Do Your Goals Change Post-Baby?


Graduation Cake Guy
Flickr photo by CarbonNYC

I got accepted to grad school yesterday. Shouldn't I be more excited?

Before we started TTC, my husband and I talked about me going to get my MFA in creative writing, since writing (and selling) a novel is one of my major goals. And knowing me, I need the structure of a program. Plus, with an MFA, I could eventually teach to subsidize my writing habit. So I applied to three schools, all within a half-hour's commute, all strong programs, all sure to motivate and discipline me in my writing.

And yesterday, I found out I got into the one that was my top choice. The thing is, now I'm rethinking it. Maybe I was naive, but before I thought I could handle work and school and baby.

But now, given the surprising amount of energy -- not to mention money -- raising a little one entails, I can't even imagine adding school to my daily duties.

Still I'm debating it. On the one hand, there's the idea that committing to a program will force me to devote some time to this goal, which has always been so important to me. On the other, it seems like I will be taking precious moments away from my little Babycakes, who would still only be about 6 months old when my program started. And financially, grad school -- and the child care it would necessitate -- is a major, debt-riddling undertaking. One that my husband and I were willing to accept when it was the two of us. But now that's something that just seems irresponsible now that Kavi is part of the picture.

So do I give up grad school now that I'm a mom? Can I afford to defer? Or skip it altogether? It seems like the practical thing to do.

But the thing is -- will I ever finish that novel? It's my own fault if I don't, I know that. Because I could have done it before Kavi arrived. And really, I still can do it now that she's here. Look at Stephenie Meyer. She wrote and wrote and wrote into the wee hours, after working a hard day, caring for her family, giving it her all. And I'm sure her success is sweeter for it.

I know, grad school or no grad school, that I need to make time for my writing. Because it's one of my goals. And Kavi will be happier if her mom is happier, working toward fulfilling that dream.

Did your personal goals change -- or get put aside -- when you became a mom?

baby first year, back to school, back-to-work, child care, time for mom, work


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KatieP. KatieP.

I go to grad school part time and work fulltime, as far as the kids go, they go to bed at 7pm. and then I study, I never take time away from them to study except for midterm week and final exam week. And I get enough studying in when they are sleeping. My mom helps out during midterm and final exam week. It is doable. But you have to give up alot of things like TV and free time of any shape : )

toria... toriandgrace

I'm doing grad school right now and it's a little exhausting. I was 18 and single when I found out I was pregnant. I pushed on with school and graduated in only three years. I took a year off between my BA and my MA to get married and move across the country. I'm so glad I continued with my education. My program right now is actually online which has been nice, but now I'm getting to the student teaching portion, so I'll be away all day. Sometimes if you put it off, it will never happen.

Spiri... SpiritedTigress

Before we found out I was pregnant, my goals were; getting a job (I was 18 and couldnt get my ID), marriage, save up for a house. I actually wouldnt have my ID if it wernt for getting pregnant (long story) but after I had the first baby, four months later we were pregnant again. I wont get a job until our youngest is 2 years old or more (I want him to be able to talk) so I'm just putting it off.
In your situation, I would put off school for another year if it's possible. If not, I'd go for it!
Good luck!

Steph... StephanieSD

I found out I was pregnant a few weeks after I'd paid for part-time grad school. I decided to continue with this semester, have the birth over the summer break, and then decide to continue or not. I'd been thinking and talking about grad school for so long, and the baby wasn't supposed to happen for another year or two, so I decided to try both and see what happens. I think if you don't get started with school, it will be that much harder to get started afterward. If you've already started and have to give it up, you'll know if it's worth going back to later or not.

nonmember avatar Trudy

As a mother of 4, ages 21, 20, 5, and 3, I was able to complete my graduate school program full time while working fulltime. I'm a morning person so I would wake up early while everyone was sleeping and during nap time and listened to my lectures and work on my school work. The advantage I had was that my courses were all online so I could do it according to my schedule. But I also want to add that I had to do 8-16 hour internships weekly. I spent most of my free time with my children. It was exausting, but well worth it in the long run. My husband is the only one who felt left out and needed more reassurance than the children, but we're making up for that. Good luck and never let your dreams die!

nonmember avatar Black Iris

This is a really hard question. Kids do need your time. On the other hand, if you let your dream go, you'll regret it. Is there any way you could do the MFA and quit work? If you can handle the child care yourself, you can save money. Or could you stay home and work on the novel during naps and weekends for a while?

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