Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    IPW's thread about working full time now to have flexibility when DS is older really struck a chord in me.  I have been toying with going back to school since before we got pregnant and now for some insane reason I think that I'm ready to take on the challegne of being a full time career woman, full time mom, full time wife and part time student. :)

    Any words of encouragement or tips from other Moms currently pursuing higher education, balancing a family and working?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    What degree program?
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    BU's Metropolitan College.  I'm looking at both the Accelerated Degree Completion and the Bachelors in Management Studies.  I already have 2 years of school under my belt from but my major was in Education.  I'm waiting to hear how many of my credits will transfer and that will determine which program I can persue.  I'll need 64 credits to qualify for the degree completion.  Seeing how I'm now pursuing a completely different degree, I'm not sure how much is going to transfer.



     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    You want to do an accelerated program part-time?  I'm confused.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    CQ - can you remind us how old your baby is?  I can't remember...
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    It would be 3 courses at 4 credits each.  I suppose that is traditionally considered full time.  BU's tuition policy states 12.5 credit house as full time and anything less as part time.

    The Management Studies program would be more managble/flexible, it seems.  It would definately take longer though.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    This, admittedly, is not what you asked for, but have you considered the hours per day you're talking about?  I'm guessing at the specifics, of course, so correct me if you work from home so have no commute and DH is a stay at home dad or something else that will throw it off entirely.

    7 hours sleep (including pre-bed ritual)
    1 hour shower, dress, coffee and donut
    10 hours work/commute
    3 hours school (average with classes and homework)
    1 hour groceries, cook, clean with DH, of course, who won't want to do all the domestic chores himself

    That leaves 2 hours a day for "full time wife," "full time mom," and don't forget the also important "full time you."

    I don't have the stamina to even think about that schedule for longer than it takes to type it, but I know there are people out there with a lot more stamina than I have.  So, if you're one of those people, go for it and best wishes!

    P.S.  I didn't mean to have it highlighted; I just copied and pasted it, and that's what happens.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    He's 10.5 months. Eeek! 
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    I'll tell you the same thing I told myself while I was in labor.

    "Millions of women have done this for millions of years, you can do it too."

    So, maybe for you "thousands of women have done this for decades, I can do this to" is your mantra."
     
    My best friend works full time, is in an accelerated MBA program and has a 10 month old. She doesn't cook, excercise and clean house, and I get random e-mails from her at 3:00 a.m. that mention she's up doing school work, but she does it and long term it will make her life, and her family life better.

    It sucks, but like you seem to have realized, it's not going to get easier when your baby is older, more active, and more likely to hold resentments against you for not being around as much as you would like.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    CoffeeQueen, I worked full time and took an accelerated program at night while pregnant.  I actually had contractions one night in class and delivered my son a day and a half later.  It is possible to do. I had my son on a Wednesday and I was back in class Monday night.  My last class was in February and I had my son in September.  My class met once a week for 5 weeks (8 for Accounting, stats, etc.)  There was a lot of homework, but it was doable.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    CQ - I'm not a mom (yet) but I have recently been looking into going back to school for another degree.  We are currently TTC so I looked at the following factors when making my decision:

    - Is there a minimum class load?  For instance, could you start with one class a semester to ease into the transition?
    - Is there a maximum number of months allowed to complete the program? Several schools cap the time allowed to graduate.
    - What is the demographic of the other students in the program? For me I was hoping to find a program that catered to "Adult Learners" because I believe the expectations would be different if you were in class with full-time students vs adults with full-time jobs and potentially families.

    As an aside, I've decided not to go back to school at this time but it wasn't because I couldn't find a program that could offer the flexibility that I'm looking for rather I was recently promoted at work and realized I didn't need an additional degree (I just miss school!).
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Kiwiguy. Show Kiwiguy's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    I'm a Dad who went through this, so I feel somewhat qualified to give you an insight into my experience.

    The obvious comment is that it is extremely hard work and you need to be very committed and you also need to have the full understanding and support of your husband.

