Post # 1
Do you think it is possible to work full time, go to school full time, and have a baby all at once? I know it sounds crazy, but here’s my predicament. I have three degrees in music. I worked as an adjunct professor and private teacher during my 20s and often felt unhappy with the low pay and the lack of full-time job opportunities. I was feeling a little burnt out, so when my husband was offered his dream job on the opposite side of the country, I said I would give up my job to move with him. After 6 months of job searching, I could only find part time work in my field. I decided to accept a job as an administrative assistant at a college. I’ve actually been feeling so down about my career that I’ve considerred going to therapy. The silver lining is that I can get a free graduate degree at night because I work at a college and there is a 3 year full-time evening graduate program that interests me. The thing is– I don’t want to put off kids any longer. We want two kids and I’m not far away from turning 32.We live in a very expensive city, so my husband is really hoping I will eventually be able to contribute around 60-70k– something I think will require a new degree and a permanent departure from music. I have always lived with financial stress and would also like to make more money, while hopefully doing a job I don’t completely hate.
Post # 2
So what happens if you get pregnant?
I don’t think there is any harm in trying Now but you need a gameplan for if you get pregnant. Going to school and working full time while having a newborn sounds very hard and you will most likely have the additional expense of daycare to consider too and you already said both you and your husband are hoping you can contribute more… Could you afford a baby now if you don’t get your degree or can’t get your degree for even longer?
I work full time and was going to school full time and I’m pregnant. I just finished my spring class in May and I’m due in July and it was very hard and I work from home and took online classes, but it was still really tough. I’ve also had a high risk pregnancy so I always have doctors appointments, seriously I feel like I live there, I am not sure if your age will put you into the high risk category, so another thing to be aware about. I am currently planning to take one class again in the fall semester to start back up after baby is here BUT that really depends. We have no idea how baby will change our life and if I don’t think I can do it then I’m not going to go back. Will your husband support you and watch the baby of you do go back to school?
Just some food for thought.
Post # 3
I think it’ll really depend on what your personality type is, how much your husband is willing to take on, and what your childcare options are.
It sounds like you both work out of the home so would need care for the child during the day ($$). If you’re then doing evening classes full time then that means evening child care will fall largely on your husband. You need to ensure that as a family you can sustain the childcare coverage that enables you to work and study.
I think the big questions you’ll need to ask yourself are:
1. Am I somebody that thrives on being super busy with almost no downtime or am I someone that needs my re-charge time?
2. Can I imagine myself being a largely absentee parent and spouse during the week?
3. Is my husband the type of personality that he’ll step in and pick up the home duties (including parenting) while I’m busy working? Or will the home life responsibilities largely still fall on my shoulders?
5. Am I 95% sure that what I’m going to back to study for will push me forward in my career ambitions and is a route I want to pursue? Have I done all the legwork of networking with people in the field to understand the day to day job (the good AND the bad); looked at job opportunities near me; connected with companies (informal coffee chats) ot understand how they make hiring decisions and what they look for (degrees, experience, personality fit) in new hires?
4. If I feel post-child that I need to scale back – what are my alternative options? Are those viable options to achieve my goals? Would one fo those alternative options make more sense to pursue now?
Once you’ve done the research and you feel that the amount of work and sacrifice it will take is something that A. you would manage and B. will pay off in the end – then you need a long conversation with your husband about what HE is willing to do.
I work a demanding job very long hours and a lot of travel. It means that Mon – Fri my husband basically does EVERYTHING to keep the household running. We knew this before I accepted the job and so it was a big conversation we had on what he was willing to sacrifice and contribute – in the end we decided that the salary and the career-development opportuniites of the job warranted the unequal homelife contributions. Every year we discuss “is this still working”. The day he says “nope – it’s not” is the day I give notice.
Your husband needs to know that he has a voice in this and that this is a partnership endeavor.
Post # 4
pianoplayingbee : Depends on the person.
I work full time, run a small business, have 3 older kids (9,9 and 16), am finishing a tech degree and we will be TTC this fall. Im accustomed to juggling a lot of things as I often coach/volunteer as well.
