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Old Mar 10th, 2011, 16:44 PM   1
Student1278
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Studying at university and WTT


Me and my partner have been together 18 months now and are very happy together, we have just brought a new house together and are set to move in, which is by itself a stressful time for us, we are in quite a good financial position with help from parents, savings and obviously my university grants and loans. Its still a lot on a 19 year olds shoulders to be worrying about mortgages and water bills etc but we are both looking forward to it.

We have wanted a baby for the last 10 months but have put things on hold as I am trying to make the most of my brains an obtain a law degree however we can't help but think now would be the best time to start trying.

After my law degree to prceed to become a solicitor I still have three years further training which are competitive in order to get into the top firms and will definatley not have enough time to give to a baby then. I am very willing to put a family before my career and feel if we start trying now and I can give birth after my second year then I will have more time to spend with my child as a student rather than a full-time worker. My partner is in a reasonably well paid job and can support us but I think it will be a squeeze.

One of the main things stopping us trying is that we are worried I will get kicked out of university, I don't want to have completed 2 years and only have one to remain and not be able to obtain my full degree to improve my employability later on in life. Do all universities offer a year out for expecting mums and accomadate for such circumstances.

I was also wondering about the finance avaiable to me? I have read about working tax credits for my partner, does anybody know how much these will be? And have also heard about maternity grants. I am working part time and have already ready my employee handbook and they won't give maternity pay to me becasue I don't work enough hours. I was just wondering how much money I would be able to contribute to the family.

Your advice and help would be of great use.

Anxious Student



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Old Mar 10th, 2011, 20:10 PM   2
immimx
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hi,
there are grants for students as parents BUT have you thought about the fact that the 3rd year is normally alot more heavy going. think about that with sleepless nights in toe! it really will be hard work. what about gap years after uni before the next course? x



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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 01:53 AM   3
biliboi2
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I agree. I have a law degree and my final year (fourth as I did a sandwich degree) was a ridiculous amount of work. The reading is immense and I would never have been able to care for a baby and read all that was required. HTH.



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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 02:02 AM   4
OmiOmen
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I never know if I should answer these questions because on one hand I have experience with it but on the other people do not like the answer. So I will try to keep if brief and say in advance this is based on my experience and I am saying it to try and help, not offend.

Firstly you are presuming you can plan how your pregnancy goes and that is just not the case! You may be lucky and have a really easy pregnancy but it would be very unwise to just presume you will and can stay at Uni while pregnant. I planned a drug-free home-birth and got a planned c-section. I am healthy and did everything right so thought I would not have a rough pregnancy, I had health problems and was in and out of hospital (sometimes a week at a time). The day your midwife is at your GP's office may be when you have a class and if like me the pregnancy is not smooth you may had to travel to different places to see one at least twice a week. Clearly you could have a really smooth pregnancy but it is still tough near the end so think if you would need to take a year out while pregnant.

Here is where I will not bore you with the details and simply say that looking after a baby/toddler while at University is VERY hard! The childcare may be easy for you to sort but most of the work (unlike in most jobs) is done at home not while out. Finding time to meet up for group work is surprisingly tough too. Add to that the lack of sleep and stress (worth it yes, but it is hard) and that it most people have a different relationship with their partner after a baby so it is more than likely you will be having (at least) minor arguments. Then there are those times you struggle to find time to eat or shower never mind much more. Then when you are ill, the chances are you do not have time to be since you LO probably is and you have to look after them and not yourself. Imagine staying up all night with a teething baby and an exam the next day.

I am not saying it is not worth the effort as it really is, I love my son so much and would not change when I had him, he is amazing. If you go for it then I wish you then best of luck but I just want to make sure that you know just how hard it is and that there is a chance you would have to drop out to cope.



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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 02:04 AM   5
Student1278
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Well first year has been fine so far regarding work load, I don't go out much like most of my classmates. I have also been working a part time job 17 hours a week and still managing to keep up.

I think it would be best to anaylse the work load when it comes to second year and see how much things have changed then decide.

I could do something differnt before I started training again after uni, maybe a part time job up until the child went to school.



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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 02:09 AM   6
Student1278
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Thanks for the reply 'OmiOmen', were you at university when you had your child?

It is good to have a reality check everynoe and again becasue sometimes you do just see the silver lining, but I know it will be hard work that's why it is such a big decision.

I would plan to have a year out anyway, and would complete my third year when the child was nearly one, my partner works earliers so most afternoons he could help out, and my mum and his mum both live nearby who are retired so I would be abundant in help. I just think it would be whether I could leave my child regularly to attend lectures and what affect that would have on the child.



