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Juggling dreams and reality


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#1 galleygirl

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:20 PM

Hi,

Not sure if this is the correct area to post. I'm a single Mum, and my dilemma is I have been accepted to do further study. If I had all the money in the world I would drop everything and study full time. It's a huge commitment 8 years full time, but at the end would be rewarding and secure a pretty good job I would think. It would be my dream to work in a professional capacity helping people which is what this degree would offer. I can do this part time over the 8 years, but it's still a huge HECS debt and would need to juggle all areas of my life just to get through. Life is busy atm even without the study.

However, reality is i need to support my kids. I'm 38, kids are 6 and 8. Expenses are mounting. I'm currently on a low wage working school hours. I could go and do a post grad in accounting/bookkeeping to improve my chances of getting better paid employment in time, but that is not my passion. Seems more like drudgery but a realistic option.

If I had my way, I'd volunteer full time and help people everyday and be creative in my spare time. But that won't pay the bills or support my kids.

How does one balance dreams with the reality of day to day life?

#2 krich78

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:37 PM

It's not easy is it. I totally get where your coming from re compromise and feeling like you need to sacrifice a dream. I feel that I have made alot of compromises for my family but you need to be practical and accept that you need to make the best of your current circumstances rather than follow dreams instead of responsibilities.
For what it's worth, the dream does not always match the reality. For example, a friend of mine studied law as a single mother in her late thirties. She did well but the course took her over 6 years part time and by the time she graduated she was in her forties with no practical experience in the area. That was 10 years ago and she has never been able to get work as a lawyer. The degree has helped her in other ways but not the way she hoped. Meanwhile, her two kids had to grow up with very little money for extras and she still has to build up some super for her retirement. Not ideal.

#3 statua angelam

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:44 PM

I think it's about realising that small steps are possible.

For example, with the course that's for your dream, could you start with just one unit?  Are any units offered online, rather than on campus?  That would give you some flexibility as you get your head around it all.  Also, would it be possible to break the eight years down into chunks - perhaps study for a bit, defer for a year and work/save, then go back and study some more?

I would say don't look at it as all or nothing, but realise that there are lots of possibilities (depending on what you're doing, of course) and be prepared to think outside the square.  Talk to people who do the kind of thing you want to do, and find out what the reality of the process has been for them, as well as what things you might not have thought of yet.

And good luck!  I think life is too short to settle for being less than you might be.



#4 kpingitquiet

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:45 PM

Do it. Your kids are 6 and 8. You are 38. In 8 years, they will be 16 and 14 and looking toward their own futures. In 12 years, give or take, you will be on your own or with a new partner and will be only 50 years old with, hopefully, 4 years of the new career under your belt, less expenses, and as much as 50 more years ahead of you to be happy with your choices.

While I'm not a single parent, we're on a very tight income and are finding a way to afford my study, and once HECS is possible for me then he'll begin studying. So 1 FT worker/ PT student and 1 SAHM (of hopefully 2)/FT student. And no money leftover most months. But we're looking forward to the financial improvements our study will make, the emotional and mental satisfaction, and the example it sets for our kid(s).

#5 kabailz13

Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:59 PM

It is a huge decision to make isn't it?

For the past year, we have been a 2x full time student family. Since January 1st, the child care fee assistance we were receiving has decreased resulting in us having to pay TEN TIMES the amount we were paying. It is now inconceivable that I will be able to finish my degree ($250pw on child care with no income is just impossible for us).

We have had lots of discussions about where we are heading and what sort of life we are giving our kids (eldest turns 12 this year and youngest turned 2 last month).

The result is that I will be a SAHM and DH is going back to FIFO work. He is still working toward the same ultimate goal of health and safety but taking a different approach. Me? Well, I want to be there for the kids. With two ASD kids and another 3 with varying extra needs, one of us really needs to be available and present all the time.

