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<p>I am going to be applying to a university program that will start next September.  I have been a sahm since ds was born, but now I'm on my own with him and I need a career to support us!  I currently have a degree in biology and there is a program I want to take in public health and safety.  I am really excited about it, I think it will be a great fit for me.  And, because I already have a degree I can complete the program in only 2 years.  But, I'm really worried about all the more practical aspects of being a student and a single (solo) parent.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My main worries are:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DS going to daycare.  I will be home with him up until I go back to school.  He will be 2.5.  How will he handle it?  Will it be traumatic for him?  Should I start preparing him now for being watched in a daycare setting?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Commuting.  The university is a commuter train and subway ride away - yikes!  It will take me probably just over an hour to get there.  I can't live in the city as it's big and expensive and I won't know anyone.  At the moment I am planning on bringing DS along with me so he can go to the university affiliated daycare.  That way he's nearby if he needs me and we will have the time on the train to visit with eachother.  But, I'm open to suggestions about whether or not this is a good idea.  Maybe leaving him somewhere near home would be better? </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Studying.  At the moment my son is a nightowl.  He will easily stay up until 10pm.  I'm hoping that being busy at daycare all day will be enough to get him to go to bed early.  When will I study??  How will my relationship with my son be affected when all my free time is spent studying?  How will I study when he is AWAKE?  That seems impossible.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Then of course there is all the financial aspects.  I will have to live off my student loans.  And hopefully I will get some grants/bursaries because I don't want tons of debt when I graduate... I still have some money owing from my first degree!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Everything about this seems so impossible.  Like it will never work.  I have a back up program I am considering in town.  Which will lead to an ok job and its only 8 months.  But it is not something I would love.  It would be really awesome to have a career I actually love.  But maybe having a career I love just isn't practical at this point in my life?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't know what to do!  I'm so worried about everything!</p>
 

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<p>Mine is in red within the quote.<br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Gillian28</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279416/single-student-mama-fill-me-in-please#post_16045871"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I am going to be applying to a university program that will start next September.  I have been a sahm since ds was born, but now I'm on my own with him and I need a career to support us!  I currently have a degree in biology and there is a program I want to take in public health and safety.  I am really excited about it, I think it will be a great fit for me.  And, because I already have a degree I can complete the program in only 2 years.  But, I'm really worried about all the more practical aspects of being a student and a single (solo) parent.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My main worries are:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DS going to daycare.  I will be home with him up until I go back to school.  He will be 2.5.  How will he handle it?  Will it be traumatic for him?  Should I start preparing him now for being watched in a daycare setting?</p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">I would talk to him about it, and maybe take him to visit.  There WILL be an adjustment period - thats normal and totally ok.  Expect it.  I would use the university childcare center</span><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">, I've had a GREAT experience with my law school center, that way, during the adjustment period if he REALLY needs you, they can call you.  The commute might be difficult - is there any way you can move closer??  Another HUGE advantage to using the university childcare center is that it will connect you to other parents on campus who can support you.  I've made friends with lots of the other mom's here, and its been GREAT!  We help each other out - when one mom was going to be late picking up her ds, I picked him up and hung out with him for a few minutes until she got there, and then she drove us home.  It was a great trade off.  Our babies are friends, see each other often - all in all its been a great experience for me and my ds.  I also LOVE being just down the hall - its come in handy a few times when he's gotten sick in the middle of the day.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Commuting.  The university is a commuter train and subway ride away - yikes!  It will take me probably just over an hour to get there.  I can't live in the city as it's big and expensive and I won't know anyone.  At the moment I am planning on bringing DS along with me so he can go to the university affiliated daycare.  That way he's nearby if he needs me and we will have the time on the train to visit with eachother.  But, I'm open to suggestions about whether or not this is a good idea.  Maybe leaving him somewhere near home would be better? </p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">If you can look into moving closer to campus, that would be my suggestion.  If thats not feasible, then you'll have to just go with it!</span><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">  Also, the university childcare center is probably MUCH cheaper for students than other places - mine is $30/day.  Faculty pay $75/day since they aren't students.  So, its doable only b/c its subsidized.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Studying.  At the moment my son is a nightowl.  He will easily stay up until 10pm.  I'm hoping that being busy at daycare all day will be enough to get him to go to bed early.  When will I study??  How will my relationship with my son be affected when all my free time is spent studying?  How will I study when he is AWAKE?  That seems impossible.