Studying for certification exam with a newborn… am I insane?

posted 1 year ago in Babies
Post # 16
1189 posts
Bumble bee

Why don’t you do hardcore study and revision now? Then just do light revision to cement your knowledge prior to the exam? 

Like I don’t think the timing is ideal, but I do know people who have sat their physician exams which newborns and they just started early with their study. Depends on your study style and how quickly you retain information.


Post # 17
321 posts
Helper bee

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MrsGirlyGirl :  Hello! I am taking my first class for the CFP…the investments coursework. I am taking the courses through the American College since my firm pays for them this way. I’ve been in the industry for just over two years. I don’t know if you’ve taken any of the classes and are planning to sit for the exam after review or if you are going to just study and sit for the exam if you can wave the classes. I’m seriously worried about this exact situation. Hubby and I aren’t thinking of kids quite yet but I would be very worried about taking the exam with a newborn just based on the coursework for this first class. I would give yourself more time. My coworker sat for the exam last year after taking all the courses with a 2 year old and a 5 year old and did very well…so it’s possible to do with kids. 

In the end…only you know where you’re at with your knowledge level currently and what kind of test taker you are. Whatever you decide I wish you good luck! The CFP is a doozy from what I’ve heard! 

Post # 18
632 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’ve done it. My kid nursed a lot for the first couple of months, and I’d sit and read while he ate. And then I’d park him on his play mat and read my textbook next to him. He was a really easy baby though, there’s no way I could have studied for the exam with a high-needs kid. Also, sitting for an exam with a young baby was really my husband’s idea, so he pitched in and took as much housework as he could off my plate. The really hard part was actually taking the eight-hour exam while nursing… I had to get really creative about pumping.

Glad I didn’t put it off, though. I’m usually so busy at work that I don’t even have mental space for studying. Maternity leave was much easier in comparison, even despite the sleep deprivation and the learning curve of being a new mom.

Post # 19
3171 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’d say no. My first was a difficult baby and I was exhausted. Up several times a night and not getting much sleep in the day.

my second is an easier baby but I’d still struggle to find time to do anything extra now. 

Post # 21
7633 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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MrsGirlyGirl :  the issue is, with a newborn, you’re not just up breastfeeding for 15 min in the middle of the night and then back to bed like with an older baby. A newborn might eat for an hour straight and then go to sleep for an hour and then up to eat for another hour and so on. This is very typical in the first 6 weeks or so, and is not a colicky baby thing either. So it’s great that your husband wants to help, but unless he learns to lactate, his ability to help will be somewhat limited particularly in the newborn phase. 


Post # 22
2113 posts
Buzzing bee

I think you’re insane but my husband was only off a couple of weeks.  Having your husband home may help.  The exhaustion will be a problem.  

Post # 23
6787 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

I think that you COULD do it if you absolutely had to. Mothers have been making the seemingly impossible work for centuries and you could be another one.

However, my question would be SHOULD you do it? Is there a reason that you absolutely have to do this at this time? It would very likely be very very challenging and could, potentially, impinge upon your first few weeks/months as a mother. Is there an urgent career/financial reason that you absolutely MUST do this at this time?

If not, I’d defer and allow yourself the space and time to deeply honor this experience of transitioning to motherhood. The test (and the necessary associated studying) will be there waiting for you. Or, you could space out your studying so that you begin when the baby comes and if you aren’t feeling adequately prepared when the test time comes, you can defer then.

Post # 24
3171 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I have a feeling that no matter what we say you’ll give it a shot anyway. 

Sometimes with parenting people can tell you things until they are blue in the face, but until you actually do it you won’t understand… then you see that they might have been right all along.

if you do take the exam, does it matter how well you pass it? As in will it be better if you pass with a high mark or do you just need to pass. If you just need to pass, I’d take some pressure off and aim for good enough. 

But still, I’d defer so you’re not adding another thing to your plate in the newborn phase. Some days it is an achievement to get showered and dressed (only to be puked on again) 

Post # 25
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Yes, I think you are insane. 

I think it’s probably possible. Some mothers have to go back to work after a couple of weeks. 

However, I would still think really carefully about whether it’s worth it. 

You say you want to breastfeed. That’ll mean you’re probably feeding the baby every two to three hours for the first few weeks. It’s great that your husband will be so involved but even if he fed the baby if you wanted to maintain your supply you’d have to get up and pump.

Cluster feeding can mean the baby is attached for 8 hours.

Hopefully, you’ll have an easy birth but if you have any complications it will lengthen you’re recovery and stressing about an exam won’t help.

Also, as cheesy as it sounds, they grow so quickly. The newborn phase is exhausting but it’s also over so fast. You’ll never get that time back. I know everyone’s experience is different but those first few weeks of just holding, smelling and getting to know my son were incredible and I wouldn’t give them up for anything. 

Post # 26
637 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

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MrsGirlyGirl :  omg yes, you are insane. I remember thinking that my minimum standard was wearing pants. I often did not wear pants. 

I suppose my honest answer is this…anything is possible if you value it enough. Human beings achieve amazing things in adverse circumstances. So if you feel 110% committed and have lots and lots of support, it’s possible. 

But also consider this…my favourite thing about those first few weeks was just gazing (delirious from lack of sleep) into the absolute ANGEL face of my baby. I would have hated to have had other responsibilities (study, putting on pants etc). Its a time where self care and kindness to oneself is so important, and I would be so sorry for you that you are spending the time trying to study with a brain that will feel scrambled, fried AND sunny side up. 

The newborn phase goes so fast. With all the kindness in the world…I don’t want you to miss it. Xx 


Post # 27
502 posts
Busy bee

I don’t have kids but my mom finished her master’s when I was a newborn. That being said she had her parents to help and i was an easy baby, but she’s proof that it’s doable sometimes.Will you have regrets if you don’t even try? Can you easily retake those tests? I guess those are the questions you need to answer. 

Post # 28
1390 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t have kids but I’ve watched my friends and family. It really depends. I wouldn’t say impossible. My mom would read her exam books to my brother as a bedtime story. My friends baby is very happy baby who doesn’t make any noise and sleeps exactly the same time every day. My brother was a Stay-At-Home Dad when my nephew was born and as a hobby decided to study a course. But then there are the parents who have been so tired all the time, time with baby has been very hard and adding anything to that would have been impossible. Id say that depends on the intensity of the study and the baby. IS there an option to try and if not possible then postpone the exam?  

Post # 30
9717 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

My kid only slept ~45 minutes at a time unless she was attached to my boob, but you could certainly try.

I think you overestimate how much help your husband will be with a newborn that only wants you. It’s pretty much impossible to study with your infant screaming for you in the next room, IMO.

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