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studying full time - can I manage?

22 replies

DonnaLouise · 13/04/2003 20:41

I'm looking into starting a midwifery diploma in september when ds will be almost 2.

the whole 'working' week will be 37 hours then you have travel time and study time on top of that to consider.

Hopefully, the childminder he currently goes to will have vacancies for him full time (although I know I will be involved in shift work so could possibly manage having him perhaps a day a week).

So, all things being equal, could I manage it? Will I cope with running a home (dh is only of use when you actually ask him to do something - he does not use his initiative when it comes to household chores), fitting in quality time with my angel and dh, and on top of it all, studying?

Advice would be appreciated.

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DonnaLouise · 13/04/2003 20:45

oh my goodness! it looks like someone else is looking into nursing further down the noticeboard so I'll check out her responses.

feel free to add anything else though.

Incidentally, I don't have any other back up support apart from paid childminders.


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Marina · 14/04/2003 19:10

DonnaLouise, my ds attends a university nursery where many of the parents are doing BEd, PGCE or midwifery degrees. They do seem to manage, but I did hear one of the midwifery students complain how knackered she was when she started her might be worth finding out what extra support your college can offer parents on such a demanding (but worthwhile) course. Needless to say, the nursery, although a very good one, cannot provide the hours needed by student nurses and midwives (ie opens at 8.30 and closes at 5.30). Good luck with such an excellent change of career - if I was 10 years younger I'd seriously contemplate it myself. I think midwives are the tops.


tallulah · 15/04/2003 10:42

Donna, I went to Uni "full-time" when my kids were just 2, 4, 6 & 7. I also kept my 16 hours per week job in a call centre, and a casual waitressing job.
I was lucky in that "full-time" on a humanities course involved only being on campus 3 days a week, and they weren't full days. I used to spend all weekend, and I mean ALL, writing essays.
It wasn't easy, but it wasn't impossible. My DH works nights, so was around to take up some of the slack, & the school run. FIL had DS3 quite a lot & by my final year DS3 was going to a playgroup & 2 different nurseries (poor little love, kind of, if I'm here it must be Tuesday..!).


Flippa · 15/04/2003 13:06

I am thinking about doing a PGCE at some point and was wondering what I would do re childcare if I was to study. Marina - which uni are you at? Would be interested to know as having a nursery on site seems perfect! What are the fees like?


DonnaLouise · 15/04/2003 20:50

thanks for the responses.

btw, Marina, I'm 34 today! age is irrelevant. just think of it in terms of you'll still be a certain age in 3 years time whether you study or not!

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sammac · 15/04/2003 20:58

I did a PGCE when dd was 8 months old and I also worked pt as I had no grant(childcare was more than the mortgage). It was hard going but worth it in the end. It was the unexpected things that threw me- chickenpox, dh having to work away for 6 weeks. Dd was at nursery ft for the first 7 months, then a childminder( 3 houses along- which made things much easier). I remember sitting up till 4 am doing work and wonder how I ever- I can't stay up past 10 now. If I thought about it now- I think I was mad. What really helped were the friends I made on the course who were in similar positions re young families. We had a good system going and helped each other out a lot more than the 'younger' students. By that I mean photocopying study notes etc.
Go for it!!


DonnaLouise · 15/04/2003 21:17

I've never been able to be up past 10pm - even when doing my degree (also as a mature student - I loved it but still remember how hard it was...)

but yes, I'm banking on the cammerarderie (spelling?) of my colleagues.

thanks for the encouragment. still unsure of how I'll react without ds for so much of the week. he'll only be 2 if I do it this year (yes I know, loads of you manage, but it's been me and him exclusively all this time - albeit a childminder once a week for a break for me! I'll miss him surely?)

almost bedtime for me...!

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Emski · 15/04/2003 21:23

I'm just coming to the end of my second year of a three year degree course, dd is two and a half. I started the course about a week before her first birthday. As others have said, it is hard, I agree with sammac, it's the unplanned illnesses etc that really throw you off course. I'm still really disorganised and leave essays till the last minute, at which point dd usually decides to throw up or simply not go to sleep!. That said, I think you really should go for it - accept that it won't always be easy, try to be as organised as you can, and give it your best shot!. It is only three years (and the time really flies), and it will hopefully set you up for life. Best of luck!


Marina · 15/04/2003 22:19

Flippa, I'll pass the details on to Tech to send to you if that's OK. It's an excellent nursery and we are very happy with it. The uni has a big Education faculty.


Flippa · 16/04/2003 10:38

That would be great, thanks!


