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Medical degree as a teen mum??

(88 Posts)
eyesclosedtight Sun 05-Mar-17 10:18:47

So I am 18 and mother to 2 year old DS. I have just applied for a medicine degree as this has been my goal for my whole life but now I'm worried! DP has joined the army but I have applied for a university up North, 5 minutes drive from his parents town so even though I won't be getting much support from him, his parents have said that they will help as much as they can and to save me childcare costs they will look after DS during the day as they are retired.

They will have him 9am - 6pm so I can get home from my course and do any work or self study that I can fit in. But I'm still worried about the workload. A medicine degree is demanding anyway and with a child and little support from DP I don't know how I am going to cope.
And please don't say that I should not follow my dreams and choose a different course. I am deterined to make this work.

I was thinking of potentially taking a gap year so I start uni at 19 with a 3 year old DS and DP would have been in the army for a year so we would have built up a better routine??

Thank you

cantthinkofanythingwitty Sun 05-Mar-17 10:33:55

Remember you will possibly be entitled to childcare grants also which will help with childcare costs and usually a uni will have a nursery on site.

I don't know how medical degrees work but you may get have to co spider over night care for you lo if you are going placements and doing shifts.

Good luck and I hope everything works out for you

cantthinkofanythingwitty Sun 05-Mar-17 10:34:28


wobblywonderwoman Sun 05-Mar-17 10:35:22

You know, go for it! His parents sound lovely and very supportive. I would be tempted not to take a gap year and just get on with it. The sooner you qualify, the sooner you are on the pay roll and your ds will fit into a routine anyway.


thebakerwithboobs Sun 05-Mar-17 10:42:28

Go for it with bells on!! My husband and I had our first child when I was going my A levels. It wasn't on my list of things to do this week but we made it work. I got a grant for childcare at uni, our parents were angelic, our support network helped us a LOT. My husband is also in the military and did consider coming out but we wanted to think to the future and ensure there was security financially. It was HARD. But it was worth it. I kept the career I had always wanted and we are still together (with several more children!). Good luck OP! Don't let go of your dreams smile

Crumbs1 Sun 05-Mar-17 10:42:48

Trouble is medicine requires long hours outside usual working hours, night shifts and huge amounts of study over and above a full day's work.
I would be tempted to defer if you get any offers as your partner will be more settled.
I'm curious how, if it's been your dream all your life and you are bright enough for medicine you ended up pregnant at 15/16? Seems a singular lack of commitment- sounds harsh but reality of a medical degree is that you have to breathe it 24 hours a day for 5 years. How will you cope with Foundation Progrmme where you may be placed at other end of the country and have to work one weekend in three with 12 hour shifts?
How will you cope when your child is ill? What will the impact on the child be? You've chosen two really hard lifestyles - the military and medicine. How would inlaws feel about caring for child if stress of two lifestyles resulted in a break up?

Herschellmum Sun 05-Mar-17 10:43:32

I think you can complete a medical degree and have a young child, I think you can make it work. I think the issues come in where you want this to take you. There are fields where it can work better with raising children but there are also fields where it would be neigh on impossible to essentially manage everything on your own, is i guess it depends on how much time you can get in the form of childcare and how you feel about dedicating all your time to your profession to get where you want. I don't see anything wrong with that, but with two of you in jobs that require a lot and a young child it would be a challenge when your in residency.

But as I say, it depends where you indent it to take you, lab work, GP require less in one sense, not dismissing all the extra training and qualifications they have, but that once it's done you could work hours that would compliment motherhood.

Good luck whatever you choose.

titchy Sun 05-Mar-17 10:43:31

Just applied? You should have applied last Autumn....

eyesclosedtight Sun 05-Mar-17 11:00:12

titchy I didn't mean I had just applied. I have just gotten my interview dates for the universities. I didn't really know how to explain it without it getting confusing.

Crumbs1 I had sex at 16 and fell pregnant. It was an accident and could've have happened to anyone. His parents are extremely supportive (mine not so much) and even if the strain did cause me and DP to split, this baby is still their grandson and part of their family. They would remain supportive because I am studying to provide my son, DP and myself with a good life despite mine and DP's mistakes as teenagers.

I understand what you are saying re Foundation year, but that's 6 years on from now so I'm sure we will be able to make it work. Tbh DS is still very young and I want to get all the studying done now so I can be there and support him later on when he is more aware of what it going on etc.

Thank you everyone for your support. I am not particularly worried about money as I have looked and I am eligible for childcare grants as well as other parents learning allowance and with that, and the help from our parents/the university I think I can cope financially.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Sun 05-Mar-17 11:06:33


Are your judgypants getting uncomfortable wedged so far up your arse?

