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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:
littlewhitebag · 20/05/2013 08:56

I did a degree with two small children and DH working away during the week. My house looked like shit most of the time.

After i finished DD1 said she found it hard to go to sleep without the sound of me typing away frantically.

It is not easy but so worth it in the long run. I also had DD2 in nursery one day a week so i could always count on that day to complete work. It is maybe worth looking into if you have the finances?

janey223 · 20/05/2013 09:08

Agree with the other posters, it's bloody hard work but something has to give and that's the housework!

Is there anyone who can look after your DS this week during the day and you can study and at least give these ones a shot?

SummerRainIsADistantMemory · 20/05/2013 09:21

Ds2 was a nightmare sleeper too, up til 10/11 at night, woke loads at night. He'd nap but never at set times and only late in the day. That went on til he was 3.5!

He got used to me studying over his head while he was feeding and I'd bring my coursework into the living room and study while he played around me.

He goes to playschool now so I have a short period in the morning free of kids bit I'm doing two level 3 ou modules atm so it's still not enough time.

When he was little I did a lot evening and weekends while dp kept him entertained.

There are times it feels like too much and I do feel guilty for the lack of attention they get but at the end of the day it's as much for their benefit as mine.

I brought my books everywhere, I'd study while the older ones were at football and gymnastics, out in the garden while they played, at my parents when we visited.

It's just a matter of pushing yourself, if you have a spare few minutes use them to study, leave the housework and blitz it when you can but always prioritize study over cooking and cleaning.

TheBigJessie · 20/05/2013 10:28

I didn't start studying until the twins were just over a year old. My brain wasn't getting enough sleep to cope before then!

Your baby is growing. Studying with a seven month old is nothing like studying with a toddler in the background. You'll have had a lot more time to fit in studying by the time he goes to primary school!

Zorra · 20/05/2013 11:58

I'm afraid you also have to choose between spending time with DH and studying. I did my Masters when I had DS, started when 2 months pregnant and finished when he was 18 months. I found the only way was to have three nights a week where I ate with DS at 6 (or he watched me eat lol) then put him to bed and immediately went into the study and didn't come out again until 11pm to go to bed.

It's really hard, but it's doable. I was a single parent for most of this time and found it actually much easier to do without a partner, as there isn't someone else clamouring for attention.

TheFlipsideOfTheCoin · 20/05/2013 13:06

How long does it take you to your housework? Are you doing too much and unnecessarily so? I know one family who washed their bedding every single day! Bonkers.

Our house is tidy and clean and doesn't require a great deal of work at all if people chip in (family of 3).

Just keep on top of it as you go along.

Daily tasks:

Do dishes after each meal
Wipe down kitchen surfaces after cooking
Make beds
Take rubbish out

Three times a week:

Hoover through the house

Once a week:

-Clean bathroom
...these last two are probably take up a whole day, to be fair. Saturday is wash day in our house Grin

I do sympathize with not being able to find time to study with a young baby.

Also, you never know your exam could still go well!

AriaB · 20/05/2013 13:21

It's totally do-able and I get irritated when people say it's not! I'm a single mum and went to college to do an access course when DS was six weeks old. He's now almost 3 and i've just finished my second year of uni. I also work 30 hours a week and my house is tidy.

...That said, it's not around deadline time. I let it all slide while I get things done and we eat a lot of frozen food. But DS is fine so it doesn't matter really. Just have to be organised and dedicated; if you don't want it enough, you won't do it.

AriaB · 20/05/2013 13:23

Also, get good at multitasking. I take my ipad everywhere and read constantly; while he's in a soft play, while he naps in the car, anywhere I can... I have a rule I call the 90 minute rule- as SOON as he goes to sleep, whatever time that is, I go straight to my desk and set my 90 minute alarm. And I don't get up til it goes off, no matter how hungry I am/how much washing up there is/etc etc. As a result most nights i'm not in bed til midnight but it means my work is pretty much always done, deadlines don't stress me out too much and in fact I read a lot more than a lot of my child-less classmates... and I get the grades which prove that too.

MrsKoala · 20/05/2013 13:33

I haven't been able to do any study since my 8mo was born. Every second of my day is taken up. He is playing by my feet now and i am joining in and MNing - I have tried to quickly get some studying in at these times but i just can't focus enough. He co-sleeps and wont go to bed without me so there is no time in the evening. I rarely do full cleaning but still spend about 5hrs a day tidying/laundry/cooking/washing up.

SummerRainIsADistantMemory · 20/05/2013 15:19

5 hours a day?


I have a biggish house, 3 children (2 with SN), cook well 80% of the time, my house is clean and tidy, I'm on top of the washing, everyone is clean and in clean clothes, dc's have homework done well every day, downstairs is tidied daily, dishes done 1/2 times a day, whole house hoovered as needed, clean beds, kids have friends round reasonably often, etc.

It takes me 1 or 2 hours max... slightly less atm as I'm due in an assignment and a project next week and have some part time contract work starting this week so want to get coursework out of the way as much as possible. But generally when not working and keeping on top of things I could deep clean the whole house daily with 5 hours a day given to housework!

There is no reason to be doing that much housekeeping a day. Get systems in place for maximum effectiveness; don't do jobs unless they need doing, it's just procrastination; get used to studying around the baby, they don't need 24/7 interaction just lots of interesting things to see and feel which is easily supplied whilst getting half an hour of reading done; use nap times and night time to study instead of doing household jobs, babies love being around you while you clean and cook so far easier to do that stuff when baby is awake than to waste that time sitting with them doing nothing productive and then waste precious hours when they're asleep tidying.

