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'Should I wait until I've done my nurse training before starting a family, or the other way round?'

  • 8 Comments

Can you advise this potential student nurse?

“I’ve been talking to my husband about having children for a while and we finally feel like we’re both ready.

“We have just one problem: I’m meant to be starting my nurse training in September.

“I’ve wanted to do it for years and when I turned 30 last year I decided to bite the bullet and do it.

“So now I’m weighing up which takes priority, having children or getting on with my training. I know I can do both but I think it’s probably easier to do my training without worrying about childcare but I’m not sure I want to leave having children indefinitely.

“My friends and family all have opinions but I want to get the advice of someone who has done the course, preferably with children. Is it manageable or a bit of a nightmare? Would you recommend getting the course out of the way before getting pregnant?

“Any advice you can give me would be hugely appreciated! Thank you!”

Please use the comments section below to share your advice

If you would like to post a question here, please contact fran.entwistle@emap.com. We will publish first names only, but please let us know if you’d rather remain anonymous.

 

 

  • 8 Comments

Readers' comments (8)

  • I am a student nurse and single mum of 4 in my final year due to qualify in January.

    I waited until my youngest was 9 before I started my training only because I knew that 12hr shifts would be difficult for me to manage with childcare whilst my children were small, especially when it came to night shifts.

    I have to say that even with older children it still has it's challenges, but they are old enough to understand when mom needs to be left alone to study.

    On the other hand, I have colleagues on my course that have very young children and are managing very well. But then, they have a lot of family support to help them with their children.

    The difference is that it can be a challenge to juggle shifts, being a student and going through a learning curve, studying/doing assignments and children all at the same time so family is key if you choose this route.

    At least if already qualified you will be past the degree/assignment stage so one less thing to think about...

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  • Two weeks before I started my training I found out my wife was pregnant and it adds some extra challenges when on placement or trying to do uni work at home.

    There have been people in my cohort who have left to have a baby and will join another cohort and others who have joined us after maternity leave. I don't think there is ever going to be a perfect time to have children and I'm sure your uni will be fully supportive if you do become pregnant while a student.

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  • Your main concern is making sure you have full support at home if you start a family during your training. Its a catch 22. I have just finished my training and from my 04/12 cohort alone, students were having babies during training ..all returned and completed training in the next cohort ...but I stress ..they all had family assisting in child care. There were plenty of single parents to who struggled but made it.....As I said, its catch 22 do wait or just let nature take its cause...either way ...making sure you have help in place is a must.

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  • My baby girl was 9 months old when I started my training. It wasn't easy but its been worth it, I'm just about to start my final year, my daughter is my drive to keep going when I get to the end of a 14 hour shift and wonder why im doing it.... i'm also turning 30 this year and I didn't want to wait for either. I have an amazing childminder and get help from NHS Bursary, but its my family that make the difference, my parents and in-laws regularly re-arrange their off duty to fit around what I need. if you've got that sort of support then go for it!!!!

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  • I have a little girl who is at the stage where tantrums are frequent, I am entering my second year of nursing and have personally found it quite difficult to juggle both. Like the others have mentioned there is never a perfect time to have children and if you have waited so long to start your nurse training as well as putting off starting a family, I understand the tough decision you are trying to make. If I could suggest something, it would be that you go for your nursing and at least get first year under your belt beforehand. That way you find out if it is definitely for you, you can get a picture of the workload and also see if you think that you could have a child whilst doing the course. The placements definitely made it hard for me because my little one is three and the separation was difficult for us both. She is getting used to it and I keep telling myself that I am doing it for her future. I understand what it's like to desperately want a baby but I would hold off for at least until after first year because it may put a few things into perspective for you. Hope this helps whatever you decide and good luck.

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  • I would advise you to study as it takes maximum of three academic years (a hundred and sixty weeks) time frame. Taking care of a baby takes an interrupted, timeless and never ending time frame. this is to say that it is better you get your degree and struggle with child care and job afterwards than the other way round. Decision remains yours and wish you good-luck in your future endeavour.

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  • I would advise you to study as it takes maximum of three academic years (a hundred and sixty weeks) time frame. Taking care of a baby takes an interrupted, timeless and never ending time frame. this is to say that it is better you get your degree and struggle with child care and job afterwards than the other way round. Decision remains yours and wish you good-luck in your future endeavour.

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  • I agree with the comment about it never being a perfect time to start a family and/or study! I was pregnant when I started my training as I had IVF treatment shortly before that. When I applied to do the course, I knew that I may be pregnant at the start of it and was encouraged to apply and go on maternity leave, returning after 10 months. I didn't know at the time if the treatment would work and took a chance, if it hadn't and I'd postponed training I would no doubt have found it doubly difficult to cope; as it happens it worked and I ended up starting a path to the career I have always wanted. I knew it would be tough but it's the best decision I could have made, and no doubt going back will be hard, however it is not for a long time in the grand scheme of things and ultimately training will have been hard with a family no matter how old your child(ren) may be. Sometimes we take having children for granted and are unprepared for the problems we face, even not as drastic as IVF but simply not being able to get pregnant quickly! At least starting your training will give you certainty - starting a family isn't a certain business, unfortunately! - and universities have support available to pregnant students and parents, it is not uncommon at all for nursing students to go on maternity leave. See how you feel about all this and I wish you all the best with family and nurse training.

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