    When our son was born, I was working fulltime and already studying part time. I generally took two courses per semester and each course had an hour of class time per credit. (ie, a 4 credit course had a 4 hour class and a 3 credit course had a 3 hour class per week). So for two nights a week I went straight from the office to school, took the class and then got home somewhere between 9 and 10pm. Because classes were right after work, I often only had time to grab a quick sandwich or something for dinner, eaten on the run, otherwise I ate when I got home. Naturally my son didn't see me those days.

    But as you already know, college courses are not just about turning up in the classroom. I easily had 3 or 4 hours of work required for each class each week, either doing homework assignments, semester projects, or reading and preperation for next weeks class. That was generally another 2 or 3 nights of school work done at home. So if I was effectively doing 5 nights of school related work each week, that was five nights each week I was not spending with my wife. It was also exhausting. Invariably I would spend time during the week with my wife, so I'd need to catch up on school work on the weekend. This was time when my son was likely to be awake, so now school was taking time from him too. Exam times are awful.

    It took me 4 years of taking 2 courses per semester, 3 semesters per year (I studied through summer too), but I eventually graduated summa-cum-laude last year. So I am proof that it can be done, and you can do really well if you put you mind to it. But you cannot do it without the full support of your husband, with both of you knowing the time and energy required. Keep in mind - all those nights you are in class, your husband is home alone with your child, playing with them after work, feeding them dinner, getting them bathed and off to bed. All without Mummy. He really is a single parent those nights. It was the same for my wife, and I am forever grateful that she felt it was important for me to finish my degree and she was prepared to work just as hard as me to allow me to achieve that. I want to go to grad school, but I have decided for myself that I cannot do that until our children are much older, as the strain on the family is great.

    My key pieces of advice;

    1) do just one course in your first semester to try and figure out a routine that works for you and your husband and your child.

    2) never load yourself up with more than 2 courses per semester. I tried doing 3 courses one semester and I ended up dropping the third course because I simply did not have the time.

    3) make sure you manage your time effectively. Set study times, but make sure to set family times that you can share with your husband and child. Also set aside hubby time, whether it just be a movie night (where you can doze in the dark if you are tired from work & school), or a dinner out.

    4) know your priorities. If you find you don't have enough time for all your commitments, drop a class. While your schoolwork is very important, it is not as important as your relationship with your husband, child, and quite frankly, it is not as important as your job (unless you can afford to live and study without it).

    5) Don't be fooled by "accelerated" programs or courses. Here is the reality. To pass a course, you need learn X, Y & Z, and be competent enough to pass an examination about them by the end the semester (and hopefully still have that knowledge when you graduate). If a course is completed in  8 weeks rather than 16 weeks, it just means you have to do twice as much work in those 8 weeks to learn X, Y & Z. And if you are really honest with yourself - if you are looking to take a course that allows you to do literally half the work (and learning only half of X, Y & Z) to get full credit, is this the sort of education you really want? Is that degree really worth the cost of tuition, let alone the time taken from your husband and child?
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    I think it says a lot that you wrote "I think I'm ready to take on the challenge."  In a scenario like this, I think attitude is everything.  Also, I like what ML said - at this age, the baby will not hold it against you if you're not around as much as you were before, whereas they might have some confusions around it if older.

    Maybe you can get in touch with an advisor of the program(s) you're interested in and either ask that person their opinion, or try to be put in touch with some others in the program that are also parents with full-time jobs. 

    Also - what does your DH think about this idea?  I have a friend whose husband is currently in school and she ends up doing most of the bath/bedtime routine each night, and is alone with the kids most of each weekend because DH either has schoolwork to do or has to meet with peers to complete group projects.  Your DH might want to have an idea of what this might mean for him.  Do you have family in the area for additional support?

    ETA: Posted before I saw Kiwiguy's response.  :)
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from austengirl. Show austengirl's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    I had a year of classes on my MBA post-baby.  I think Kiwiguy said it all and I would only reiterate: support network.  Do you have people who can come over and take care of the pile of ironing, laundry, cooking, dusting etc periodically.    Help for hubby and you when you are away at class.  Pre-Cooked foods - making large dishes to reheat or freeze, learning to study in small breaks while baby/child is napping or I would sit on the floor with my ds and read or study while he played.  I was near him and able to interact yet still get work done. 
    There were many nights where everyone else was asleep and I was up doing work. 
    My sister has two kids and is working full time, has a part time per diem job, is married and taking classes so it is doable.  Maybe we are a family of crazies...but it is workable.  Good Luck
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    I"m a BU Met grad (MSc, 2003) and my program at least, was very flexible.  My schedule was much as kiwi guy described... went right to class with dinner on the fly 2 nights per week and I spent usually Saturday morning and some extra time during the week getting homework done.  I did it while single, but working at a start-up in Andover, and even then, a support network would have been really helpful. 

