Setting myself up for failure? (long) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 04-16-2004, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
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It looks like I may get enough funding to go finally complete the *4* courses I need for my English degree. My university needs a lesson in scheduling classes, and basically the 5000 level English classes that are required are all just about at the same time on the same day.

I've picked out two classes that can go for my two more English electives (and I'm hoping that if I end up taking these, the senior seminar and cross-disciplinary course I need will be offered in the winter semester at decent times). Thanks to the scheduling, however, no courses I need are offered mid-morning/early afternoon when I'd really like them so I could drop off Gavin with the IL's after taking my SO to work, having time to pick him up and go pick my SO up from work in the evening.

One course is from 6-9pm on Monday, the other is from 6-9pm on Thursday. I've had both professors before and they are both wonderful, and considering my performance in both of their classes in the past I don't think they'd have a problem if I was late a time or two.

I'm just worried about it completely not working out. The two days I would have classes I'd have to get up early, take my SO to work, come home, go pick my SO up from work, have him drop me off at school, have him take Gavin home, then come back to pick me up and we all go home.

It sounds exhausting just thinking about it, and then when I start to think about all of the reading and papers I'll be having to do and thinking that I can barely get any reading done with Gavin NOW, I just don't know what to do. He's super clingy, I rarely get time during the day when I'm sitting that he isn't coming over to play with the laptop or try to turn my pages for me or trying to rip the book out of my hands.
He's 15 months now and he will occasionally play with something for about 5 minutes without demanding my attention.

Nap times even end up being him sleeping in bed for 20 minutes, then waking up. If he's in my lap, he'll sleep for 1-2 hours, but then I'm stuck in one place, unable to have a book, and unable to move or he'll wake back up. (putting him BACK to bed after he's fully asleep the second time buys me about 5 more minutes before he becomes aware that he's not in my lap)

When I try to get any business done for what I sell on eBay, he seems to sense immediately I'm doing something that NEEDS to be done and will proceed to scream at the top of his lungs until I put things down - talking to him doesn't work.

My SO can keep him entertained for a few minutes longer, but thanks to his ADD, he cannot deal with him crying for me and instantly when Gavin starts getting upset if he can't see me, he will call for me to come in the room every 30 damn seconds until I finally appear. (whole other rant entirely)

I really want this degree done with and I'd really like to take classes again, but I'm just wondering if I can do it without killing myself in the process.

FWIW, the on campus daycare is only for kids over 3, and you have to agree to have them videotaped and be in psychology experiments! For a school with over 30k students, you'd *think* they'd have some sort of resources. The only student parent org is for med students. Guess they are the only ones "allowed" to have kids?

Anyone been in a similar situation and/or has any advice? (And jeeze, I can't even get through writing this post without him hitting me because I'm not kissing the kitty picture in his book, which resulted in him screaming as loud as he could at me, and my non reaction to his screaming got a marker he'd found thrown at the laptop)

Sorry for the length, I'm just so frustraited I could pull my hair out.
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#2 of 6 Old 04-16-2004, 04:45 PM
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My first thought is that you are going to need some help in order to accomplish this. I'm also assuming that your opening line indicates that you don't have the financial resources to hire a PT sitter and/or buy a second car.

The timing sounds really difficult. Is there public transit that one of you could use to get to or from work/school. Even if you eliminated one of these trips, it should help.

Can you afford to hire a younger teen to work as a "mother's helper" so you can get some time to study/write papers? Sounds like you really can't count on your little one to happily leave you alone while you work, but maybe with someone else to play with, it would work? Since you will be there, you don't need someone who is capable of handling an emergency, just to play.

Good luck.
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#3 of 6 Old 04-16-2004, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply.

Unfortunately, public transportation in Detroit is a joke. I'd have to leave about 3 hours ahead of time if I wanted to take a bus, and I don't even think I could get home until 7 or 8 am if I even wanted to take the bus home. (And with the bus schedules they way that they are, my SO could get within 5 miles of his workplace but would have to leave the night before in order to get there on time in the morning - it's *really* pathetic)

My first thougt was to look for a type of drop in hourly rate daycare place, but the two that I cound in the metro area are a good hour away, so that takes those out as options.

If only our neighbours had different hours - all of the ones around us love him, but they all have full time jobs and are gone more than they are here.

I'm still just cursing the university for being *so* unfriendly to student parents. It's really pathetic for a university of its size with a large number of older students.
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#4 of 6 Old 04-16-2004, 05:41 PM
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AS much as I'd love to encourage doesn't look good. Particularly since it seems your son will likely be quite high-needs at that time of day without you, and it sounds like your DH isn't really equipped to cope with that.

I think I would probably wait....but it's such a hard call to make. I agonized about returning to work F/T and it all worked out great. So sometimes you never know.

Can you register and start the courses and have some grace time to withdraw and get a refund? Then maybe you could try it out and see if it works.

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#5 of 6 Old 04-16-2004, 05:47 PM
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You know, this is a really rough time to attempt lofty goals! I am learning this myself! Did you know that mothers are actually less able to get things done in the second year than the first? That's right, our 15 and 16 month olds keep us busier than newborns!! It will be hard, but you can do it, if you decide to. I can't really help you make the decision. I know if it were me in your shoes I'd put it off longer and I don't want to discourage you. I am taking things slow for this very reason. Good luck in whatever you decide. It won't be the ned of the world if you put it off and it even if it's super hard, (and I bet it'll be easier than you think) it has an end date, it's not like you're committing to do this for years and years.
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#6 of 6 Old 04-16-2004, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
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You guys are great.

I think I'm going to seriously try to take at least one of the two courses I'd selected. I just now have no clue which one to pick, since both professors are amazing and neither teach the particular course often, so I can't just take it with them in the winter semester if I didn't in the fall.

I both want to push back going back and don't want to at the same time. I've resorted to go back to writing Epinions in my free time I've been so itchy for some sort of stimulation. (if you could call writing reviews "stimulating")

You'd think that a drop in/hourly style day care would be a popular thing to offer, especially near a major university. I'm still freaked out over the daycare that is offered turning children into psychology experiments.
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