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Feeling Guilty for going back to Uni

(13 Posts)
fruityloop Tue 29-Oct-13 00:59:46

Hello everyone,

Wow am I glad I found this site, its so rare to find a group of mummys (and any daddys out there) that are in the same boat, so here is my tale of woe, Ill try and keep it brief lol.

I am repeating my first year of my law degree full time, due to my little unexpected miracle (my dd) making an appearance during my exams. I already have two DS and I'm finding it really hard to manage. On top of that I feel unbelievably guilty for leaving my DD who is ten weeks old to go back. It being laid on pretty thick by certain friends and family that it is selfish, i should be at home, im missing too much, im not being a proper mum etc, even though at the min, my partner has just been made redundant and thanks to a decent payout and savings is at home anyway. (he is working part time self employed but we work that around the kids and me with very few problems). I enjoy uni, but it is hard work, coupled with a newborn, and kids, and a house, and a man (lets face it they can be just as hard work as kids sometimes lol). My DD was slightly premature so that hasnt made it look any better. I do all the nightfeeds (cannot bf due to kidney problems and resulting meds), as well as having kidney trouble which isnt resolved, and Im just managing. It feels like a struggle but is not made any better by other people. Am I a bad Mum??

My pregnancy wasnt planned, and was due to the fact that after a pretty bad kidney infection the antibiotics messed with my pill and I fell pregnant. After a pretty horrendous miscarriage three years ago there was no way I was terminating, so we decided to just manage. But I feel like I cant win. If im at home I feel guilty for not working/putting the hours in everybody else does, but when im at uni I feel guilty for not being at home. The only ambition I ever had for myself was to achieve a degree. Apart from that my whole life has been about my kids. I fell with my eldest at 17, and everybody wrote me off as such, 'you'll never make anything of yourself now, all that intelligence wasted' - (my family were pretty harsh), so this was my two fingered salute to them, as well as my little bit of time, something for me. But the in laws, mums at school, mutual friends of DPs, my brother etc are making me feel bad. Yes I feel bad that I sometimes miss bedtimes, and spend a lot of my week outside the home either at uni or reading/working on my course, but it wont be forever.

I worked really hard to get in to my uni (its a russell group uni with a very good reputation) and was over the moon to be accepted. It felt like I am more than a mum and a partner. The attitudes of both sides of the family and some of our friends is quite old fashioned. I should be at home, DP at work, I do childcare, he gets his dinner on the table and a stepford wife, and I thought sod that. I want options, and a life. The kids wont be kids forever, and I want something to fall back on when they leave home and im not needed as much by them anymore. Its hard going, hardly any mature students on the course, none with kids, the workload is intense but I love it. I also love my family, and am finding it hard to balance. I still do all the housework, take care of household admin, and as much of the childcare as I can. I dont really have a social life, which is fine, but im feeling close to burning out anyway and this isnt helping. Came home today and shut myself in our room and cried.

Suppose it boils down to am I doing the right thing? Am I being too selfish?

If you have read this far then I salute you, and thank you, would really appreciate someone elses take on this x

SunshineSuperNova Tue 29-Oct-13 15:31:31

Hello fruityloop

Congratulations on your new baby!

I'm not a mum (or dad) but can categorically tell you that it sounds like you're doing a great job as a mum and a human being. flowers

I'm a mature student and it's hard work, I have no idea how the mums around me manage with their extra responsibilities. I know it's easier said than done, but try and ignore the critics sniping away.

CreamyCooler Tue 29-Oct-13 15:40:41

Congrats on your baby and your course. I was 6 months pregnant with DS1 when I took my A levels and then went on to university. You can make it work, just take one week at a time.

Nightwish Tue 29-Oct-13 17:50:16

I'm amazed at how similar our circumstances are!

I am in the third year (out of four) of my degree at a RG uni.
I have 2 DS, one just started school and the other is 11 weeks. He was only 6 weeks when I started back this year.

I think you should not be feeling guilty.
You are doing something that is not only for yourself but will benefit your family in the future.
So I may be bias but I completely and utterly believe you are doing the right thing.
I got pregnant with DS1 at 17, didn't get A-levels and have taken a bit of a roundabout way to get my degree but will have it by the age of 23 so not too bad.
When I dropped out of sixth form at 17 I promised my DF I would not ruin my education and regardless of people telling me repeatedly I won't manage it (namely my DM), I am!

Yes you will get stressed. I was so tired today from not enough sleep I was nearly in tears thinking about my workload!
I would suggest give yourself a little break, no housework, no uni work, just spend a day with the family and you will feel refreshed and ready to face the onslaught again.
Give it a few years and you will be so proud of yourself for getting through it.

Indith Tue 29-Oct-13 17:54:05

you are notselfish, you are setting a great example to your kids AMD working towards a better future for your family.

it is tough, so so tough but you can do it.

I had ds1 when doing my first degree. gave birth, went back to classes at 10 days. we coped. now got 3 children and I'm a student again doing very busy course. it can be murder but I know it will be worth it.

Salbertina Tue 29-Oct-13 19:43:23

Congrats and stop worrying about what others think!