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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 02:39 AM   7
OmiOmen
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I did a year of Psychology but decided I did not like it and was going to change course and planned a pregnancy in the summer holidays. I got really bad "morning" sickness for the first 4 months, anyway I was not sure if I should take a year out as it was early when I had to enrol and I had already had 2 MMC's but I could not do it and took a year out. DS was 4 months old when I went back and started my joint course in media writing and English but I could not keep up with the massive amount of work in English and am now doing popular culture and media and media writing. DS is not 10 months old and it is really hard work and DH does not help out half as much as he thinks he does so getting work handed in is really tough. DH works night so looks after him while I am at uni but that is not enough to get the work done.

I am not saying it can not be done but it is so hard and you really have to think carefully about it. It is also worth remembering the finance has changed so taking a year out may affect your tuition fees too.



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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 03:36 AM   8
MummytoSummer
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Hiya, and welcome to wtt!

I have to say I agree with OmiOmen. I don't have personal experience but my best friend planned her pregnancy for her second year at uni during a law degree. She had her partners support, their parents support, were financially stable, owned their own home (she was 25 when she went back to uni), she also worked part time too. She had a pretty easy time during pregnancy but found that the day her midwife was at her gp surgery she had an important day of classes so she had to travel over 30 miles to her hospital to see a midwife there instead on a different day.

Once the baby arrived she'd arranged to have the 9 months off uni to be with her baby. The uni had agreed to this etc. Anyway once she had the baby the uni became less accommodating and made things difficult for her (not saying in anyway yours will be like that though). She went back for her third year and struggled like hell. Like I said she had all the help you could ask for at home but at the end of the day she was the mum and couldnt pass her baby off to others all the time. Her partner took shifts to try and make things easier so she could study more. Her baby was a pretty good baby too, only really a problem when teething or ill etc but even with those distinctive and just generally the HUGE amount of time a baby takes up, she fell massively behind and in the end she just had to drop out. She now says she bitterly regrets choosing the timing she did although she doesn't regret her son one bit. Her relationship suffered as a result too. Her partner really didn't understand why she needed to drop out when all she did was uni a few days a week and care for the baby. He sort of resents the fact that she now has no degree, and he's the one left to earn the good money when she'd always planned to earn good money too. Also they now have all her student loans to pay off and because he earns a decent wage they're entitled to pretty much nothing besides child benefit (20 a week). They're still together but very much struggling.

I dont want it to all be negative and I've read plenty of stories on here where other girls have made it work so it definitley can be done, but it definitely needs serious consideration cos as I said she had all the help, all the finances etc and still couldn't make it work and she's one of the most hard working people I know!

Good luck though if you do decide to go ahead!

Sorry if that was such a long and negative sounding post but like you said sometimes it's good to hear the bad as well as the good cos I know when you want a baby so much you can tend to see things through Rose tinted glasses!

X



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Old Mar 11th, 2011, 03:43 AM   9
MissKM
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hiya hun...i strongly advice you dont TTC while at uni, im at uni myself im my final year of a psychology degree and it is shocking how the work load triples in the 3year. me and my OH had considered a baby at the beginning of our second year and i cant say how glad i am i waited. i dont know how id cope with the work load of this year and a LO. my friend has two kids and she finds it so hard to get uni work done and cant even think about doing any till there in bed, and there a lot less work than a new born

i also completely agree with what the girls have said above you never know what your pregnancy will be like, this was one of the things which put me off. one of my friends fell pregnant a few months ago while trying to finish her 3rd year and she is really struggling to get her work done, shes got terrible morning sickness and is always running out of lectures and seminar.

just something else to think about...ive heard that the government are stopping child care grants for students which (if and when it comes into effect) would mean that you will have to pay for all you child care on you own.

if a baby now is something you really want to do, id put off doing your postgraduate study for a few years, thats what im going to do cause i really dont want to put of starting a family for another 3years....sorry if i seem i bit blunt its just that ive seen 1st hand how difficult pregnancy and children are when studying is involved. although it is possible to do...like omiomen said it will be exceptionally hard. xx



 
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Old Mar 13th, 2011, 03:03 AM   10
SpiderLady
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If you were earlier in your degree, I would say go for it. I had my son at the beginning of my second year of uni and he came to lectures with me in a sling for the first few months before going to a nursery. However like others have said third year is a hell of a lot of work, and being pregnant or having a baby during that work is going to be very difficult.

You wouldn't get kicked out of uni cos it's none of their business, but they do advise against it - when I met with my uni to tell them I was pregnant they didn't think pregnancy itself was a strain, but did give me special consideration in my end of year exams. They said had it of been my final year that the baby was born though they would have advised me to defer a year til baby was 1 and then do it. Would you be prepared to do that at all? you said give birth after your second year - why npot defer final year for a year. they are very understanding if you want to. I did my final year with a 1 year old and a 3 year old AND I was a single parent. I found it fine. couldn't have done final year with a newborn though.

On the finance side of thing I was very well off compared to my fellow students, because of grants and childcare help available as well as my normal loan x



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