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  1. #1
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    Default Studying when you're a parent

    Hi all, apologies in advance for the long post, I've been doing a uni course, one of those with pracs/placements. To be frank, it's been a nightmare and its not over yet (almost, though). I was given details for the next prac back in Nov and I was actually given my preferred sites. I've been making plans and doing revision. Planning is essential for any mum who's also a student, but extra attention was needed because one of my pracs is in a rural location, so I would be away from my family. Although this was going to be tough, my thinking was that I would be able to totally concentrate on what I had to do to pass the prac, which would be the last one to graduate. Tonight I've found out that the uni has changed my country prac to a metro one, sending me to a site that is 50 km away and I think that it will take about 3 hours a day to get there and back. Plus there will be all the mum tasks waiting for me, which OH and kids (both teenagers) were going to be doing while I went rural. To be honest, I'm devastated, because a metro prac didn't work too well last time. I don't want to do this metro prac, for various reasons.

    I'm in no state to email the uni lecturer about this, need to calm down first and try to put some reasonable words together. Any words of advice from other studying mums would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Studying when you're a parent

    Can your husband and teenagers just continue to pick up their share as if you were away at the rural placement? Have you explained to them that you are struggling to do the placement plus extra work needed for the placement plus commute plus do home duties and that their help will get you over the line so you are able to graduate?

    I'd suggest thinking about what outcome you would like and options before emailing the lecturer, especially if you are feeling upset. They may have reallocated you to the metro placement because the rural placement is no longer available?
    Last edited by clbj; 07-01-2015 at 01:08.

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    Were you aware at the start that some of your pracs could be not local to you?

    You could put in a special consideration form. But it mightn't get you anywhere with your circumstances. I am a single mum of 3 and one has special needs, but none of that mattered to my uni.
    Email the lecturer, the placement unit, the head of school, and the ombudsman.
    If none of that works, you'll just have to deal with it. 50km isn't actually that far away? So they may not even be interested in your case.
    My last uni prac (an 8 week block) was 1400km away. It was AWFUL. But it's finished. And I have just completed my degree.

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    Hi clbj - OH and kids have not realised how much I need their support on previous pracs, which has been a major factor in wanting to do a rural prac, so that I can focus on what I need to do. If I'm here at home, I'm still expected to do all that I usually do, plus I have to study in the evening and at weekends too. I don't see that they will change their behaviour for this next prac. Perhaps it's one of the consequences of being a stay-at-home mum for so long. OH thinks that he's been at work all day too, like I am on the pracs, so if I expect him to help out, then he expects me to help out too. He has no idea about the stress of being assessed on pracs, has never been to uni.

    Hi CMF - for the last 2 pracs, I put a rural site down as a preference - didn't get it the first time, got it this time, now it's been taken away, apparently because a supervisor isn't available. I don't think that any other students' pracs at this particular rural site have been affected. No, 50 km each way isn't that far, but it will take a long time to get there because I'm in the opposite direction. I also have some health concerns, which wouldn't have on the rural placement because I'd be staying near the site. Why don't unis consider special needs of mums and their kids, especially if they are special needs kids?

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    It's a sucky situation for sure. I've done prac before as a single mum with very little support and it was hard. There is no special consideration which sucks but i guess at the same time, if they give it to one person they need to give it to everyone to be fair.
    It's probably best just to grin and bear it, get through it despite what it takes. If your house turns to a pig sty for that period of time so be it. Just keep focused on the end goal. Short term pain for long term gain!

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarvestMoon View Post
    It's a sucky situation for sure. I've done prac before as a single mum with very little support and it was hard. There is no special consideration which sucks but i guess at the same time, if they give it to one person they need to give it to everyone to be fair.
    It's probably best just to grin and bear it, get through it despite what it takes. If your house turns to a pig sty for that period of time so be it. Just keep focused on the end goal. Short term pain for long term gain!
    Hi HarvestMoon - on special consideration, do you mean that if they give it to one student, then they have to give it to all students? Or, do you mean that they would have to give it to all mum students?

