(Closed) Having Kids and Getting a Degree (long, help!)

posted 5 years ago in College
Post # 4
Member
7771 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

Sweetheart, you are only 20?  I had this dilemma, but I am 29.  I think you have plenty of time to get your masters before baby (?).  I think that is the most ideal scenerio.  However, I wanted to do that, but have taken years of developing (I am an artist) and now we are having baby first. 

I don’t know how I will really feel once I get up to that point of deciding whether I still want to do MFA, I am just going to have to play it by ear.  If I wasn’t 29 I probably would have waited and done masters first.

Post # 5
Member
529 posts
Busy bee

I didn’t go to school while I had kids but I do have kids and went to school so I think I am sort of qualified to answer 🙂 My question for you is will you have to work full time while going to school and starting your family? If that is the case you may be biting off more than you can chew. However if you can afford to not work and have some childcare options in place it is totally doable. For example if you treat going to school like your job and spend 6 hours a day +/- going to class and studying then you should be fine. It will be tougb during finals but you can do it! Also, in my opinion kids are hardest for the first year and then things get easier but then when they start school and activities your time is no longer your own. That’s my 2 cents!

Post # 7
Member
10368 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think you need to decide whether you want kids on his timeline or the education and career you are dreaming of. It’s not that you CAN’T get your masters after a kid….it’s just that almost nobody DOES go back once they are sucked into the responsibilities of parenthood. IMO, if he can wait till he’s 37, he can wait till he’s 40 and buy you some more time. That’s a huge age gap to have to work around – and I think he needs to compromise a bit more so that you can get started in life.

Post # 9
Member
7312 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

I got my undergrad degree when DS was small (I graduated when he was 4) while also working part-time. It was hard. Really hard. I would be up until 1am writing papers and studying, then get up at 5:30am with DS. I was constantly sleep deprived, short-tempered, and weary. I was definitely not the best parent I could have been, but it was necessary for our long term financial stability. I will wait until after DS graduates college, and then it will be my turn to go back for my master’s degree. Life is so busy working full time, running the household, and staying on top of DS that there is no way in hell I could take on a degree program right now. And we earn “too much” for DS to qualify for any need-based financial aid, so staring down that $30k a year college bill means that we need to put him first in our finances for quite a while longer.

Post # 10
Member
6010 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I’m doing it right now, but it’s not easy, especially if you’re unsure from the beginning if you’d be able to manage work, school, and a baby.  My husband started on his grad degree about a month before we found out we were pregnant with our first; he finished up in spring 2011, and I started my grad degree fall 2011, about a month after we found out we were pregnant with our second.  Both of us also worked full time up until I had #2 in April, when I quit work to finish up school and be a SAHM for a while. 

Going to school and having kids is absolutely possible, but, yes it’s hard.  I don’t have much (any?) free time, and I have to be really strict with myself so I complete all my assignments on time.  Luckily, my program is online, so it’s very flexible; that helps a lot, since I can complete my schoolwork when the kids are sleeping.  We don’t have any family nearby, but the kids do go to daycare two days a week so I can study/run errands, and that helps a lot, too.  It is sometimes very difficult and can be exhausting and overwhelming, but my motto is to just get through it, and we can relax later on.

My suggestion to you is that you have a long time before you have to make a decision on this.  Enjoy your baby-free life now, spend lots of time with your SO, and don’t worry about it too much until you are closer to graduation.  3 years from now your SO might change his mind, or you might change yours, and this may become a non-issue.  Or, in 3 years you may discover other alternatives that would help make this compromise between you and your SO.

Post # 11
Member
10368 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

ETA – Everyone has their deal-breakers, and for me, sacrificing my education and career to have a kid on someone else’s timeline is a deal breaker. I think it would also break my heart to see my very young daughter working her life around someone else’s timeline, as well.

Post # 13
Member
8044 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

Are you absolutely certain you want to get your masters? I am wondering because once you get into the field you may completely change your mind… it has happened to many people that I know… especially considering that you’ve got another 3 years left in school before you even begin working. What about waiting until the kid is 2-3 years old and then starting the masters? I wouldn’t recommend starting it when you’re pregnant or have the newborn. I have had my bachelor’s degree for about 4 years now and I would not embark on a masters unless either my employer was paying for it, or I knew 100% that it would translate into more money. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but masters aren’t what they used to be, unless you have a very specific plan. You may find that after working for 2 years that you’d rather get more work experience and that you want to wait a bit longer to get more education. All I am saying is that plans change and you’re planning almost 10 years ahead. In some ways that’s a good thing, but other ways you can’t really plan life out perfectly.

With that said, though, my mom finished her bachelor’s when she was pregnant with me. It wasn’t easy. She did further education when I was 13 and my sister was 9… but by that point we could somewhat fend for ourselves. That was hard for her, though, definitely.

Do you plan on working while doing your masters or doing it part-time? That makes a difference as well. I think that ultimately if you set yourself a goal and are committed to it, it is absolutely possible to achieve it… but if you are doing school + baby you will need a very structured lifestyle. I suggest you plan it out w. your boyfriend… like show how many hours a night you’d need to study, factor in if you’re working, what his work hours are, possible costs for a babysitter or daycare, etc., a date night, and so on.

Post # 15
Member
8044 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I feel bad for you… you’re only 20 and you really shouldn’t have to have these worries yet! I’m not a ton older than you (27), but I’ve started worrying about kids now… and I’ve had way more time to be carefree than you. My boyfriend is also older than me, so we are somewhat on his timeline, but I’d be 30-31 by the time I actually have a kid.. so that sounds more reasonable to me.

Ok, well at least that’s good that you know the masters will translate into more $$$.

You’re not sure you even want to do the masters, and that’s totally fine. I am just not sure if you can plan out the years ahead as you’re trying to do. Or that you should even have to. The best advice I can give is to not let yourself be pressured into something you don’t want to do. Yeah compromise is important and the reality of dating an older guy is that you likely will have to have kids sooner.. but I can’t imagine having kids at 24. I barely had my career started… and I was SO not ready. I am not ready now. I am not really sure what to tell you. I understand his point of view.. he wants to know that he can have kids at a decent age… but you’re only 20 so he has no right to pressure you.

 

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