Mama May Lose It
March 8, 2012 9:02 PM Subscribe
How do I handle being a (sort of) single parent in grad school without absolutely losing it? Details inside.
posted by ohmansocute to education (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm finishing up my second term of graduate school, and am a young parent to a 2.5 year old. My partner works out of state and is home on the weekends only. He takes her so I can do my schoolwork, so we miss out on the whole family thing, mostly.
I'm in a history research heavy program, and my marks are average. My schoolmates are mostly young and bright-eyed, with no real responsibilities besides feeding themselves and writing excellent research papers. I have no time to myself, and tend to have anxiety attacks related to heavy (federal) education debt and jobs upon graduation. I'm basically only in grad school to up the ante on my job prospects and pay, and my field is doing quite well right now. I wanted to get all my education out of the way while my daughter was small, and by the time she's ready for school and whatnot, I'll be beginning my new career. But I can't help but think I am making a mistake, that maybe I should be going into the medical field or something because that's where the bulk of today's jobs are, and the pay is probably more than what I'll be seeing in the future. My undergrad was in the liberal arts and I would have to take a million pre-requisites just to get admission anywhere (think Master's of Occupational Therapy or Speech Language Pathology).
So I spend a lot of time just... freaking out. We have no family nearby, and while I have very nice neighbors who offer to help out, they don't spend enough time with my daughter for me to feel comfortable letting them watch her.
If I were to drop out, which I think about almost every other day, I don't really know what I'd do. My partner does not make enough to support us yet, and childcare costs are absolutely outrageous compared to the pay I'd get if I were to find a general office type job.
Help, MeFites. I know most of you are better than any school career counselor (who I will be visiting, btw).