MrsKoala · 20/05/2013 18:03

i live in a tiny house which is why i tidy constantly. i do about 3 loads of washing a day, this all needs ironing/folding and putting away as there is no holding place for it. i spend 2 hours of that cooking 3 meals and batch cooking baby food. probably 1-2 hours washing up and wiping down kitchen. baby has toys out and is crawling so floor is entirely covered in crap which i need to pick up in case i trip over it. other things like going shopping - i dont drive so shop every few days and walk 4 miles round trip. mowing the lawn etc. Just loads and loads of shitty jobs which eat the day away and a baby which needs constant care/entertainment.

MrsKoala · 20/05/2013 18:09

oh and my baby hates being around me while i do that stuff. He clings to my leg crying like a limpet. He has few, infrequent, short naps and wont sleep at night unless we all go to bed (11.30 last night and up at 6.30 this morning).

I can't think of any systems which would change this and the amount of tidying/house maintenance i need to do - i even have a cleaner to do kitchen, beds and bathroom weekly.

Springdiva · 20/05/2013 18:23

My Dsis used to annoy me when she bunged all the lovely clothes I'd bought for her DCs into the same wash so everything was a shade of grey. Now think she was the sensible one.

Can only think Mrs Koala that you are doing what I did , whites and coloured separately, but still I didn't do 5 lots a day (I had 3 DCs).

amothersplaceisinthewrong · 20/05/2013 18:31

I managed to study a little from home with two small kids years ago. (aged 2 qnd 4 when I started). I set aside an evening a week - the same day every week) and DH has to be home, see to the kids (who luckily were in bed asleep by 7) and do dinner on that one night, plus wash up bring me coffees etc. I also studied one entire morning when the kids were at nursery/school for study and nothign else, no shopping, no housework

B The two or three weeks before exams, I upped study time to two evenings, and a day at the weekend when DH was in charge of kids. It worked.

I personally think the secret lies in routine, discipline and plenty of support.

ExasperatedSigh · 20/05/2013 18:53

What a useful thread. I'm not studying but am busy squirrelling away all your tips for the other home-based projects I've got going on. Thanks everyone :)

MrsKoala · 20/05/2013 19:00

Springdiva - All ds's clothes go in together on 40 with non bio and no clothes are grey yet! But i also have my clothes and DH's (who generates almost a load a day!) towels and bedding. It averages out at about 3 loads per day.

Amothersplace - i agree, because of DH's work (away a lot) and DS's sleeping we have no routine and i have no other support, so it is very hard to do. I will be trying to start it up again, but i'm not hopeful.

whosthis · 20/05/2013 19:20

Gosh, it became such a long post now! I will read through one by one!

MrsKoala, regarding shopping, have you considered doing the grocery shopping online? You do pay a bit delivery fee, but it really worthes it. If you do the meal planning, you will soon build up a "my usual" list with that it makes th4subsequent shoppings a lot easier. Plus, it helps you control budget!

OP posts:
MrsKoala · 20/05/2013 19:23

Whosthis - i do sometimes do online shopping but actually if DH is away it can be the only time i leave the house and see other people in a week. It occupies DS too so it's one of our activities

whosthis · 20/05/2013 19:27

Sad Sad Sad Can't you find some other activities for yourself? Shopping grocery as entertainment is not refreshing for your mind..

OP posts:
pamplem0usse · 20/05/2013 19:50

I have an 8 mo at home with me who has been quite poorly since birth. I manage all his medical appointments (2 per week) have a dd at home (2.8) 5 dpw. House is clean and tidy. everything home cooked (has to be. ds has multiple allergies). Breastfeed day and through night (hurrah for co sleeping). And do paid consultancy work from home (10-15hrspw)
However dh is very supportive and I don't need much sleep. I spend time on dds nursery days doing work when ds sleeps rather than seeing friends.......

MrsKoala · 20/05/2013 19:58

Whoisthis - on tues mornings there is baby clinic with singing and stuff which i sometimes do, I also try to do push'n'tone on Mondays but they can be sporadic due to time of it. I go to baby swim on Fridays sometimes but as DH is away a lot of weekends i tend to visit my parents and on the weekends he isn't away DH wants to visit his parents, so nothing gets done at weekends or by DH as he works such long hours.

pamplem0usse · 20/05/2013 20:01

Sorry to get my judgeypants on but your 8mo is probably way overtired. my dd hated sleep but we had to gently force a routine (bath, feed to sleep, bed at 7). getting her down could take 45 mins and then she'd wake 2/3+ times before i eventually went to bed with her.
Ds 8mo same routine. he's sleeping I'm working...

pamplem0usse · 20/05/2013 20:03

hmmm how long hours? sounds like youre working bloody long hours too.... even when dh v busy at work he does the washing up and pops washing on.

MrsKoala · 20/05/2013 20:05

Yes i agree pample but i spend 3 hours putting him to bed, which takes all evening. He refuses milk now, so cannot feed to sleep. naps are about 20 mins. He has a routine and is bathed fed etc at 7, but then wont sleep.

Squitten · 20/05/2013 20:14

I'm currently revising for an exam next month. I've been studying with the OU for 4yrs (plus a one-year break to have DS2). My kids are 4 and 2 and DC3 is due in Oct. I'll be arranging to have a year off next year because there's no way I'll be able to juggle another course and have a newborn!

Saying that, it is entirely possible to study with small children. But you MUST be absolutely determined to do it. When the kids are sleeping, studying must come before housework. If it doesn't get done, it can wait. The support of your partner is vital too - I couldn't tell you the number of weekends that DH has spent dragging the kids out for the day or completely taking over the childcare/chores so I could study. I would cut it up into chunks, telling myself that I would do x section of work and then get up and run the hoover round to boost my circulation again.

It is relentless, completely. I am willing myself to get through the exam and then I am salivating at the thought of a break.

You can do it!

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