1. If its something you really want, its easier to be motivated to make it work.
2. You know yourself… if you get overwhelmed and shutdown/get depressed/etc then maybe hold off
Post # 5
Even if you could somehow swing caring for a newborn while also holding down a full time job AND grad school (which I cannot fathom)…what about daycare expenses?
Post # 6
- Wedding: August 2019 - City, State
From another perspective, there is NOTHING WRONG with not enjoying being extremely busy. You do not get a badge of honor for having the least down time, or most frenzied schedule.
In a recent season of my life, I worked 40 hours/wk at my day job, 5 hrs/wk on Saturdays, 2 400-level bachelor’s degree college courses at a time, kept the house immaculate, cooked clean/healthy/fresh meals every day, and kept to a pretty strict fitness regimen including 10+ mile long runs. That is nothing compared to having a job, grad school and a KID, and let me tell you – i was WHOOPED. All the time. I was CONSTANTLY irritable, hungry, tired, anxious, breaking out, gaining weight like crazy, and I STILL felt like I wasn’t “doing enough”.
If you’re already feeling a little frazzled, or in need of a serious break, I personally do not think it would be a good idea to throw something as potentially stressful as TTC into the mix. I’d say lose something and then add in TTC.
Post # 7
pianoplayingbee : I worked full-time, did my Master’s thesis part-time, and TTC all with the goal that I would have the baby by the time I graduated. We actually didn’t get our BFP until 2 days after I turned in my Master’s thesis, and I was SO relieved that it was such perfect timing. I would have struggled even being pregnant and doing all of that. My daughter was super needy her first year of life. I couldn’t have ever breastfed and been that busy all the time. She just constantly nursed. I was lucky to have such an accommodating job for pumping. I honesty don’t recommend it, but if you’re going to do it, be ready to be flexible. You might not be able to fully commit yourself to everything you hoped.
Post # 8
SeaOfLove : Good point about breastfeeding. My baby is 7 months old and still constantly on the boob during the day. On average we probably nurse 8-9 times a day still cause it’s before and after every nap and then she does power hours in the evening before bed lol.
I think to have any hope of making this work OP you’d need to be open to formula feeding (not that there’s anything wrong with that)…and like pp said you’d need to have a super involved husband who was on board with doing the brunt of parenting responsibilities (which run 24/7 for many months).
Post # 9
I would encourage you to think very hard about whether an extra grad degree will actually translate into higher earnings and a better job. Look carefully at your field of interest and how hard it is to break in, jobs available, growth potential – and also long term work life balance and all that. I have just seen so many people continue to rack up degrees with no impact on their financial situation, and often real downsides for family and work-life balance.
Post # 10
I can speak to two of the three (work/school). It’s demanding. Also, being a returning student is harder than you think – you get out of practice. School came very easily to me the first time around. But school also WAS my full-time job the first time around (even though I had multiple part-time jobs that came close to full-time work when I was in school the first time).
But balancing a full-time job where I couldn’t just switch shifts with someone to accommodate needing extra study time or procrastinating on a paper is hard. Readjusting to reading 100s of pages per week (some weeks I have about 300 pages of reading to do in addition to whatever paper or project is due) after putting in a 40 hour week is hard. Building good study habits again is hard (and my needs while studying changed – I used to be able to study anywhere anytime with any distraction happening in a dorm or library and as I get older with more responsibilities I find I need to be far more regimented about it in a more controlled environment in order to be successful). And you don’t say what your masters program is, but if you’re getting out of music entirely then I’m going to assume you’re going into a brand new field altogether with this program. I’m lucky that my both my second undergrad and my masters program are things I was already kind of doing at work and my masters is in an area I’m passionate about. But two people dropped out of my very small program just in the first semester because they didn’t realize how hard switching into another field would be and they really struggled with the coursework. And if your only motivating factor is money and not the program itself, it’s going to be an awfully long, stressful, and not remotely enjoyable three years. Do not discount how all those additional factors play into how hard it makes an already hard thing.
