Post # 1
Of course I have heard it a million times, “Finish your schooling before starting a family.” I’m just wondering what real life experiences you ladies have had with post-secondary education and starting a family?
Fiance and I are pain-stakingly trying to map out our future and what steps we need to take to get what we want after the wedding. It seems like we have a million options and we just can’t decide what is 100% right for us. It’s so hard because obviously we can’t predict the future, so all we can do is try to make the best plan possible and hope that everything falls into place.
Fiance has a 4 month program to take before he can join a municiple firefighting department (he’s an oilfield firefighter currently) and I have the majority of my gradute school (2 1/2 – 3 years) to complete. We’ve been considering alternating one of us in school and one of us working (while we are both working right now and I have part time studies) in order for us to be able to afford reaching both our goals. One of the largest obstacles in that we’re curently living in a city that doesn’t have the institutes to finish our education, so a move is in order. To summarize our complex lifes we’re basically both trying to get into the careers we ultimately want to be in and our current jobs are more of a quick (2-3 year) way to make great money in the remote North.
Now another factor to consider is my FI’s 4 year old son. We’ve both talked about wanting siblings for him that aren’t too far apart in age. This is a big thing for us because we really want his son to grow up with our children too so that they can truely feel like siblings growing up in one big happy family. This sort of puts the pressure on.
We’ve talked about TTC right after the wedding (this April) while Fiance finishes his course. He’d be done his program and working within a municiple department by the time the baby came. This of course would mean I would have to put my career on hold. So here’s where my questions to you come into play. Those of you who put schooling/a career on hold for child, was it hard to go back to school afterward? How did you find the transition into getting back into your old routine?
Our other option would be to wait until we are both finished and into our ultimate career choices. This will realistically be 4-5 years from now. I’m not sure we want to wait that long to TTC, especially since his son will be almost 10 years older than our first child.
Obviously this decision is going to take some long hard thought and we’ll have to weigh out all our options, but I’m hoping to gain a little insight from those of you who have expereience with this. Any thoughts, opinions, advice, etc. is very much appreciated!
Thank you for making it through this long post!
Post # 3
As you know the odds are against you but it is doable. My mother only had her associates degree before she got married and had children. She was a Stay-At-Home Mom and when I went to school (I am the youngest) she went to school and got her bachelors. She then proceeded to get her law degree while I was in high school.
Keep in mind is that raising kids and going to school is beyond a full time job itself. If you have to work on top of that it may never get done. Maybe you and your husband can devise a plan that would allow you to be a Stay-At-Home Mom when you are going to school.
Also I am not sure what you are going to get your graduate degree in, but I know for my mother to start working as an attorney she would have taken an extreme pay cut and work an average of 80 hours a week. She wasn’t in a place in her life we she was able to do that and she had her JD but has stayed working in her industry and moved up the ladder instead of fulfilling her dreams of practicing.
Post # 4
Thanks for responding…I appreciate it 🙂
Post # 5
I don’t have much by way of advice, but I can understand your situation. I’ve been in a similar one as we’ve been putting off TTC while I finish my doctorate. I’ll be 29 this June when I finally graduate and while to many that is young, I get frustrated a lot because I’ve wanted to have kids for SO long, we want 3-4 kids, and there is still so much to do in my professional life before I feel settled in my career (e.g., post-do, licensure) anyway. I look at a lot of people in my program that didn’t choose to wait and I feel envious because they have made it work and perhaps I should have just worked around kids instead of working kids around career. If I could do it again, I would most likely just get pregnant sometime during school and just made it work. At this point, I really don’t think there is ever going to be the perfect time. As you know, it defintely takes more work to have kids while working on a degree/career, but I do believe it is doable if you have the drive. Hope that helps. Good luck!
Post # 6
I had my son while i was still in school. I had in february, and actually took him to class with me until i was able to get him into daycare! i went to school for another year and 1/2 after he was born too. i always say that it always works its way out 🙂
Post # 7
As others have said it’s definately do-able. I got pregnant my sophomore year of college, had her the same year, and took off fall of my junior year. I’m so glad I did because between getting up all night and taking care of her theres NO way i would have had time or energy to study and get up for school. I tried to go back spring of junior year but had to drop out. I just couldnt keep up. But I’ve had friends that had children go back the next semester and get through it! So like i said it’s do-able, just extremely hard. I have a year left of school and what we decided to do is TTC about 4-6 months before i graduate because we know it may take a while. It’s way easier to finish school pregnant than with a newborn! So, ultimately you need to decide what is best for yall. TTC during school and just get through it or try a while before you graduate like I am so you’ll have baby right after you graduate. I have a daughter that is 18 months right now and I’m right there with you about not wanting your kids far apart(FI is not her biological father). We’re striving to have our kids no more than 4 years apart. If I were in your position I would just go for having kids during school if thats what you really want 🙂
Post # 8
I had two small children when I started law school. Fortunately, they were in kindergarten and second grade when I started, so they were in school most of the time I was. I studied at night after they were in bed.
