Hi, I'm having a bit of a dilemma. So I started off college like most at 18, right after highschool, lived in the dorm, etc like my parents wanted but during the first year had a lot of personal problems and basically was just really, really homesick and decided to transfer closer to home so I could live with my parents. After that I just really lost interest in college, never really figured out what I wanted to do and never had a spark for it. When I was 20 I finally figured out that I wanted to be a teacher so transferred yet again to a different school and majored in teaching. I really loved it and was very good at it, and then I met my husband lol. We met online, I lived in the states and he lived in England. I did a semester abroad in the UK and we met and fell in love. At that point we didn't know what to do, my parents were adamant that I finish my degree so we decided to have a long distance relationship and see each other over the summer while I took as many classes as possible to finish quickly so I could move to the UK and be with him.
Then I got pregnant, and well it all went south. My dad was very against me moving to the UK because it's impossible to transfer US credits over to UK schools, but eventually we formulated a plan where I would go to an online school. So that's what I did, and last year moved to the UK. But in the midst of getting married, moving to the UK, and just altogether being pregnant, I sorta flaked out on all my classes and failed every single one. My parents don't know about it, they paid for the classes as usual so it's something I feel very badly about.
My baby was born last July, and my dad was pressuring me to take summer classes. I put my foot down and said no, I can't take a class with a newborn, I just won't have time. He was pretty angry about it and didn't understand. Then he tried pressuring me into taking fall classes. Again I said no, I have no time. My baby is pretty high needs, doesn't nap, and wants to be with me 24/7. There's no way I can take a course with that.
So now it's winter, and my dad again is pressuring me into taking a class. My baby is 5 months old, still doesn't nap, and we have a 10 week old puppy. Oh and we're moving house in a few weeks. Think I'm going to have time for a class? No! I tried telling him this, but he freaked out. He said you must finish your degree, you need an option just in case DH's job is lost or you divorce or something. He keeps pressuring me and pressuring me, but I know that if I take a course it's going to be just like last year and I will fail it. There's no point. I don't have time, I barely have time to use the toilet every day lol.
So after lots of contemplating of this issue, I've realised that I just don't have any motivation to finish my degree. I'm planning on being a stay at home mom indefinitely. My husband has a very stable job, and I just don't want to be a teacher anymore. I want to raise my daughter, homeschool, and just enjoy her growing up. The only thing that ties me to finishing my degree is the fact that my parents essentially wasted thousands upon thousands of dollars paying for my education thus far, and it's not fair to them that it was all for nothing. I have to finish for them, but I just don't know how I'm going to plough through it with my DD. I'm so into being a mom right now, it eats up every second of my day. How can I get into student mode again, when there's just nothing there for me?
Just to give you a better glance at the situation, both of my parents are overachievers. They both came from lower middle class families and worked really, really hard to get where they are today. Both went to Ivy league schools on full scholarships, both worked full time when I was growing up, and have very high expectations for my siblings and me. They don't understand that I just want to be a mom, because when I was my DD's age they both worked full time and my mom was still a med student on top of that. They did it, why can't I? I don't even work! That's what they're thinking and it's hard to explain to them otherwise. Actually it's impossible. My dad is being really hard on me for this and I feel horrible disappointing him. It was hard enough moving away from my family to be in England, but I feel like I'm really letting him down on top of that.
Anyways sorry for the long post, but I could really use some advice.
I sorta flaked out on all my classes and failed every single one. My parents don't know about it, they paid for the classes as usual so it's something I feel very badly about.
....So now it's winter, and my dad again is pressuring me into taking a class. My baby is 5 months old, still doesn't nap, and we have a 10 week old puppy. Oh and we're moving house in a few weeks. Think I'm going to have time for a class? No! I tried telling him this, but he freaked out. He said you must finish your degree, you need an option just in case DH's job is lost or you divorce or something. He keeps pressuring me and pressuring me, but I know that if I take a course it's going to be just like last year and I will fail it. There's no point. I don't have time, I barely have time to use the toilet every day lol.