</p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">My son is in daycare everyday from 9-5.  Anytime I'm not in class, I'm studying.  He's also with his dad EOW, and thursday nights - I study LOTS during those times.  Are you a solo mama?  Or is your baby's dad involved?  That will make a difference.  If you're a solo mama, you may need to enlist the help of family and friends to help you get through - child care swapping on the weekends, overnights and grandma's, etc.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Then of course there is all the financial aspects.  I will have to live off my student loans.  And hopefully I will get some grants/bursaries because I don't want tons of debt when I graduate... I still have some money owing from my first degree!</p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">If you're going for an advanced degree, don't expect grants.  You can apply for scholarships but they're hard to get.  I live off loans, and its HARD.  My parents help A LOT b/c otherwise we wouldn't have a place to live, or groceries to eat.  Loans are not generally enough to pay for childcare, tuition, books, and everything else. </span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Everything about this seems so impossible.  Like it will never work.  I have a back up program I am considering in town.  Which will lead to an ok job and its only 8 months.  But it is not something I would love.  It would be really awesome to have a career I actually love.  But maybe having a career I love just isn't practical at this point in my life?</p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">Go for what you love.  If you have to go to school anyway, better to do it RIGHT the FIRST time!  Our children deserve to see us HAPPY and doing things we love.  It may be challenging, but my ds needs to know that he deserves to be happy in life - he won't learn that unless he see's me chasing what I love.  We set an example for our children - they learn so much from us.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't know what to do!  I'm so worried about everything!</p>
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<p><br><span style="color:rgb(255,0,0);">Just know that it will all work out.  Things have a way of just working out.</span></p>
 

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<p>I wish I had started my single mama journey with a degree! I have four kids, and I plan to be in school for another six years. Your situation sounds VERY doable to me. I suggest you plan to have child care while you study- with a two year old, having your space to study is just not reliable enough. This is especially true if you're taking more science courses.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Your son will have to adjust, but if he's an outgoing kid, I think he'll do great in daycare. At his age, all the activity will really wear him out, too. Alternatively, can you get up in the morning before him to get your alone time in?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I second the idea of rechecking into moving closer. I live fifteen minutes from my school, and it really helps a lot.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block"><br>
DS going to daycare. I will be home with him up until I go back to school. He will be 2.5. How will he handle it? Will it be traumatic for him? Should I start preparing him now for being watched in a daycare setting?<br><br><b>No, that's right about the age when daycare will be fun and seem like playtime with friends. I started my son at 1.5 and it took some crying for a few weeks at drop off until he adjusted. His caregivers were awesome though, so I didn't feel bad about leaving him there upset. I knew they would take care of him.</b><br><br>
Commuting. The university is a commuter train and subway ride away - yikes! It will take me probably just over an hour to get there. I can't live in the city as it's big and expensive and I won't know anyone. At the moment I am planning on bringing DS along with me so he can go to the university affiliated daycare. That way he's nearby if he needs me and we will have the time on the train to visit with eachother. But, I'm open to suggestions about whether or not this is a good idea. Maybe leaving him somewhere near home would be better?<br><br><b>I think that would suck for a kid to have to commute that much every day. I would either move closer or leave him at a daycare near your house. Plus you can use the time on the train to study.</b><br><br>
Studying. At the moment my son is a nightowl. He will easily stay up until 10pm. I'm hoping that being busy at daycare all day will be enough to get him to go to bed early. When will I study?? How will my relationship with my son be affected when all my free time is spent studying? How will I study when he is AWAKE? That seems impossible.<br><b>Daycare when you aren't in classes is key, especially if you don't have anyone else helping out like family or friends. I never did full-time daycare but I studied while he was playing and had my parents help out a lot when I had to write papers or do class projects.</b><br><br><br>
Then of course there is all the financial aspects. I will have to live off my student loans. And hopefully I will get some grants/bursaries because I don't want tons of debt when I graduate... I still have some money owing from my first degree!<br><b>Sign up for as many state benefits as you can...I think Canada is already nicer in that way, but in the US, health care, food stamps, food from food banks, rent assistance, etc etc...</b><br><br><br>
Everything about this seems so impossible. Like it will never work. I have a back up program I am considering in town. Which will lead to an ok job and its only 8 months. But it is not something I would love. It would be really awesome to have a career I actually love. But maybe having a career I love just isn't practical at this point in my life?<b>What are the career prospects for each degree? If the one you love doesn't have great prospects, I would avoid it, because the debt and the sacrifice probably isn't worth it. If you love something and make it a hobby, great. If it can be a career, even better. But definitely be realistic about the future: you need to have an income after graduating.</b></div>
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I also thought that studying while having a kid was much easier--it made me focus and made me much more time efficient than other students. My grades went UP after having a kid, seriously. I didn't find it horrible to be studying while parenting, I never had to pull an all nighter...it is definitely doable.
