP’s posts: |
4madboys Mon 27-Feb-12 12:10:49

ok so 9hrs a week that is about what i had and i also used the nursery and used the extra time to go to the library, or i meant to it didnt always work out that way! if you have him in nursery for your 9hrs and then say another 10-15hrs a week that really isnt that much spread over 5 days andyes its only 24wks thats only 6mths so no time at all smile

your degree sounds interesting, i did history and sociology, my dp works in a childrens home with teenagers and has been doing an ma in childhood youth and psycotherapy (sp) i find it very interesting and often read his course literature!

YES you will pass, it will be fine and you will feel an enormours sense of pride when you graduate, i have some lovely pics of my ds1 holding my certificate and wearing my flat board hat thing! (what are they called?!) you will be able to do the same!

RoyMum Mon 27-Feb-12 12:26:31

Put like that is certainly seems doable, when I'm crying in the library I might think otherwise! smile
How do people study MAs and have children, you are a mad bunch (!)
I have no idea what the flat cap thing is called, hopefully I'll find out smile

OP’s posts: |
ChunkyMonkeyMother Mon 27-Feb-12 12:36:20

It is totally do-able in fact it is exactly what I am doing now! I'm 5 weeks away from the end and I am SO glad I have stuck it out, don't give up, please don't, you will just feel awful! It's worth every sleepless night and crack of dawn essay honestly.

I felt just like you, didn't want to use daycare didn't think if get help but you will - you may not get a grant but you will get your child care heavily subsidised, I have to add about £500 per term to mine but it comes out of my student finance money and is paid upfront. I'll be honest with you at first it was a struggle, in my year out they changed the whole way that people reference on an essay and I felt like a duck out of water when I went back and everyone is much younger (im 23) and were already friends but actually I have made a lot of good friends and feel I'm putting a lot more into it now than I was before - I neeeeed my degree now, before hand it was just something I was kind of doing - iykwim?

I cannot wait to finish and it just goes so fast - from the day you start to the day you finish is like 24 weeks of contact time so it's not even that long, I go back for 2 weeks after Easter then I have 4 assignments and I'm done (can you tell how excited I am!?!)

I think they are called mortar boards aren't they?

RoyMum Mon 27-Feb-12 12:43:15

Go you! I don't know how you ladies do it!! Very jealous! Can we swap?!! I'm having problems with the dissertation/fyp thingy. My lecturer (understandably) is busied up with his existing students so doesn't reply! I'm hoping to get the bulk of the fyp done before I go back so it's mainly editing to do. i.e worst case scenario it just gets handed in!
What the heck is a literature review when you are doing secondary research? He sent me this breakdown, and because I'm doing secondary research, I'm already reviewing existing literature, so why do I need to do a separate literature review?!! Will probably start a new thread ladies as I'm searching everywhere and I can't find nout!! smile

OP’s posts: |
4madboys Mon 27-Feb-12 12:55:09

yes mortar boards thats it! well done chunkymonkey good luck for the last few weeks smile

it really is possible to do it, lots of people do i was 19 at uni when i had ds1 and def not disciplined or focused, having ds1 meant i had to learn how to roganise my time and prioritise etc, being organised is key!

ChunkyMonkeyMother Mon 27-Feb-12 13:19:06

Organisation is truly key! I work one day a week as well so I have to set my alarm for 6am 4 days a week to get out the house and go for 7:15 but it's very freeing - and it will be even more so when I'm raking it in come May (har har har)

My little boy has come on in leaps and bounds since starting nursery, he didn't settle in the first one but we changed over and now he loves it! He actually ran in today (weep) - it was never our plan but our life works well, it may be a little financially stretching but we manage and we enjoy ourselves

RoyMum Mon 27-Feb-12 13:34:04

This might sound silly but what are the signs they don't like it? I am sort of considering having my boy go for 1/2-1 day from 6 months then 2-3 days when I'm back at university...
I'm scarily organised at home lol, it's flipping from mummy mode to student mode that is taking me ages!! And using the small amount of time I find free up!!

OP’s posts: |
ChunkyMonkeyMother Mon 27-Feb-12 20:26:14

I think doing that would be a great idea - my DS was 13 months when he started and had spent less than 24 hours away from me, we both handled it quite badly at first, I saw it as a means to an end and didn't take him In if I was off or didn't fancy it - he screamed every morning, cried when I went in and dragged me out every time - I put up with it for 10 months thinking he would get better and he just had to settle in better ... Stupid really, I'd sit in the car crying after taking him in, should have used my brains and moved him sooner!

In the new one he can go outside when he chooses and they have every piece of equipment you can think of! He loves the staff and the kids and he talks about it regularly even when we're not there. Just wish I'd have done it sooner! Use your instincts, they are usually right!

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