I fell pregnant at 19 and managed to complete my teaching degree and am now working full time. My DP finished his degree and trained to be a PC.

quarkinstockcubes Sun 05-Mar-17 11:13:20

Without wanting to rain on your parade I would not undersestimate how hard it would be, particularly year 3 onwards. It will not be 9-6 by any means, so be prepared to see very little of your ds for several years.

I admire your determination, all the best!

Ignore Crumbs

Be mindful that you'll need overnight childcare for when you're on placements.

It'll take a lot of organisation and time management but go for it! I had my daughter at 19 in my second year and graduated the next year with a First - not in medicine, mind you! - but there's no feeling more rewarding than having your little one there at graduation! You'll never know if you don't try - you must have done a bloody good application even to get an interview, you'd be daft not to give it a go!

I've got some resources on studying as a parent - I won't link drop but if you want them (things like tips, personal experiences etc) just PM me. Best of luck with your interviews!

CatBean Sun 05-Mar-17 11:19:07

Go for it! Do take up the childcare fund available from the Gov as you don't want to tire out your inlaws. You would much rather use your inlaws for childcare as a back up and also when you have gaps in childcare or your child is ill etc

eyesclosedtight Sun 05-Mar-17 11:20:42

CatBean That is what I am planning on doing. Putting him into nursery as much as I can then having his grandparents look after him as I don't want to take the piss from their kind offer.

BevGoldbergsSister Sun 05-Mar-17 11:22:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lucked Sun 05-Mar-17 11:22:31

Go for it, having children is hard at whatever stage you do it as a medical student or doctor and although medical students have longer days than other students there is still a decent amount of holiday to spend plenty more of time with your child.

If you have managed to get decent exam results with a baby and a reasonable aptitude for the subject you will have no problem with the workload.

welshweasel Sun 05-Mar-17 11:23:31

Definitely doable. Of course it will be hard but you know that. Our medical students do very few out of hours shifts (suspect you could get away without doing any) and having a dependant would mean that you got placements close to uni. Things are much more tricky once you start work, with night shifts etc but by then your child will be at school and you'll no doubt have built up a network of people that will be able to help you out.

hesterton Sun 05-Mar-17 11:26:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lucked Sun 05-Mar-17 11:29:54

medical students don't really do nights shifts as a routine thing (not at Glasgow anyway) also I don't think FY1s do nights anymore but I may be wrong on that.

It would be worth exploring how far away you might be send from your base and if it would be possible to avoid placements where you would have to be resident due to distance. I imagine they would be accomadating but worth exploring prior to interview - phone the uni and ask if there is someone you could talk to. You won't be the first with a child but with your DP in the armed forces you will in a situation similar to a single parent.

Bazookapie Sun 05-Mar-17 11:31:42

Go for it! One of DDs friend's did similar as a very young single parent and although it was very hard she got through it. It's a few years now since she qualified and she is doing very well in her career, has since married and had another baby and regrets nothing.
Follow that dream, even if it doesn't work out you won't be left with a lifetime of 'what if'.

JamDonutsRule Sun 05-Mar-17 11:36:48

Have you investigated the availability / cost of night time care? Are there any 24hr nurseries for when DC is younger? Or a nanny when DC is school age?

eyesclosedtight Sun 05-Mar-17 11:51:39

JamDonutsRule Not yet but I will do when I have to potentially start doing night shifts (not in the first few years of uni). During the first few years, I can always do work at the weekends as DP is going to travel back from wherever he is based for the weekends.

ZilphasHatpin Sun 05-Mar-17 11:56:40

Whatever happens with your DP do not give up your career plan! Seriously. It is your key to financial security for the rest of your life! It's so fantastic that you have this dream and are so determined. Stick with it. It will be really hard but so worth it. Please don't give up on this.

As an aside, does your partner really have to be in the army? Was it his lifelong dream? Couldn't he delay it for 5 years and work in something better suited to looking after his child until you are qualified?

eyesclosedtight Sun 05-Mar-17 12:00:23

He has been in the cadets since he was young and he wants to join the army like his father did. He supports my decision to go to uni and study this, so I want to support his decision to join the army. I don't think it is fair to say to him to hold back with his career so I can study.

ZilphasHatpin Sun 05-Mar-17 12:02:52

Ah ok that's fair enough then. As long as you're getting that same support back from him! Every single bit of leave he has needs to be spent back at home with your child allowing you to study or attend uni.

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