Post # 1
Can you share your experience? Did you choose? Do you regret anything? Did any of you do both? If yes, was it hard and did you feel like you were so caught up you were missing out on family life?
We love our jobs right now. DH and I work together at a non-profit. It’s hard to explain what we do without revealing too many private details but one of the perks is that it’s a wonderful atmosphere and get this: I am allowed to bring my baby/child to work! We don’t live near family but we have great benefits, paid summers off, and a nice paid time off for maternity. We want kids and we both also figure this is the perfect time/place/job to have our first. We’ve been married for almost 2 years. I turned 25 in December, he’s almost 27, and we both have always wanted kids before we’re 30.
What’s the “problem” ?
I want to get a 2-3 year Master’s degree. I probably won’t be working during this time. It’s competitive, time consuming, and exciting all in one. I just feel like getting this will take us to the next level and I am also passionate about my education so it’s very important to me to go beyond a Bachelor’s. Online classes are not an option…I just won’t be academically fulfilled by doing that.
We’re really thinking about
A. waiting 1 more year, and then try for baby. Work here (bringing our kid to work, not hire stranger to nanny our kid) until baby is old enough to go to school or at least pre-school, then move and I’ll do grad school.
B. Wait 1 more year, then move. Do grad school for 2-3 years. I’ll find a new job. Then try for baby (pay for childcare like everyone else until baby can go to school).
C. Wait a year, try for baby, when baby is 1-2 move and go to grad school. Be financially tighter. Only DH will work during this time+ we’ll have to pay for childcare.
What would you do if you were in my position?
Post # 3
@LuluInLove: I notice your options don’t include having a baby now, is there a reason for that? Like maybe your not ready this year but next year?
Honestly, your situation now sounds like my ideal situation to have a baby in, especially that you could take the bub to work with you. If I were you (and with limited info about your life) I’d try for a baby now, then when preschool/school comes along, go back to do your masters.
Post # 4
This sounds like an interesting job situation. I too wanted baby at 30 and just finished grad school at 29. I decided it was more important to do grad school first and am glad I did because I don’t think I would have finished if I had a toddler and a husband with a demanding job. However, you need to take into account your field, the demands of your supervising professor (i.e. Assuming you are a grad assistant, do you need to maintain office hours daily or can you work from home?). That being said, I have a colleague who got pregnant in her first year and just finished but took an extra year.
You mentioned moving. Is it possible for you to go to grad school full time without moving? I feel like your husband could support child care by bringing baby to work a few days while you try and get a few home office days and you could be in a good place to do baby and grad school at the same time. Even if the program is not as strong, it seems like you would benefit more from combining baby and grad school while your husband still holds this family friendly position. I would even say, apply for grad school now and start classes and such and try for baby in a year as planned. Most women plan to be pregnant, with a small child for the end of grad school after they are familiar with the schedule/requirements and also have a bit of time to front load a fuller work load.
You seem to be in a place with lots of options, good luck!
Post # 5
You will never find a job with a better situation to have a child. Ever. Grad school will be there forever. Going to grad school in your 30’s is fairly common. If your current job lets you bring a child to work, take advantage of it! Going to grad school also won’t guarantee you a better job later on and it will cost you some money so add that into the equation. It could also be busier than your work is because you’ll have class, homework, and you’ll probably be working internships. Also if you’re 25 you probably have been in your job for about 3 years? if you work for a couple more years before grad school that experience will help you later when you start looking for a job.
Post # 6
If your husband works at the same office, can’t he bring the baby to work while you are in grad school so that you don’t need to arrange/pay for additional child care?
As a side note, do many people at your work take advantage of this benefit? I am curious how it works to have your baby at work. I am currently staying home with my child (but going back to work next week) and there are days that I don’t even have time to shower, much less work a full time job while simultaneously taking care of a baby!
Post # 7
@Brooke1226: I want to wait a year for various reasons. We want to prepare ourselves financially and I want to prepare physically (lose so weight, etc.). We also want to take a trip next summer before having kids. Thanks for your advice!
@slicey19: Thanks for sharing your choice/experience. I wish I could go to grad school locally. That would work out so well. However, the area we live in is small and a bit rural. The nearest school is about 6 hours away. What I’m doing is not like “med school intense” but still very competitive and demanding so I guess that’s what makes me nervous.
@Sunnydale: I agree. This job is like the best of both worlds. We would both work while feeling like stay at home parents. I’ve been here for 1 year, I do want to wait 1-2 more years before doing grad shcool. I didn’t mention I have scholarships so my costs would be minimal. I’m torn but definitely leaning toward trying for baby 1st. I’m just so afraid to get comfortable here (like the other couples who have been here for 10+ years). It’s a wonderful job, we love it, but I’m such a driven person and I want to do more with my life. We only make about 52k a year together but we get to spend so much quality time and enjoy perks like not having to pay for groceries (except for about 9 days a month). Living in such a remote town gets really old sometimes though. I want to accomplish something big like start my own organization or something. This sounds lame but I’m such a dreamer and I’m afraid of being content with just this. I hope that makes sense. I really value your comment, it made me think! Thank you!!!