.....The only thing that ties me to finishing my degree is the fact that my parents essentially wasted thousands upon thousands of dollars paying for my education thus far, and it's not fair to them that it was all for nothing. I have to finish for them, but I just don't know how I'm going to plough through it with my DD. I'm so into being a mom right now, it eats up every second of my day. How can I get into student mode again, when there's just nothing there for me?
I see both sides, and I do understand where you are coming from. I got pregnant with my first child during the last semester of my master's degree. Since I was going part time, I only had one class. One little class to finish for my MA, but I was sick as a dog and took an incomplete. I never finished that class (which I had one year to do) and therefore never finished my MA. I wish I had, but at the time, I just couldn't get into it.
It would be nice if we could force ourselves to finish things we've started. But since I didn't manage to do it, I've got no speech for you about how you should just buck up and plug through this work. I've been pretty much where you are right now, and I've no idea how someone is supposed to complete a degree that they do no care about what has nothing to do with what is really going on in their live right now, and won't be usefully for the foreseeable future.
My advice -- start by figuring out what you got out of the classes you've taken. Higher education is valuable -- even if you don't end up with a degree or a career from it. Did you learn stuff? Did you have wonderful experiences? Meet interesting people? Get to know yourself better? Are you are different/better/more self actualized person for the work you've done? I think that making peace with what you got out of your formal education will help you put to rest your guilt about your parent's money. That money is gone -- taking more classes that you aren't interested in will not get it back.
Then thank your parents both for the opportunities for education they've given you and for the other ways they were wonderful parents.
Then level with your parents. Tell them about the Fs. Just tell them. Get it over with. It's like pulling off a band-aid -- it will only hurt for a minute. It will help you explain to them why you signing up for more classes right now is right a big waste of money.
Then politely respond to whatever your dad says with the exact some line. My favorite is "I can see how you could feel that way, but none the less, this is what I've decided to do." Don't keep debating this with him -- there's no point. You guys are saying the same things over and over. The truth is that you are a grown up and this is your life and your Dad doesn't get to tell you what to do any more.
Then re-iterate how much you appreciate what great parents they've been. (Over the weekend, we visited the university my high school aged DD wants to attend, I'm imagining what I would want to hear from my child in a similar situation).
BTW, I do agree with your parents that finishing your degree would be a good idea. But I also understand if that really isn't in the cards for you right now.
but everything has pros and cons
well... you're young.
what WOULD happen if something happened to your husband, your marriage, your income?
would you return to your parents for support?
i think that part of a parents' investment in their children, when it includes going to college, is to give the children the gift of self reliance.
being a stay at home mom is great -- i am one myself at this point in my life. but it is a GREAT feeling to know that you can take care of yourself -- AND your babies -- should the need arise.
i come from a different perspective than you, being that i am about twice your age, with young children. i graduated college, got a masters degree, and worked in my field for a good 15 years before having kids. i do stay home, but i know that if/when something happens to my husband, i can return to work and support myself and my children myself if i have to. we may not do quite as well, but we can survive. we will never have to turn to MY parents to support me.
THAT is a bona fide reason for getting a degree (and working) prior to having kids.
that said, however, you are already with a child. and i agree that it is not going to be easy to get your degree at this point, with a young child underfoot.
and, truly, you are being honest in your post that you are just not motivated.
so far you are continuing to let your parents pay for your education, even though you are now -- by virtue of being a wife and mother -- fully emancipated from your parents.
and you are being DIShonest to your parents by not confessing that you failed your last series of classes.
it is time to FESS up. tell them the truth, and take the wrath. you have earned it by keeping the secret for so long.
next time be more respectful with someone else's money.
and your parents DO have a point as to what you will do if something happens to your husband. start focusing on that question. it is a valid one. come up with a valid reply. it may not seem likely, and it may not be likely, but marriages DO fail (50 percent divorce rate... especially for people who marry young), people die, people lose their jobs, plans go aray (sp?). maybe the answer is that your folks save the money they were going to give you for college, in a special "emergency" account. and if the unforseeable happens and you find yourself unable to continue with the luxury of stay-at-home mothering, and you would like to earn more than minimum wage, that you will return to them with the truth, and ask for the money then.
