Advice for mature applicant / parent starting out

Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
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Re: Advice for mature applicant / parent starting out

Post by Alex » Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:41 am

This may be controversial (please don't shoot me) but the parents with babies/toddlers that I trained with ironically found it slightly easier in someways. They said that having children and looking after them put the course in perspective - that their children were the most important thing in their life (rather than passing a course). Also, it forced them to go for "just a pass", to do the minimum and not be perfectionist and that had to be OK. They had little time to do work so had to be very focussed in the time they had - there wasn't time to procrastinate for days on end. I am not saying it wasn't hard and was still a struggle but having children allowed them to have another perspective.

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Re: Advice for mature applicant / parent starting out

Post by astra » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:47 pm

I'd agree Alex. Having kids is pretty grounding. You can't prioritise work as much when, say, nursery shuts at six and there are financial penalties (and the possibility of social services involvement) for late pick ups. Or when a kid has conjunctivitis and despite what the doctor says, nursery have a strict 48 hour "stay home with it" policy. And surprisingly, you find you can pass most assignments with less work than you think, and you can carry a couple of fails. This is character building (I think). Also being the only parent in a cohort gives immediate kudos. No one can believe how you are doing it and they pretty much bow down to your infinite wisdom and superiority. Until someone else has a baby and then they win coz they are clearly getting even less sleep than you are! As with anything in life, it's about balance and perspective, if you can keep some sense of balance and perspective you'll be ok regardless. Kids help you keep some of that. And they teach you how to manage without sleep, so there's always time to do a bit of coursework. I actually don't know how I survived, but like many others before and since, I did, and so did my child.
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Re: Advice for mature applicant / parent starting out

Post by ell » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:23 pm

There are a range of experiences that people have in balancing course and parenting, it seems. While I find it really quite difficult and even upsetting (for reasons that require some more thinking on) to read how some have positive experiences of it all, I also am glad to see that lots of different experiences are being represented here.

On further reflection on this topic, I realise more and more that there are so many factors at play here. Your experience of, and feelings about, being a parent can make such a difference. Similarly, your feelings about being on training, and the journey you went on to get there can make a difference. Your own mental and/or physical health. The list goes on, and I'm sure you can all guess at some of them. It makes me realise how individual the whole thing is, and that no-one can tell you "it will be terrible/it wil be wonderful/it will be a bit of both". The only way to find out what it will be like is to do it. And your experience of it will be just that, *your* experience. No-one can tell you it's wrong.

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