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To think I could study on maternity leave?

140 replies

SunflowerOwl · 25/04/2021 18:14

Not sure if this is a crazy plan or not, but there is qualification I've been wanting to do for ages and I'm wondering I'm my upcoming maternity leave would be a good time.

The course takes approx 10 weeks to complete but there are online providers that let you do it over a year before booking onto the exam.

I'm due at the end of August but have a big chunk of holiday (around 6 weeks) that I was planning on taking before, and then I'm going to take 10 months leave when the baby is here.

Is it completely mad to think this is possible? It's all stuff I know bits about from my job so it would just be getting the formal training.

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Am I being unreasonable?


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stalachtiteorstalagmite · 25/04/2021 18:18

I think it really depends on your baby and how you find being a mother. Personally I barely had time/energy to shower and eat for the first few months and absolutely would not have managed to do studying as well. But you may get a good sleeper and that would make things much easier. It's just not possible to know in advance!


Horehound · 25/04/2021 18:20

Well you could do Alot during the 6 weeks annual leave but not once the baby is here!


Whitegrapewine · 25/04/2021 18:20

I'd try and nail it in the 6 weeks before the birth, if you're otherwise well.


DancingQueen85 · 25/04/2021 18:21

Yes you are completely mad. Before I had my first baby I remember thinking that I'd get time to do all sorts of things on maternity leave. The reality was very different


Confusedaboutlots · 25/04/2021 18:21

it’s very hard to do anything substantial when baby is here because your schedule is dictated by them. so if they are napping you may get a chance but they may not nap like clockwork

but nail what you can in the six weeks before

also if you don’t want to breastfeed and will have family help then of course it’s much easier once baby is here


MixedUpFiles · 25/04/2021 18:21

If you get lucky and have an easy baby, sure. If you have a baby that screams every time she isn’t touching you, then no. You just have no control over what your life is about to become.


Merryoldgoat · 25/04/2021 18:22

Depends. I absolutely couldn’t have but I know people who could.


Aroundtheworldin80moves · 25/04/2021 18:23

I think a lot will depend on your partner and how supportive they are. Of they give you 2-3 hrs of uninterrupted study time on one of their days off for example every week, you could potentially get a lot done if disciplined.

Trying to do it around the baby could be a lot harder.


SuddenArborealStop · 25/04/2021 18:25

You're mostly being unreasonable but if you broke the back of it in the six weeks annual leave ,(assuming no early baby interrupting) , and didn't expect 100% in the exam then maybe.


parisian67 · 25/04/2021 18:26

Before my first ML I thought I could write my novel I've been dreaming about for years. HAHAHAHAHA what a joke!!!!


CrazyTitsLiz · 25/04/2021 18:27

I studied for a professional qualification from when my baby was five months old. Without a doubt, it was the hardest thing I've ever done. But it was so worth it.


HoulYerWheesht · 25/04/2021 18:27

I used 5 months of maternity leave to study. It was unbelievably tough but I did it. You have to be prepared to lower your expectations and use extensions a lot.


KihoBebiluPute · 25/04/2021 18:28

The big project (not studying, but similar size) that I planned to do during my first mat leave was finally done once my eldest was 3 and the free nursery hours started.


rarat · 25/04/2021 18:28

Depends on support & ultimately baby. I could have with dc1 not dc2


Confusedaboutlots · 25/04/2021 18:29


Before my first ML I thought I could write my novel I've been dreaming about for years. HAHAHAHAHA what a joke!!!!

yes me too.... i barely showered the first few weeks.

i think ML can sometimes be more difficult for driven, ambitious people because they are used to being able to control their schedule and pack loads of things into a tight timeframe

but that is before a tiny human comes along who is permanently attached to you- they are then the boss of you and it’s a massive transition to adjust to

OneCalamerra · 25/04/2021 18:34

Totally depends.

With my youngest I could have done that (easy baby, lots of support, pretty quick recovery from the birth).

With my eldest I didn’t do anything other than bare survival for the first year (difficult birth, difficult recovery, difficult baby).

So maybe think about how much it costs and whether you can afford to lose that if it turns out it’s not something you can handle.


Curiosity101 · 25/04/2021 18:34

I wouldn't aim to do anything after the 6 weeks A/L or before the baby is at least 6 months old. I agree with others that it'll depend massively on the baby and you are likely to only get 20-30 minutes here and there throughout your days.

Plus having the added pressure may turn what should be a lovely time for you to bond with your baby into a stressful time.

I'd say go for it if you're not going to lose out financially / won't be too bothered if you end up not completing it. Cause getting some progress would presumably be better than none at all?

I'd planned to do a qualification during maternity leave. It would've been 30-40 hours revision in total and a 2hr online exam. I didn't even start it... But I did have lots of baby cuddles and walks in the sunshine with my little boy during lockdown. 😊 I'm due to go on maternity leave in this coming September... This time around I have literally 0 plans except to enjoy the time with my baby as much as possible.


NicolaDunsire · 25/04/2021 18:36

How many hours a week would it be?

I did a part time MA during my DD’s 1st year, wrote my dissertation the summer she was 1. It’s definitely possible.


EmiliaAirheart · 25/04/2021 18:36

Lots of people saying they couldn’t do it, for balance, I did this. I finished studying my masters and did a qualifying postgrad diploma while on a year of mat leave. It wasn’t always easy as there are other demands on your time (less sleep while baby naps/time to watch movies with your partner) but it’s doable and I’m proud that I did it. And much easier than doing it with a toddler and while back at work, in my case!


ChocOrange1 · 25/04/2021 18:37

What's your plan for childcare? Could you start the childcare early at the end of your mat leave to get the qualification done?
I would not have been able to do any studying with a newborn but once they're 6 months old and (probably) napping reliably then you could do some during naps and some in the evening.


mynameiscalypso · 25/04/2021 18:39

I'd say it's doable - I started my masters when DS was four months old. I studied during nap time or when he was happily in his bouncy chair / lying in the floor fascinated by an inanimate object. It was more tricky as he became more mobile but not the end of the world at all. It's much more tricky now I'm still studying and am back at work because I have to divide my free time between studying and work and it doesn't feel like there are enough hours in the day but I partly feel like that because I have exams in a week and am woefully under prepared 😂

I actually loved doing it on maternity - it was connected to my job so has been really helpful in terms of returning to work and keeping me up to date and I loved using my brain.


CheshireCats · 25/04/2021 18:42

Don't rely on the 6 weeks before baby is due. My first arrived 4 weeks early and 24hrs after I started mat leave....


pigglepot · 25/04/2021 18:48

I think it's a mad plan. The issue is not necessarily time as babies sleep for long periods in the day. It's the fact that you have very little headspace when you've just become a parent and have a newborn. Hormones are everywhere, you are totally preoccupied by your baby whilst feeling at the same time not your old self anymore. It's hard to describe. It's joyful but I wouldn't add pressure on yourself by trying to study at the same time. In the evening you will want to pass out or flop with a glass of wine before passing out!!


Brokenrecord3006 · 25/04/2021 18:50

Before the baby comes along I'd think you could, but then you don't know if you might go into labour early, be induced, etc.

I remember buying a stack of books for my maternity leave and I didn't even get a chance to read one of them. Its shocking how little time and energy you have.


SunflowerOwl · 25/04/2021 18:50

The 10 weeks was based on 4 hours per week so its 40 hours study time in total Smile

My DH is taking 2 weeks paternity leave + 2 weeks annual leave once the baby arrives, I'm also not expecting to be physically able to breastfeed although I'm going to give it a crack so that might change things a bit!

It's nice to read others have managed this. I know I'd need to not set my expectations too high though!

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