 

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<p>I am going to be applying to a university program that will start next September.  I have been a sahm since ds was born, but now I'm on my own with him and I need a career to support us!  I currently have a degree in biology and there is a program I want to take in public health and safety.  I am really excited about it, I think it will be a great fit for me.  And, because I already have a degree I can complete the program in only 2 years.  But, I'm really worried about all the more practical aspects of being a student and a single (solo) parent.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My main worries are:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DS going to daycare.  I will be home with him up until I go back to school.  He will be 2.5.  How will he handle it?  Will it be traumatic for him?  Should I start preparing him now for being watched in a daycare setting?<span style="display:none;"> </span><span style="display:none;"> </span></p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(128,0,128);">It will be a big transition for him, so be ready for it.  He might react quite negatively to going to daycare at first, but he will love it once he gets used to it.  Yes he will cry and scream for you.  You can either start preparing him now or wait until he needs to go.  I would definitely take him to the daycare he will attend a few times to play with him before "the" day.  If you are going to prepare him, you would have to send him to the university daycare everyday as I have read and heard from friends that if you do 2 or 3 days a week it makes it way too difficult if the child is not used to it (the child doesn't know what or when to expect to stay home or go to a daycare he hasn't warmed up to yet).<span style="display:none;"> </span></span></p>
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<p> </p>
<p>Commuting.  The university is a commuter train and subway ride away - yikes!  It will take me probably just over an hour to get there.  I can't live in the city as it's big and expensive and I won't know anyone.  At the moment I am planning on bringing DS along with me so he can go to the university affiliated daycare.  That way he's nearby if he needs me and we will have the time on the train to visit with eachother.  But, I'm open to suggestions about whether or not this is a good idea.  Maybe leaving him somewhere near home would be better?<span style="color:rgb(128,0,128);"> </span></p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(128,0,128);">Does he like trains?  Can he sit still or play with books/coloring/etc during the long commute?  If he can handle it, I would take him to the university daycare.  That way you'll be right there if he needs you for any reason.  If you don't think he would do well with the long commute, then yeah, a daycare close to home might be a better option.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Studying.  At the moment my son is a nightowl.  He will easily stay up until 10pm.  I'm hoping that being busy at daycare all day will be enough to get him to go to bed early.  When will I study??  How will my relationship with my son be affected when all my free time is spent studying?  How will I study when he is AWAKE?  That seems impossible.</p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(128,0,128);">You will both naturally move into a schedule that will fit your needs.  With him being woken up earlier in the mornings to get ready for daycare, he will naturally go to bed earlier.  I can tell you that I cannot study while my daughter is awake.  For 1, she just won't let me.  But more importantly, I don't want to miss out on this precious time with her.  It truly goes by so fast.....I just can't ignore her and miss it in order to do homework or some other trivial thing.  But that's just me.  So to answer your question; yes, if you ignore your child because you need to do homework, I'm sure your relationship with him will change.  His behavior will probably suffer most (doing anything in his power to get your attention, including "being bad").  Having said that, I get the bulk of my homework done after she goes to bed.  She's down by around 7:30-8pm, and I do homework until 9 or 10.  She spends Sundays with her dad, and that's when I get all the house chores and extra homework done.  I use her nap time to do homework also.  You can also study/do homework if you are able to keep him in daycare 1 or 2 hours after your last class is over, depending on your class schedule.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Then of course there is all the financial aspects.  I will have to live off my student loans.  And hopefully I will get some grants/bursaries because I don't want tons of debt when I graduate... I still have some money owing from my first degree!<span style="display:none;"> </span><span style="display:none;"> </span></p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(128,0,128);">Totally doable.  I'm living off of my financial aid right now: loans, grants, scholarships.  But you have to get into the mindset that you will probably be right under the poverty line, so no luxuries.<span style="display:none;"> </span></span></p>
