Student Mum, Part Two

So as I said in my last post, in September this year I’ll be returning to life as a student mum. I’ve been offered a place at Chester University, to do a Masters in Drama, and it’s been a decision I’ve  uhm-ed and ah-ed over for quite a long time.

I knew that I desperately wanted to continue studying. It’s not that I’m not ready to let go of university – rather that I feel I’m not done with research and academic work yet. I have so many ideas in my head for research projects and performances, and the best place to translate those ideas into real life is university.

And besides, I’ve been a student mum before. This is no different – right?

Not exactly. Last time, I became a student mum unexpectedly. I had student parenthood thrust upon me, to (badly) paraphrase. Getting pregnant in my second year of an undergraduate degree was an accident.

This time, I am actively choosing to be a student parent. That carries with it a hefty amount of baggage.

People judge student parents. I found that out a few months ago, when I overheard a discussion in the university library. I managed to escape judgement by and large – all I had was compliments. But will it be different this time? Does it make a difference that last time, I was making the most of an unexpected situation – this time, I’m going ahead and sticking myself right in the middle of that situation?

I’m choosing not to be a stay-at-home mum. I’m choosing to “prioritise my career” – usually said in a bad way, although I can’t see how it’s bad when I’m doing it to benefit SB in the long run – and to do something that will probably come across as selfish. In some ways, it is selfish – I am going to do my Masters because it’s what I want to do – but am I a bad person for not feeling guilty about that?

I don’t think I am. I’m sure that some people will disagree, but I am learning more and more not to let other people’s opinions get to me – especially when it comes to doing something as big as a postgraduate degree.

People have been overwhelmingly positive about my decision. People have asked questions, which I’m fine with. I’m happy to be honest about financing the degree (loans) and intentions for afterwards (working in any job I can get, to pay back said loans, while I work on starting up my own company).

But still, there’s that little niggle of doubt. What if I’m doing something that’s selfish in a bad way? What if this time away from SB doesn’t pay off in the way I hope it will? What if the vocal minority are right, and I need to give up on my ambitions because I am a parent now?

I want 2016 to be a year without “what if”s – or at least, a year where “what if”s don’t rule my life any more.

In finishing my undergraduate degree, I proved to everyone else that pregnancy and parenting isn’t an obstacle to studying and achieving your ambition.

With my postgraduate degree, it’s time to prove it to myself.

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28 thoughts on “Student Mum, Part Two

  1. Mellissa Williams says:

    Good luck with your Masters. I did my degree when my son was a baby, also juggling working nights at the same time. It was exhausting but I did it. Doing your Masters degree isn’t selfish. It’s improving your mind and your job prospects and I wish you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jenna says:

    I don’t think you’re being selfish. Not only are you trying to make for a better future for your family but also showing SB that nothing should get in the way of your dreams and aspirations. It’s a great life lesson to show your daughter. Good luck with your course. 🙂

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  3. Rebecca Charlotte says:

    this isn’t a selfish thing at all – shows so much discipline and organisation. i guess people think its different because its not a ‘job’, if that makes sense. i’d love to study a masters one day – good luck!

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  4. littlepicklesmom says:

    Ooh, a postgrad at Chester sounds wonderful! Are you doing a research or a taught masters? Sounds like it’ll be fun – can’t wait to hear what your specialism will be! I’ve been out of Uni for coming up to 4 years now and I do absolutely miss research-based learning. I’m a massive theatre-history nerd, particularly Elizabethan theatre (enjoyed your thrust paraphrasing!) and so it’s no surprise that I’m currently working at the RSC!

    We just moved house and I came across all my old Uni books and essays and notes and it did make me VERY nostalgic. Have toyed with the idea of doing a masters but I think, for me, it’s something I’d like to do for myself when I’m much older. Can’t wait to hear about how you get on and what your course will be like. Exciting! LPMx

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    • The Speed Bump says:

      It’s a taught Masters! I’m hoping to do as much research as possible into applied theatre – particularly political theatre! I took a year out and I was going to do my PGCE, and then I realised that I miss research too much and have so many research project ideas still in my head! Working at the RSC sounds fab!! Thank you for your lovely comment xx

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  5. plutoniumsox says:

    Best of luck with your master’s. What other people think is irrelevant, it’s your life and you are doing the best thing for you and your family. I have found that since being a mum I am more able to focus on whatever I’m doing – be it work / study or whatever. Just because it means so much more when you’re doing it for the sake of your family.xx

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  6. My Life As A Mummy says:

    My Mum went back to university when I was 10 She got her Diploma & Degree whilst bringing me up and make a better life for us. So be proud that you are doing what’s right for your family and don’t listen to any judgmental so and so’s!

    Laura x x x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Colette B says:

    I think you’re setting the perfect example for your little one by following your dreams. Who cares what anyone else thinks about your plans x

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  8. steph_baybee says:

    You do what you want to do and don’t worry about what anything else thinks. If you don’t follow your heart and do what you want then you will always regret it. People make it work for whatever situation they are in. Well done you!

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  9. Mrs H says:

    You should be so proud of yourself for making the decision that is right for you. Happy mum equals happy children. You need to be fulfilled and happy with the decisions and opportunities that you have taken in life. So it is brilliant that you are going back to university to do a master’s degree. And if people judge you. Then so what? It says much more about their small minds then it says anything about you. You are a good mother. Good luck! Hugs Lucy xxxx

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  10. Kara says:

    Good luck continuing your studies – I have always worked with my children but changed direction and had to do a college course with 3 under 5’s in tow – it was bloomin hard work but well worth it!!

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  11. Everything Mummy says:

    Anyone who has anything negative to say is just ridiculous a the end of the day you know what is right for you and your family. You are taking steps to improve your lives and if its something that will make you happy then you go girl! Good luck with it all you will do amazingly I am sure xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. lambandbear says:

    You have every right to continue you’re studying and good for you for going for it. I always say I’d rather regret trying something than regret not trying. Good luck and enjoy! X

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  13. Kaye says:

    I think it’s absolutely fab! We want to make the best of ourselves to make our children proud so I’m sure they’d be happy to see us staying in education to better ourselves. It’s surely setting a good example for their future too. Thanks for linking up to Marvellous Mondays. Kaye xo

    Liked by 1 person

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