I think it might be worth it- both for your parents and for you- for you to finish up your degree at some point. But right now it seems more important to be able to focus on your baby. Perhaps you can tell your parents that you do plan to go back to college to finish- maybe when your child is in preschool or school- but for the next few yrs you may want to hold off. If you hae the opportunity in the future to finish college it might be a nice thing to do- it took me years to go back to college (not because of having a kid but other reasons) but I am glad I finally finished it. (years ago by now!)
I like this idea.
I'm not convinced that a college degree in whatever is at all helpful in getting a decent job -- too many college grads in my city work at places like Starbucks or in retail.
What you were wanting to study, education, is a different track in the UK than it is in the US, and an internet degree from the US is not going to qualify you to teach in the UK. In a few years you may want to do something different anyway.
I've been a SAHM for 15 years and am transitioning back to fulltime work this week. Every single mom I know who has transitioned from a significant amount of time home back to full time employment needed a transition period of either more/different education or part time work before being able to work in their chosen field -- regardless of how much education they had or what kind of work experience they had. (The transition for me has been 2 years, even though I had a degree and experience in the same field).
Life insurance is heck of a lot more useful if a spouse dies than a degree. If you and your DH haven't done that yet, you should. Soon. It's part of him being a good husband and father.
Divorce is trickier and I don't have any idea what the laws are like in the UK. Your situation would be especially complex if you didn't want to stay there. But it drove me up the wall after the birth of my child that my mother kept going on and on about how I needed to finish my MA in case my marriage didn't work. It always felt like a massive vote of "no confidence."
In your post, you sound really happy. Being happy and enjoying your soul mate, the baby you've made together, and the life you are building really isn't the worst thing in the world. Actually, it's one of the sweetest. It's such a sweet phase of life, and savoring it seem far healthier *to me* than planning around what to do if it all goes in the pooper.
Eventually, when you are ready to work on a degree or think about a career, hopefully it will come from a place of wanting to bring your gifts to the larger world, make a financial contribution, etc. (Which is where I am right now) rather than being from such a negative space.
but everything has pros and cons
But, that said, college credits don't disappear. You can always choose to finish at a later date. If I were in your situation, and simply not committed to attending school right now, I'd thank my parents, and politely decline. (i don't know if i could bring myself to mention the F's!)Then, reassure them that you do have a plan in place regarding their concerns. (if you don't have a plan,it might be time to get one) Whether the plan is to use life insurance funding to go back to school should something happen to your dh, or, that UK alimony laws favor SAHMs & you would have the opportunity to retrain for a career after a divorce. Your parents sound very caring, and, by demonstrating that you have back up plans in place, you might ease their concerns and they will stop pressuring you regarding school.
I read this OP last week and was going to reply but hesitated.
then a couple days ago I heard a piece on NPR about WGU an Online university. It was a terrific piece and WGU is evidently not one of those bogus expensive online schools. they are legit and serve a lot of people.
here's the NPR piece
and here is the university site
the economy in the united states has unemployment rate around 8 percent.
for those who have a BA it is 4 percent.
sort of says it all.
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I did finish my degree with tiny kids, but it was really hard. I do feel like I got sucked up in being a mom (which is great for the first few years). Then the shine wore off and I wanted to be a woman again, not just a mom. I discovered that I like working. A lot.
having my degree offered me options when I needed them. I did, however, finish much more slowly than I would have without kids.
Put it off for another semester and then go back. There are so many moms who say they really regret not finishing their degree. Your kids won't be so needy forever.
how many more semesters do you have left ?
explore on-line possibilities,
and estimate how much you can achieve during the coming year,
( 10% or 20% of the workload you took on previously ?)
reduce the pace, just finish whatever you had started
even if it takes a few years doing it
... it's just like sort of always having something cooking on the back burner ...
having children is GREAT, it IS time consuming,
on top of it you have to adapt to a new culture/new house etc....
but it can be nice to retain a little bit of your previous life too,
to keep the neurones active about something not baby related ....
not for your parents, but for yourself ....
