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Starting uni full time in September, having a wobble!

(178 Posts)
FoxPass Fri 03-Aug-12 21:34:58

Reassure me being a student mum can be done!

I have 2 DSs, 4 and 20 months. DH works locally and my timetable is not too hefty so only 20 hours of childminding a week and we can manage drop offs and pick ups between us. We have family willing to help too.

I'm starting a psychology degree. I've spent the last 4 years off and on doing OU psychology and am using those courses as my entrance qualifications.

I know the workload will be hefty, but for 1st and probably part of 2nd year, I will be covering stuff I've already done with the OU.

I have been at home with the boys for almost 2 years now after taking redundancy after mat leave. Doing it now feels like a great opportunity to get a qualification and change career (or go back to my old field, but better qualified). And I'll be off during the school holidays with them so it seems like that's a benefit too.

My mum is a bit catsbumface about me 'leaving' my DC to study. But surely it's an investment in my future, and their future? Or am I being self-indulgent? I just want to get cracking with my degree, use my brain properly to fully learn a subject I love, and get out of the house and feel like an individual person again. DH is totally supportive of me doing this but other people's mixed reactions and negativity is getting me down.

Please tell me you have successfully juggled kids and study smile

Sirzy Fri 03-Aug-12 21:38:28

I am just at the end of my first year of an Educational Psychology degree. Its hard work but the key is to find a good routine and make use of spare time you get in Uni to get work done. I was lucky that there are 2 others on my course who are Mums so we help keep each other focused and push each other when we have wobbles!

Good luck!

FoxPass Fri 03-Aug-12 21:59:28

Thanks Sirzy that's great you can support each other. I worry I'll feel ancient be the oldest at 32 and also the only mum - but I think with science courses, there are usually lots of mature students? I hope so!

I have time between lectures so I will definitely be making use of that time. And I'll also get to eat a lunch without it being eaten by someone else and/or stone cold. Bliss!

Sirzy Fri 03-Aug-12 22:01:23

I was worried the same but it all worked out fine, on the straight psychology course there are quite a few mature students.

I like the being able to eat in peace side of it!

Haylebop12 Fri 03-Aug-12 22:12:40

I started uni when dd was 8 months old. Going back to work wouldn't have made sense financially. I put her in nursery for the 1 1/2 days I was attending lectures and and extra 1 1/2 days to myself for study/housework/"me time" etc. it can be done.
I start my last semester in September and what has got me through is knowing that I'm doing this to provide a better future for my dd and ahy other dc's yet to come.
It's really testing at times when you'd rather be spending time with the family but it's short term really and it will fly by. It has done for me.
Majority of my classes were 25+ so I felt comfortable.
There should be loads of support and extra help offered as most lecturers understand the work/life/child balance us student mums have to do!
Trust me if I can do it, you can!
Plus the holidays are fab!! 16 weeks of sUmmer to enjoy my little girl before I enter my last semester and have to work my arse off!!
Good luck :-)

ninah Fri 03-Aug-12 22:16:45

stop with the ancient! I am 45 and have just done my teacher training
best thing I ever did, and I had no family backup so there was a fair bit of before and after school club etc
I am using my brain, dc see and respect this, we are all OK
don't worry it will be fab! and yes you will have the hols together and appreciate it all the more x go girl

GroupieGirl Tue 07-Aug-12 20:58:18

I did much the same as Hayle and my daughter goes to nursery for one extra day a week, which acts as my lock-myself-in-the-library-day...something I couldn't recommend more highly, if it works for you (my other two days were fairly packed, I didn't have time in between to make use of).

And I wouldn't worry about feeling out of place, I was far from the oldest, and have made some great friends - and not just from the mature students too.

Good luck!