I got pregnant during my last year of law school. There were quite a few of us mommies-to-be and new mommies in law school. Fortunately, the baby was due my last semester and I didn’t have a full load, so it just all kind of worked out somehow. I did miss a few classes, but was back in school within a week of his birth (and that was with a c-section). All of my professors were very understanding.
While I don’t recommend doing school the way I did, it actually worked out better that I had that third baby during school and not after. My schedule is not nearly as flexible now as it was in school and I’m gone from home much more now that I ever was then.
You just have to figure out when is right for you. I totally understand wanting your children close together. I wish sometimes all three of mine could have been close together in age…but it didn’t work out that way. Don’t be afraid though of having a baby while in school if that is what seems to work best for you. It is definitely doable. I’m not the most organized person in the world, but I managed..so I’m sure you can too!
Post # 9
I have a close friend who was in a similar situation. She had a son going into her marriage and wanted siblings which were not far apart in age. She was in undergraduate school at the time and her husband worked full time. She always got the highest grades in the class and I think the little ones were always a good motivation for her. She ended up having one more and adopting two (total of 4!). She did not take time off until graduate school. She took a year to be with her kids at home and then returned to the graduate program the next year. She will be done in 2 years I believe. The downside was always being on opposite schedules with her husband and lack of sleep, but she was always a good example of balancing school and a family. Good luck! 🙂
Post # 10
Thank you ladies. You are certainly helping to boost my confidence. I’ve always been an A student and I have a lot of motivation, so I’m sure that we could make this work if we really want to 🙂
Added a poll to see the general opinion.
Post # 11
I am currently in a women only program that is done on Saturdays only, and I would say that at least half of the women have children. I have known at least 4 or 5 women in this small program that have had babies during (one even had twins and they were 3 months early!)…they have all returned to school in a short amount of time.
I would say the biggest thing to focus on would be finding a program that makes sense for moms (whether it’s accelerated at night, or on weekends, or even with some online classes). Good luck!
Post # 12
In our family, my husband is currently finishing his grad school. Our daughter will be 1 to 1.5 years old when he graduates (depending on his course schedule the next two semesters). Honestly, it’s not ideal; ideally, he would have been totally done with school before we had a baby. We certainly make it work, and we wouldn’t change having our daughter for anything, but we don’t get as much family time and baby time as we’d like, and that does make us feel bad that we didn’t wait a little longer.
On the other hand, we’re trying to plan for another baby and for me to finish my grad program. Ideally, I’ll quit working and be a mom/grad student full-time in the next couple years. Then, we’ll start trying for another baby when I’m in my second to last semester, hoping I’ll be due soon after graduation. I think it’ll be a little easier since both of us won’t be working full-time while I’m grad school. Still not perfect, maybe, but a little better than our current situation.
Post # 13
I was in school all through me pregnancy hauling my books and big ol belly with me everyday! =) It wasn’t as bad as I had thought. There was another girl there who was due the same week as me and a few other mommies. I took about 4 months off and then went back to finish.
The smarter option is to always wait and be prepared. But if there is one thing I’ve learned from being a parent is that somehow, someway everything works out in the end and its never as bad as you had imagined before kids. I was terrified to attend school pregnant but it actually turned out to be quite nice and made some nice memories of that time in my life. Good luck!!!
Post # 14
I think it depends a bit on how much time you have to devote each day to your school and if you’re also going to try to work while doing school. The grad school I went to was a heavy course load, lots of hands on time in lab thing so you had to have a good number of hours to devote to it. A couple women had babies during the program but they took a lot longer to finish than it took everyone else (a couple guys had kids too but it didn’t effect their timeline for finishing – big surprise). There were also a couple women with older kids who joined but there weren’t any moms with young kids in the program. It might have been doable since some were having babies but I think it’s a bit difficult to adjust to the lifestyle sometimes.