    I understand what you mean by 'grin and bear it', but that hasn't worked so far. There are a few issues going on apart from the 3 hours a day travel time. Another reason to go rural was to try to escape the bullying I've experienced.

    Has anyone been studying part-time? I have found that full-time students were kept up to date with improved preparation for the pracs, but I wasn't. This meant that when I went on prac, I hadn't been taught what the full-timers had been taught, so the prac didn't go well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedDirection View Post
    Hi HarvestMoon - on special consideration, do you mean that if they give it to one student, then they have to give it to all students? Or, do you mean that they would have to give it to all mum students?

    I understand what you mean by 'grin and bear it', but that hasn't worked so far. There are a few issues going on apart from the 3 hours a day travel time. Another reason to go rural was to try to escape the bullying I've experienced.

    Has anyone been studying part-time? I have found that full-time students were kept up to date with improved preparation for the pracs, but I wasn't. This meant that when I went on prac, I hadn't been taught what the full-timers had been taught, so the prac didn't go well.
    I meant all students. If one student finds out another student got special consideration it could quite easily have a domino effect and all students regardless of parental status could be lining up, requesting theirs for various reasons.

    I hear you on the bullying. You aren't studying nursing by any chance? I actually dropped out for that very reason.

    I'm not sure what else you can do? Soldier on as you have been or try your luck at special consideration i guess.

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    I'm sorry to hear that your family aren't giving you the support you deserve. It might be worth taking a deep breath and speaking to your coordinator. It may be possible to find a solution, but even if not perhaps they can give you some support/advice so you can feel better prepared?

    Could you take public transport to the prac and use that time for your prep?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarvestMoon View Post
    I meant all students. If one student finds out another student got special consideration it could quite easily have a domino effect and all students regardless of parental status could be lining up, requesting theirs for various reasons.

    I hear you on the bullying. You aren't studying nursing by any chance? I actually dropped out for that very reason.

    I'm not sure what else you can do? Soldier on as you have been or try your luck at special consideration i guess.
    Special consideration: it wouldn't be special consideration if everyone got it, though! Yes, everyone would like a prac site close to home, but some need it more than others. I experienced single students (I mean students who are not parents) getting prac sites 15 mins away but I had to travel an hour to mine.

    Even in the sub-group of parents, there are levels of priority - I'm doing it tougher than a fellow student who was 20 years younger and who had a mum and a MIL to help out, as well as a husband. Single students who are parents have it harder again and anyone with special needs kids have it hardest of all. I have kids like this too, so have some understanding on this.

    Sorry to hear that you experienced bullying too, Harvest Moon, it has such a terrible impact, not just on the individual, but on loved ones too. From what I hear, it is quite common and completely unsupported and unacknowledged. I'm not doing nursing, but a friend of mine is.

    Like most mums, I have soldiered on before - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This time, though, I think that I will have to protest. Just waiting for a couple of medical reports.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clbj View Post
    I'm sorry to hear that your family aren't giving you the support you deserve. It might be worth taking a deep breath and speaking to your coordinator. It may be possible to find a solution, but even if not perhaps they can give you some support/advice so you can feel better prepared?

    Could you take public transport to the prac and use that time for your prep?
    H clbj, both kids fall into the special needs type of category, and OH is not too supportive. We have high medical costs, but otherwise live quite frugally. I think that because he hasn't been to uni himself, he has no idea what's involved. Courses with pracs are something else, in terms of workload and stress.

    Talking to coordinator - she's one of the bullies and causes me a lot of problems. Another reason to go country was to escape the bullies.

    Public transport - I can't get there by bus/train, as it would involve leaving home at 6 am, includes walking 3 km, some of that in a very rough area, in the height of summer. I wouldn't get home until 6.30 or 7 pm. I'm expected to study in the evening - sure I could try to read on the train, but it's renowned as a very rough route.

    Sorry, this isn't even a case of the glass being half-empty, it feels like it's almost dry.


 

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