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Single and studying

4 replies

minxmum · 09/03/2005 13:52

Hi there. I'm new to mumsnet so thought I would just say hello. I'm a single mum to a dd aged 7 months. I'm doing a PhD and was just wondering if there's anyone else out there in a similar situation. I go through weeks of coping pretty well and then others (like this week when dd's dad is visiting) when I drop a ball and my work falls by the wayside. Have been up and down with dd last three nights due to teething so pretty exhausted and now that she's started sleeping ok, I'm stressed out by being behind with work so now can't sleep myself. Any success stories out there to make me think it's all possible?

OP posts:
chloeb2002 · 09/03/2005 18:38

Hello minx mum. Im a student nurse with a two year old and did access before i started nursing. It is do abl;e however its just hard graft. For me working placements are very hard... finding childcare at 6.30 am to start an early is hard... overnight babycare....and 12 hour shifts when i see DD for all of 30 mins. then assignemnts to fit it reflective journals, essays and research.... stress ha. However the thought of being a sahm for me is just not a goer so all or nothing i guess! what uni are you at?

minxmum · 09/03/2005 20:01

Hi chloeb. That's what I needed. Someone who has it harder than me and still manages to cope. How do you manage the 6:30am childcare, do you have family nearby? And for you it's not just the studying but the physical element of being on your feet for such long hours.
Most of my pressure stems from the fact that I have one year of funding left. If I don't finish in that time, despite the fact that I have another year in which to complete (unpaid) then I'm worried about income.
Anyway, I'm sure it'll get better next week. At request of dd's dad I cancelled childminder this week so that he could spend time with her. However, it's ended up being me caring for her during the day and hence no opportunity to catch up with sleep, let alone think creatively. Well, I lie. Have been thinking some rather "creative" thoughts about what I would like to do to dd's dad but unfortunately that doesn't get my PhD written.
(I'm at Newcastle uni btw)

OP posts:
Ellbell · 10/03/2005 15:24

Hi Minxmum

Can't really give you a lot of help, as I did my PhD before having kids. However, I can't help feeling that what you describe fits the way that most people work on their PhDs - in fits and starts, sometimes well and sometimes, um, less well. Certainly even now I find it hard to get down to research (I have two dds of 3 and 4, though I am not a single parent...) and put it off and put if off... and then when I do get going with it, it's great - but it takes ages to get going.

PhDMumof1 is out here somewhere (or maybe not, maybe finishing PhD... hooray!) and she has a small ds and has managed to do a PhD at the same time.

If you really feel that you are getting behind, you could talk to your funding body and see if you can arrange a short suspension to give yourself more time. How helpful is your supervisor? Does s/he have any good advice, or is it more of a 'work only' kind of relationship?

Good luck and keep posting!

chloeb2002 · 10/03/2005 19:33

hey minx mum just up the road... I had a n offer from Northumbria but its a bit too far to drive to placements. About 45mins to the metro centre from home. Let alone newcastle traffic at rush hour! I unfortuately dont have any family that close. My mother is is harrogate so local but an hour away! early mornings are done by friends across the road. and im quite lucky that my other local fiend s far too busy being a high flying solicitor to have children yet so her mum is a greatful surrogate granny. It is possible, to get by finacially. I am lucky that i get a bursary by with no maintainence its tight so i work two nihts a week at a local pub to generate a bit extra. All in all just go for it. I tell myself, whenever it gets hard that when its all done and in a qualified staff nurse i can choose when i want to work, full time part time, bank agency... and from that we will be better off, socially financially and emotionally. We will be independant and able to begin living!
Remember that you call the shots with access and visiting from Ex p and dont let him land you in it. If in doubt keep the childcare arrangements and then know you are covered.

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