    My only caution is to make sure you're going for a degree that will get you somewhere when you're done. 
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    I think people have raised some good points.  I also think what you do during your FT job is going to play a huge role in this as well.  If you have a FT job that does not require that you regularly work OT, during your lunch break, or on weekends, and that doesn't involve high levels of thought on a regular basis (ie, not medicine, law, CPA), then you might be able to swing it.  If you have an unpredictable work schedule (ie,  you have deadlines or projects that regularly require you to stay late or go in on a weekend to get it done) going back to school probably is not a good idea until the kids are a bit more self sufficient.  If you do admin work, you can probably swing it. This is not a slight of admin work -but it is a field where you generally work 9-5 or some other set schedule and can leave it and come back to it w/o having a deadline, or having it be so complex that no one else can pick it up if you have to leave.  HTH
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    Thank you all for your thoughtful responses.  I think I maybe need to print Kiwiguys post and give it to DH to read!  Of course my DH is supportive but I don't think he really knows what he is agreeing to.  I've already started thinking about who we could recruit to help with pick up and coverage on the nights I have school since DH's work schedule is unpredictable.  I actually am an admin and feel that my current schedule is perfect for returning to school.  I will have time at lunch to study and my hours are pretty set in stone.  We're not planning on having another baby for at least 4 years (I'm 26, DH is 31) so if I'm going to do this.....now is the time.  I would love to take a break from my career when we have baby number 2 and then have something to fall back on when I want to reenter the workforce. 

    I am most anxious about having a second wave of parental guilt, similar to what I went through when I first came back to work.  It was borderline unbearable and the only way I made it through the Fall and Winter was to continuously remind my self that there were millions of other women out there who balanced career and family.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    I'm in a similar boat, and have taken courses through BU Met, so I'll toss in:

    1) Have you looked into other programs with on-line offerings?  BU has a degree completion program that I looked into after getting PG.  I ruled it out, but UMass Boston has one.  It's a bit generic, but I'm just looking to fill in that hole in my resume, not expand my mind.  And it was worlds less expensive than BU.  With my tuition benefit, I will wind up paying very little out of pocket.  The on-line lets me do the coursework on my own schedule, so it's better for me as a working mom, although it involves a high-level of self-discipline.  Unless you live IN Kenmore Square or next door to a satellite campus, I'd recommend looking into on-line before committing. 

    2) Do not try to take more than two courses.  I couldn't have handled FT work and three classes when I was care- and child-free.  It may be feasible, but it's asking for boatloads of stress.  I know that's not super-encouraging, but that would be my biggest tip -- I'd lean towards the more flexible and longer program. 


    3) Like Alf said, you have to consider your primary job and how flexible it is.  I have a lot of autonomy and can use my lunch "break" to complete some of the on-line reading/courses, have a lot of support from DH on this, and DD is (knocking wood, knocking wood) getting into a good routine, but I literally walked in today mulling over whether or not I thought I could handle the additional "To Do." 


    4) For a couple of weeks, don't do ANY housework, laundry, cooking or house-related stuff during the times you would conceivably be in class.  (I'm assuming your degree isn't on-line)  DH should be in charge of the baby during these times.  After two weeks, evaluate -- is DH still talking to you?  Did your weekends consist of anything other than laundry, cooking & cleaning?  Did you get to the gym (or whatever else is important to you outside of the work-home-sleep cycle)?  Were dinners what you normally eat?  I'm only half-kidding.  

    I'm sort of cheating b/c I haven't done the FT work/PT school thing WITH kids, but having done the former and currently involved in the with-kids latter and planning my return to school, I think I can play.  