You're doing a v decent degree at a decent uni and are on track for a solid career, wont be easy but really worthwhile and great example to your kids. It can only get easier!

alice93 Tue 29-Oct-13 23:54:35

I can't add anything apart from to say you're not alone - and I am so glad to have found this thread and to see that there are people in a similar situation to me! My first baby is due in early January, and I so far have no plans to take a break from my full time uni course (2nd of 3 years) although I'll probably stop before my third year starts as my dp will graduate and he won't find a job in our uni town so we'll have to move. :/

All i can add to this is, are you able to manage your work load at uni differently? Is some of the reading you are doing absolutely necessary? (I'm saying this because doing a politics degree - I guess we read the same amounts as law? - we're meant to be studying 40 hours a week, of which 9 are contact hours, but you can easily get by on 5-10 hours of reading plus the 9 contact hours..)

CircassianLeyla Sun 03-Nov-13 17:48:44

Just ignore them. If your DP is supportive then that is all that matters. Good luck.

fruityloop Tue 12-Nov-13 01:35:25

Thank you so much everyone for all of your lovely comments, I cannot tell you how much better you have made me feel. Sometimes it is just nice to know you are not alone, so I appreciate it.

Nightwish - What a lovely comment thank you, it is scary how similar we are. I also dropped out of my A levels due to my DS1 and have got into uni in a sort of odd way (went to college on an access then used past work experience to help me get in). My degree is my way of proving to everyone else and myself in a way that I made the right life choices. Im trying so hard to not let it show that im struggling, as I dont want anyone to have the room for any negativity. It hard balancing time, and between three kids is even harder.

Alice93 - the reading, even the bare minimum takes a lot of time. I'm trying to find ways of improving my time management and seeing where I can cut time, almost like a budget, but its hard. I've started food shopping online, and christmas shopping online in breaks at uni, and when travelling. Anything to make life easier. Congratulations on your pregnancy, I went through most of last year pregnant (due in september) - it was going really well until I went into kidney failure, and then my daughter had to be born early by c section. I had to drop out for the year and repeat. My only advice is just be kind to yourself. I found working in chunks helped. As baby brain kicks in, and it gets a bit harder. I used to 'nanny nap' too, little power naps when I could grab them. I used to get a lot of reading done waiting in the hospital for the consultant lol. I know how hard it can be, so feel free to PM me if you need a chat.

Sunshine, Indith, Circassian, Creamycooler, Salbertina - thank you for all of your support. It is nice to know it can be done, so thanks for taking the time to reply.

Even the teachers at my sons school seem to be at it. Havent done the school run for a while as I've been snowed under with work, but went and did it today. My youngest teacher said 'oh havent seen you in a while, would you like me to email DS2s progress instead of parents evening, I know you dont make much time for their school stuff anymore'. In front of all the other mums on the playground. I felt awful. I went bright red and just smiled. I felt so bad.

Been thinking why should I be made too feel bad. I'm following my dream, and im working bloody hard for something worthwhile. Yes its time consuming and yes I dont have time to bake cakes, or volunteer at the school or hold coffee mornings but if my partner is supportive, everyone else should be too. Im sick of his family and mine sneering at me, and actually asking me why I took her for her injections as im a 'weekend mummy' now. I dont judge anybody for their decisions, but I didnt stop being a human being with her own wants and needs when I became a mum. So I've decided to stretch my middle finger the next time I get a judgemental comment. Then run back here for cover.

Thanks again ladies, hope everyone is well xx

HerrenaHarridan Tue 12-Nov-13 02:10:20

Well done op!

Glad your feeling more positive. It's late abs I need to do to bed so a few quick points.

If you were a man no one would bat an eyelid so they can fuck right of with the gender stereotyping bullshit.

You will feel guilty no matter what you do

Dp should be helping with the housework

You are showing your kids a bloody good example be proud of this!

My best friend just graduated. She fell pregnant at 15 and sat her gcses in the same week she gave birth. Her dd is 11 and was burstingly proud of her mum when we attended her graduation.

You sound like a great mum smile

jellybeans001 Sat 16-Nov-13 15:09:33

Ignore your outside family you are doing a great job don't feel bad you are not selfish you are studying hard for you and your kids and partner and in return will get a good job and will make a difference not selfish at all

MatureUniStudent Thu 12-Dec-13 07:55:40

Omg I am so impressed. HOW do you manage a full time law degree, children and a husband?? I take my hat off to you and Alice. I have been doing a part time law degree and am a single mum to four children. I faced the same Jealousy that you face. It amazed me that people were threatened by me doing my law degree. But they were. I think it stirs up a lot of "if she can do it and have four kids I should be doing more". Indeed the "delightful" judge at my divorce FDR said I "should have done a secretarial course rather than be so INDULGENT as to do a law degree".

I too stopped being able to do all the primary school things. But somehow because I was doing a degree, and not working full time, people, including teachers, thought they could comment. Comments in doubt they would have made if I had to work full time.

The children love the fact I understand the immense pressure they are under with GCSE's and mid term tests. They are SO supportive, even making me dinner if I am cramming for exams.

Yes the guilt doesn't go. My eldest having to leave school early to walk an ill sibling home and then babysit so I could finish my lectures. Yes we are making sacrifices but they see their mother achieving just like they are achieving at school.

As my DD said (teenager so full of wise advice) "ignore the haters mum".

tanyatwo Fri 13-Dec-13 14:16:03

You feel guilty because you're a good mother. I'm in my final year of a 2 year Masters and I've felt guilty from the start to now. In the end I know my child is going to benefit in many ways when I'm qualified. I'm doing this for the both of us, so I just have to deal with my guilt and that I can't be the mum I would like to be at the moment.

You're kids will admire and learn from your hard work and they are more adaptable then you think, so acknowledge your guilt when you feel it. It's natural, but also feel proud of what your achieving and know that your family will benefit in the end.

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