Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Reasons why having a baby won't stop your education.

Having a baby doesn't mean your life has to end. You can still carry on your education. It means even more now you have someone to provide for. Here are some reasons why you can still study your degree and be a parent.

1. You can manage time between baby and uni.

Studying with a baby isn't rocket science, as I have said before. You have the time, especially if you have few contact hours at university. There is an average of 13.9 hrs of contact time a week at university. I have 9 hrs, 3 of which are compulsory. More and more, now, lecturers are putting their lectures online. Anything from notes to power points and audio recordings can be available - and if they aren't - ASK! Like this, if you can't make a lecture, you can go over it in your own time.
With only 9 hours a week, I was leaving my baby only for an hour or two a day. Never more. I asked for my timetable to be readjusted to suit me, this meant changing a module but it was better than leaving a 4 week old baby for 3 hours!

2. You will get better at attending lectures.

Think about all the times you missed a 9am lecture because you were too hungover. With a baby you will be attending that lecture as you'll have been up since 6am changing nappies! You'll understand the importance of attending everything. I have not skipped anything since Edward was born, compared to regularly skipping lectures in 1st year. Your degree means more to you.

3. You won't be taking a career break like most women do when they have a child.

If you have a child at 30, you'll most likely be in a stable job, married with a husband who has a good job as well. It's tempting to extend your maternity leave, staying at home being a housewife. Before you know it, you'll be far behind of where you potentially be in your career. Having a child at uni means you'll finish your degree the same time as your classmates, get a job and progress just like any of them.

4. You get to be a young mum.

There are so many benefits of being a young mum. Countless. You have so much more energy. You will get to spend more time with your child. You might be seen as a "cool mum". You will probably be one of the first of your friends to have a baby, so you get to be the wise advice giver when your friend follow suite. 

5. You get to take your baby to lectures.

Many lecturers, as long as you ask first, will allow a quiet child into the lecture rooms. You can even hear Edward babbling in some of the lecture audios online, with the lecturer replying to him! ("At least someone agrees with my point!" he said.) In seminars, everyone loves to sit next to you so they can have a play with a baby.

6. You will have numerous amounts of support.

Support will come from you from all angles. From your parents wanting to see their grandchild as much as possible (take advantage of this! How many times does a uni student's mum travel 5 hours to do their laundry for them?!), to your friends wanting to babysit. Not to mention your university will (and if it's not, it's breaking the law) 100% behind you. You can apply for a bigger student loan, be given grants from Student Finance and bursaries exist from your university as well. 

Do you have a reason to add to the list? Comment below and I plan to make a page full of reasons!