Post # 1
I’m feeling overwhelmed. My husband and I have talked about TTC and I’ve gone off BC – essentially we’re not trying not to…However, I’m working on my master’s degree – about 1/3 of the way through. The farther into it the more I feel like I need to wait to have a baby to focus on finishing my degree. I’m 35 (in early Nov.)/husband is 42 and we want to have more than one child so having a baby is a priority for me but I also don’t want to sacrifice my advanced degree (in early childhood Montessori education).
Do I stop working on my Master’s degree and finish when the kids are in school? Or do I push on and just see what happens when I get pregnant and have a baby? By the way, we want to move out of SF for cost of living reasons and the program I’m in is one of the best…
I don’t feel like I can talk to my family or friends about this yet. My husband says that he supports any decision I made but is hoping to get pregnany sooner than later. Have any of you experienced this same issue?
Post # 3
I would try and finish your degree as quickly as possible. Most likely you won’t be able to carry credits over 5 years before the kids go to school (plus do you really want to start a new career in your 40s?).
Post # 4
I’d also suggest finishing school. A classmate of mine was one semester away, got pregnant, and had to hold off a semester because she wanted to focus on raising her son.
If you’re on loans then it might be something to think about. I don’t think my classmate was on loans because, well, having a baby and paying off loans after 6 months would be extremely tough to do!
Post # 5
Grad school with a baby is totally possible, and much easier than a full time job plus baby. Grad school is flexible. It may take you longer, but you can do it. I wish I’d been in a situation to have kids when I was in grad school – starting a faculty job is not conducive to having a baby.
Post # 6
You say you still have 2/3 to go for your degree, but how long is that in terms of time? Are you working and taking classes part time?
You never know how long it might take you to conceive, and with time passing, it can get more difficult, so I wouldn’t be enclined to postpone conceiving… I believe a degree is important, but it can always be obtained, while I would never take my ability to conceive for granted.
I am also working on my Masters. Right now, I complete one class per semester, and should be done in 3-4 years. We are planning on TTC within the year. I will continue on with my classes until the very end of the pregnency. We plan on me staying at home with our children for a few years, and I have the possibility to take online classes, or evening/weekend classes… So I will start classes again, one per semester, about 6 months after having the baby.
I think everything depends on the individual’s situation. I’d probably tell a 20 year old to finish their degree first; but you want to be healthy and have plenty of energy to enjoy the first years of your children (especially since your husband is a bit older).
Post # 7
I finished my fellowship before having my first baby at 38. It would have been hard to juggle coursework and pregnancy, and even harder to juggle course work and baby. As it is right now, I get home from work and nearly collapse from exhaustion after cooking, feeding the baby, putting her to bed and pumping… and that doesn’t even include the laundry and other chores like cleaning up after dinner.
We still could easily have a bio second kid, but we’re going the adoption route next time around.
Post # 8
@rachelss: So true about faculty job and baby. I’m living that dream right now!
Post # 9
Honestly I think grad school and a baby is doable (I will probably have my first child during my PhD) but you have to do what is right for you. If you need the focus than Try to get pregnant in the last 9 months of the program (which doesn’t seem like it’s that far away).
Post # 10
@Mrs. DG: & @rachelss: And that’s why we want to have our first during my PhD. I want to set my priority to my family before I get into the old man’s club that is a faculty position!
Post # 11
Almost all my teacher friends finished their Masters with small children. Yes, it was difficult at times but they got through it. Definitely continue working on your degree. Even if you got pregnant right away, it would be almost another year before you actually had a child and you would be that much closer to finished. If it takes you some time to get pregnant, you could end up being done.
Post # 12
My husband is currently in grad school, and we just had a baby 3.5 months ago. He works full time and takes two classes a semester; he should be finished in spring 2011 or fall 2011 (depending on when they offer his courses). I can tell you that it’s totally possible, but maybe not ideal. Since my husband is working and doing classes, I do the majority of housework (and I work full time too). And though my husband helps out with the baby as much as he can, he doesn’t get to spend as much time with her as he would like. It would probably be a different situation if we had waited to have the baby after he had already graduated.
I say, continue working on your degree, and maybe try to get pregnant when you only have one or two semesters left. That way, you’ll be done or almost done by the time you have the baby!
Post # 13
How long is your masters? Assuming it takes a few months to get pregnant, you won’t give birth for at least a year. You could always take a semester off right when the baby is born (if your school allows that?) and go back. I think it’s doable – easier than working while having a baby, depending on the structure of your program (class-heavy = harder, but a thesis masters could be easier if you just do your research on the computer at home, for example). I have several friends that did their PhDs at MIT while pregnant/with a newborn, and it really was the best case scenario for them. If they had waited, they would have had exponentially more demands on their time. But, of course, it all depends on your personal situation, as different fields and degrees are different!
Post # 14
I think it’s doable, but both are a lot of work! But it also sounds like you really want both, so I’d say don’t put either one off.
Post # 15
I am currently working toward my masters, and working toward being a mom. We chose not to put off trying based on my age and the fact that my periods are irregular …meaning we are struggling to get pregnant for the first time, and still hoping to have 2 children. We don’t know how long this process will take.
I figured it was easier to have a baby while in school part-time (I do have the option of working only part-time) as oppose to have a baby or being pregnant while beginning my new career.
I have 2-3 years of school left, and by then I will be 34-35. If I take a few years to get pregnant…well you see where I am going. It will just get tougher to make it happen.
If I were 25 or so…or if I had a regular cycle, I would no doubt finish school and start my career first.
Do you have family or friends close by that can help? Like, say you had a big test to study for, could a family member come over and give you some quiet time? That should make a difference too.
I am going to feel a little awkward walking around pregnant on a college campus, especially since I look pretty young. But whatever, I am married…so judge away, people.
Anyways, it is a very personal choice. I hope some of my personal decisions helped you sort your thoughts.
Post # 16
Since the OP, I’ve been feeling less overwhelmed with the thought of both grad school and being pregnant/having a new baby. We’ll continue to TTC and hope for the best. If I have to give anything up, it will be grad school. But hopefully I can make it through and grad school can be a good excuse to continue to stay at home and not work!
I’m also happy to see others of you TTC/having babies and finishing up grad school too! Good luck!