    I think it's great.  I think it's doable, but I think an accelerated degree program, as tempting as it is to get it Done, would be more than anyone can/should take on.  And I would STRONGLY encourage you to see what the on-line world has to offer (not the for-profit schools, but the local ones.  Most have on-line degree programs.) 

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    And having re-read this: what KiwiGuy & Poppy said.  Sorry, I had started writing this a while ago.  I contacted the admissions person at UMass and flat-out asked about work-life balance, and she steered me towards starting later than I'd originally thought I could handle, and it turns out the tracks are more flexible than it reads on-line, so don't feel like you have to make your decision in a vacuum. 


    In reading your follow-up post, I would strongly recommend either taking one-course/week for a classroom setting, or looking into on-line.  If your DH has unpredictable hours, that's going to be a lot of stress on you and your little one.  If you're talking about four years between kiddos, you have time.  When you're talking about non-traditional school, it's a marathon, not a sprint. 

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from CoffeeQueen. Show CoffeeQueen's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    Actually one of the women at work was talking about how she got her degree entirely online through Northeastern.  She took one class at a time and was able to graduate in 6 years.  As mentioned before, I have about 2 years worth of credits already.  The key is if most will transfer.

    I sort of scoffed at the idea of doing school online because I was not the most disciplined student the first time around.  The running joke is that I majored in beer pong (half true). :)  I will defiantely look into some local programs because if I can be disciplined enough to run the show at work and at home with a wild child in tow, I should be able to hunker down for a few hours of school online a week.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    CQ, I did my masters program in accounting online whereby I only needed to be on campus for one class.  A lot of programs do have online flexibility which was key for me.  When I had DD I had 2 classes left to go on my masters degree (it took me 5 years) and while it was a little hard to do, there were many nights when I would have DD sitting on my lap while I was on my laptop working away.  It's totally doable, just extend your time frame and don't have any grand expectations about finishing as soon as possible.  That way you can exceed your expectations if it goes really well and not feel like you're behind if you find that the balance needs to be tweaked.

    Also the online program was awesome for me because sometimes when DD wouldn't go back to sleep at 3:00 a.m., I was online on the forums answering questions (not BDC, the online school forums).  


     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    In Response to Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :):
    [QUOTE]I think people have raised some good points.  I also think what you do during your FT job is going to play a huge role in this as well.  If you have a FT job that does not require that you regularly work OT, during your lunch break, or on weekends, and that doesn't involve high levels of thought on a regular basis (ie, not medicine, law, CPA), then you might be able to swing it.  If you have an unpredictable work schedule (ie,  you have deadlines or projects that regularly require you to stay late or go in on a weekend to get it done) going back to school probably is not a good idea until the kids are a bit more self sufficient.  If you do admin work, you can probably swing it. This is not a slight of admin work -but it is a field where you generally work 9-5 or some other set schedule and can leave it and come back to it w/o having a deadline, or having it be so complex that no one else can pick it up if you have to leave.  HTH
    Posted by ALF72[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the shout-out ALF!  Might be the first time I've seen my profession lumped in with medicine and law!

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    I am convinced that my prior law firm would have gone up in flames if not for our admin staff. My assistant was worth her weight in gold. :-)
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    Yeah, we have the same thing at our firm.  There's no way we could operate without them!  However, I'm totally jealous of their 35 hour work weeks.  
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from smileyd. Show smileyd's posts

    Re: Am I out of my mind? Don't answer that. :)

    I've done it, and it certainly is doable.  I was working full time and in school for my PhD when I got pregnant with my first.  Once she was born, I cut back to only 2 courses per semester instead of 3.  My husband was a great support.  On nights that I had class, he took care of everything.  I would do my homework after she went to bed the rest of the week.  My husband and I share household duties and we continued to do so.  He definitely picked up more at stressful times during the semester.  I also took a few days off from work at key times to do school work.  I graduated a month after my second child was born.  The key things are:
    1 - have a support system
    2 - don't feel guilty about doing something that you want to do (and will help your family)
    3 - don't feel that you have to be a perfect student.  It's the degree that's important, so learn the material, but don't labor over it.  You have other stuff going on and it's OK to not focus 100% on your school work.
     

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