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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently become a single mother, after intending to be a SAHM. It'll take a while to process the situation that led me here, but I'm at a little bit of a loss as to "what then." The deal is this: prior to marriage I more or less dilly-dallied through life, not in any way, shape, or form setting myself up for the possibility of being the sole source of support for a child. My family is a great source of both emotional and material support so I do have options, and as my son is breastfeeding, pumps don't work on me, and he thinks bottle nipples are teethers anyway, I have time in which to by necessity continue as a SAHM. I AM, obviously, going to have to think about the long term though. So the question is: WWYD?<br><br>
1) Think about employment options available to those of us who never completed their bachelors in order to be independent ASAP.<br>
2) Think about going back to complete a bachelors which would lead to a higher, more stable income, even if it's not in a field of personal interest.<br>
3) Pursue long-term education plans which would require relying on family for a longer period than may be desireable, but which would offer a career rather than just an income.<br>
4) Some combination of the above.<br>
5) Move to a primitavist, tribalist commune on which food, clothes, and childhood education are all provided by a grove of oak trees ... ok, maybe not.<br>
6) Something else entirely.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I think I'd work at completing your bachelor's degree... and either doing it in a field you love or working towards a career you love... especially if your family is willing to help. You can do a lot online, etc.<br><br>
You could also see what sort of part-time at home stuff you might be able to do to help augment your income (or lack thereof).<br><br>
Of course, now you need to decide what you want to be when you grow up? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Liquesce</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10254254"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">5) Move to a primitavist, tribalist commune on which food, clothes, and childhood education are all provided by a grove of oak trees ... ok, maybe not.</div>
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That sounds like a lovely option. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
In all seriousness - first, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I can't imagine it's easy. What I would do in that situation, is to seize the opportunity to have a new beginning. A fresh start. What do you enjoy doing? If you give us some ideas, we may be able to steer you in the direction of a profitable career that you'll actually enjoy. Maybe even one that would allow you to stay home with your child. For example, if I found myself in sudden singledom, and was unemployed, I'd probably find a relative to stay with (I have plenty that would offer), and would start doing freelance work, trying to get that off the ground as a career. Once I was established enough to have a steady income, I'd start looking for a home to call my own. If I had the option, I'd definitely stay with relatives for awhile if I had a young nursling. I'd want to absorb the situation and ease myself into being single, before trying to pile a new career or new schooling into the mix.
 

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I'd need more information before making an "if I were you" decision--what is your work history? What do you enjoy doing?
 

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Is there a program that would allow you to complete a bachelors with work/income options, but would also be a step towards a grad program that would offer a career?
 

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If it were me I would get a job and take courses online at night. Start working on ds to take a bottle right now and start trying to pump again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>avengingophelia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10254428"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'd need more information before making an "if I were you" decision--what is your work history? What do you enjoy doing?</div>
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Just more of a general WWYD, not a "tell me what career to take" post. Look at the shortest term possible with more financial struggle, a middle term with stability but less likelihood of career "love," or a long term with career love but which is asking a great deal more of aleady-generous family than the other available options.<br><br>
I had studied a little towards a social work degree, but that was looking at altruistic tendencies more than a need to support a family ... I'm really not sure what stable, safe, well-paying jobs in the field mesh with my intentions to study in the first place. I considered psychology, but we're talking seriously long term education ... I have the feeling I'd be sending my son off to college around the time I'm completed myself. Also considered library/information science ... again, I don't know what career options are available at what level of education. And then, of course, there are all those generic office jobs with requirements tha basically read "bachelor's, but we don't care in what" -- the no love jobs, but not bad ones just the same.<br><br>
I have time, so there's no rush for me to find something <i>tomorrow</i>. It's just that the grieving process over my husband is being compounded by the uncertainty surrounding my and my son's future, so I'm perhaps just seeking a little if-I-were-in-your-shoes imput on a general path to take to help get a sense of groundedness.
 

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Oh--well, I'd probably take the middle route, but that's mainly because I am less and less able to believe that it's possible to really "love" your for-profit job.
 

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I'm so sorry, my advice was given before I knew of your situation. I apolgize if I unintentionally hurt you...<br><br>
Many hugs,<br>
Marissa
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>avengingophelia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10254890"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh--well, I'd probably take the middle route, but that's mainly because I am less and less able to believe that it's possible to really "love" your for-profit job.</div>
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I'm half inclined to agree. Such as, my grandfather studied for years to become a translator as per his love, only to hate the jobs he could get and wound up a mechanic/farmer. My mother was in school all through my childhood to be a teacher, only to have nothing but headaches for the effort. My aunt and uncle, on the other hand, worked "generic" jobs -- her in an office to support herself after a divorce, him as an electrician to support his two kids -- only to later in life jointly open a music store they adore and which has absolutely nothing to do with their educations or "official" trades. So it's just hard to say.
 

