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Can we really afford this?

(10 Posts)
SineadMc Sun 05-Jun-11 22:39:45

I'm new to mumsnet so first of all hi smile
I've recently finished my second year at uni and have decided that I don't want to go back because the hours are too long for my 1 year old son to be in nursery and I want to be able to complete work in my own time at my own pace.
(Just to quickly explain the situation- I fell pregnant pretty much as soon as i started uni and luckily DS was born during the summer so had no time off- went back when he was 12 weeks old and have hated every minute of it because of the long hours i am away from my son travelling etc)
I've looked into the open university because I can use the credits I already have and although there is a lot of support for tuition fees, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of extra support in comparison with student finance england.
My partner has just finished his PGCE and has secured a job for September but I am worried that we can't afford for me to finish my degree.
I can't help thinking I am better off just getting a part time job that i don't bring home with me but on the other hand I hate starting something and not finishing.
Sorry if this doesn't make sense but hope you get the gist of it

Oakmaiden Mon 06-Jun-11 09:04:08

Hm. The difficulty is that there is far less support for part time students than for full time. Is there no way you can finish your degree? I undertake what you are saying about childcare, but it seems such a shame to come so far and not to finish. Especially having had a baby in the middle of it all!

I would imagine that, if your Uni is running similar terms to the one I am at, that you should be about to start your summer break and have about 4 months off? Once that it over, you only have 8 or 9 months to go!

I can't help feeling I would do everything I could to just get through it. If you are deeply concerned about childcare and you little one being so young, is there any way you could ask your Uni if you can take a year out? Or is there a Uni closer to home you could transfer to? (you mention long hours travelling...) Has you dp found a job yet? Any chance you could end up living closer to the Uni and cut down travel time that way?

It is difficult. In the end you have to do what is right for you and your baby - but do bear in mind that baby will benefit from having a happy and fulfilled mummy, and that being in good quality childcare whilst you finish your degree will not hurt her - however bad it makes you feel. It is a call that only you can make, though.

BelovedCunt Mon 06-Jun-11 09:05:53

is it a 3 year degree? if so it seems a real shame not to do that last year.

MatureUniStudent Mon 06-Jun-11 10:12:26

Oh you have my sympathies. I have four children which is why I went part time on starting Uni. I just felt I couldn't do it all if I was a full time student. I was constantly pulled between playing with the children or having to study. Couldn't you go part time? You would need to do it this year before the fees go up. I get a full part time grant which is half my fees - around £890. I save all year to find the other £890. However, it does mean, that once I have finished my degree, I will not be left with a huge student loan. Also, I find the pace much more "doable" in that I can do most of the studying whilst the children are in school, your child could have a shorter time across the week in nursery, or you could study when your DP was at home etc.

SineadMc Mon 06-Jun-11 10:17:58

Partner has a job for September about 50 minutes drive away which would take me even further away from the uni if we were to move.
I have finished for the summer now and before leaving my lecturer pulled me aside to say that since coming back in September I haven't seemed happy. This is true because I hate leaving my son and feel as though I can't give 100% to either mothering or studying lol.
The semesters are only 12 weeks each so would be in uni for a total of 24 weeks which is nothing when you think about it. Only problem is I want to actually do well rather than just finish the degree as quickly as possible (especially when you consider how much the tuition fees are) In the year I was pregnant I got firsts in all my essays and this year they have dropped to 2:1s. With the dissertation coming next year and I also have to do an extra module (long story) I can't see that I will be able to get the grades I want and spend quality time with Henry. Last year he was in nursery 8am till 5pm, coming home having his tea then bath, breastfeed and bed. I was working for a few hours at night and preparing his bag for nursery then getting up and doing the same again.
I had some hurtful comments from friends of mine who are stay-at-home mums and one whom works part time saying that he won't know who I am. This does really upset me and since breaking up for the summer I have really enjoyed taking him to baby groups and spending time with him.
I just wish I could make a decision so that I can enjoy the rest of the summer.

SineadMc Mon 06-Jun-11 10:20:03

Just seen the comment regarding part time- sounds like you have a good balance and may consider this. Do you work as well or stay at home ? sorry for all the questions my brain is just frazzled !

Oakmaiden Mon 06-Jun-11 10:31:59

Sinned - I do sympathise hugely. Can you speak to your Uni and see if they can find some way to help?

But also - ignore your "friends". Lots of people have to use full tine childcare, and it is simply not true that your baby "won't know who you are". People can say such stupid thoughtless stuff, sometimes.

I hope you find a solution which works for you.

darleneoconnor Mon 06-Jun-11 10:51:19

Stick at it. You getting a degree is for the benefit of your ds. Why is it you feeling all the guilt? What about your dp?

overthemill Mon 06-Jun-11 10:57:48

finish it. imo your 'friends' are wrong - your beautiful baby will have a great time at childcare and you will be doing something for him too don't forget.
i beat myself up about going back to work f/t when my dd was 18 months old. i really don't remember that next 18 months but then neither does she! she did love her child carers and i made the most of every 5 minutes i did have with her. i really think you are as important as him.

also, i am just finishing p/t 2 year PGCE course which was (I think) just as hard as it would have been biting the bullet and doing it f/t. I hope to do PhD next which will be 6 p/t years. my kids are bright and happy (ish) and have a role model for studying if they want one

SineadMc Mon 06-Jun-11 21:30:25

Thanks everyone!
I've decided to go back full time until Christmas (the end of the first semester) and see how I go on. If I aren't happy then there is no point staying full time but at least I will have given it a go.
I suppose I should consider my happiness too because happy mummy= happy Henry lol

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