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AIBU to think I will never have a chance to self-study with a little one at home?

69 replies

whosthis · 19/05/2013 22:36

Hi, I felt super rubbish these days. I planned for a career change next year and wanted to do a qualification exam. I had decided to go for it in early January. I registered for the exams which would take place this week.

Honestly, in the beginning, I didn't try hard enough. So fair enough, I had no progress whatsoever until late March. From then, I did try to squeeze some time to self-study. But the daytime with my little one next to me, I felt like I had really barely any time to finish the housework. I often only have a chance to have my lunch after 3pm or dinner after 9pm... I can't understand where all the time has gone. But in the end of the day, I would be too tired (especially mentally tired) to do much study.

I did try a few weeks studying from 11pm (after finish cleaning the kitchen) until 3am (ish)with DS and DH both asleep.

There are only few days before the exams. I had long given up knowing that there's no chance I could pass any of them this time. I would still go to sit them, but only to get some experience...

Am I being unreasonable to fear that from now on until DS goes to school, I would never get a chance to self-study at home? I would be returning to work soon... Just feel rubbish that I was not capable to do much for myself in the entire maternity leave! So many months! Feeling so so ashamed!

If I was not able to do it while I stay at home 24 hours, is there any slight chance I could have it done when I go back to work???

OP posts:

McNewPants2013 · 19/05/2013 22:38

Give up on the housework and study. You can do it but you can't do it all if that makes sense


Fuckwittery · 19/05/2013 22:40

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Xmasbaby11 · 19/05/2013 22:41

Can't someone else do housework - DH? You will need his help and support to study.


RiotsNotDiets · 19/05/2013 22:51

YABU, I am a single mother and have been at uni since DD was 9 months old.... but my house in an absolute shit tip, so I agree with posters saying you have to stop worrying about the housework! Maybe you could post on the student parents' section for advice?

Your husband needs to chip in more and perhaps you could get DS in childcare for a few mornings/afternoons to give you some study time? You might qualify for a childcare grant.


whosthis · 19/05/2013 23:00

DS is 7 months old. I feel overwhelmed by all the work around him and the rest is...of course the endless housework...

DH only comes home around 7:30pm. Too late for him to cook dinner. But as the little one doesn't take well when DH sets him into bed in the evening. I have to rush between the cooking and settling DS into bed.

I would ask DH to do more once I go back to work. But for the moment, I don't want to press him as he's tired enough after a day's work...

OP posts:

whosthis · 19/05/2013 23:01

Thanks, RiotsNotDiets, I didn't know there's a Student Parent's section!

OP posts:

Mumsyblouse · 19/05/2013 23:10

I agree with whoever said you have to be prepared to ditch the endless housework if you want to do this. You have to create blocks of time for this- so say during your baby's naptime and every Sat while your husband takes the baby out. You cannot just do it on top of everyday childcare, there won't be anything left of you! As all homeworkers know, you cannot just work and do full-on childcare at the same time, you have to create some time either by accepting your house is awful, getting someone else to do childcare (nursery? husband? family?), cutting corners or paying for that time by putting the child in childcare one or two days a week. Are any of those a possibility? And your husband will have to help out, tired or not if this is to work.


MammaTJ · 19/05/2013 23:14

Could you post a link to the student parent section please. I haven't found that yet.

Sorry OP, I started my studies once my two were in full time school. I work nights and get a lot of coursewotk done then.

I star uni in September and will be basically abandoning them to their Dad during the week when I am at uni.


whosthis · 19/05/2013 23:18

Unfortunately, it's too late this time. I wish I could have had posted much earlier. It's not entirely impossible to send DS to be cared by the childminder we found. But now it's all too late for the maternity leave part of the time...

Seriously, I felt useless the other day realising I didn't have anything done well during all these months. I was not a good enough mum to DS as in my head I always had lots of things to do. I didn't get any major thing done, as I always wanted to play /comfort DS. He's not good at napping. Never more than 45 minutes now. Often only 20 minutes. I could barely finish hanging the clothes...

Is this normal or I am ultra rubbish to organise things into order? I always believed that anybody would do better than I did!

OP posts:

Mumsyblouse · 19/05/2013 23:23

whosthis caring for a small baby under 1 or even older is just a full-time activity, it really is. Even with a really easy baby, they aren't going to keep themselves active for more than 10-20 min at a time and some never do. I don't think studying without extra help is realistic, especially if you are having broken nights, the reason is that even if you get 30 min to yourself you are too tired and exhausted to use it plus you need a few hours to really get going with your studying. I did indeed do academic study with both mine, but I did it when my husband took the children out or my mum came over and looked after them, I didn't do it whilst caring for a baby at the same time or at least I did that very rarely and it's not realistic to do a large amount of studying like that.

There are sleep/nap advice threads around- I did get mine to nap longer following GF (she who must not be mentioned) and it worked well for me for them to have a long nap in the day, but not everyone likes those methods and they certainly don't work with some babies.


Mumsyblouse · 19/05/2013 23:26

Is there any way you can get some time when you are working? Lunch-hours? Holiday days? Or Sat or Sun if DH takes the little one out for the morning? If you are working f/t, then realistically you are going to be knackered when you get in, then not get all the household stuff done til late, then only a very special type of person not me would be able to sit down and start studying intellectually demanding stuff.