Zoe · 16/04/2003 17:37

DonnaLouise I start my PGCE in September when my ds will be two. I know that it will be hard, but I think that I will just have to get my head down and do it - I have a friend doing the same course and I know that we will support each other and hopefully other mature students on the course.

The difference of course with the midwifery will be the practical parts - presumably you will have to do some shift work. Is it worth finding out if there is a hospital creche you can access (quite a lot have them). In terms of your dh and housework, if he's good when he's told, what about a rota for the duration (that's what I'll be doing)

Good Luck - perhaps we can on-line support each other from September!


Scatterbrain · 17/04/2003 12:21

Sorry to butt into your thread, but Zoe I wanted to ask you a question about the PGCE. I am looking at doing this myself, but the college I was planning to apply to (for primary) says that I must have spent time in a school before applying !

Did you have to do that ? If so - what did you do - just phone up local schools ? Not sure how I can fit it in with working - but it seems to be a prerequisite.

Very grateful for any tips !


griffy · 17/04/2003 12:56

Scatterbrain - I've applied to do a secondary PGCE to start in December, but managed to get on a 'taster' course, which included a day in a school back in Feb. But I have met and spoken to others who have just approached local schools, explained their situation and asked if they could do a day's observation there. Several keener types had managed this at 2-3 schools.

I took the time off as holiday from work - if I didn't work full-time (with all the attendant strains on the amount of time off allowed), I would have definitely done this.

By the way, i don't know whether you're considering entry for this Sept, but I thought that all primary PGCE applications had to be with the GTTR by last Dec for this Sept start?


griffy · 17/04/2003 12:58

Sorry - stupid typo in first line - my course starts this Sept (that's if I get a place!)


aphra · 17/04/2003 14:11

Flippa, and DonnaLouise

My dds go to a university nursery too, the Manchester/MMU one, and it's totally excellent, in quality as well as price. I pay about £15 per day for each dd, which is about half the price I'd pay at other local nurseries. Students get a cheaper rate than that and some of them get grants to cover it too, so it can end up extremely cheap.


Zoe · 17/04/2003 18:12

Scatterbrain - I did go into a Primary school before my interview - took a week off from my (then) job and helped out in a Year 6 group. It wasn't a pre-requisite for the course in my case, but it helped out immensely for the interview and for helping me be sure that it was what I wanted to do. Schools are used to people asking - telephone a couple of local ones and ask the Office staff what the procedure is. You will need to apply for a disclosure which the school should help with (so you can work with children) and basically once you're in, get stuck in, help the kids and ask loads of questions! HTH


Zoe · 17/04/2003 18:14

GTTR is closed for Primary now this year, and if you want to apply for next year then I advise you to do it immediately in September 2003 - the unis interview in around November so I think even the December deadline is a bit arbitrary


Scatterbrain · 17/04/2003 19:14

Oohh - thanks for the info ! Will get onto it straight away !


hoxtonchick · 17/04/2003 19:40

Marina, our ds also attends a university nursery which opens 8:30-5:30 in London. I wonder if it's the same one?


sammac · 17/04/2003 21:02

Do try to go to a school- it really does help at the interview. You'd be amazaed at the number of people who apply for the course and have never been in school as an adult. A lot of them are instantly dismissed as not having even bothered. Another tip is to try to talk to a head or teacher who can fill you in with jargon currently in use. The interviewers really like to feel that the candidates have put in some work.
When I did it there were over 800 candidates for 65 places, so they can afford to be selective! Also if for some reason you get a knock back- phone up and query it. This happened to me because I forgot to state I had my maths o level which is prerequisite. If I hadn't queried it my place would have been bye bye.


DonnaLouise · 17/04/2003 21:19

Me again.

thanks for all the extra chat. I dunno about taking him to a hospital creche with me for a few reasons - a)hospitals are unhealthy places b) ds doesn't wake until 8am (tee hee!) and goes to bed at 8 after having his tea and a bath. I think I'd rather he attended the childminder's down the road so that dh can take him in the morning and fetch him in the evening so he's away from home the minimum of time. also, of course, this leaves childcare issue to my dh - hopefully one less stress for me.
Zoe, I'd love to have an online mutual encouragement pal! [email protected] (although not for long as demon are useless and I want unlimited access to internet which they don't do!) I assume I can put my personal address on this chat board...

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Marina · 17/04/2003 22:13

Hoxtonchick, I don't live anywhere as happening as the East End - out in the burbs, alas. Unless you are a property prices exile too? Must send that mail for Flippa to Tech!

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