2plus1 Tue 07-Aug-12 21:49:38

I studied for my PhD whilst I had my three babies (multiples lol). I was already studying when I fell pregnant and so I immersed myself in my work more while burying my head in the sand over my impending delivery! Many people assumed that I would leave my studies well behind with babies on the scene but I was not going to give up on my opportunity. So with an enormous amount of discipline and commitment I did complete my PhD and the children all attended my graduation last year. I found that the older generation ie my parents age, were the most negative about studying with children. I guess they couldn't see what advantages this would provide. For me it was immense satisfaction to have achieved my dream and thankfully my hubby was fully supportive. I have returned to my pre-children career after a 3 yr break so essentially my quals have not gained much there, however, I have gained more respect from my colleagues and some pretty 'plum' extra jobs due to my studies. I also think that studying when your children are young means that it doesn't impact them too much and they are flexible. Your accomplishments will certainly provide a positive role for them to aspire to. Don't let others make you doubt yourself. You are a mother but you are also a person who needs her own challenges and mental stimulation.
Good luck with your course!

FoxPass Wed 15-Aug-12 11:00:30

Thanks everyone smile 2plus1 that is very inspiring! I do agree about the older generation, my mum in particular pulls a horrified face when I talk about our childcare costs, she just doesn't think it's right. But DH is with me on this and I think it will work for our family.

I am feeling really excited! Can't wait to get started smile

NPPF Thu 23-Aug-12 14:54:32

Ninah I'm glad you posted that! I am a single parent of 3 boys and I am starting teacher training soon too. I have no family back-up either and I am totally bricking it now. I'm wondering if I will be able to cope with it all. I have got child are sorted out bu I'm worried about how far I will have to travel to my placement. I have no idea where the first one is yet. How did you cope with your placements, course work and being a mother?

Eni79 Fri 24-Aug-12 01:09:25

Thanks Ladies, glad i am not the only worrying. FINALLY going back to uni in Sept to complete my on/off degree. Been worrying about being past it myself at 33 (for a student). No fam support also, so really relying on fiance, slc, and good childcare. I Still don't understand these mumsnet codes, i have 9yr twins, and a toddler of 18mnths. Really worried about coping, but this is my last chance to complete my degree, so i am taking a leap of faith and courage. It'll be fine, surely grin

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 27-Aug-12 02:16:55

My mum is a bit catsbumface about me 'leaving' my DC to study. But surely it's an investment in my future, and their future? Or am I being self-indulgent? I just want to get cracking with my degree, use my brain properly to fully learn a subject I love, and get out of the house and feel like an individual person again. DH is totally supportive of me doing this but other people's mixed reactions and negativity is getting me down.

Stuff that. Ignore the naysayers. You will be fine.

I had a degree in English and went back to college when dc were 7 and 5 to do science A levels. I needed A grades. I worked in a hospice for a year and went out with ambulance crews because I needed the experience. I got the grades, aced the entrance exams and I'm now about to start my 4th year doing medicine at a London medical school (I got into all three of the three I applied to, everyone said I was too old at 38). I don't want to sound really smug: it's bloody hard, the exams are hideous, I have 2.5 hours commuting a day. The youngsters get really stressed and they haven't got anything else on! There's another mum on my course and we support each other.

I am managing it. I have never failed an exam, flunked an assessment, missed a deadline. My kids are happy, well balanced, doing really well at school and very proud of me. I've had nightmare au pairs, I am splitting with my husband now (long story but NOT because I'm a student) but... I will qualify as a doctor in 2014.

It's eminently do-able, and I am not a particularly organised person. Oh, and I am classified by my medschool as disabled (MH). Challenges only make us realise what we are capable of, and if you are someone who needs to challenge themself, you will step up to the plate, excel and it will make you feel great.