Finish your degree. That's my vote. I was married for 7 years, completely depandant on my husband, we had babies together. I thought I was going to be a SAHM forever. Well my marriage ended and I was back where I started from. In that 7 years I could have atleast got some sort of degree. Now I'm in an almost 3 year relationship and things are getting rocky. I was completely depandant on my DP and the truth is, if this doesn't work that I'm SOL. I still have NO degree and I will be working at starbucks for 7.25 per hour. I could have a PhD by now if I just would have done it. Take it easy, one or two classes at a time, but for the love of all things holy.. get a degree that ensures you wont be making 7.25 an hour with a child to support. Right now things are great, but people change, people die, crappy things happen to the happiest people. You want to be able to rely on yourself if you have to. If you never do, great! But just incase you want that insurance.
Working from home Mommy. You can too. Ask me how!
me & she = TTC one of these Proud Mommy to two of these
Getting "a degree" in no way ensures a getting a better job than Starbucks. As I said in my first post, there are lots and lots of degreed people working retail and food and bev. -- low pay, no or poor benefits, and often student debt to boot.
And there are some people without degrees who do quite well. Often because they have real skills that others need. My previous work experience and my skills were more important in my getting a real job after being a SAHM than my degree.
The advice to "get a degree" because it offers financial security is misguided. There are paths to some level of security that do not require a degree. Earning a networking certificate, for example, offers far more security than a degree in something like communications.
Actually planing one's future for success is a lot more complicated than "get a degree."
And in none of the votes for finishing the degree is there much advice about how to succeed in on-line classes which one has no desire to be taking in the first place.
but everything has pros and cons
I am a big fan of education (and I have minor obsessions about finishing things I start ) so my first response is always going to be "finish your degree". But I agree with Linda on the Move that a random degree isn't necessarily going to be useful and that you need ideas for how to actually achieve it. So, these are my suggestions
- consider where you plan to live long-term (US or UK) and choose the course which best suits that plan
- choose a course which is likely to make you employable (teachers are in demand here so it would be a good choice where I live)
- consider what consolidation you would need to do after you finish and whether you can commit to that. No point doing a degree if, to be employable, you need 12 months work experience afterwards and you can't/won't do that.
- find out how long you can stretch the course. In Australia, most full time degree terms can be doubled for part time. So you could take 6 years to do a 3 year course.
- calculate what time commitment that would require of you and decide if it is doable. Can you study when your LO is asleep or at the park with Daddy or whatever?
- consider how you could use what you learn in your parenting journey. Other people have made good points about self-awareness and personal growth. I also noticed that you said you plan to homeschool. I imagine you could get a lot of valuable knowledge and information from a teaching degree to help with that goal.
That's all I can think of for now. All the best with your decision and the conversation with your parents.
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
I know that a degree doesn't always equal high paying secure job. I guess the point I was trying to make is that even though the OP plans on being a SAHM and her husband has a nice job, it doesn't mean that it will always work out that way. I was trying to say that its important to have some sort of back up plan that can provide income if things were to go off track. Whether it be finishing a degree of some sort, getting a certificate, learning a trade, whatever the case.
Working from home Mommy. You can too. Ask me how!
me & she = TTC one of these Proud Mommy to two of these
Divorce, death, disability....just 3 of many things that can go wrong with any husband. The Internet is full of SAHMs decrying how they can;t find a job because they did not finish a degree or were out of work for years. This is just a reality. College degree has value. Finish it. It will not go to waste. I never met anyone who regretted getting a college degree. I met many people who regretted not getting one.
Every head of household should buy insurance for death and disability. This is very, very basic financial planning. Far more fundamental than getting a degree in "whatever."
There are many, many SAHM's with degrees who cannot get jobs paying decent salaries. Deciding to stay home with babies and small child does put women in more economic risk. It just does. I don't see a way around it. I think pretending that getting a degree in "whatever" is any sort of security is just lying to the OPer.
The issue of having financial security while taking time off, or even working part time, is complex.
