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Feeling overwhelmed with level of work!

(4 Posts)
LittleNettle Mon 06-Mar-17 19:15:10

I am in my second last year of Uni - I had my baby 10 months ago and somewhat naively thought I could do this. But the workload is HUGE. And I am struggling.
I have minimal family support and despite promises from friends while pregnant of babysitting to get studying done - the reality is people have lives. And I know no other Mums so I find myself getting slightly frustrated when people just comment 'you can do it' or 'you managed every other year' ... while they mean well, I just want to throw all books at the wall and run!
I am almost done this year so am so resistant to give up now and know next year will be easier as my baby will be older and probably in nursery a few days a week.
How does anyone do it who balances being a Mum, a student and everything in between; paying bills, the endless string of appointments that come with a baby, keeping on top of the house ...
I was also diagnosed with PND - so in hindsight probably should have deferred, but the stubborn part of me just wants to graduate before anymore years go by and be working in a field I want to be. But sometimes I just stare and stare at a page and nothing goes in. I am so tired all of the time and studying just feels so impossible at points. But then I always manage too.
Overwhelmed is beginning to feel like an understatement.
Any advice?

241coco Tue 07-Mar-17 23:03:22

Hi, I too an a student (third year for me) and a single parent with two girls aged 13 and 9 and absolutely no childcare support other than the paid type. No family or friends to help out and to honest, as much as I love my children, (that old cliche) ..... hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Firstly, may I say, do not give up. You've come SO FAR and all by yourself. that in itself is a huge achievement, not to mention the achievement you will have when you graduate. yes the workload is huge. you knew that when you started. deferring is not the answer I dont think. chances are the work load will get greater next year. You simly need to learn how to manage your time better. deferring could mean you never return to your studies and think what you would say to yourself ten years from now, whilst working in some low paid, low skilled job when you could have been earning a much higher wage with job satisfaction and the luxury of being able to buy your child and yourself the nicer things in life.
Time management is everything! I don't go out (no friends, time or money). I don't particularly like being coming to my home as I like my own personal private space. therefore its just me, the kids and the rat race to juggle. Make a timescale chart for yourself. just roughly and quickly. dont waste more time than you need to. section it off to the house you have between 8am and maybe midnight and fill in each hour with what HAS to be done; dropping your little one off, classes, travel, bath time etc. When look at what is left. Be realistic! dont tell yourself you can do your little one's bedtime routine in half an hour because we all know that's not true. will the time left, allocate yourself study time and state what you are going to be studying in that time slot. It gives you good structure and it doesnt matter if you fall off the program. if your mind isnt set to study at that time, jog things around to suit you but make the time.
As for being tired. i think once you become a loving, consientious, caring parent you never get a good night's sleep again. does you little one sleep through. do they give you a good few solid hours? what time do you wake/go to bed? are you eating well to keep your energy levels up?
Finance and bills; yes this is difficult. Make sure you are receiving all the benefits you can from Student Finance England, single parent allowance, maintenance grant, maintenance loan etc. I cant speak for your university but mine has a finance department that, if you are suffering hardship; struggling to pay the rent/bills, your boiler breaks down, your computer has just crashed, if the are satisfied with the evidence provided, they will lend a sufficient amount to take the hardship away. There is no interest to pay and the terms and conditions are very simple, what needs to be paid back when and how.
I hope this all helps. feel free to drop a line if you want a bit of support. But the important thing is, DON'T GIVE UP! you haven't worked this hard for this long to give up now. if at all possible take soe time out for you. Hold on. I know you're saying "yeah right" but a simple step. I'm not suggesting lying on a beach for a week as nice as that would be. if possible, whilst your child is at nursery go home, lock the door, close the curtains, have a hot, quiet (no kids) bath and a long soak. try not to think about your child or your studies for a whole hour or two if you can. Just think about YOU. you are the rock that holds your little family together so it's imperative that you look after yourself. Take care of yourself. I hope this helped! :-)

241coco Tue 07-Mar-17 23:05:48

I forgot to mention, talk to your tutors, esecially your course leader. they are usually very understanding. explain how the work load combined with being a single parent is getting to you and you should be able to apply for ECs (extenuating circumstances). this will give you extensions on your deadlines and some breathing space. However, if you get ECs be careful. Dont leave everything to the lasat minute or you will find yourself possibly under more pressure than you are under now. ECs will bide you time but you must ensure you manage your time wisely.

Louw12345 Thu 16-Mar-17 00:44:47

I am a single mum of 5 ages 14 12 twins 7 and a 5 year old. I am only in my first year (but did 2 years at college access level 2 - with maths and English gcse and access to nursing diploma with added gcse science) of uni but do struggle with time keeping due to the childrens after school activities and spending time with them.
I can never get any work done when they are at home.
House work is done when it's done believe me when I say you won't be the only mum never mind student mum that dosent do a deep clean all the time. Make sure you rest to when you can it's always best to try and clear your mind of stresses otherwise you stress more (easier said than done).

February I had a melt down, jusy couldn't bring myself to my normal self I knew I hadnt given my self down time where I would empty my mind of the stresea the live and uni.

But iv manged to get on top of things, I do enjoy what I'm studying and my kids are supportive and proud of me.

Talk to your tutors you my get extentions If needed and support from them
Keep at it though you will be even more proud knowing you have come through this for you and your child xx

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