RiotsNotDiets · 19/05/2013 23:27

we're over here


whosthis · 19/05/2013 23:33

Mumsyblouse thank you for comforting me. I feel slightly relieved that it's not just because of me... I felt so frustrated not know where all the time has gone from the sun rises to it sets... DS is not an easy one - colicy for months and still get grumpy easily now after the colic symptom eased a lot. I found myself often dreadfully sitting still just to bear his moaning over and over without any major issue - he wants attention all the time. Really really tired. In the end of the day, I felt ashamed in front of DH that I managed doing nothing well. The house is not a shit but far from tidy.

I tried those methods, but didn't persist. Got the feeling DS is far too stubborn to be applied with those methods, as he would always remember he's in a bad mood even after he fell into sleep, the consequence is he always wakes up not long after and you end up a even fussier baby to settle.

OP posts:

SummerRainIsADistantMemory · 19/05/2013 23:35

Ignore the housework, just do a half hour blitz in the evening and a slightly longer blitz once a week.

Tv for the little one.

Learn to study in snatches, you'll never get hours at a stretch but 10/15 minutes whenever you can is more useful than you'd think.

Easy meals during the week.

It can be done, ds2 was 8 months when I started, he's 4 now and I'm still going, 2 older ones as well.

Have faith in yourself and don't get stressed, just plough on.


whosthis · 19/05/2013 23:36

RiotsNotDiets Thank you. I will start going through looking for some good ideas suit my situation...

Mumsyblouse I would hope I could find some time at commute time. Lunch time is short, shrunk to half an hour now...

OP posts:

whosthis · 19/05/2013 23:38

SummerRainIsADistantMemory It is comforting to know it's doable and it's been done by someone... I just have to convince myself to accept the housework can only be done to certain level and my little one wouldn't get all what he wants...

OP posts:

coldwater1 · 20/05/2013 05:59

I have 8 children. I studied with the OU (two modules), one which had an exam. There was no way i could study in the day with little ones so i didn't stress out over it. I made a 'rule' that once the little ones were in bed at 7pm i would switch off from the housework, if it wasn't done it would be left until the next day, and study. The 3 older kids watched TV, played games or read a book. It was hard but it worked, i passed my exam.

I am starting uni in September and know it will be hard (was at uni a few years ago but dropped out to change career paths). If i get overwhelmed with all the work i have a firm word with myself, do i want this or not?! Everyone tells me i can't be a mum to many and have a career... watch me! No such word as can't! lol


chutneypig · 20/05/2013 07:11

How is DS sleeping at night? My solution for quiet time is to get up before everyone else, obviously only an option if DS is not up with the lark and also if you're a morning person. I am rubbish in the evenings, can't work at all unless it's very mundane things, this work wells for me. Also I find it means you can start the day thinking you've gotten somewhere instead of worrying about where you'll fit the time in. Which I find so stressful.

I know this wouldn't work for everyone but thought I'd throw it into the mix.


peteypiranha · 20/05/2013 07:15

I would get dh to cook some nights. Just cause he gets in late doesnt mean he cant cook.


roughtyping · 20/05/2013 07:27

YABU, I did two full time degrees and worked as a single parent.

Drop the housework! Prioritise. Baby is still little. Do as much as poss when baby is asleep. Don't try to do endless stretches of studying - break it up.

Good luck


VinegarDrinker · 20/05/2013 07:34

No reason at all that getting in at 7.30 means he can't cook, but could you both try and batch cook at weekends, or have at least a couple of nights of pasta/pesto or something equally low prep.

I know that feeling of the non napping baby so well, DS never did longer than 45 minutes.... Until suddenly at around 14 months he started doing 1.5-2 hours! It was amazing!

Anyway, I would say your DH needs to step up and support your studying. He can cook/reheat food while you put the baby to bed (although I strongly advise trying to get baby used to him too at bedtime, even if it is harder work in the short term). There can't be essential housework that takes from bedtime til 11pm?? Do the bare minimum.

I'll be doing professional exams next year with 2 under 3, and working 4 days a week. I know it isn't going to be easy but it needs to be done for me to progress in my career.


YoniWidge · 20/05/2013 07:40

I managed a masters module on maternity leave and am doing my dissertation now (alongside working ft and having a toddler). It is bloody hard work but it's doable.

The only way I can do it is with help & support though. Mum or dh take ds out of the house (that's important - having him in the house didn't work) for at least three hours every sat or sun, he stays in nursery for two days every holiday (teacher) and, after 8pm, dh is 'in charge' while I work.

Honestly? I wish I wasn't doing it. The guilt is crazy. Guilty I don't spend enough time with ds, guilty I don't do enough housework, guilty I don't do enough school work, guilty I don't do enough masters work...

I posted to reassure you that, with support, it's possible. Good luck.


MoaningMingeWhingesAgain · 20/05/2013 07:56

I am studying with a 4yo and a 6yo, even with school and nursery hours it's hard to squeeze it in, not least because you just want to flop when you get the chance. Or at least I do!

If DH is on a good salary for those long hours, use some for childcare. If he's not, why is he doing such long days? Does he get time 'off' to do his own stuff? Hobbies/fun stuff? Then so should you


MimmeeBack · 20/05/2013 08:46

Let the housework go a bit, dp what you can while your child is up and playing - give them something to play with for 10 mins while you wash up. Eat earlier - it can be hard but it is manageable. Study while the child naps or for an hour after they are in bed.
It is possible - I went back to uni when DD was 4mo and have been a single parent since she was 9mo and I have just finished my degree.


Tailtwister · 20/05/2013 08:50

It's very, very hard to do any type of studying/work whilst you have young children in the house. I think you have to look at getting some childcare organised or at least your DH taking your DS out of the house at the weekends.

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