I'm not sure that has helped you at all. My only suggestion is to realistically look at your life and how it would impact both you and your kids with you studying for 8yrs. Is that how you want to live your life? (I'm not saying it's bad or wrong AT ALL, it's merely a question only you can answer).

Good luck making the call original.gif

#6 JuniPooks_

Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:06 PM

Go for it!

I agree with PP, study while your kids are young and then you will be ready to launch off into a fantastic career where your abilities, heart and soul all want you to be.

My spider sense are tingling, is it a social work degree? Coz if it is PLEASE DO IT people with life experience and who have experienced some adversity and have some maturity are exactly what the profession needs.

You will also be setting a brilliant example for your kids. Do you want them to work hard and do the things they love? Modeling it is the best lesson you could give.

In those young adult years they will feel so pleased that you have a secure base to live your own life and they will be able to set out with that example behind them.

Make sure you reach out for help when you can, and all the best!

#7 emnut

Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:42 PM

I'm in team take a chance & do it full time.  Like Pooks I assumed it is social work you are talking of.  My SIL is a single mum of a 10yo and made the choice after being diagnosed with MS 3 years ago and losing her low paying job largely due to the excessive amount of time she had off work sick that she was going to go for it.  Yes things have been tight for her financially, and due to the change in PPS we are helping her a bit, but she is much happier now she is following her dreams and really looking forward to the future with the finishing line in sight.

As she decided, she could struggle on a low income job that she would be stuck with, or she could take a chance on things being tough for 4 years but a happier future for her & her daughter.  Even with the financial strain she has no regrets.

#8 galleygirl

Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:45 PM

QUOTE (Pooks_ @ 05/02/2013, 02:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Go for it!

I agree with PP, study while your kids are young and then you will be ready to launch off into a fantastic career where your abilities, heart and soul all want you to be.

My spider sense are tingling, is it a social work degree? Coz if it is PLEASE DO IT people with life experience and who have experienced some adversity and have some maturity are exactly what the profession needs.

You will also be setting a brilliant example for your kids. Do you want them to work hard and do the things they love? Modeling it is the best lesson you could give.

In those young adult years they will feel so pleased that you have a secure base to live your own life and they will be able to set out with that example behind them.

Make sure you reach out for help when you can, and all the best!


Your sense is correct. It's a BA Arts/Social work. I'd like to do a psych major to keep options open, but that also terrifies me!! Since the end of my marriage I feel so scared to commit to anything for fear of failing it!!

Thank you everyone else for your posts. It's so good to get feedback on the way I feel!

#9 RunDMC

Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

Go for it, make your own luck.
Your tough experience may actually be the experience you need to get your dream career, sometimes in social work it helps the people you are dealing with to see that you can not only talk the talk but also walk the walk.
On another note I always think that it is better to have tried and failed than to have always wondered. By trying you expose yourself to all sorts of opportunities that may even take you on a journey you were not expecting.

#10 L.A.M

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

I am where you are at Galleygirl!

I a single Mum but to 3 who works FT, so I need to study PT as a result. I can't cut any hours at work to study more quickly as I have a mortgage so need what I already earn (and then some..sigh).

II can't work any more (Overtime) if I am going to study to help pay for it, (as I will have tto do PAYG due to my current earnings) which I could do with as the $3000k a year I need to pay for school fees is my fix the carpet problem this yr money, buy that new couch as kids have wrecked old one money next yr money...basically my ONLY surplus money, and barely that as general kids cost usually eat half of it anyway.
And I am with you on the ..life is busy at the moment without studying, BUT if I really analyse that I procrastinate A LOT lol, like now on EB.

Can I make it work, who knows. I want this yr to be my test yr, if I blow $3500k as I pay for this yr but know that at the end of this yr in all realisim I can't keep going ($ wise, time wise, general sanity wise), well at least I gave it a REAL shot! wink.gif


All the best deciding. Social work was on my list, but half the course was to wishy washy for me lol. The job sounds super BUT couldn't study it to get there lol

Edited by L.A.M, 05 February 2013 - 08:44 PM.





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