My kids are teens, and I remember that short, precious time of taking care of them as babies. It was so sweet, and I really didn't care about anything else. I do care about other things now. A lot. Heck, my kids kinda drive me crazy if I spend too much time with them! Although I would always be 100% supportive of a new mother wanting to finish a degree or figure out how to balance career/security and motherhood, I also feel 100% supportive of a new mother who is basking in that very short, precious time and just smelling their babies skin, watching them while they sleep, making them smile.
It's such a short time, and there is time for other things later.
But yes, every body should buy life insurance and disability insurance. And spend a little time having fun with their spouse each week.
but everything has pros and cons
fine, don't get a degree. if you don't want a degree, blow it off. whatever.
HER PARENTS ARE PAYING FOR IT. take it and run. gosh sakes.
investing in yourself is ***always*** the best investment. think about why. and/or maybe to answer that question myself the appropriate answer may be for the OP to say to her parents thank you kindly, but no thanks. and just wait 10-15 years (or however long) and buy her own education herself when she feels she needs it. THEN she will really appreciate it (when she pays for it by earning it).
i am a big believer in education and though i would normally advise someone to finish a degree, i have to disagree with most of the other posters here.
it sounds to me like the OP is too immature to do this at this point in her life. i don't think she should spend time wasting her parents' money floundering about with no clear plan and not able to work to make good grades, as the last semester flunking out would demonstrate.
maybe with time, she'll figure out what she truly would like to do. people change. as she grows (up) a desire to complete her degree might arise and with it an idea of what path to take.
she may kick herself later for not letting her folks pick up the tab but i really think it would be very selfish at this point to not explain the situation and continue to waste money on a program she's not interested in.
also, people with newborns take classes every day, or work fulltime, or whatever. if it were something she really and truly wanted to do, taking a class (esp with online options) with a newborn would not be out of the realm of possibility. i read this as she wants us to support her decision not to go back to school, which i totally do in her case.
Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?
I guess I see the wisdom of your point. People often do not value gifts given to them. I had to fight tooth and nail for my education. My parents paid for nothing. I was determined to graduate with honors. I did observe in college that many students whose education was paid by parents did not value it and often dropped out.
I'm incredibly lucky that my parents pay for my education. Up until last year I totally saw the importance of getting a degree. Its funny how a LO completely changes your perspective on things. I do agree with everyone (including my parents) who said it's good to have a fall back plan in case I can't stay at home anymore, but right now for me, that's not enough motivation to give up what little free time I have and create another source of stress in my life. My mom came to visit last week and we had a talk about it then. She had been staying with us for a few days at that point and agreed that it was chaos in the house lol. The way I see it, I need a good hour everyday to devote to a class, and I don't have that right now. So we're going to take it semester by semester and when I feel I have that time I'll start taking a class.
Hildare, I'm sorry you feel I'm immature. If its any consolation I was a straight A student for all my semesters in uni until last year. I enjoyed learning even though I didn't have a clear plan. I had a lot going on last year and it was very emotionally turbulent for me. My rabbit died right before I moved and I was dealing with depression from that, I had a wedding to plan, and was dealing with moving abroad and homesickness from that. I made a huge mistake failing my courses and not being upfront with my parents and its something I'm feeling incredibly guilty about. I didn't come on here to get justification for leaving school I came for advice on how to finish with a LO and without a real need to have a degree but thanks for your ever so helpful post anyway.
if you don't mind my asking, after a few days reading all the answers, I am now curious to know how many semesters you did in what subject, how many semesters you have left if you wanted to finish what you had initially started
don't answer me if it upsets you or you find me impertinent, I am just curious ...
I will tell you a story....
I went to college- just like you- I got 3 years in- I have about 1.5 years left to go.
I met my XH at 21- I planned to get my degree when we moved 5 states away to be near his family- instead I got pregnant at 22.
than I got pregnant again at 25.
AND I stayed at home.....
Then we got a divorce.... I have two kids 6 and 8- no degree.
I honestly can not get better than a min wage job since being a single mom- 6 hours from my family means I have no support to be able to work OT etc....( you would be a country away from yours)
So I clean houses for a living because it is flexible so I can still see my kids..... and get social services.
I planned to get my doctorate degree in psychology- but then I just wanted to be with my babies- but I should have been securing our future- cause there is no divorce insurance.