That said, you don’t know how long it would take you to conceive and I’m not a big believer in putting things off for the “right time” because that rarely exists. However, unless you have reason to believe you would have complications getting pregnant, it will likely not take three years and I also don’t believe in purposely making life harder and more complicated for yourself than is already going to get thrown at you. Do you have the ability to suspend your enrollment if necessary and return to the program? Or drop down to part-time student if necessary? If not, does your school have a more flexible program or a reciprocity agreement with another school that would allow you to do a more flexible program? I would likely only do this if I was prepared to push myself in the program as hard and as fast as possible, find a new job, and then TTC or if I was prepared for this to be a long process and have a lot of flexibility in my masters program that allows me to go at my own pace or suspend my studies for a few semesters if necessary.
Another question I would have is this extra 60-70K your husband is hoping you’ll bring in – is that based on your current life and expenses or factoring in the cost of future children and daycare for two kids if you aren’t going to wait until the first one is in school to have the second? Daycare can be astronomical, particularly in a HCOL area. Unless your work offers free/subsidized daycare, you may want to consider the possibility that it may be cheaper for you to be a Stay-At-Home Mom, particularly with multiple children. I have several friends with 2-3 young kids who dropped out of the workforce when they realized they were paying more in daycare than they were bringing home. Can you live comfortably on his salary alone? Or at least with some frugal measures? If not, are you really going to be able to find work in your new field quickly? What is the outlook for that field in your area? This would also factor heavily into my decision as to whether I prioritize getting into the new career first and putting off TTC or just go for it TTC.
At the very minimum, if you start grad school, I would definitely not TTC the first year until you have a better idea of the workload and your ability to manage it.
Post # 11
A lot of variables to your equation. It seems like you are more than willing to make the sacrifice. I was a teen mom so I knew what it was like to need to leave my child at day care and go to school and go to work and still find some time to be a mom. It is possible but honestly I felt very guilty of my absence and my daughter grew extremely close to my mother (as she was my baby sitter) it’s hard to not feel a bit guilt but I do not regreat my time spent away at school. And I guess feeling guilty is normal when you are away from your baby. Now she’s a lot older and I have a great career and we go on vacation at least 3 times a year. She may not remember me being gone all the time but she knows I make a sacrifice. They will know
Post # 12
I have a music degree too and can totally relate to your frustration about lack of fulltime work! I’m the same age as you also and have recently started my 3rd degree (a masters in a different field). My husband and I started TTC before I applied; my plan was to defer admission if I got pregnant right away. It’s 7 months later now and I’m not pregnant yet. We discussed pausing TTC until I’m closer to the end of my program. But we don’t want to wait until we’re two years older (DH just turned 35 and I’m nearly 32) in case we continue to have trouble TTC and need to seek medical help. We decided that TTC is our first priority and not to wait. I think if we were younger and this wasn’t my third time in post-secondary we would wait.
That being said, I agree with what other posters have said about having a plan in place for if you do get pregnant right away. Working, school and pregnancy might be too much depending how your pregnancy goes. And it might be tough financially with a baby and being in school. But I support doing everything at once anyways 🙂
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!
annabananabee : Agreed; some programs are flexible, while others are not and expect you to treat it like a salaried career. I knew one person who was pregnant, and hers was an accident and at the end of school. They didn’t allow her to take a break, or else she would have had to wait a year. Just something to think about.
To OP, could you look into more what though program will entail? Or potentially start teaching private music lessons on the side until the baby is born and do that part-time while staying at home, depending on the cost of childcare in the area?
Post # 14
My husband and I are going to start TTC when I am a 2nd or 3rd year resident physician. Yes, like working 80-100 weeks and sleeping some nights in the hospital (usually 2nd and 3rd years aren’t as bad as 1st though). I will finish residency one month late and take 4 weeks off following the delivery, working up until I deliver.
There is never a good time to have a child. If this time feels right, go for it. It will probably be hella hard. You’ll have to make sure you can take time off from work and school. But if you’re good at being busy, and are dedicated enough, you’ll make it work. It won’t be easy but kids never are!
Post # 15
It will be hard but possibly doable. My friend was in her master’s program while pregnant with her second child and working. I think they might have had grandparents help with childcare but I’m not sure.