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I would complete the bachelor's degree regardless of field of study and reevaluate. IME, my major has nothing to do with what I do but it was easier to get my foot in the door with the education I have. A lot of employers have a little checkbox, "does person have bachelors?" but there is no place to add in field of major.<br><br>
I also am uncertain you can find a career that you love. Some people do but certainly not all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mmace</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10254893"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm so sorry, my advice was given before I knew of your situation. I apolgize if I unintentionally hurt you...<br><br>
Many hugs,<br>
Marissa</div>
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No no no ... I intentionally left out the situation particulars. In the first days the condolences were great and much needed, but now I kind of want to just be spoken to normally again, you know? I'd much rather ideas that may not apply to people being concerned about fragility.<br><br>
Your own situation sounds great, btw, all things considered. I mean I understand it's not all roses, especially involving a break-up, but I'm really happy for you that you've found a way to make it work.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">No no no ... I intentionally left out the situation particulars. In the first days the condolences were great and much needed, but now I kind of want to just be spoken to normally again, you know? I'd much rather ideas that may not apply to people being concerned about fragility.<br><br>
Your own situation sounds great, btw, all things considered. I mean I understand it's not all roses, especially involving a break-up, but I'm really happy for you that you've found a way to make it work.</td>
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I do understand, and thank you for understanding. As I said, my advice was coming from not knowing your situation and obviously would be no help for you.<br><br>
I wish you all the best - I hope you and your little one find the perfect situation!
 

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RE: Library Science<br><br>
My cousin has a master's in library science and works for a major corporation in their archiving department. She loves it... as the company is about 100 years old...and there are lots of fun things to archive.<br><br>
Before becoming a SAHM, I was in marketing and then in competitive intelligence. A lot of people in competitive intelligence have master's in library science as well.<br><br>
Both jobs pay quite well (in the high 80s to low 100s, in general.)<br><br>
On another note, I worked with a few people who were doing there master's degree in market research and did a sort of co-op program... which provided good incomes while they studied.<br><br>
I do think you can love your corporate for-profit job.. but it's probably not going to be the first job you take. The more you work in your field, you figure out what you like/don't like... and can craft your career to fit that. A good friend was a 6th grade teacher and hated it... but she went back to school and got her master's in curriculum design and now loves it. Another friend hated being a doctor, but now works in professional affairs for a large pharma company <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: and loves her job.<br><br>
I'm so sorry about your loss.
 

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Ok, I'm going to contribute my 2 cents here, because I've kind of been there/done that in a way.<br><br>
Concentrate on the bachelor's. If you can move in with/get support from non-toxic family, do that, and get a bachelor's. That way you should at *least* be able to get a job making enough to support yourself and your babe. Like I always said after I got my bachelor's, "at the very least, I will be a highly paid secretary." (Not to imply that there is NO way to get a well-paying job without a degree, but the degree helps heaps).<br><br>
One very specific thought that I had was, get a psychology/counseling/social work degree, and then get a job at a college/university that offers their employees free tuition! (Can you tell I work at a university?!? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">)<br><br>
That way you are making a (hopefully) decent salary (admissions counselor? university advisor?) at a job that is known for decent hours, usually a daycare onsite, tons of paid holidays, and good benefits. Then you can (for free!) pursure a grad degree at your pace while still taking care of you and DC.<br><br>
The details of it may be too specific, or not float your boat, but its definitely worked for me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I started off as a pg 18 year old thinking "oh my dear gosh..." (think Natalie Portman in "Where the Heart Is") and just praying that I'd be able to find a studio apt without too many bugs and drug dealers on the bus route, to now owning my own home in a nice neighborhood and making more than my parents did, even if its not a CEO salary. Its enough to support me, DD, DP and DSD. And managed to be the best mama I could to DD as well.<br><br>
Hope this is food for thought, if nothing else. Good luck, mama! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s
 

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I am so sorry about your loss.<br><br>
Are you in the USA or Egypt right now? If Egypt, I am really not sure.<br><br>
If in the USA, I think going back to school would be the way to go. You will be around lots of people, including many single Moms. There will be career counseling available, and also an Arab-American student group so your baby can learn Arabic. On campus housing should be affordable. You do not need to decide on the final goal when you sign up for college ... just decide the first semester's classes. You could get started this summer with one or two courses, to get your feet wet. Even earlier if you want to. Take advantage of the career office, and ask lots of questions.<br><br>
College should give you the option of spending more time with your baby than a 40 hour a week job would. And being around others will be a good idea. It will be 3-4 years to think, grieve, and make a plan for the future.<br><br>
I would suggest you take the time to pursue a field of personal interest, not just any degree to get a job. You have a lot of years ahead of you, and "settling" on a career may cause resentment later.<br><br>
If you and your child are eligible for social security (not sure about the details here) that might be enough to keep you in school for a loooong time, combined with loans, grants, and family help.
 

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I think you should research available careers and what kind of education is needed for them. You may be able to find something you really enjoy doing that only requires a 4 year degree. Your "dream job" may NOT require 12 years of training!<br><br>
See if you can start taking some classes online- maybe one a semester, to help ease into college before haivng to actually leave your nursing baby. Anything you can do now will shorten your training time when you are able to leave him with others. Most long-term career goals require a degree first, and most degrees require some generic courses, so you can start taking English 101 or equivilent before making any final decisions.
 

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If your family is up for helping you out I'd go for #3. Absolutely. Doing work that you love is definetly preferable to work that you loathe. If #3 isn't quite workable, I'd go for #1 - if of course your previous study was/is still interesting to you.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s I can only imagine what your going through. Seven months ago, I was seriously considering life on-my/our-own too when DH's brain injury was becoming apparent. I'm forever thankful he has recovered. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ruthla</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10255601"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think you should research available careers and what kind of education is needed for them. You may be able to find something you really enjoy doing that only requires a 4 year degree. Your "dream job" may NOT require 12 years of training!<br><br>
See if you can start taking some classes online- maybe one a semester, to help ease into college before haivng to actually leave your nursing baby. Anything you can do now will shorten your training time when you are able to leave him with others. Most long-term career goals require a degree first, and most degrees require some generic courses, so you can start taking English 101 or equivilent before making any final decisions.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:
 
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