I thought just like you- and look where it got me.
I don't think you are immature at all- you are a new mommy and a new wife. !!!! What you feel is natural- but I think you should take a class or two and get it done- by the time they are in school you can have a decent paying job.
I think you should wait until you're ready. While I don't have a degree I have experience and IT certifications. Without my degree finished... I swear I'm going to do it someday, I make enough so that my husband can stay home and there are no worries. However I think he should get on the ball with his education, what if I leave him? Ha... I kid.
Preparing for the worst is kind of pointless to me, you have to want to do it. You have to want to go to school.
well this sort of underlines the trouble -- as i see it -- with parents paying for a child's education... after that child is no longer a child. most of the time (it used to be anyways), parents would "send" their child to college immediately upon graduation from high school, and some combination of the parents' savings, the child's savings, student loans and grants would pay for the education. the child would attend college for 4 years, from about age 18 till graduation at about age 22. upon which, the child would graduate with a college degree, get a job and start building a life financially independent of his or her parents.
i think it gets more complicated the older you get and the further removed you are from being a "child." which, as a young married with child, you are already starting to be.
if you want tips on how to balance going to school with mothering a young child, why not check out the working and student with children mothering forum?
Yep. I know people without degrees who are doing just fine, and people with them that aren't. The conventional wisdom that a degree equals security is extremely out of date. (may be it was true back in the 60's?)
I don't think maturity has anything to do with wanting to be home full time. Losing interesting in my masters wasn't caused by immaturity. Heck, one of my friends was a successful attorney before she had kids. She went back to work and within the first week realize that she no longer gave a sh*t about her career, she just wanted to be with her baby. She so quit.
but everything has pros and cons
Just want you to know, OP, that I'm with you. I was pregnant at 19 and dropped out of college after only one year. I'm now married and a SAHM to three. Never been back to college and I have no prospects. If DH were to up and leave...well...it would be bad. That said, I'm extremely confident in my relationship with my husband. I have no concerns that he's going to leave me. I'm not going to spend my days worried about how I would make it if he were to die. I just don't feel as though that is a healthy attitude, at least for me. That doesn't mean we haven't prepared at least a little something, but its not what I'm going to base my life around.
Also, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. Sure, I was in college with a major and double minor...but seriously, I don't think it would've done me any good. And I wouldn't have been happy with it long term. After I had my second and third babies, I realized I wanted to go into birth. I'm not sure as what, yet, but that's where I want to be, with birth mamas, helping to empower them. A degree in history would've been totally wasted not to mention a huge waste of money as I'm going to have to get education specifically in birth/nursing/midwifery whatever.
I don't think its bad at all that you want to take the time you have and spend it with your family. In fact, I think its pretty darn important. And it gives you the time to grow as an individual and figure out what career will make you happy through the rest of your adult life.
I do have to agree, that a college degree doesn't guarantee anything. My bestie just finished her masters and keeps getting passed up because she doesn't have experience. She can't get experience because even for entry level positions she needs experience. She's now working retail for minimum wage and living with her parents in an attempt to start to pay off nearly $100000 of debt. There's been tons and tons of news coverage about how few college grads are getting jobs right now. Sure, its going to wax and wane with the economy, but its not fair to say you need to get a degree just to fall back on. It really doesn't work that way. And Linda on the Move had a great point, just because you have a degree doesn't mean you won't need further education in five or ten years when you are starting to transition back into the workforce. Chances are, you will.
Take your time and enjoy being a SAHM, OP. Go back when you are ready and have a clearer idea of what you want. I don't think that that is immature at all.
How long until you qualify for free tuition at a UK university? I'd be considering that. I can see both sides in this thread--I do think finishing one's degree is important, but only you know whether you can get your butt in gear enough to do it, be that now or a year or two from now. And while I think that having the degree is valuable even if you don't know what you want to do--it means once you do figure out, you're in a better position--I also think that if/when you figure out what you do want to do, you can typically make it happen one way or the other. Your kids will not always be so young and dependent, and you may find yourself wanting to switch gears at some point.
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