@paperumbrella: Please take a look at what I wrote to slicey19 above. It should answer some questions. And yes, there are lots of kids who have been basically raised here. It’s a residential position so we live and work here. Our schedule is 6 days here 3 days at our real home 6 days here 3 days home and the cycle continues all year. We also get holidays off, summers off (kind of like teachers). Like teachers, they divide our salary so we still get checks while we are off. It has has a lot of pros but just as many cons. Overall, we really enjoy it.
Post # 8
I like option A, except that babies are mobile and need a serious amount of attention by the time they’re 7 or 8 months old!
It looks like working for a year, then grad school then children would probably work best for you!
Post # 9
Baby first, in my opinion. I would absolutely take advantage of not needing to use childcare for an infant. Everywhere I have lived, childcare for infants is significantly more expensive than for toddlers and older children, so if I could work, bring my baby to work, and save money before going to school, I definitely would, hands down. You have such interesting perks to your job; I’m so curious what field you and your husband work in! I’d take advantage of this, for sure, and either wait until my child was pre-school aged, or at least old enough to avoid the high cost of infant childcare.
I’ve only gone to university as a mother – I had my daughter 8 months before I started my bachelor’s degree, and I’m now 4 full years into my PhD (she’s 9). My experience is that if you are committed to your program and have some support (family, childcare, etc), it’s not unbearably difficult. This of course depends a bit on your program of study, how intensive it is, what time commitments your program requires of you, what your supervisor expects. In the social sciences at least, your time will likely be more flexible than you might think – I work on research for three full days a week (my daughter is in school and daycare on this days), two half days (she’s in school but not daycare), and in the evenings after she’s asleep. If I was in the sciences and had stringent lab commitments, I might feel differently, but I’m able to manage my time very well, and that’s without my partner (he’s in a program in a different country) and only one person to occasionally rely on for care outside of school/daycare hours.
Post # 10
We were in this exact position – we also both work at a non-profit! – and I chose to go with a baby first. Not the right thing for everyone, but I’m pregnant now and am really content with my decision. I’m a major dreamer and have had a lot of academic drive up to this point in my life, but now that I’ve chosen my path for the next few years, I feel a lot of peace. My field isn’t one where you can hop in and out, so I wanted to make sure that I could keep up momentum once getting out of school. I’ve watched a lot of friends spend years getting their PhDs and building careers, only to go on maternity leave in their mid-30s and then find it really emotionally difficult and stressful to go back (mind you, maternity leave lasts a year here in England). I also really want to be home with my kids when they’re little, so it made sense to wait to do grad school until they could be old enough to go to school instead of having to send them to daycare whilst I’m climbing the ladder in a new job.
In the end, I made my choice because having children was a higher priority for this time in my life than school school was. I knew I wanted kids, and aside from the reasons above, I didn’t want to wait and then potentially have fertility problems or be at higher risk for disabilities. I knew that grad school would always be there, and that I’d only able to give it the time I’d want to give it I once I’d gotten the baby fever out of my system.
That’s just me, though! It’s a very personal decision without a right or wrong solution.
Post # 11
@LuluInLove: I’d wait on baby and go to school. It’s my personal opinion (fear? :D) that you’re life is no longer your own when you become a parent. It’s sort of like you are a secondary character to your child(rens) life.
Post # 12
I waited to finish my PhD. I am 33, thinking next year we will try. I don’t regret it at all! I know a few friends had their children while in grad school which seemed to work for them, but they took 2-3 years more time in graduation which means more loans, etc. Also some mother’s had to move for internship and that was really tough.
Post # 13
If you like your job, want kids, and have a kid-friendly work environment — go for it!!
Also, I’m not entirely sure of your specifics and I’m not trying to be a downer, but I’m not sure being driven/wanting to feel fulfilled is a good enough reason to go to grad school. It can be an exhausting, soul-sucking enterprise, if you go to a competitive program. Not only is it a bad time to have kids, but most jobs you will get after graduation are likely to be very kid-unfriendly, depending on your line of work. I’m in a PhD program, which is a bit different. But, I don’t have any female friends in my line of work who have had kids.
If you like your job now, stick with it until you no enjoy it– then go to grad school, if need be.
Post # 14
I’m not sure how comparable your Master’s program would be with my PhD program, but there are SO many demands on my time – classes, research/lab time, and clinical rotations – and I don’t think I could possibly do it with a child. Some people do, but the majority avoid that added stressor. However, like a PP, I’m in a field that is somewhat child unfriendly so there’s not really a good time to have a child ever!
For me, I am young at 23 and higher education is the most important thing to me to achieve my career goals and improve myself, and my husband (who is also pursuing higher ed) was 100% on board. I’m not sure I want kids, so this was super easy for me – I chose graduate school, hands down. I see where it is more complicated for you, though. Good luck!
Post # 15
Oops. I meant to write — if you like your job, stick with it until you no LONGER enjoy it, not “until you no enjoy it.”
That’s what I get for posting in a hurry!
Post # 16
Is waiting until your child is in school to get your masters at all an option? I feel like if you had the baby now, you could take advantage of reduced daycare costs by bringing them to work, and then when they are in school, which would also save on daycare, you could go back to school, so you aren’t having to deal with the double whammy of daycare costs plus you being out of work. Otherwise, i’d do the masters now, and wait on the baby until you’ve had a job out of school at least 2 years.