Good luck!

cheesesarnie Tue 28-Aug-12 21:55:11

oooh just seen this.
im starting mental health nursing in september and am also having a wobble!

but i do remind myself that other people do it so why cant i! grin

FoxPass Fri 31-Aug-12 22:44:03

thanks for sharing tiredofwaitingforitalltochange stories of other women managing it are really helpful! I only have 2 weeks until I start now and I can't wait, although am also shitting it grin

Good luck too cheesesarnie!

cheesesarnie Sun 02-Sep-12 16:03:36

grin you too!

katedan Mon 03-Sep-12 08:53:03

Came on MN this morning to find a post like this. I start a social work degree in 2 weeks and think I am mad!!! I have 3 primary school age children and have organised a CM after school for them on the 2 days I will not be back fo pick up. It is difficult not knowing from term to term what attendance will be and I have a commute of over an hour to get to uni wich is stressing me out. DH is supportive but as he works V long hours not sure if he will be able to help much. My mum is slowly coming round since I tld her she was not being supportive. I know it will be hard (I did an access course last year and know the workload for the degree will be alot more and alot harder).

It will be nice to have fellow student parents to chat to. I think SW has alot of mature students so not to worried about doing this at 37!

cheesesarnie Mon 03-Sep-12 18:21:58

katedan are you me? word for word i could have written your post! hour commute, cm two days a week, unsupportive mother ju8st coming round, access etc!

ooh maybe were twins!

what are you studying?

Peggotty Mon 03-Sep-12 18:28:44

Oh hello everyone, so glad I've found this thread! I'm starting an Occupational Therapy BSc in 2 weeks and am bricking it! I have 2 children, the youngest just about to start school and oldest going into year 4. We have absolutely no family support and dh works long hours. The childcare alone will probably cripple us but I feel this is my last chance. I'm so incredibly worried about it all especially the dc who have had me around permanently since they were born and I've no idea how they'll get on in childcare. Also have an hour long rush hour commute and I have a horrible suspicion my car wants to break down very soon!

I think I had about 2 days of feeling excited it all about 2 months ago but the rest of the time I am FRETTING big time. So glad to have found some people to fret with grin

cheesesarnie Mon 03-Sep-12 18:34:08

fretting with you grin

thats my main worry the dc and the commute! but as you say- last chance etc!

hopefully in a few weeks time we'll all be wondering what we were so worried about!

my youngest had another trial day at his cm the other day and starts there a week before i start just so i know he's settled.

BabyDubsEverywhere Mon 03-Sep-12 22:56:38

Hello smile May I frett with you all please?

I'm 28, My DC are 5, nearly 4 and 8 weeks... (dreading leaving my baby sad )
I did Access last year and will start my degree in "Ancient and Medieval History with Latin" on the 17th... I could cry (mainly through frustration!) with how stressed i feel over the arrangements.

The Uni cant give me a timetable for the first few weeks until the 19th... and then it will change anyway after choosing modules. I do understand this, but how the effing jeffrey can i arrange childcare! Luckily i will be paying StepMIL to have the DC for me at my house, and she is being hugely accomodating, but still... i could really do with knowing the sodding timetable! ahh!

This will also be the first time i have travelled anywhere without my DH in 5 years (Serious MH ishoos!) and the two hour commute across a bus and two trains, EACH WAY! is seriously stressing me out right now.

Why am I doing this again?


Sorry for the rant blush

katedan Tue 04-Sep-12 14:59:09

Cheesesarnie I am studying social work I have heard.from everyone will be but planning to take it one term at a time and not think about the 3 years ahead.

Well done babydust for taking this step you and will be fine and it will give you a confidence boost. interesting Subject.

Please let's all hold each others hand in the next few weeks so we.can help each other in this big step.

NPPF Tue 04-Sep-12 16:00:13

I'm starting teacher training next week. I am a single mum with 3 kids and I am getting very worried too. It is the housework, the washing, cooking etc that is making me nervous. When will I get time? Also the boys have lots of after school activities. Eeeek!

mirry2 Tue 04-Sep-12 16:06:19

I think that Katedan has the right idea - taking it one term at a time. It will fly by.

Peggotty Tue 04-Sep-12 16:15:14

<clutches everyones hands> we will all be ok!! We are all really brave really aren't we? Not everyone could make a big change like this. It's funny as I've never thought of myself as ambitious and I still don't really but i've sort of surprised myself doing this smile

NPPF Tue 04-Sep-12 17:14:03

We are definitely really brave. I think I have just got to treat it as 6 week blocks.

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