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<p>Everything about this seems so impossible.  Like it will never work.  I have a back up program I am considering in town.  Which will lead to an ok job and its only 8 months.  But it is not something I would love.  It would be really awesome to have a career I actually love.  But maybe having a career I love just isn't practical at this point in my life?</p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(128,0,128);">You are being too negative!  This sounds totally possible!!  I'm doing it right now, with no family around.  The only person who helps me out with my little one is her dad (who at times is more work than help).  He has court ordered visitations so I use that time to do homework and study (in addition to when she sleeps).  Is your son's dad around?  If he is, he might be able to do 1 overnight per week or some other arrangement that would free up a big chunk of time for you.</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't know what to do!  I'm so worried about everything!<span style="display:none;"> </span><span style="display:none;"> </span></p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(128,0,128);">Go for the longer program that will prepare you for a career that you'll love!  I'm a single mom and I had my daughter while I was in college, so I never had any doubts of the impossibility of things.  But coming from the other side, you will see that being a single student mama will become your new normal after a period of adjustment and you will be so happy with your life as you will be working towards something you really want.<span style="display:none;"> </span></span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(128,0,128);">Good luck with everything!!!  I wish you the best!</span></p>
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Discussion Starter #6
<p>Thank you for all the reassurance, I'm feeling much better about!  Still a lot to do/think about, but I'm not in a panic!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The program that I love is also one that will lead to a great job (in my opinion!), the job propsects seem good, with good salary, government benefits and a M-F 9-5 schedule.  So it won't be a wasted effort.  The program is Public Health and Safety, and it prepares students to write the qualifying exam to become a Public Health Inspector.</p>
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<p>The university is in downtown Toronto, so living there just won't be feasible, it's expensive.  And, I don't know anyone.  At least where I'm living now I have close friends who could watch my son the odd evening or weekend day so I could have some extra study time.  My mom will probably also visit us one weekend a month, so that will give me free time as well.</p>
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<p>Unfortunately my son's father is not involved.  That could change I guess, but I won't count on it.</p>
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<p>I *think* my son would do ok with the commute.  He's pretty go-with-the-flow most the time.  I'll have to think about the daycare issue a bit more.  Right now I'm thinking it is better to keep him close to me.  Unless over time I realize the commuting is just too much. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I need to start researching all the financial aid stuff that I can get.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thanks again everyone!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Gillian28</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279416/single-student-mama-fill-me-in-please#post_16053122"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a>
<p> </p>
<p>I *think* my son would do ok with the commute.  He's pretty go-with-the-flow most the time.  <strong>I'll have to think about the daycare issue a bit more.</strong>  Right now I'm thinking it is better to keep him close to me.  Unless over time I realize the commuting is just too much. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I need to start researching all the financial aid stuff that I can get.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thanks again everyone!</p>
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<p><br>
Check out prices at both the school childcare and childcare centers near your home.  When you're living on student loans, you can't afford much. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>You said your childs father isn't involved - does he pay child support/child care costs?  If not, you should SERIOUSLY consider going to court over it b/c it would make a HUGE difference in your financial situation, and might give you some leeway in where to live, and what childcare to use.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Also, have you looked at housing costs in Toronto?  Not all parts of the city will be really expensive.  And, you'll probably make a lot of friends in the city since you'll be going to school there.  Commuting would be really hard - especially while you're in school.  I live close to my school and walk to school - it makes a huge difference in how much time I have to study, cook, clean, have fun with ds - it impacts pretty much every aspect of my life.  I don't think I could do it if I didn't live so close.</p>
 
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